There’s been quite a stir lately about busking in the city. While most cities of significant size have crossed this bridge long ago, this is just one more example of Knoxville being an old city that is just regaining its footing as something more than the abandoned hub of the suburbs. I’ll have more to say about the saga of Bill Page after his next court date, but suffice to say for now, that buskers add greatly to the city experience and the idea of harassing them is antithetical to everything contained in our aspirations for downtown. The idea that some law enforcement officers and some of the commenters on local sites seem to hold that they are the same thing as panhandlers is simply not true.
In the spirit of what may be known as the Great Busking Debate of Summer 2010, I’ll introduce you to one I met tonight. His name is Antoine and, as you can see from the pictures below, he plays trumpet. He plays it very well. Not apparently interested in popular tunes, he was playing jazz riffs that took me back to childhood and the street musicians in New Orleans. I had him pegged for a New Orleans transplant. Of course, I was wrong. He’s from Atlanta from which he moved last fall with his wife and only child. She’s an accountant whose job has fallen through, so if you are in need of an accountant, ask the guy on Market Square blowing the steamy jazz. I asked if they would stay in Knoxville and he told me, “What ever the Lord wants.” Nice guy. Very nice music. Say “hello” when you see him.
Enjoy the pictures, and remember, you can click them to make them larger.