The Rothko Chapel concludes its 2015 Summer Sounds on the Plaza series with legendary Creole musician, Ed Poullard. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 on the Rothko Chapel Plaza, 3900 Yupon St. in Houston, 77006.
“Ed Poullard sings traditional tunes and conjures up images of ‘fais do dos’ dances in Acadian sugar canes field on humid nights,” program director and New Orleans native Michelle Ashton said. “He is recognized as the premier creole musician, part of a family tradition passed down through the generations.”
Poullard was born in Eunice, Louisiana and raised in southeast Texas. He started playing music at a young age – and had joined his father’s band by the time he was in grade school. They performed together at house parties and parish dances. His first instruments were drums and guitar – and he later picked up the accordion and fiddle.
Poullard was trained by the best – studying fiddle with the late Canray Fontenot. The two performed together until Fontenot's death in 1995. “Ed Poullard is one of the who’s who in the music scene in Louisiana,” Ashton said. “He can perform the songs of yesteryear he learned alongside his father – and he is a true talent, whether he picks up a fiddle or accordion.”
She explained that this year’s Summer Sounds on the Plaza series commemorates the 10th anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by featuring music that originated in Louisiana.
“We want to honor the culture of Louisiana, knowing the great loss the state suffered during the hurricanes,” Ashton said. “In the process, we are showcasing the cultural influence Louisiana music has on the Houston music scene.”
In its 40 years, the Chapel has achieved recognition as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the second half of the 20th century. In 2001 the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s “Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations,” published in 2009.
Visitors from around the world visit the sacred space to meditate and reflect, as they gaze at the tremendous paintings by Mark Rothko – or when they step outside to view Barnett Newman’s powerful sculpture Broken Obelisk, which stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
About the Rothko Chapel
The Rothko Chapel is open to the public every day of the year at no charge and successfully interconnects art, spirituality and compassionate action through a broad array of free public programs. Founded by Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil, the Chapel was dedicated in 1971 as an intimate sanctuary. Today it stands as a monument to art, spirituality and human rights. As an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization, the Chapel depends on contributions from foundations and individuals to support its mission of creating a space for contemplation and dialogue on important issues.
Photo credit: David Simpson