Wendell Pierce as Antoine Batiste
Wendell Pierce as Antoine Batiste
Set just three months after Hurricane Katrina, the new HBO series Treme (cocreated by David Simon, the man behind the cult classic The Wire) is steeped in the brass-band sounds for which New Orleans's Treme neighborhood is world-renowned. In weaving its tapestry of complex characters—local musicians and their assorted lovers, exes, and friends—the show (premiering April 11) also celebrates, without a single note of sentimentality or false hope, the chameleonic powers of music: as a tonic, a time capsule, a lingua franca and a sweet escape.

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