Photo by Maria Rodriguez Barnes

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Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes

Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes was born and raised in Gravel Hill, Arkansas, and moved to Louisiana in 1987 to work in the Jean Lafitte National Park’s Barataria Preserve. Since 1999, he has been an interpretive park ranger and archivist for the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Combining a love of blues, zydeco, and West African music, he founded Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots in 1991 to create music inspired by Afro-Louisiana and his travels playing music around the world. In 2010, after participating in the culture of music and parading in New Orleans for many years, he began working on documentary photography projects. He is currently working on an album that is a culmination of the past two decades of his musical journey, as well as a book on music education with traditional jazz musicians in New Orleans, in partnership with the Neighborhood Story Project.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. My family
  2. True love
  3. True friends
  4. My music (and the creation of)
  5. Passion for life
  6. Struggles for a better life for those around me
  7. The Northside Skull and Bone Gang
  8. Black Men of Labor
  9. Communing with nature
  10. A good glass of rum