Alison Fensterstock

New Orleans music history is played out by an ensemble cast, as colorful, diverse and dynamic as a Sunday-afternoon second line. No single lineage can quite unlock the ongoing magic that remains far more than the sum of its parts. But one essential thread, which began before rock and roll and stretched past the birth of hip-hop, is the legacy of queer performers and tastemakers — from Bobby Marchan to James Booker to Big Freedia — who steered the sounds and the scenes.

Dave Bartholomew, photographed on January 12, 2013 in New Orleans.
Erika Goldring / Getty Images

Dave Bartholo

The music legend, guitarist, piano man, jive talker and psychedelic godfather Malcolm John Rebennack – better known as Dr. John – died "towards the break of day" on Thursday, of a heart attack, a statement has confirmed. He was 77.