Baton Rouge’s James Linden Hogg, 13, makes his New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival debut Sunday. A singer, musician and historical re-enactor, Hogg specializes in the Revolutionary War and Civil War.
“Because it’s the Jazz and Heritage Festival, I’m on the heritage end of it,” Hogg, dressed in an 18th-century outfit, said last week.
Appearing at 4:10 p.m. at the Jazz Fest’s Kids Stage, Hogg will perform songs that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and the Marquis de Lafayette would have heard in their day.
“But you can hear these songs any day,” Hogg said. “Everyone knows ‘Yankee Doodle.’ ‘Scotland the Brave,’ you hear it played by the bagpipes during parades. And you might know a tune, yet you don’t know its name or where it come from. A lot of great little tunes came out of the 18th century.”
Hogg’s 18th and 19th century repertoire includes “Jefferson and Liberty,” “Flowers of Edinburgh,” “Fisher’s Hornpipe, “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Hard Times Come Again No More.”
Hogg got his first stage experience when he was a young lad, as a guest of his dad’s bluegrass band, Jim Hogg and the Boys. At 3, he was backstage at the Grand Ole Opry.
“So I just grew up with it,” Hogg said. “I do like performing. It is much fun.”
Hogg sings and plays violin, banjo, bagpipes, piano, harpsichord, fife and pennywhistle. His upcoming CD, “The Parting Glass,” will feature 18th century selections and some of his original compositions, which sound as if they were written in the 18th century.
Hogg has performed in Louisiana, Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Gettysburg, Pa.
In March, Hogg and a couple portraying James and Dolley Madison appeared at chef John Folse’s Dinner of the Century in New Orleans. The event celebrated the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s poem, “Defense of Fort McHenry.”
Hogg, unlike many young people, enjoys history, especially the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War. He’s also gotten into World War I and World War II.
The historical characters Hogg has portrayed include the young Thomas Jefferson and young John Quincy Adams.
“I research the character, learn how he might have talked, what he would have said, what his opinions would be, his mannerisms,” he said.
“Dressing up and going to a re-enactment of a historical event, you become that living character,” he added. “That’s the closest you can get to living in the 1770s, during the Revolution.”