The 14th annual festival celebrating the life and music of New Orleans’ most famous son, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, kicks off Friday morning with a second line parade at 10:30 AM from Jackson Square to the Old U.S. Mint. Performances and discussions take place all weekend long. Here are my picks for the first day.
Since Chevron has come on as a major sponsor (TVD is a media sponsor), the fest has been able to book bands previously outside the budget. Topping the list this year is the first ever appearance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
They hit at 6:30 PM on the Chevron Red Beans and Ricely stage on the Barracks Street side of the historic building. The ever-effervescent personality James “Satchmo of the Ghetto” Andrews follows at 8 PM.
With a steady schedule nearly every night of the week, Wednesdays at the Maple Leaf Bar have been the wild card. July featured a “no smoking” residency by the latest “buzz band,” Tank and the Bangas. Expect to see some of the best slide guitarists in town in August. Free BBQ Sliders will be on the menu.
Brint Anderson (pictured at top) of George Porter, Jr’s Runnin’ Pardners is featured every week. The series kicks off on August 6 with Chris Mulé and John Lisi. August 13th, Camile Baudoin and John Fohl join him. Fohl returns on August 20 with Colin Lake.
The series culminates on August 27th with Jake Eckert and Papa Mali.
Saturday night, July 26, one of the leading lights of modern jazz piano appears with his band for the first time in New Orleans at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. Show times are at 8 and 10 PM.
Sosa is a native of Cuba and was trained in two of the island nation’s rigorous music academies, the Escuela Nacional de Musica and the Instituto Superior de Arte. Both institutions are located in Havana and have produced countless numbers of talented musicians.
Given the close affinity between the music of New Orleans and Cuba, it comes as a surprise that this is Sosa’s first time in New Orleans.
This weekend (July 18-19), the group will feature Big Chief Juan Pardo on Friday night and former Radiators’ keyboardist and singer/songwriter Ed Volker on Saturday night at the Maple Leaf Bar.
The band has been going through some reorganization according to bassist Reggie Scanlan including working on a record deal with Louisiana Red Hot Records and recording a new album, which will feature Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat.
Saxophonist Jeff Watkins took advantage of the time off the road with the Suspects to go on a three-week European tour with soul singer Joss Stone. When the chance to play two nights at the uptown club came up, the boys in the band decided to bring in the special guests to make up for Watkins’ absence. Read More
The acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist is returning to New Orleans after a successful reunion run with his long running band, the subdudes, for a rare show at the spacious new venue.
Malone has been on roll of late. His latest recording, Poor Boy, which was released by M.C. Records in late April, has been garnering rave reviews and sales have been growing. It is currently the Number 1 album on the Roots Music Report’s Roots Rock Albums chart.
He appeared on the Americana Music Show with Calvin Powers playing tracks from the new album, talking about the subdudes’ reunion, and other personal tidbits. You can listen here.
Everyone’s favorite record store, which recently moved to fine new digs at the gateway to the Frenchmen Street Cultural District, recently started a campaign to purchase equipment for their much-lauded in-store performance series. Details are here.
I have been attending these in-store performances since the business opened decades ago. Shameless self promotion: numerous stories about the music in the early years are featured in my book, Up Front and Center: New Orleans Music at the End of the 20th Century.
But enough about me. Performing at the “Factory” is part of the development of many of New Orleans finest musicians. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews played there numerous times before he was even a teenager.
The acclaimed San Diego-based singer/songwriter recorded two cuts off of his critically lauded new album, Twelve Tales, under the direction of producer Allen Toussaint.
In keeping with his all-inclusive approach to music, he will be performing in three entirely different settings. Tonight, the show will be at the Maple Leaf Bar. The set begins at 8 PM and will be over in time for the Rebirth Brass Band’s regular 11 PM set.
The Maple Leaf Bar is one of the last remaining live music saloons in New Orleans where smoking is still allowed. Croce’s set will be non-smoking.
The follow-up to the groundbreaking New Orleans institution’s Grammy Award-winning album hits the streets nationally today. The band will play at 7 PM at the Louisiana Music Factory on July 1 (next Tuesday). The performance will be broadcast live on WWOZ (90.7 FM) and streamed globally at www.wwoz.org.
Rollicking originals on the album like “Who’s Rockin, Who’s Rollin’?” and “Take ‘Em to the Moon” reaffirm the band’s position at head of the brass class.
The reggae-inspired “On My Way” and leave-nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics of “HBNS” (you gotta hear these lyrics) showcase the unit’s talent for penning unabashed party starters.
No one would argue that New Orleans always has room for one more festival. Tonight at the Howlin’ Wolf, a new monthly brass band series begins featuring the divergent styles and songs of seven brass bands in one powerhouse evening. It is also the kick off party for Brass Fest, an all day brass band party, which will happen in the Fall.
Expect to see the Grammy-nominated Hot 8 Brass Band, Red Bull Street King Competition winners The Original Pinettes, The Free Agents, To Be Continued, Most Wanted, Legacy, and Young Pinstripe brass bands.
“New Orleans defines brass more than any other city, state, or country,” says Brass Fest founder and producer, Ersel “Garfield” Bogan III. “Brass Fest creates a means of strengthening our music community while we bring something worthwhile to people who love our music.”
For the past seven years, the festival celebrating the beginning of creole tomato season in New Orleans and the surrounding area has shared the intimate environs of the French Market with the Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival, which is presented by the fine folks at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.
This year, the Cajun Zydeco Fest is next weekend, so the Tomato fest has lower Decatur Street all to itself.
This is the 28th iteration of the festival dedicated to showcasing the abundance of fruits and vegetables from Louisiana. Of course, this being New Orleans, it also will be putting a spotlight on local music.