George H. Buck, Jr., an unabashed devotee and supporter of traditional New Orleans jazz and an astute businessman and entrepreneur in the mercurial milieu of music and radio, passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2013. He was 84 years old.
Buck was best known in New Orleans as the co-owner of the Palm Court Jazz Café on Decatur Street, which is run by Nina Buck, his British-born wife of nearly 30 years who survives him.
But behind, or rather above, that lively scene, which has presented some of the greatest purveyors of the traditional jazz idiom including Doc Cheatham, Danny Barker, Percy and Willie Humphrey, Pud Brown, and more recently a burgeoning next generation of trad players, stands a veritable kingdom of jazz recordings and old radio archives presided over with a gentle touch by Buck.
Buck moved to New Orleans in 1986 and purchased the building which houses the Palm Court, a former French Market warehouse, to house his vast inventory of records and to function as the headquarters for his many record labels. A recording studio is also part of the complex. The jazz club and Creole restaurant occupies the ground floor.
When New Orleans was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, musicians all over the world staged benefits to aid the city and its residents. Now it’s our turn. This benefit, which is daytime event at the Howlin’ Wolf, is raising funds for those affected by the floods in Colorado.
Colorado’s Front Range was hit hard by flooding in September. The effort to rebuild is going strong in Colorado towns like Lyons, and some New Orleans musicians are supporting the cause from afar.
The New Orleans Suspects keyboard player CR Gruver called Denver home before settling in the Crescent City, and he has enlisted some pillars in the New Orleans music scene to throw a concert to benefit the Lyons Community Foundation. Tickets are available here.
Here’s the schedule:
Tonight, the New Mastersounds guitarist will be performing with a killer cast of local musicians. Expect to see Kyle Roussel on keys, James Singleton on bass, and Jermal Watson on drums.
I had the good fortune to check out Roberts’ performance the first night of his month-long residency at the Maple Leaf Bar. The band was different, he had Eric Vogel on bass and Nigel Hall on keys, but the groove and the licks were unlike most in attendance had heard with the exception of sporadic local performances by the New Mastersounds.
Roberts has a technique that may confound many guitarists. Even though I was up front and center in the intimate Maple Leaf, I was left with the impression after the set that he plays without a pick. I even asked him if the great Snooks Eaglin inspired him (Snooks was another guitarist who left other guitarists confounded.)
The rapidly growing festival, which is scheduled for March 21-22, 2013 at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans, will feature headliners the Flaming Lips, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, Kaskade, Zedd, Chromeo, Explosions in the Sky, Tyler the Creator, Phantogram, Pusha T, The Glitch Mob, Danny Brown, Seth Troxler, and Wavves.
BUKU, now in its third year, is expanding its offerings to include some of today’s most sought-after acts spanning the electronic, hip-hop, rock, pop, and indie genres.
Local talent will also be on the bill. Among the initial announcements are performances by Big Freedia, Generationals, Gravity A, and Big History.
This weekend, Tipitina’s is hosting a two-night jam session featuring the acclaimed guitarist and many of his special musical friends. There are two-night passes available for a discounted price.
Anders has been riding a serious wave for months now. His new album, Peace, on Alligator Records, is getting rave reviews. He recently recorded a video piece for Yamaha guitars. But most significantly, his national profile has grown considerably due to his work with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s ever-evolving band lineup.
I have heard nothing but stellar reports from friends who have seen the shows, which also feature North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson.
Jerod “Rody” Lewis of the Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe passed away on Monday, November 25, 2013. He was 49 years old.
Big Chief Rody led the fabled uptown gang since the passing of his father, Percy “Big Chief Pete” Lewis in 1981 (shown below in a photo from 1977 by Michael P. Smith). The Black Eagles, along with the White Eagles and the Golden Eagles, are among the oldest uptown tribes. The Creole Wild West are recognized as the oldest tribe in the city of New Orleans.
Rody had one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in the entire Mardi Gras Indian community.He was the current generation’s vocal equivalent of Bo Dollis, the legendary Big Chief of the Wild Magnolias. A strong, charismatic singer with a rich baritone, he could be heard chanting at Mardi Gras Indian practices, shouting the ancient songs behind various second line parades, and fronting his gang at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
My Morning Jacket has teamed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Flaming Lips and other bands for a 4-night concert adventure in Mexico from January 26-30, 2014.
The event, dubbed My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday features three totally unique shows plus an off-the-hook dance party hosted by the band that promises plenty of surprises.
This unique experience will include daily activities, a variety of off-site excursions, and all the magic that comes from being on vacation in an intimate setting with just 2,500 fans.
The guitarist from the British soul-jazz band will be playing with a variety of local musicians. This week he has Jermal Watson on drums, Nigel Hall on keys, and Eric Vogel on bass.
Roberts is part of a new generation of musicians who treat the music of the Meters as a stepping stone to other funky and soulful styles. His group has been developing a following in New Orleans after some wonderful performances over the past few years.
The music on Wednesday nights at the Leaf will take a decidedly jazzier approach on December 4th when Roberts is joined by Khris Royal on sax and James Singleton on bass. Jermal Watson will return on drums.