Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

TVD Recommends: Gravity A’s Talking Heads Tribute plus Yojimbo, 11/1

Heads up music lovers! Amid all the mania associated with the Voodoo Music Experience you don’t want to miss hearing about one of the best shows going on this weekend. So read on. Saturday night, after the gates at Voodoo close, the Joy Theater on Canal Street will feature this killer double bill. Doors are at 11 PM.

Gravity A has been a highly regarded band on the scene since 2004, but they really hit their stride a couple of years ago. Now, they have been really turning ears with a tribute to Talking Heads featuring the guitarist and vocalist Cliff Hines.

When I first heard about this lineup, I was skeptical. Hines is better known in creative music circles and jazz. As far as I know, he was not even regarded as a first-rate vocalist. Intrigued and expecting electro-jazzy takes on T-Heads, I went to one of the early iterations of this tribute last spring at Wednesdays at the Square.

Simply put, I was blown away.

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TVD Recommends: Jorge Luis Pacheco Trio at the Prime Example, 10/30

The Cuban jazz piano player returns to New Orleans for two sets at the intimate Broad Street club on Thursday night.

Pacheco has been making waves in the Havana jazz scene and is considered one of the leading lights of the next generation of jazz artists from the music-obsessed island nation. His trio features New York-based Ivan Llanes Montejo on drums and percussion and Carlos Mena on bass.

Jorge Luis combines his classical training with his passion for jazz and playful touches of popular Cuban and American music. With his parents being prominent opera and choir directors, it’s only fitting that Jorge Luis will sing a few songs as part of this performance.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience first hand one of the best performers of contemporary Cuban music. Showtimes are 8 and 10 PM.

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Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet drops The 21st Century Trad Band today, 10/28

The second album with Marsalis’ work on the vibraphone front and center is available nationwide on the local Basin Street Records label.

As regular readers of this space know, the youngest musical brother in the Marsalis musical dynasty is best known as a drummer. But for the last few years his compositional talents, which I likened to the work of a film composer after his first release, have been showcased on the vibes.

The songs on the album take us on a journey through complex arrangements combining hard-swinging sections with more melodic interludes, unexpected turn-arounds, and an occasional introspective outro.

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TVD Recommends: Steelism at the Louisiana Music Factory, 10/25

Though I haven’t had a chance to check out these guys playing live yet, they are getting rave reviews including being listed in Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” They play an in-store set at 2 PM.

NPR’s Ann Powers said, “The Nashville instrumental group Steelism stands out for its ability to blend vintage styles—steel-guitar jazz, surf rock, the cool vibe of 1960s movie soundtracks—in ways that don’t feel dated.”

Their new video “Marfa Lights,” a track from their Single Lock Records’ debut 615 to Fame, was inspired by vintage educational shorts and the British BBC comedy show “Look Around You.” The video was filmed in Nashville and directed by Nashville filmmaker/musician Stewart Copeland. You can also check out a live vid here.

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Combat vet William A. Thompson, IV’s sound composition debuts as part of Prospect 3+

Followers of local media are beginning to see coverage about the various art projects which are part of Prospect 3+—New Orleans’ international art biennial. However, most of it has focused on visual art and experimental installations. Music fans need to check out DD214—the latest effort from the musician known around town as WATIV.

DD214 is a sound composition that makes use of audio samples recorded by William A Thompson, IV while on a one-year military tour of duty in Baghdad during 2004. These audio samples range from various field, or “found sound,” to interviews with other combat veterans after deployment. The chief goal of this project is the creation of a body of musical works that express the thoughts, conditions, and inner lives of combat veterans from all wars.

In the composition, WATIV makes use of audio speech samples he collected and recorded. These speech samples are analyzed according to inherent pitch, rhythm, and implied harmony. The composition’s results vary accordingly. This “found sound” process of composition was first employed by WATIV in his 2005 release, Baghdad Music Journal. To read an NPR “All Things Considered” piece about Baghdad Music Journal, click here.

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TVD Recommends:
Carl LeBlanc for free outside City Hall, 10/23

Thursday afternoon, music fans have a chance to hear one of the city’s iconic performers in a beautiful, but underused setting. Young Audiences of Louisiana and NORDC are sponsoring the event in partnership with the Better Than Ezra Foundation as part of the national Lights On Afterschool celebration.

LeBlanc is a banjo player, guitarist, and singer who has been an important part of the New Orleans music scene for over 30 years. His style has evolved as he has matured. It encompasses a broad range of influences from free jazz to bebop and includes a modern approach to traditional jazz.

Young Audiences is working along with along with Better Than Ezra foundation to bring local awareness to the National Lights on Afterschool celebration. Lights On New Orleans is part of a national celebration that calls attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America’s children, families and communities.

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This is NOLA launches with Hurray for the Riff Raff and much more tonight, 10/17

Winter Circle Productions and the Joy Theater present the first installment of this free monthly event series, which is an effort to build and showcase the emerging contemporary culture of New Orleans.

Besides HFTRR, This is NOLA will feature performances by Coyotes, the Deslondes, DJ OttO, visual art installations, street food, and craft cocktails that represent the city’s more progressive side.

The motivation for launching This is NOLA came from a lack of centralized support for the contemporary arts, cocktail, and culinary scenes in New Orleans.

While the city continues to support and preserve the traditional local culture for which New Orleans is known and loved around the world, very little is being done to cultivate and capitalize on the emerging, progressive set of New Orleans music, art, and hospitality. This is NOLA is meant to trumpet this cause and share these bands, chefs, artists, and mixologists with the local New Orleans community.

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Phil deGruy debuts “Clinically” Happy Hour tonight, 10/16

For the at least the next three Thursdays, the world’s only guitarpist will be performing solo at Chickie Wah Wah from 6-8 PM.

DeGruy is best known around town for performances with various guitar ensembles including Twangorama, but his solo performances place him in another musical dimension because of his instrument. The guitarp is a custom contraption which features a seven-string guitar with a ten-string high register harp located beneath the standard strings where a pick guard might usually be placed.

There is no separation between the guitar and harp parts, enabling the right hand to do a 17-string arpeggio. Though DuGruy generally eschews loud playing, he can make quite a racket with this instrument.

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Brazilian musicians
and filmmakers in New Orleans for television series pilot production and performances

Nancy Viégas and Tadeu Mascarenhas, producers of a new Brazilian TV series called Routes & Roots, are chronicling iconic people and places, sounds, history, and traditions along well-known routes. They will be in New Orleans this week to film the pilot episode called, “Where is Route 66?”

Viégas and Mascarenhas are also the leaders and producers of Radiola, a highly regarded and critically acclaimed band from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Performances are scheduled for October 15 and 16, 2014 at Chickie Wah Wah. On Wednesday, Tom McDermott will play a set, followed by a set by Nancy Viégas and Tadeu Mascarenhas. McDermott will also perform with the Brazilian musicians. On Thursday, Viégas and Mascarenhas will perform with Jimmy Robinson. Other local musicians are expected to perform as well including Helen Gillet.

Routes & Roots features tips on interesting places to visit and stay, local and regional food specialties, cultural and community events, and musical influences as well as musicians and artisans at every stop along the way.

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New Orleans Suspects’ new Ouroboros in stores today, 10/14

Though they have been begging off the moniker of “supergroup” in some recent stories, the New Orleans Suspects are still a super group. Their latest release features ten brand new, all original songs, which call to mind the members’ influences while remaining true to their New Orleans roots.

Ouroboros is the band’s third release and the follow-up to their 2012 live CD, Caught Live At The Maple Leaf.

It defines the band’s sound, which is one that puts their own twist on the traditions of New Orleans music–fever-inducing funk, irresistible R&B rhythms, Longhair rhumbas, dancing-in-the-street second lines, jazzy soul-drenched horns, mind-melting swamp hoodoo, and feet-don’t-fail-me-now Carnival music.

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