Hailed by the New York Times as “a New Orleans institution,” the band has been at the forefront of the brass band revival that they helped kick off 31 years ago.
Formed by the Frazier brothers, Phil and Keith, along with Basin Street labelmate Kermit Ruffins in 1983, The Rebirth Brass Band has gone from playing on corners in the French Quarter to selling out concert halls across the world and appearing in David Simon’s HBO hit Treme.
The new music video of “Rebirth Groove” was filmed live at The Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans.
The 2014 festival gets into full swing on Saturday and Sunday. There are plenty of options for music lovers to listen and dance to while enjoying great food and libations. Here are my picks. Click the link for the full schedule.
Before the Satchmo Summerfest kicks off, the music community will lay to rest Lionel Ferbos, the 103-year old trumpeter and vocalist who was the oldest jazz musician alive. The festival is being dedicated to his memory and a good place to start the weekend on Saturday is checking out Lars Edegran and the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. Ferbos played with the band and the mostly tour-reticent musician actually went on the road to Europe with them.
Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers isn’t a traditional jazz band, but with Alex McMurray, Josh Paxton, and Matt Perrine, they can play anything. I expect a jazz and Louis Armstrong-inspired set.
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.
Tomorrow night, Jefferson Parish venue Southport Music Hall will host indie rockers The Gallery and a special local opening act.
Since arriving in 2008, The Gallery have made a name for themselves in the alternative country-rock scene. They even caught the attention of Rolling Stone magazine, which featured the group as contenders for the fan driven “Choose the Cover” edition in 2011.
The group gravitates towards classic song structures and they sound a bit like Tom Petty with a modern LA vibe, although they hail from a small town in western Massachusetts.
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.
Tomorrow night, July 25th, The Den at the Howlin’ Wolf will host New Jersey based reggae group Quincy Mumford and the Reason Why. On the road in support of their fifth studio album It’s Only Change, we caught up with the band to find out why they are especially excited to stop in New Orleans and why they are inviting local musicians to jam.
“We’ve never been to New Orleans before,” said Quincy, the front man and primary songwriter for the Reason Why, “and we all love New Orleans music so much. The Neville Brothers, the Meters, Jon Cleary, these are all major influences on me. I grew up listening to New Orleans funk and I think the super jam portion of our set will be incredibly special here if we can get the local musical community on board.”
He continued, “We really enjoy playing with other musicians and there are so many great players in New Orleans. We dig brass bands, so we’re hoping we can get some horn players on board. It’s a musical community we would love to get familiar with.”
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
Saturday, July 19, The St. Jude Community Center will hold its 4th annual Sounds of New Orleans Benefit Concert. The Community Center houses working homeless women and volunteers rebuilding the city, serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, distributes food for Second Harvest Food Bank, and collaborates with Responsibility House in serving addicts. Last year the event raised over $50,000, and so far the center has utilized more than half of the funds to pay its insurance ($21,00) and fund salaries.
The concert doesn’t just have a great cause though. It has a great line-up too! Local greats Paul Sanchez, John Boutte and Shamarr Allen; Broadway star Michael Cerveris, singer and June OffBeat magazine cover Erica Falls, and the legendary Allen Toussaint will all grace the stage at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
We chatted with Shamarr Allen, who was recently named a cultural ambassador for the State Department, to talk about the upcoming gig and his connection to it.
Beloved uptown music venue Gasa Gasa is celebrating its first birthday this weekend! On Saturday, July 19, there will be an art market in the courtyard (or artyard in this case) to celebrate the occasion. The market starts at 2 PM and runs well into the evening.
Booths will include a vinyl sales pop-up curated by DJ Brice Nice and the folks at Inner Recess Studios, the Warehouse District recording facility that has released work from a diverse group of artists from Nigerian born singer-songwriter Blessing Tangban to beat maker Nessy Phips.
The videos above and below are part of a mix curated by the staff at Gasa Gasa and are representative of some of the music and artists you might find at the pop-up. More details are here.