Saturday night, there’s gonna be an inferno erupting from the stage of the Maple Leaf Bar when bassist Bru Bruser celebrates the life of the one and only Afrobeat pioneer and Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo Kuti with two bands and three big sets. Expect the night to go into the wee wee hours.
The legend passed away in 1997. October 15 would have been his 77th birthday. Bruser’s Dirty South Afrobeat Arkestra Gov’t Majik will play two full sets followed by a late night set by his new band, Full Orangutan.
Gov’t Majik doesn’t play that much around town due to the size of the aggregation and the difficulties corralling so many a-list musicians. The above vid will give you an idea of their sound, but expect many more musicians. The musicians make the effort this time of year to pay tribute to their inspiration. If you’ve never seen this band and you are a fan of Fela, horn sections, wild percussion and/or booty-shaking music—consider yourself warned. This is not music for the faint of heart or those with sore feet.
The NOJO features some of the best players in New Orleans jazz in a big band setting. In keeping with the organization’s tradition of exposing music lovers to the music of iconic composers in the jazz canon, they are highlighting the music of a man who claimed to have invented jazz, Jelly Roll Morton. He was born October 20, 1890, making this is 125th birthday week.
The program will include many of the tunes Morton composed during his career including popular songs that should be familiar to many listeners, including “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say” and “The Crave.” Other tunes on the program including “Mr. Jelly Lord,” “Shreveport Stomp,” and “Winin’ Boy.”
Halloween is getting bigger and bigger in New Orleans as events associated with the holiday expand across the weeks leading up to October 31. This year, the Krewe of Boo! takes over this weekend.
The biggest event is the annual after-parade costume party, dubbed the Monster Mash, which takes places at Mardi Gras World after the parade marches through the French Quarter. FunkiFIYA, a New Orleans funk supergroup featuring Meters’ drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, keyboardist and vocalist Ivan Neville, bassist Tony Hall, guitarists June Yamagishi and Ian Neville, along with trombonist “Big” Sam Williams and saxophonist Khris Royal, headlines the party. DJ OttO will keep everyone grooving late into the night.
Before the parade, the Krewe is hosting the first-ever King’s Party on Fulton Street to honor this year’s king, Sidney Torres IV. This free and open-to-the-public pre-parade party will last from 2 PM to 7 PM and feature musical performances by Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and Amanda Shaw.
PHOTO: ZACK SMITH | Heads up jazz and adventurous music lovers. Snug Harbor is the place to be on Saturday night for two sets by a new quartet playing music recently recorded in New Orleans for a debut album set to be released in early 2016.
The Modern Nolatet features Mike Dillon (pictured) on vibes, James Singleton on bass, Johnny Vidacovich on drums, and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey’sBrian Haas on piano.
“The Modern Nolatet is the result of a Jazz Fest gig where the music and improv made us howl like dogs in the wild,” explains Dillon. “Playing with Johnny V. and James is still one of the best experiences for a musician who loves conversations on the bandstand. Throw in my nearly 20 years of playing with Brian and the musical gods from on high deemed it to be good and bountiful.”
The Snug Harbor show is part of a string of New Orleans dates for pianist Brian Haas who is also playing at The Maple Leaf tonight with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Haas will round out his stay at Monday night’s ongoing Instant Opus Jazz Improv Series with Jason Marsalis and others at the Dragon’s Den.
The Modern Nolatet is set to release their debut album, Dogs, next year. It was recorded at Esplanade Studios and will be released by Royal Potato Family.
Stone is no stranger to TVD or to music lovers in New Orleans, across the country and across the pond. He has been plugging away, honing his style, dubbed “Roots in the Present Tense,” and collaborating with a wide range of artists all while maintaining a long running and incredibly informative program on WWOZ 90.7 FM.
With the release of Poison and Medicine, Stone has reached another career pinnacle. He begins his big week with an acoustic set in the atrium of the Ogden at 6 PM tonight. His all-star band features New Orleans piano master and James Booker expert Joshua Paxton, along with classically trained upright bassist Jack Joshua, and world-renowned percussionist and vibraphonist Mike Dillon.
PHOTO: ERIC JONES | You can simultaneously check out a great touring band and watch the Saintsat everybody’s favorite Canal Street fine listening establishment on Thursday evening beginning at 6:30 PM. The third and final night of the “3-String Circus” features an eagerly awaited performance by Boston-based rock-band-disguised-as-a-folk-band, The Ballroom Thieves.
The trio wowed the crowds with their performance at this past summer’s Newport Folk Festival. They have been running at full tilt since the addition of cellist Calin Peters in September of 2013 and the release of A Wolf in the Doorway, their first full length recording.
The trio blends the rich harmonies of folk music conventions with modern hymns and the grit of the delta blues. They explore pop music influences while wholeheartedly rejecting any genre restrictions. Think of this distinction as taking the very idea of roots music and creating ways to make a catch-all category for acoustic-based songs into something progressive.
PHOTOS: SCOTT MYERS| After a cheeky introduction by Snug Harbor’s Jason Paterson who has known three of the band members since they were young men, John Ellis & Double-Wide nonchalantly got down to the business of playing his wry original jazz music. The five musicians, Ellis on tenor and soprano saxes, Matt Perrine on sousaphone, Jason Marsalis on drums, Alan Ferber on trombone, and Gary Versace on organ, melodica, and piano, opened with a slyly subversive take on “Booker,” Ellis’ homage to the great and tragic pianist James Booker.
The song is taut on the new recording, Charm, which features the same musicians who appeared at Snug Harbor. Live, the group of versatile players stretched the tune and warmed up their chops. After Ellis tackled its inventive structure with a strong solo on tenor, Ferber displayed his strong technique and pristine tone with a powerful, pulsing turn of his own.
Ferber and Versace accompanied Ellis from New York where all three players are in demand in a variety of settings. Marsalis and Perrine are mainstays of the New Orleans scene. Each brought a strong sense of personality and individuality to the compositions, which are all from the pen of Ellis.
This Saturday night, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, one of the most incandescent acts in rock music makes an appearance at Tipitina’s. The performance is part of a 44-show run that crisscrosses the United States this fall.
Chris Robinson first burst into the national spotlight as the singer for the award-winning, critically acclaimed rock band, the Black Crowes. He formed the Brotherhood in 2011 as an “experiment” while the Black Crowes were on hiatus. Now that the break has become more or less permanent, the Brotherhood has evolved as his primary musical vehicle.
A whirling dervish on stage, Robinson fronts an agile ensemble that features psychedelic guitar explorations and a powerful rhythm section. The band has a devoted following equally enamored with their original songs as with the wide range of cover songs in their repertoire.
A new pop-punk band was recently born in the city of New Orleans. ROAR! blends electronics with live instruments and vocals to create infectious songs that get stuck in your brain.
Carly Meyers is known for her energetic stage presence. She first came to many music lovers’ attention as a member of percussionist Mike Dillon’s band. But she was also playing in New Orleans and touring the country with Adam Gertner in Yojimbo. They are currently on the road for their last tour as Yojimbo supporting Animal Liberation Orchestra.
She is a trombonist from the get-go but has added electronic marimba, you have to hear it to get it, and punk-edged vocals to her considerable arsenal.
Thursday night, Snug Harbor will be pulsing with the inventive music of New York-based saxophonist John Ellis and his NYC-meets-NOLA band featuring drummer Jason Marsalis, sousaphonist Matt Perrine, keyboardist Gary Versace, and trombonist Alan Ferber. Shows are at 8 and 10 PM.
The album, Charm, has been charming critics and listeners alike with Ellis’ colorful expression of his split metropolitan musical personality. The saxophonist spent his formative musical years in New Orleans and now calls New York home.
Called a, “chainsaw-juggling balance of bayou brass, raucous gospel, and devil-may-care modern jazz,” the music of Double-Wide is as unique as the distinct resumes of the band members.