One of our truly legendary musicians is getting his own tribute show. The iconic musician, who played with all of the greats during a career in New York, returned home to find the brass band tradition withering and set about revitalizing it, will be honored this week with a couple of standout evenings .
Tuesday night, Snug Harbor is the place to be for the Danny Barker Birthday Tribute. An all-star band featuring musicians who were influenced by the late honoree will play two sets at 8 and 10 PM. Expect to see guitarist Steve Masakowski, trumpeter Gregg Stafford, trombonist Lucien Barbarin, drummer Herlin Riley, bassist Jesse Boyd, guitarist and banjo player Detroit Brooks, plus special guests.
On Wednesday evening, a seminar is scheduled for 6 PM at Café Rose Nicaud. Panelists include four culture bearers with intimate connections to Barker. This is a chance to learn more about Danny Barker and his contributions to the culture and the music of New Orleans.
Ever since the partnership between Festival Productions, the long time producing company of the Jazz Fest, and AEG Live, a massive music industry player, the annual event at the New Orleans Fairgrounds (April 24-26 and April 30-May 3) has grown in appeal and stature. This year is no exception with two legendary headliners from across the pond, The Who and Elton John, anchoring the Saturday lineups. There is also a big TBA for the last day.
For music lovers interested in intergenerational performers, jazz vocalist extraordinaire Tony Bennett will return to the fest with his singing partner of late, Lady Gaga. For funk fans, the original four members of the Meters will reunite for the first time in three years.
Other major acts of note include Ed Sheeran, Pitbull, Steve Winwood, Widespread Panic, Chicago, Jerry Lee Lewis, the O’Jays, Allison Krauss, Wilco, No Doubt, Terence Blanchard, and Jimmy Cliff. Of course the headliners are just the icing on the cake for hardcore festers. The rest of the lineup is drawn from the deep pool of New Orleans and Louisiana acts.
After a short hiatus, everybody’s favorite Marigny record shop will feature three bands celebrating releases this weekend. In keeping with their tradition, the range of performers is as eclectic as the store’s music offerings.
Jeff Chaz, the Bourbon Street bluesman, opens the proceedings at 2 PM. Chaz has released five albums. His latest, Chronicles, came out in 2013.
Davis Rogan appears at 3 PM supporting his latest release, Davis Ex Machina. Rogan plays old school, R&B-inspired piano and sings wry songs culled from his fertile imagination and rooted in the foibles of his hometown and its denizens.
Drummer Johnny Vidacovich and the good folks at the uptown saloon have been known to use some creative names for the various groups of musicians who join him on his ever-evolving Thursday night gig. Previous favorites include “Dumpstavich,” which featured Ivan Neville and Tony Hall from Dumpstaphunk.
This evening, Dirtyvich will feature three two members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, sousaphonist Kirk Joseph and baritone saxophonist Roger Lewis, along with former longtime drummer Terence Higgins. For fans of drummers and horns, this is going to be a night to remember.
Vidacovich has mentored numerous members of the tight-knit community of players here in New Orleans. He has also been featured quite a few times on the same bill with his protégés. I remember many memorable occasions with Galactic drummer Stanton Moore and Vidacovich throwing down on tandem drum kits.
Due to overwhelming fan demand, the American singer, songwriter and guitarist whose music touches on honky-tonk, Texas Country, Tex-Mex, and rock ‘n’ roll returns to the Canal Street fine listening establishment.
Ely was born in 1947 and spent his formative years in Lubbock, Texas. In 1970, he formed the Flatlanders with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. According to Ely, “Jimmie was like a well of country music. He knew everything about it. And Butch was from the folk world. I was kinda the rock ‘n’ roll guy, and we almost had a triad. We hit it off and started playing a lot together. That opened up a whole new world I had never known existed.”
In 1972, the band released their first and only album until 2002’s Now Again, but they have appeared together on each other’s albums. Since the band’s initial breakup just after their first album was cut, the three musicians have followed individual paths. Their most recent release is 2012’s The Odessa Tapes, which features unreleased tracks from the formative 1972 session.
Wednesday morning (1/9) at 11 AM, the Jefferson Parish Historical Commission, Jefferson Parish Officials, and the Marsalis Family will dedicate the Marsalis Mansion Motel with a Louisiana Highway Marker. The marker will be placed on River Road at Shrewsbury Road close to the former location of historic business.
Operated by the father of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Jr. and the grandfather of New Orleans musicians, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason, the hotel was known, according to the Amistad Research Center at Tulane, by various names from 1944-1986 and served a vital purpose in the Civil Rights movement. Many well-known black dignitaries including Martin Luther King, Jr. stayed at the establishment.
JP spokesperson, Karen Fortunato said, “Proprietor Ellis L. Marsalis, Sr., was patriarch of the jazz musician family and was a civil rights pioneer. Because of his concern for his community, encompassing a period of time in excess of 50 years, the black citizens of Jefferson and New Orleans enjoy unprecedented input into the political processes that affect their lives.”
Six of New Orleans’ best brass bands will share the stage at the Howlin’ Wolf at 10 PM in the Christmas edition of a music series dedicated to celebrating and promoting the brass band legacy of this great city.
The event brings together the divergent styles and songs of the Hot 8, Most Wanted, Da Truth, New Breed, Free Spirit, and the Young Pinstripe Brass Bands. One of the highlights of the Christmas edition of BRASStravaganza will be a powerhouse rendition of the song “This Christmas” by a fifty-piece brass band assembled from the night’s lineup.
BRASStravaganza is also back as a precursor to Brass Fest, which debuts in the spring as a new force in the festival culture of New Orleans, as well as a music series in its own right. Brass Fest will be an all-day event featuring an expanded lineup of the city’s incredible brass talent including Rebirth, Hot 8, The Stooges, and Most Wanted Brass Bands. Artists who have emerged from the brass band tradition, such as Shamarr Allen, are also on the roster.
Professor Shorthair, aka DJ Yamin of Nola Mix, is releasing two essential tracks from his NOLA Breaks disc on 7″ vinyl tonight at Gasa Gasa.
This is the first in a series of 7″ vinyl releases from the compilation of edits of unsung New Orleans funk tunes and local funk vocalists. The new record features New Orleans funk divas Mary Jane Hooper and Inell Young getting the royal boom bap treatment that’s geared for DJs and record enthusiasts alike.
The special event is the first of Berenice Mondays’ all vinyl nights, which will continue on the third Monday of every month featuring all-vinyl sets by their resident DJs during Happy Hour. Soulful, unpretentious, edgy, colorful, whatever you wanna call it. No Top 40. No attitudes (except the good kind). No fluff.
The long anticipated music education facility will open its doors for the first time with a gala concert featuring the Jordan musical family of New Orleans led by patriarch Edward “Kidd” Jordan at 8 PM. Advance tickets are sold out although a limited number will be available on a first come, first serve basis. WWOZ will stream the performance.
After nearly two years of renovations, the historic building, located at 1225 N. Rampart Street, is poised to become a state-of-the-art education and community center. It will be the permanent home of the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music and will serve as the location for many programs and events produced by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. It also will be available for other community arts organizations for classes and events. The building has seven classrooms (including dedicated labs for piano and drums) and a 200-seat performance hall.
The Jazz & Heritage Center is named in honor of George Wein and his late wife Joyce, the pioneering festival producers who helped to launch the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (which is owned by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation) in 1970.
There are a few musicians with the ability to use snark and satire to bash down the walls of conventionality surrounding our national obsessions. Tonight the guitarist tears into his annual “17 Strings of X-mas” presentation with characteristic aplomb at Snug Harbor.
DeGruy is at his best around the more commercial holidays whether they be sacred or secular. Describing his show as a “special assault on x-mas CULTure,” I expect humor, wit, and dervish-like attacks on his 17-string creation, which is known as a guitarp. Plus several well-known Christmas songs with “dubbed” lyrics as in the video below.
A master of the pun, DeGruy’s between song commentary, filled with sotto voce asides and “I just thought of this” comedic improvisational riffs, mixes a deadpan approach with more over the top witticisms than most “professional” comedians can muster in a month’s time.