Category Archives: TVD New Orleans

TVD Premiere:
The Mike Dillon Band,
“7 AM at the Jazz Fest”

In celebration of the acclaimed percussionist/ vibraphonist’s latest recording, we have the exclusive on one of the standout tracks on the new album.

Fans of adventurous music in New Orleans are no strangers to Mike Dillon’s brand of danceable jazz/punk/funk. His band turned heads during two provocative sets at the 2014 MOMs Ball. Other recent performances have cemented his place on a long continuum of musicians pushing the envelope of what is called “New Orleans music.”

From his bio—”How many artists can claim being praised a ‘punk rock provocateur,’ ‘jazz vibraphone visionary,’ and ‘percussion virtuoso’ in the same sentence? There’s only one: Mike Dillon.”

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The 9th Mid City Bayou Boogaloo announces 2014 lineup

Last year, more than 35,000 locals and visitors enjoyed the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo. In 2014, festers will once again be able to revel in music from three stages, enjoy diverse offerings from local food vendors, and shop the Boogaloo Art Market. As always, the free Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo is a family-friendly event with a kid’s stage, games, and activities.

Positive Vibrations Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and encourage community through development and preservation of arts, music, culture, and heritage, presents the 9th Annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo festival.

We are thrilled to once again partner with the MotherShip Foundation to present the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo,” said Ben Faulks, Co Founder and Director of Positive Vibrations Foundation. “The festival provides our community with a special time to come together on Bayou St. John each May, when and where both the arts and music are accessible to everyone and enjoyed by all,” he added.

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TVD Recommends Stones Fest: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones at Tipitina’s, 3/28

Tribute shows are all the rage. Just witness the plethora of bands out there who ape much more famous bands. The pinnacle of this trend has to be Who’s Bad, the Michael Jackson tribute band because they have two “Michaels,” one who can really sing and one who can really dance.

Tomorrow night, the Stones Fest at Tipitina’s is a different sort of animal. First off, the band is composed of the cream of the crop of local musicians. Secondly, they don’t play together all the time. In fact, this particular aggregation doesn’t really ever play together. They are just a bunch of musicians who love the Stones. The video below features many of the same musicians two years ago.

Some like Dave Malone, formerly of the Radiators now with Raw Oyster Cult, have been covering the Stones for years. Although truth be told, as a kid in Edgard, Louisiana he was much more partial to the Beatles.

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Jazz Fest 2014: A closer look at the “cubes”


Now that everyone has had a chance to make an initial pass through the Jazz Fest lineup, it’s time to dig a little deeper beyond the obvious. Here are a few thoughts about each of the seven days.

On the first Friday, Ruben Blades and the Roberto Delgado Orchestra precede Santana. This is fest booking at its best. Blades is best known, if he is known at all to the younger generation, as an actor. But he is also a great musician. His set will educate fans about Latin music before one of the icons takes the stage.

On the first Saturday, Phish takes over the Acura stage for a full three hours. I may be incorrect, but I believe this is the longest set any single act has ever had at the Jazz Fest. Their cube looks incredibly strange—five tiny letters on a huge field of white.

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Jazz Fest debuts posters and “cubes” for 2014

Bright sun shined on the paddock area of the New Orleans Fairgrounds as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival celebrated the launch of its 45th iteration at the annual press party this morning.

Producer/Director Quint Davis introduced the first of many dignitaries by saying, “We are in a golden age of New Orleans…and of New Orleans leadership under Mayor Mitch Landrieu.” Other big wigs followed all praising the city and its signature event.

The two artists, Terrence Osborne and Richard Thomas, proudly stood before their work as the official poster and the Congo Square poster were unveiled. In what is a Jazz Fest first, Thomas was a mentor and teacher to Osborne when the younger painter was an aspiring artist.

The posters are both available through Art4now.

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TVD Recommends: Johnny Clegg at the House of Blues, 3/21

Paul Simon gets lots of credit for introducing American audiences to South African music. But for discerning fans of pop music, Clegg was our first exposure to the lilting melodies and uplifting lyrics of that musically diverse nation. He makes a rare New Orleans appearance at the House of Blues.

In addition to being a fabulous musician and songwriter, Clegg was also a revolutionary when South Africa was still under the apartheid system of racial separation and subjugation. A white man from a relatively privileged English family, he was under the spell of the music of the black majority from a young age.

He partnered with Sipho Mchunu to form the ground-breaking band Jaluka in 1969. They mixed English and Zulu lyrics to create a musical amalgamation that was all but banned by the white regime because racial mixing in bands was illegal.

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Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park this weekend

Festival season is in full swing, what with the upstart Buku taking over Mardi Gras World on Friday and Saturday and the Jazz Fest’s annual festival inspired by the music of the African diaspora on the edge of the French Quarter on Saturday and Sunday.

The festival is part of the many ways that the fine folks at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation (the non-profit that owns the Jazz Fest) give back to the local community. It’s free and open to the public and starts at 11 AM.

Saturday’s music spans the breadth of the diaspora with Boukman Eksperyans (pictured beloe) from Haiti and Punjabi-inspired brass band Red Baraat on the top of the list for this listener.

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TVD Recommends: St. Joseph’s Night Tribute to Big Chief Bo Dollis tonight, 3/19

No, he’s not dead. After the special event was announced on Facebook, rumors began circulating about whether the revered Mardi Gras Indian had passed away. This tribute is a way of giving him his flowers while he is still alive. It is scheduled for this evening from 5-7 PM at 1525 Louisiana Avenue. It is presented by the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.

The Mardi Gras Indians have been vexed by weather this season. Cold rain limited their activities on Fat Tuesday and the Indian Sunday parade was postponed this past weekend because of the threat of more rain.

But tonight’s St. Joseph’s Night marches should proceed without a hitch. If you’re out looking for Mardi Gras Indians downtown, a good spot is on St. Bernard Avenue between N. Claiborne and Rampart.

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TVD Recommends: Pisces Party and Benefit at the Blue Nile, 3/18

The fifth annual party celebrating those born under the Pisces horoscope sign starts at the Blue Nile at 8 PM. Funds raised will be donated to the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans. Those are the fine folks spearheading the battle against the noise ordinance.

Acclaimed poet and spoken word artist Jose Torres Tama is set to MC the event. He will also perform a piece. DJ Black Pearl kicks off the night followed by a short tribute and blessing by the all female, spirit-driven vocal group, the Yemayayas. Live music from an all Pisces, all-star band aptly titled “Los Pescados” will begin at 9 PM.

The band features Sam Price (Honey Island Swamp Band, Otra and Los Otros) on bass, Eric Bolivar on drums (Anders Osborne, Bonerama, Tab Benoit), Randy Ellis on guitar (Chubby Carriere), Greg Hicks on trombone (Bonerama, Funk Monkey), Matthew Shilling on saxophone, Kristina Morales on vocals, and Alexandra Scott on vocals and guitar.

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TVD Live:
Cody ChestnuTT at Tipitina’s, 3/12

REVIEW: SAMANTHA HILSENROD | I am a big fan of Cody ChestnuTT’s socially conscious neo-soul. A throwback to ’70s-era artists such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, ChestnuTT is unafraid to discuss the realities of urban life for African Americans as well as examine broader issues that affect both white and black audiences. His 2012 release Landing on A Hundred impressed me thoroughly, and I was excited to see ChestnuTT at Tipitina’s this past Wednesday.

However, I felt ChestnuTT left a lot to be desired. He focused the majority of his set on poppy, upbeat numbers that failed to hint at the insight I found so compelling in much of his work. Wearing his signature hard hat, ChestnuTT nevertheless put on a high-energy, theatrical performance. He was obviously extremely connected to his music, dancing and shaking like a skinny, modern-day James Brown. His vocals were crisp and clear, and his band exhibited tight, high quality musicianship.

Still, the first half of the set left me waiting for a song that would really move me, which was absolutely the opposite of what I was expecting from ChestnuTT. The show did get a little more interesting when ChestnuTT began performing work from his album Headphone Masterpiece. Both songs, “Black Skin No Value” and “Under the Spell No Hand,” discussed gripping themes that departed from the earlier pieces that seemed to focus more on love and bubblegum. This was the Cody ChestnuTT I had come to see.

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