The independent New Orleans record label, which has released nearly 50 albums by iconic artists such as Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, and won a Grammy award for the Rebirth Brass Band’s 2012 release Rebirth of New Orleans, has a whole lot in store for the big anniversary.
For readers on the West Coast, the celebration kicked off last night night when the Rebirth Brass Band began an eight-date opening act gig with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Portland, Oregon. They play Seattle tonight. The celebration goes international when the tour continues into Canada.
Locally, Tipitina’s is the place to be on Friday night because almost exactly 15 years earlier, on November 14, 1997, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers recorded their first live record. It was the trumpeter’s first of a dozen projects on Basin Street Records, and was released in February of 1998. The BBQ Swingers Live features two of my favorite songs by Ruffins—the seasonal “Do the Fat Tuesday” and the rarely played “What is New Orleans?”
Since then, Basin Street Records has released recordings by a diverse cast of musicians including Jason Marsalis, Los Hombres Calientes, Jeremy Davenport, Theresa Andersson, Dr. Michael White, Jon Cleary, Henry Butler and Irvin Mayfield.
For a complete list of releases go to the label’s site.
Besides the regular gigs by the label’s entire stable of artists other special performances include Jeremy Davenport at Jazz at the Bistro in St. Louis on November 23-24, Theresa Andersson at Byronz in Shreveport on Thursdays in November, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen at Tipitina’s on November 23 and Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Jazz Band at Xavier University in New Orleans on November 27. Jason Marsalis will perform with the great jazz pianist Marcus Roberts at the London Jazz Festival on November 17.