Friday, November 6, 2009

NolaFunk Lagniappe

Buckwheat Zydeco: America's Party Band

Buckwheat Zydeco; courtesy of the artist

Zydeco legend and pianist Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural Jr. and his group Buckwheat Zydeco represent one of the few zydeco bands to cross over into the world of mainstream music.

Dural played piano as a child, and was heavily influenced by the R&B that was popular in his youth. He frequently sneaked out at night to play shows in his native Louisiana. His father was an accordion player who performed zydeco, a genre blending Afro-Caribbean music with blues, rock and country. At his father's request, Dural went to a performance by the zydeco master Clifton Chenier, and was amazed by the sound Chenier created with an accordion. Inspired, Dural joined Chenier on tour and learned to play the accordion himself.



Q&A with Ron "Ronnie Numbers" Rona



The artisitc director of The Bingo! Parlour tent at Voodoo Fest discusses the growth and success of his venture.




Cyril Neville On Mountain Stage

Cyril Neville

The youngest of New Orleans' first family of funk, Neville spent many years performing with his brothers before collaborating with a variety of popular artists. He recently released Brand New Blues, his fourth solo album.




Christian Scott: Live Last Night

christian scott


Christian Scott, the young but seasoned New Orleans trumpeter who performed at the Kennedy Center's KC Jazz Club on Saturday night, invites comparisons with Miles Davis, especially when playing a muted horn in a minor blues or modal setting. But no one ever accused Davis of being a chatterbox onstage. During his quintet's opening set, Scott quizzed the audience on the Constitution, recalled why he left Prince's employment -- too much posturing, it seems -- and told several amusing anecdotes about his bandmates only to dismiss some later as untrue.



Live review: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis


Wynton600

If mainstream jazz has what could be considered an ambassador in 2009, it's Wynton Marsalis.

A member of jazz royalty practically from the moment he could hold a horn, Marsalis rolled into the sprawling Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza on Saturday night with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a taut, 15-piece group he's directed since its inception in 1988. While this conjures images of the trumpeter leading from a conductor's podium, Marsalis instead led his charges through brightly swinging arrangements while seated among the orchestra. Positioned in the back near versatile drummer Ali Jackson, the trumpeter was an authoritative but democratic figure as his group flowed through tradition-rich jazz numbers like a wave.



Marcia Ball On Mountain Stage

Marcia Ball

A specialist in the jump blues, boogie-woogie and swamp funk of her native gulf region, the Louisiana-raised Marcia Ball makes her eighth visit to the program. She performs songs from her 2008 album, Peace, Love & BBQ.




Simply The Best: 50 Years of Irma Thomas


Last night, several thousand of Miss Irma Thomas's most devoted fans gathered in Lafayette Square for the second of 7 Thursday night concerts in September and October. The occasion is part of the on-going celebration this year of Irma's (unbelievable) 50 years as a professional singer. Despite the sultry heat and oppressive humidity and the threat of rain (when, oh when, will the weather break?? when will it be fall??), folks were glad to come out and show Irma some love.



John Boutte Appears on New Disc- Slide To Freedom II


The album Slide to Freedom II is being hailed as eclectic mix of blues, Indian music with a touch of bluesgrass. The two principal players are Doug Cox. He is a Canadian steeped in the various blues styles of the American South. He is deeply into playing the bottleneck blues on the Dobro. Salil Bhatt is from India and his family tree includes his father, Grammy Award Winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who studied under the great Ravi Shankar

John Boutte adds his soulful voice to several of the songs. Of course, he needs know introduction here.



A Fall filled of festivals

“It had the feel of a family reunion,” Maria Mercedes enthusiastically says of last year's debut of the Gentilly Festival. The one-day event was founded to raise funds for and show appreciation to the local police and fire departments. “We had three generations of families out there,” continues Mercedes, who acts as the event's chairperson.

The fledgling festival boasted an impressive attendance of 8,000 people and both the public and the vendors urged the presenters to expand the neighborhood celebration from one to two days. The free 2009 edition will be held at Pontchartrain Park (corner of Press and Prentiss Drives) on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 complete with two new venues, a Gospel Tent and a Kid's Stage along with the Main Stage.



Longtime music teacher, artist and trumpet player Clyde Kerr Jr. puts his life onto his first original CD

Earlier this year, at 66, Clyde Kerr Jr. released his first CD of original compositions.

"The opportunity was there, because the Jazz Foundation of America was helping New Orleans musicians after the storm, " he says.

Clyde_Kerr.jpg

"I'd tell my students, 'What's done is done. What will come will come. This is now, ' " he says. "That's really what my concept of jazz is."

His students are a who's who of New Orleans musicians: the Marsalis brothers, Nicholas Payton, Troy "Trombone" Shorty, Christian Scott.




Young Men Olympian 125th Anniversary Second Line Parade






Wandering tribes of New Orleans work to save Musicians' Clinic
As far New Orleans houses go, the fa├žade of Dan “Noomoon” Sheridan’s is rather plain. His home, a red brick shotgun, is in the Marigny. His dogs play as Sheridan, 41, stands tall in the gated front yard, a stoic Mid-westerner in the Big Easy. You would never know it at first glance but Sheridan leads one of the most eclectic tribes in America: the Land of Nod Experiment.

Inside his home Sheridan explains that he is a musician, performer, event promoter and producer. Presently he is promoting Saturday's Land of Nod Experiment, from noon to 9 p.m. in the French Market’s Dutch Alley.

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