Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mardi Gras Road Show Hits NYC!

Rebirth & Dumpstaphunk hits Highline Ballroom on Thurdsday & Sullivan Hall on Friday...

Watch the New trailer for HBO's "Tremé"

Throughout it all is the music of New Orleans. With appearances by Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Galactic, Trombone Shorty, the Treme Brass Band, Deacon John and the Rebirth Brass Band, this show should be one to follow. Treme premieres at 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 11 (EDT), on HBO.

In Pictures: Mardi Gras Indian Super Sunday

Photos by John Doheny


Village Voice: How Treme Can Get It Right

David Simon's new HBO series uses fiction to honor New Orleans' surreal, heart-breaking fact

By Larry Blumenfeld

The cast of Treme and the characters they play draw on all walks of New Orleans life. Pierce, who portrayed surly detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire, was born and raised in the city's Pontchartrain Park neighborhood; his character's last name, Batiste, references one of the city's storied musical lineages. Clarke Peters (stoic detective Lester Freamon on The Wire) plays the Mardi Gras Indian Chief Albert Lambreaux, who is also a jazz bassist: His scenes were vetted by Donald Harrison Jr., a New Orleans native who straddles both worlds in real life. Davis Rogan, a local musician and former WWOZ-FM DJ, provided a real-life template for the musical passion and sketchy employment history of Davis McAlary, the character played by Steve Zahn. Kim Dickens plays Janette Desautel, a chef fighting to keep her restaurant open. John Goodman plays Creighton Bernette, a Tulane University professor whose angry declamations ("The flooding of New Orleans was a manmade catastrophe") were drawn in part from those of blogger Ashley Morris; Melissa Leo plays his wife, Toni, a civil rights attorney who often finds herself defending musicians. The numerous musicians playing themselves, often in performance, range from such recognizable stars as Elvis Costello and Dr. John to local heroes like Ruffins and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In Pictures: Davell Crawford @ Joe's Pub

By greg aiello

Davell Crawford @ Joe's Pub

Davell Crawford @ Joe's Pub

By Dino Perrucci Photography

Davell Crawford - Joe's Pub, NYC 3/26/10

Davell Crawford - Joe's Pub, NYC 3/26/10

Friday, March 26, 2010

In case you missed it, the Jazzfest Cubes are up!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Thom Yorke On Trumpet: Christian Scott And 'The Eraser'

by Patrick Jarenwattananon

Christian Scott.

Christian Scott, in the inner sanctum of Rudy Van Gelder. (Kiel Scott)

Here's some new music by trumpeter Christian Scott. It's the single from his forthcoming album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, and it's called "The Eraser":

"The Eraser," from Christian Scott, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (Concord Jazz). Christian Scott, trumpet; Matthew Stevens, guitar; Milton Fletcher, piano; Kris Funn, bass; Jamire Williams, drums. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: recorded April 22-25, 2009.


You'll notice that "The Eraser" is a cover of Thom Yorke's song, heard on the Radiohead frontman's solo album of the same name. That makes it something of an outlier for Yesterday: it's the only song that isn't an original composition by Scott or one of his bandmates, it doesn't have Matt Stevens ripping post-Rosenwinkel madness on guitar and it's almost the only track that doesn't simultaneously express a political statement. If you like this, or are perhaps a bit baffled but want to like it, or dislike it intensely, or have any sort of reaction that inspires you toward further curiosity, you may want to investigate more of Yesterday when it comes out in two weeks. (You don't have to wait until tomorrow: you can pre-order via the links above.)

If you keep tabs on the jazz world of today, you'll know that Christian Scott has been acquiring buzz in the run-up to the North American release of his record. He's on the cover of the new DownBeat magazine, for one; his fans have been salivating over the forthcoming release of Yesterday, for another. (He's also a candid interview subject -- that's for another post, though.)

Our current NPR Music interns do not keep close tabs on the jazz of today. They are, however, twenty-somethings and fans of Thom Yorke, whether with or without Radiohead. They're also smart people and good listeners -- it's why we hired them, after all. So I asked them to listen to this song on CD. Here are their comments:


Will Butler, our current All Songs Considered intern, says that Scott and the band got something right.

The music of the Radiohead/Yorke camp definitely lends itself to cross-genre interpretations, such as Brad Mehldau's "Paranoid Android" cover, or Christopher O'Reilly's more classically-oriented piano arrangements; so somehow Christian Scott's cover didn't surprise me. At the same time, I think they've definitely captured the Yorke-ish essence of the song, between a spot-on rhythm section and a muted trumpet that actually does quite well in mimicking the timbre of Yorke's voice.

One thing that bothered me slightly about the cover: on [the original], there is a high-frequency hiss that quietly accompanies the piano sample, almost like a buzzing snare drum -- on Scott's cover, the drummer imitates this sound, but with a loud, rattling cymbal or some similar effect. The point is that on the original song, I'd always thought of that sound as sort of incidental, like this cool epiphenomenon that was not the most important part. Though it obviously came to define the song in a big way, I couldn't agree fully with the way this cover recreated it, bringing it so blatantly to the forefront.

But Eamonn Featherston, a general purpose NPR Music intern, had a different reaction:

Eh, I've got mixed feelings about it. The drums are good, and add just enough variation while referencing the shuffling programming from the original. The crackling sound that's synched up with the piano chords is a nice touch as well. I really think the horn arrangement falls flat though --- bit of a problem for a trumpet player. The vocal part in the original rests on Yorke's weird inflections and pacing, and the particular ways he cuts certain syllables short. There's also that yearning quality to his voice that comes through really well when he goes for the higher notes, and in the backing falsetto vocals on the chorus --- those backing vocals in particular add a haunting element that's completely absent here. Without all of Yorke's idiosyncratic delivery, the melody really falls flat --- it just sounds boring and repetitive, and definitely doesn't hold up in this context.

Sarah Scanlon, who is our classical music specialist, also commented on the crackly percussion:

My first thought, being the analytical person I am, is, "cool, what are they doing to make that crackling, transparent sound?" After haphazardly convincing myself it must have something to do with wax paper and bb pellets, I could finally get down to listening for real. It was pleasant enough to listen to, though it sounded like it was edging towards smooth jazz, which isn't usually something I listen to unless I'm on hold with Verizon. Thom Yorke's melancholy sound has a place in my life on overcast, rainy days, but for the most part, I prefer my music to be a little more passionate and a little less withdrawn.

Sami Yenigun, our other general purpose NPR Music intern, had another point of reference:

"The Eraser" has already been reworked, successfully, as a hip-hop song, with an inspired verse from Lupe Fiasco of the Child Rebel Soldier supergroup. On Christian Scott's cover of the song, the rubbery bass kicks and electronic drum kits have been swapped out in favor of a more organic sounding drum kit, while a somewhat placid trumpet carries what would be Yorke's vocals. It makes for an interesting listen once or twice through, though if it were up to me, I'd take Lupe, Kanye, and Pharrell's take on it anyday.

Additionally, Mike Katzif, who occasionally posts here too (and was also, like fellow poster Lars Gotrich, a former All Songs Considered intern) had this to say:

Considering a majority of Thom Yorke's The Eraser was constructed from snippets of samples and cut up beats, this cover from Christian Scott does an admirable job of capturing that glitchy, odd-metered feel, especially in the piano and drums. That said, there isn't as much exploration or improvisation as I would have hoped from a song with such a beautifully open-ended modal chord progression. It's a solid, moody framework, but leaves a little to be desired to make it a truly successful jazz reworking.

Preservation Hall presents MIDNIGHT PRESERVES 2010


April 23 - May 1, 2010, New Orleans:Preservation Hall is proud to announce the return of Midnight Preserves, the popular late-night Jazz Fest music series hosted by the world-renowned home of Traditional New Orleans Jazz. Now in its sixth year, Midnight Preserves offers music fans the opportunity to experience performances from emerging and legendary New Orleans artists in an intimate, small-venue setting. Tickets are now on sale Performers include Luke Winslow-King, The Loose Marbles, Treme Brass Band, John Boutte, Paul Sanchez, and a very special performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band featuring the members of stadium-filling American rock band My Morning Jacket. Ticket sales will be limited for these intimate performances, so order in advance!

Friday, April 23, 11:30pm:

Luke Winslow-King (12:45am) plus Loose Marbles (11:45pm) /
$15 advance - $20 at door

Originally hailing from Cadillac Michigan, Luke Winslow-King is an emerging New Orleans singer, songsmith, and composer inspired by traditional jazz, rock, ragtime, impressionism, delta and country blues, folk, and classical music whose most recent album, “Old/New Baby” was recorded in the Hall!

Loose Marbles is a young, emerging, traditional New Orleans Jazz Band led by clarinetist Michael Magro. Described by the New Yorker as “ a sort of Amalgamated Jazz Corporation that creates subsidiaries around the city, to maximize tips and minimize boredom. The fifteen musicians play clarinet, trumpet, banjo, washboard, accordion, trombone, guitars, sousaphone, standup bass, and guitars, but you’re likely to see only seven or eight performers at any given gig. And since you rarely see the same configuration of instruments twice in a row, you rarely hear the same kind of jazz.”

Saturday, April 24, 11:30pm:

Preservation Hall Jazz Band with special guests My Morning Jacket /
$100 (very limited ticket sales)

Inspired by MMJ front-man Jim James’ collaboration with PHJB on their recently released PRESERVATION benefit album, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and My Morning Jacket will be touring together from April 20 through May 2. Please join these two amazing bands for a collaborative acoustic performance in the room where it all started. Portion of the proceeds will benefit The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program.

Friday, April 30, 11:30pm

Treme Brass Band featuring Benny Jones & Uncle Lionel Batiste

$15 advance - $20 at door

The Treme Brass Band is a marching brass band from New Orleans, Louisiana led by snare drummer Benny Jones, Sr. and featuring the face of the official 2010 Jazz Fest Congo Square poster, Lionel Batiste on bass drum. The band takes its name from New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood on the outskirts of the French Quarter, birthplace and home of many generations of New Orleans’ finest jazz musicians, and will soon be featured in the upcoming HBO series of the same name.

Saturday, May 1, 11:30pm

John Boutte and Paul Sanchez / $15 advance - $20 at door

Born in New Orleans on the same day in the same year, Boutte and Sanchez both have a deep love of the city, its people and traditions. Be it John Boutte’s vocal explorations of New Orleans jazz, soul, blues and gospel, or Paul Sanchez’s singer-songwriter explorations through such projects as his former band Cowboy Mouth, both artists’ songwriting has been deeply informed by the culture and traditions of their home town.

New Orleans drummer Bernard 'Bunchy' Johnson dies at 57

By Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune

bunchy johnson.JPG

Over a decades-long career, Mr. Johnson backed a who’s who of jazz and rhythm & blues bandleaders: Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew, Ellis Marsalis, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Marva Wright, James Booker, Kermit Ruffins, Deacon John, George French and dozens more.

Since 2005, Mr. Johnson performed most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with trumpeter Jeremy Davenport’s band at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans.

“He was the quintessential New Orleans drummer,” Davenport said. “He was one of the last great, authentic New Orleans drummers who knew all those crazy, funky beats. He learned them from the source.

“I don't think he considered himself a jazz drummer, but the reality was, he could play anything. Whatever he played had a sense of life and joy to it. Even with a ballad, he’d put his flavor on it.”

Mr. Johnson appears in at least two episodes of “Treme,” the highly anticipated HBO series set in the post-Katrina world of New Orleans music that is set to premiere in April.

He also shot scenes for the recently wrapped Nicolas Cage movie “The Hungry Rabbit Jumps.” Past credits include “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” the short-lived Fox series “K-Ville,” the Halle Berry project “Monster’s Ball” and “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” starring Scarlett Johansson and John Travolta.

He also appeared in the off-Broadway musical “Staggerlee” in New York and served as the drummer and assistant musical director for Carl Walker’s production of “Where the Girls Were.” He contributed to scores of commercials as an actor, musician and with voice-overs.

Mr. Johnson earned his nickname, “Bunchy,” as a hefty infant who looked like “a whole bunch of stuff in the crib.” He graduated from St. Augustine High School and earned a communications/theater degree from Xavier University. He went on to appear on stages and screens around the globe.

He was a member of the all-star "Joint's Jumpin'" rhythm & blues revue that performed regularly at Harrah's Casino New Orleans.

In five years at the Ritz-Carlton, Mr. Johnson missed only a handful of gigs that conflicted with his film or TV shooting schedule. He finished his night’s work at the Ritz around 1:30 a.m. last Sunday. During the show, Davenport got into an altercation with an audience member. Trying to lighten the mood, Mr. Johnson joked, “You want me to take the guy out?”

“We had a long laugh,” Davenport recalled. “Then he said, ‘I’ll see you Thursday.’”

Mr. Johnson died hours later.

Survivors include a son, Renard Johnson, and a daughter, Cherise Johnson Luter; a brother, Charles Prosper; and four grandchildren.

The memorial service is Saturday, March 27 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Avenue. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m.

A repast follows at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club, 1931 St. Claude Avenue. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sweet Lorraine’s also hosts a musical tribute to Mr. Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to the Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson Gig Fund of the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation and Clinic, 1525 Louisiana Avenue, New Orleans, La., 70115.

D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Watch the New trailer for HBO's "Tremé"

The Second Annual New Orleans Roadfood Festival This Weekend

c/o Serious Eats

By Rebecca R. Ruiz

It's Roadfood Festival time once again, and though I won't be attending this year it definitely looks like this year's model is going to feature even more serious deliciousness compared to last year's.
Not only is there just more of everything, but the fest also marks the return of legendary New Orleans cooking family the Uglesichs. Yup, you heard me—the Uglesich family is coming out of retirement to cook up a mess of their justifiably famous "Shrimp Uggie." Here's a little taste of what's going to go down this weekend, courtesy of Serious Eater Rebecca Ruiz. Ed Levine


Jambalaya at the Tabasco Country Store stall at last year's Roadfood Festival. [Flickr: Eating In Translation]

The world's longest oyster po' boy will be on display, and on the menu, in New Orleans this weekend., a website with a vibrant food community dedicated to finding "the most memorable local eateries along the highways and backroads of America," is planting its feet in the Big Easy this Friday to Sunday, March 26 to March 28, for the second annual Roadfood Festival.

The site launched ten years ago (allegedly as the first restaurant review site with pictures), and is an offshoot of food writer duo Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood, a book first published in 1977. In 2000, the Sterns partnered with Stephen Rushmore, Jr., a hospitality consultant, to develop the brand's web presence and grow it into an interactive enterprise.

Since then, the company has conducted annual eating tours around the country, bussing participants to a dozen restaurants in one day to sample regional fare, "non-franchised, sleeves-up food" made by "America's culinary folk artists."


Plum Street Snowballs at last year's Roadfood Festival. [Flickr: Eating In Translation]

Recent events have included a Hill Country barbecue tour of Austin, a fried clam tour of New England, and even a food tour of upstate New York, featuring stops at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's Syracuse flagship and a fire station cookout (adjacent to a junkyard) for a taste of slow-cooked Cornell chicken, a regional staple.

But the tours, with gustatory and experiential value alike, have had their limitations, and the upcoming festival, set in the French Quarter, seeks to address them.

"We can only bring so many people on our eating tours because we don't want to overwhelm the restaurants," said Rushmore. "We've wanted to have a get-together where we could invite everyone, and New Orleans is perfect for the event."

"The Super Bowl certainly gave the city a lot of attention, but there's still this perception among some people that New Orleans is a wasteland since Katrina. We have to get the message out that it's not," he added, explaining the logic behind New Orleans' selection as host city for a second year. "There's a lot of fun that can be had down there, and a lot of good food."

Last year's festival had about 15,000 attendees and featured only restaurants from within Louisiana. This year, some of Roadfood's top picks across the country will be traveling to participate, including Camp Washington of Cincinnati, Ohio, whose five-way chili—with meat, spaghetti noodles, beans, cheese and onions—earned the restaurant an invitation, and the Maine Diner of Wells, Maine, which will serve its seafood chowder.

In addition to the giant oyster po' boy—roughly two city blocks long and measuring "hundreds of feet," according to Rushmore—the 2010 festival will feature a shrimp and crawfish boil out in the bayou, a beignet-eating contest, and a special award presentation to Anthony and Gail Uglesich, long-time proprietors of Uglesich's, a New Orleans institution that recently closed but will come out of retirement for the street festival.

Rushmore praised the couple's signature dishes, including barbecued oysters.

"Most people think of barbecue, and they think of something done over coals, or smoked. But their barbecued oysters are actually pan sautéed with a tremendous amount of olive oil and garlic, served with potatoes and red pepper flakes. They've really turned on a trend, and we're giving them recognition."


Outside the Uglesich's restaurant. [Photographs: CanadaGood]

The Uglesiches' son, John, expressed the family's excitement over the festival and their role in it as honorees and vendors. "This is my parents' first time cooking and serving food since having closed the restaurant around the time of Katrina, so it's a huge event for us," he said.

John, who published two cookbooks of his parents' recipes, said that at first his parents were "really nervous." "But they got over that," he continued. "This is really amazing for them because it honors all the hard work they've done for all those hard years."

He said that his parents have been cooking all week in preparation for Saturday and Sunday, readying their "Shrimp Uggie"—named after John himself and featuring hot sauce, lemon juice, paprika, onion, and meat and potatoes on the side—and "Shrimp Gail," a re-imagined debut dish. "The shrimp are sautéed with a special horseradish sauce that has never been served before. My parents have tinkered with former recipes, and this has outstanding taste."

The festival is free, you just pay for food as you walk along. Proceeds from the sales go to participating vendors and Café Reconcile, a nonprofit restaurant located in the Central City region of New Orleans that trains underprivileged youth in food service, while providing case management and counseling services to help them gain stability and practical skills in hospitality. (They're also known for having great soul food.)

"We want to help New Orleans, and we want to help this organization," said Rushmore.

"The food festival is the next chapter of Roadfood," he concluded. "We're taking an online community and getting everyone together to share their love and passion for food." If you're interested in barbecued oysters and the company of like-minded foodies, find out more about the event here.

About the author: Rebecca Ruiz lives in New York and works on the national desk of The New York Times. She is a graduate of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NY Times Slideshow: In New Orleans, Getting Serious Over Suits

New Orleans blues singer Marva Wright dies at 62

By Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune


Marva Wright, the powerhouse New Orleans blues and gospel belter who left her job as a school secretary to sing around the world, died Tuesday of complications from a pair of strokes she suffered in 2009. She was 62.

Ms. Wright died at the eastern New Orleans home of her eldest daughter, where she had been living since her health declined last year.

Enormously popular among fellow musicians, Ms. Wright moved easily between gospel spirituals and bawdy blues romps. In her late-blooming career, she released albums on local and international record labels, and performed across Europe, in Russia and Brazil, and at blues festivals around the United States. She drew large crowds at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and staged an annual Christmas concert at Tipitina’s.

“She truly was and will remain the Blues Queen of New Orleans,” said Adam Shipley, Ms. Wright’s manager. “She was one of the highlights to ever grace the stage at Tipitina’s.”

Ms. Wright grew up in Carrollton. As a child, she listened to her mother sing and play piano at Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church on South Liberty Street. Her mother had attended McDonogh 24 Elementary School with future gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, and they remained friends.

“I met Mahalia when I was 9 years old,” Ms. Wright recalled several years ago, “but I never realized she was that popular until I got older.”

Ms. Wright graduated from Booker T. Washington High School, then left Southern University in Baton Rouge after two years to marry her first husband. While raising her children, she confined her singing to home and church.

As her children grew up, she worked as a secretary at Eleanor McMain Secondary School. Encouraged to pursue singing as a profession, she wrestled with the notion of performing sacred gospel music in secular clubs. She consulted childhood friend and fellow gospel singer Jo “Cool” Davis, who urged her to make the leap.

“You can only go so far in gospel,” Davis said. “People want to sing, they are inspired to sing. But not everybody has that raw, natural talent like Marva. I’d put Marva in a category with Mavis Staples. Somebody that talented has to go another route.”

She nurtured her early career in such Bourbon Street clubs as the Old Absinthe Bar.

“I love Bourbon Street,” she said in 2008. “If it wasn’t for Bourbon Street, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. You meet a lot of people from all over the world.”

In 1990, while singing at Bourbon Street Gospel and Blues, she met “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley. He became an ardent fan; up until his death, Bradley introduced Ms. Wright for her Jazz Fest performances.

marva wright tab  benoit.jpg

Her tenth album, 2001’s “Marva,” was a typically eclectic affair, featuring such guests as Bo Dollis and Terrance Simien. She covered Bob Dylan’s “Serve Somebody” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

“To me, those are gospel,” Ms. Wright said at the time. “It’s new wave gospel, but it’s gospel.”

Of “Marva,” she surmised, “You can’t say it’s a gospel CD, you can’t say it’s a blues CD, you can’t say it’s an R&B CD, you can’t say it’s a country CD. You can say it’s all of it.”

In the 1990s, her audience at the Uptown club Muddy Waters occasionally included a daughter of then-Vice President Al Gore, and Gore’s wife, Tipper. That led to an invitation to perform at the White House.

Hurricane Katrina inundated her home in eastern New Orleans with nearly 8 feet of water. She and her second husband, Antoine “Tony” Plessy, moved to Bel Air, Md., near Plessy’s adult children. Ms. Wright was not impressed with the culinary sensibilities of her home-in-exile.

“I cooked gumbo without the essentials — our crabs and shrimp,” she recalled in 2008. “And they didn’t have hot sausage. Somebody sent me some crab boil seasoning; I used that. I’ll never forget, I cooked gumbo for Thanksgiving. I put in chicken and smoked sausage — I don’t do that here because I don’t need to.”

By the fall of 2006, she had resettled in Harvey. At that year’s Voodoo Music Experience in City Park, she performed a tribute to Mahalia Jackson in the Preservation Hall Tent. An overflow crowd showed up for her Sunday morning set, much to her surprise.

“The Saints are playing in the Superdome, and I’m not no Red Hot Chili Pepper,” she said, referring to another act. “All I am is little ol’ me.”

She had lost weight during her year in Maryland, but her clarion voice was undiminished. Backed by a crackerjack band, she sat on a stool, eyes clenched, and dug into gospel standards “This Little Light of Mine,” “Soon I’ll Be Done With the Troubles of This World” and “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” She recast the Gloria Gaynor disco anthem “I Will Survive” as a dramatic statement of resolve.

From January 2007 through March 2008, Ms. Wright sang most weekends in the Ritz-Carlton’s On Trois Lounge. After leaving the Ritz — she apparently sang too loudly for the lounge — she returned to Bourbon Street with her band, the BMWs, an acronym for “Band of Marva Wright.”

In August 2008, Ms. Wright was among the Louisiana artists who performed at the delegates welcoming party of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. At the Colorado Convention Center, Ms. Wright sang “A Change Is Gonna Come,” accompanied by guitarist Tab Benoit.

In 2009, Ms. Wright suffered two strokes. She was first hospitalized in mid-May, then recovered sufficiently to resume performing. However, a far more traumatic stroke returned her to the hospital on June 6. In the difficult weeks and months that followed, she underwent dialysis treatments and struggled through rehabilitation. She never regained enough strength to perform.

Ms. Wright served as a de facto den mother to younger musicians. Indicative of her popularity, scores of performers appeared at an October benefit at Rock ‘n’ Bowl in her honor.

“Ms. Marva has always been so sweet,” benefit organizer Amanda Shaw said in October. “She’s been there for everybody, so we’re giving back.”

Survivors include her husband, Antoine Plessy; a son, James Kelly Jr.; three daughters, Jeanne Kelly, Elizabeth Gainey and Gerry McKey; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

5th Annual Backbeat Jazzfest Series Announces Shows

5th Annual Backbeat Jazzfest Series Announces New Shows

Gene Ween, Grupo Fantasma, Hill Country Revue And More

New Orleans, LA – The Backbeat Jazzfest Series has just announced many new shows to the already packed lineup, including shows at new venue addition Maison at 508 Frenchmen Street. Shows at Maison include:

* Apr 23rd Grupo Fantasma w/ Jose Conde y Nola Fresca

* Apr 24th Big Sam’s Funky Nation / Dirty Dozen Brass Band

* Apr 30th Gene Ween (solo) w/ special guest tba (On Sale Wednesday March 24 At Noon.)

The newest additions to the series at Tipitina’s French Quarter include:

* April 22 NEVILLUTION, A Multi-Generational Celebration of Neville Music & New Orleans Culture With Neville Family, Friends and Special Guests

* Apr 23rd, an extraordinary 3 band event in association with ropeadope:
-10pm Marco Benevento & Friends: Billy Martin (Medeski Martin and Wood),

Dave Dreiwitz (Ween), and Mark Mullins (Bonerama)

-12am Hill Country Revue w/ special guests

- 2am George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners

Other recently confirmed shows include the following artists: Benjy Davis Project, Bonerama, Cyril Neville & Tribe 13 followed by Toubab Krewe, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Suenalo Sound System, Theresa Andersson w/ Mia Borders and more. More shows to be announced.

Backbeat Presents is a collaborative effort between New Orleans-based entertainment company Hypersoul, The Backbeat Foundation and New York City-based independent concert promoters Creative Entertainment Group (CEG).

Dates: April 22nd -25th; April 28th –May 2nd, 2010

Artists: Anders Osborne, Benjy Davis Project, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Cyril Neville, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Geen Ween, George Porter Jr.’s Runnin Pardners, Grupo Fantasma, Hill Country Revue, Marco Benevento, Mia Borders, The Slip, Soulive, Suenalo Sound System, Tim Reynolds, Theresa Andersson, Toubab Krewe, Trombone Shorty & more

Venues: Blue Nile 532 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA

Maison 508 Frenchmen Street New Orleans, LA

Tipitina’s French Quarter 233 N. Peters New Orleans, LA

Ages: All events are 18+ to enter and 21 to drink

Tickets: Tickets are available through or (866) 468-7619

Series Websites:, and

Publicity Contact: Donna Santiago, Backbeat Foundation,

Backbeat Jazz Fest Series 2010 Initial Lineup

All shows are Smoke Free

All shows are $20 except where noted.

All shows are 18+ to enter and 21 to drink.

Tipitina’s French Quarter

Fri April 23 Three bands, one ticket! In association with ropeadope

$25/10pm Marco Benevento & Friends: Billy Martin, Dave Dreiwitz (Ween), Mark Mullins (Bonerama) more tba

Marco Benevento initially garnered national attention playing Hammond B-3 organ and Wurlitzer in The Benevento-Russo Duo. He proves himself one of the most compelling sonic innovators of his generation, re-imagining the instrument by running it through pickups, delay and distortion pedals and a Fender Reverb amp.

12am Hill Country Revue

THE modern Southern Rock / Blues band for the new generation. Formed by Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars in 2008, it features Chris Chew, Kirk Smithhart, Ed “Hot” Cleveland and Daniel Coburn.

2am George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners

Few bass players in the history of modern New Orleans music are as storied as George Porter Jr. Back in 1965, Porter joined on with the Meters, considered by many to be the ultimate fusion of rock, funk and R&B, and gained recognition as one of the scene’s elite bass players. Today, Porter is back at home with a smaller Runnin’ Pardners Band five down from seven pieces.

Sat April 24 Anders Osborne / Eric Lindell

10pm Show LA Daily News calls Eric Lindell“Passionate blue-eyed soul smothered with a big heap of percolating New Orleans funk.”

Osborne combines classic American musical forms such as blues, rock and roll, and Crescent City funk to create a sound that acknowledges no borders as they're usually understood.

Sat April 24 The Slip / Surprise Me Mr. Davis / Marco Benevento Trio

2am Show

Sun April 25 Time Reynolds & TR3 w/ The Benjy Davis Project

9pm Tim Reynolds has been playing music all of his life. From his breakthrough band in the 80’s, TR3 and forward to recording with & touring with DMB and the Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds Acoustic Duo. Tim’s progression has continued through his last 8 years on the road.

Fri April 30 Some Cat From Japan: Music Inspired By Jimi Hendrix

2am Show Featuring guitarist Will Bernard (Stanton Moore Trio), singer Nigel Hall (Lettuce), guitarist Scott Metzger (RANA), bassist Ron Johnson (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe/Brett Dennen) and drummer Eric Bolivar (Anders Osborne, Bonerama).

Sat May 1 Theresa Andersson plus Mia Borders

10pm Show Theresa Andersson hardly sounds like conventional pop. That's because the New Orleans singer-songwriter chose to approach her craft from different perspectives before she even began composing. "I stopped thinking in terms of traditional songwriting," Andersson explains. "I worked on shapes, forms, and textures, scents and colors. Elements which are more earthy and organic inspired me."

Sat May 1 Bonerama w/ special guests

2am Show When New Orleans’ Bonerama takes the stage, you can guess it’s not like any brass band you’ve seen. Founded by Mark Mullins and Craig Klein, former members of Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band, Bonerama carries the brass band concept to places unknown.

Blue Nile

Thurs Apr 29 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

$25/10pm Orleans Avenue is Troy “Trombone Shorty”Andrews’ funk/pop/hiphop mix. Things reach a fever pitch as Andrews starts his circular breathing-one note sustained in pristine beauty while the band vamps on a second line beat. Virtuosity and exuberance, Orleans Avenue effortlessly combines both.

Fri Apr 30 Soulive

$25/10pm Since forming Soulive in 1999, guitarist Eric Krasno, organist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans have developed a reputation as one of the most sought after instrumental soul-funk trios around, a hard-touring live act that's thrown down everywhere from small rock clubs to opening arena shows for the Rolling Stones.

Fri Apr 30 Big Sam’s Funky Nation w/ Suenalo Sound System

10pm Show Between solos and trombone riffs, Big Sam, formerly of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, second lines and gets the crowd going both in movement and in replies to his call/response style of MC. This talented jazz-trained group of musicians deemed Funky Nation, are known for their exuberant dancing and playing.

Sat May 1 Soulive

$25/10pm (See above)

Sat May 1 Toubab Krewe

2am Show Blending American and West African influences into a sound all its own, Toubab Krewe has set "a new standard for fusions of rock 'n' roll and West African music" (Afropop Worlwide).

Maison 508 Frenchmen Street

Apr 23rd Grupo Fantasma w/ Jose Conde y Nola Fresca
10pm Show

Apr 24th Big Sam’s Funky Nation / The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

10pm Show

Apr 30th Gene Ween (solo) w/ special guest tba

$25/10pm Tickets go on sale March 24 at noon.

NOPD vs. Mardi Gras Indians

By Chris Rose (click on pic for article)

Monday, March 15, 2010


The Blue Note is offering FREE TICKET PAIRS to Jon Batiste TOMORROW NIGHT March 16 at 8:00pm & 10:30pm. To win tickets, follow the instructions below:


1. Email your name and phone number to

2. In the Subject Line, please title your email "BN BLOG CONTEST - JON BATISTE"

3. Indicate which set you would like tickets for.

Remember - this giveaway is for tomorrow, so tell your friends and act fast!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Win Free Jazzfest Tickets

Register for your free pair of tickets to Jazz Fest.

Since 2000, legendary artists such as Bruce Springsteen, The Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper and B.B. King have graced the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival's Acura-sponsored main stage. And since we don't want our loyal customers to miss out, we're giving away thousands of complimentary tickets to this year’s Festival.

Join us April 23 – 25, 29, 30 and May 1 – 2.

Once you've arrived, be sure to check out the Acura tent for a first-hand view of our revolutionary four-door coupe, the ZDX. Then, you can enter for a chance to get a front-row seat at the Acura Stage for the last act of the day, each day of the Festival.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Tickets carry a face value of $50 and reselling of tickets is prohibited by law. Complimentary tickets that are sold will be voided.

DJ Quickie Mart presents: "Brain Salad Surgery" mixtape

Composed of more than 300 hits from all over the map, "Brain Salad Surgery" is DJ Quickie Mart's pop music thesis gone science project. Unlike most other mashup "DJs", there is absolutely no added production or stock loops in this mashed up insanity of sound. Everything used in "Brain Salad" was taken from other records that were all commercially released. Also, BSS was mixed and edited by Quickie himself using Technics 1200's, Serato Scratch Live, and Pro Tools 7.

<a href="">The Monster Mashup by DJ Quickie Mart</a>

The best part about "Brain Salad Surgery" is... IT'S FREE! So, Download it below, under the artwork. Get it in tracks, or all in one track.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD "Brain Salad Surgery" by Quickie Mart - direct

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD "Brain Salad Surgery" (in one track)