Thursday, December 22, 2011

Upcoming: Mardi Gras Ball feat. Kermit & Bonerama (discount below)



w/ special guests
Mardi Gras. The mere mention of these two words convey thoughts of wild celebrations, beads flying through the air, feathered hats, free-spirited dancing and a lot of booze and smiles. Nolafunk.com will help create this scene with your help. We’ll provide you with masks, hats, white cloths and beads. Lots and lots of BEADS! So bring your Mardi Gras outfits and your will to dance. The 6th Annual Mardi Gras Ball might be the best yet.

BONERAMA
Even in a city that doesn’t play by the rules, New Orleans’ Bonerama is something different. They can evoke vintage funk, classic rock and free improvisation in the same set; maybe even the same song. Bonerama has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone, hailed as “the ultimate in brass balls” and praised for their “…crushing ensemble riffing, human-feedback shrieks and wah-wah growls.”
 
KERMIT RUFFINS
New Orleans is the only place on the planet that could have produced native son Kermit Ruffins. Whether he's blowing trumpet on a Louis Armstrong classic or one of his own hot numbers, Ruffins embraces the tune with the true spirit of the city. Ruffins' music, like New Orleans itself, swings hard with a big heart as it remembers tradition and the importance of good-timin” fun.


As our holiday gift to you for being a wonderful Nolafunk.com supporter, we're offering tickets for the 2/19 Mardi Gras Ball for 50% off!
Just enter NolaHoliday into the "Access Code" box on TicketWeb
This offer will be good through January 1st
We hope you and yours have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Upcoming: 4th Annual Export NoLa

Export NOLA flier



Big Sam's Funky NationBig Sam's Funky Nation  website
HILL COUNTRY Jan 6th: 11:20pm- 12:30am
As the former trombone player of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Big Sam always entertains audiences with his exhilarating brand of high-voltage funk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop, termed "Noladelic Powerfunk." The San Francisco Chronicle asserts "[Big Sam is] the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz." Big Sam's Funky Nation engages and delights audiences across the country with their high energy performance and showmanship. Big Sam's Funky Nation has wowed crowds at major festivals/events, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Antibes Jazz Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Berlin Jazz Festival, SXSW, Jam Cruise and countless others. BSFN has also been featured in HBO's original series, "Treme,". Big Sam plays himself in multiple episodes, including scenes with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint as they recorded the acclaimed Grammy-nominated album, River in Reverse. 
Amanda Shaw Amanda Shawwebsite
HILL COUNTRY Jan 6th: 10:05-11pm
BROOKLYN BOWL Jan 7th: 8-9pm 
When Amanda Shaw takes the stage, the petite fiddler commands the attention of the audience with a poignant and rhythmic sound that only a Louisiana prodigy could deliver. Amanda Shaw is a powerful performer, composer, and arranger who has been touring nationally and internationally since she was eight years old. She has recorded three critically-acclaimed albums, won a Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer and has even had two feature roles in Disney movies. The New Orleans native is a pioneer of the new breed of young, roots-based musicians who have embraced both the traditional sounds of Louisiana and the pop sounds of the mainstream.
Mia Borders Mia Borderswebsite
HILL COUNTRY Jan 6th: 9-9:50pm
HILL COUNTRY Jan 8th: 8-9pm 
As a native of New Orleans, Mia Borders is an artist that represents the calliope of sounds that influence contemporary New Orleans' music. With a sound which may best be described as bayou flavored, funky, rhythm and blues with a sprinkling of rock n' roll, Mia is a dynamo on stage delivering songs that come with a sense of urgency. Mia has won over audiences at such festivals as New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, San Jose Jazz, Santa Cruz Blues, Bay Bridge, Houston iFest, Taos Mountain Music, and Telluride Cajun Fest. Chris Gray of the Houston Press wrote "Artists like Mia Borders are what makes festivals like iFest worth going to - walk up to the stage with no idea who this person is and walk away a fan." Mia will release her third CD early in 2012.
Stooges Brass BandStooges Brass Band   website
HILL COUNTRY Jan 6th (technically Jan 7th): 12:45-2am
BROOKLYN BOWL Jan 7th: 10:45-Midnight
Stooges Brass Band has been a premier New Orleans Brass Band since 1996. While appealing to the emotions of traditional jazz, the brass band fuses urban, pop and hip-hop influences to create a performance that speaks to the diversity of their audience. The band takes you on a musical journey with brass band arrangements of jazz classics like "Spain" by Chick Corea, a tribute to Michael Jackson, New Orleans secondline favorites and original compositions. The Stooges have developed an extraordinary history performing with Jessica Simpson, Jadakiss, Questlove, Black Star, Trombone Shorty, Galactic and Black Joe Lewis. The Stooges have toured nationally and internationally in Asia, Europe, and South America. In October, the Stooges Brass Band were crowned Red Bull Street Kings, besting the other New Orleans Brass Band competitors for the title. Stooges Brass Band will release a new CD in early 2012.
Shamarr Allen and the UnderdawgsShamarr Allen website
BROOKLYN BOWL Jan 7th: 9:20-10:20pm
HILL COUNTRY Jan 8th: 10:45-12am
Music has been a part of Shamarr Allen's life for as long as he can remember. A native son of the Crescent City, Shamarr is a former member of Rebirth Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band. After honing his skills in the brass band tradition Shamarr formed his own band, The Underdawgs, and forged a new sound layering elements of hip hop, rock, soul and pop over New Orleans roots. The band delivers a powerful wallop of fun, good music and genre bending blends producing an original sound which Shamarr has dubbed "hip-rock". Shamarr has shared the stage with Lenny Kravitz, Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Willie Nelson, and R.E.M and performed at the White House for President Obama. The band toured Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department.
The IguanasIguanas website
HILL COUNTRY Jan 8th: 9:20-10:20pm 
The pan cultural rhythms of New Orleans' musical heritage course through the heart of The Iguanas and their music. Latin shuffles, gritty funk, dark cinematic jazz and Basin Street horns all join hands to create world music in the true sense of the term. New Orleans is the singularity of the universe that is American Music and The Iguanas are some of its most skilled ambassadors. The Iguanas have released seven albums including a live recording from their performance at Wolf Trap. In 2008 The Iguanas received two Best of the Beat Awards for Best Country/Folk/Roots Rock Band or Performer and Best Country/Folk/Roots Rock Album for "The Iguanas: If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times". The Iguanas will release and tour in support of a new full length CD in 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Upcoming: New Orleans Suspects @ Brooklyn Bowl


Hiro Ballroom: 88 9th Ave. | btw. 16th & 17th St | New York, NY Tix/Info


Brooklyn Bowl: 61 Wythe Ave. | btw. 11th & 12th St | Brooklyn, NY Tix/Info

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rebirth Brass Band Snags Grammy Nomination

Rebirth Brass Band, Lil Wayne, Harry Connick Jr. among Grammy nominees with local ties


Keith Spera, The Times-Picayune
Rebirth Brass Band founder Phil Frazier once said he’d rather win a Grammy than be rich. He took a significant step toward the realization of that goal Wednesday night when Rebirth’s Basin Street Records release “Rebirth of New Orleans” was nominated for a Grammy.

Rebirth Brass Band New Orleans Jazz Fest Sunday May 8, 2011
 
The Rebirth Brass Band performs on the Congo Square Stage at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The band received its first Grammy nomination on Wednesday, Nov. 30. 
The complete list of nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards were released Wednesday night following the Grammy nominations telecast, a sort of pre-awards awards show, on CBS. 

Rebirth will compete with two other Louisiana acts in the newly created best regional roots music album category. Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboy’s “Grand Isle” and C.J. Chenier’s “Can’t Sit Down” are nominated in the same category, along with perennial polka favorite Jimmy Sturr and Hawaiian music act George Kahumoku Jr. 

Regional roots music is a catch-all category created after several individual “roots music” categories, including Cajun/zydeco and Hawaiian music, were eliminated when the total number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. 

Several other nominees boast Louisiana ties.
New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne is up for five awards, including best rap album for “Tha Carter IV.”

Gospel duo Trin-i-tee 5:7’s “Angel & Chanelle Deluxe Edition” is up for best gospel album.
Grammy veteran Harry Connick Jr. is up for best traditional pop vocal album for his “In Concert on Broadway.”

Singer Ledisi Young, who was born in New Orleans but moved to Oakland, Calif., as a girl, received three nominations related to her well-received “Pieces of Me” CD, including best R&B album, song and performance.
Lucinda Williams, who spent some of formative years in New Orleans and south Louisiana, is up for best Americana album for “Blessed.”

The culminating performance of Wednesday night’s nomination telecast on CBS – a clever bit of hype-building that essentially milks two prime-time specials out of one awards show – featured Lady Gaga and Sugarland performing Gaga’s “You and I.”

The cameras focused always exclusively on Gaga and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles. The band’s New Orleanian rhythm section of drummer Travis McNabb and bassist Annie Clements was glimpsed only briefly.
No doubt Phil Frazier and the rest of Rebirth hope they earn more air-time when the Grammy winners are presented Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.


© 2011 NOLA.com. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Upcoming: Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary at Carnegie Hall (onsale Friday)

Preservation Hall Jazz Band | Sat - 1/7/12 | Isaac Stern Auditorium @ Carnegie Hall | New York, NY

Listen: New Galactic Single






Hey Na Na feat. David Shaw (of the Revivalists) and Maggie Koerner by Galacticfunk


It's incredible that GALACTIC has never made a carnival album yet, but now it’s here.
To make CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS, the members of GALACTIC (Ben Ellman, harps and horns; Robert Mercurio, bass; Stanton Moore, drums and percussion; Jeff Raines, guitar; Rich Vogel, keyboards) draw on the skills, stamina, and funk they deploy in the all-night party of their annual Lundi Gras show that goes till sunrise and leads sleeplessly into Mardi Gras day. 


GALACTIC was formed eighteen years ago in New Orleans, and they cut their teeth playing the biggest party in America: Mardi Gras, when the town shuts down entirely to celebrate. CARNIVALE ELECTRICOS is beyond a party record. It’s a carnival record that evokes the electric atmosphere of a whole city – make that, whole cities – vibrating together all on the same day, from New Orleans all down the hemisphere to the mighty megacarnivals of Brazil. Armed with a slew of carnival-ready guests—including Cyril and Ivan Neville, Mystikal, Mannie Fresh, Moyseis Marques, Casa Samba, the KIPP Renaissance High School Marching Band, and Al "Carnival Time" Johnson (who remakes his all-time hit)—GALACTIC whisks the listener around the neighborhoods to feel the Mardi Gras moment in all its variety of flavors.

Prince Paul: New Orleans Bounce

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Win 2 Free Tickets to Porter Show, Dinner for 2 @ Bourbon Street Bar & Grille



 
WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS to see
GEORGE PORTER JR. & RUNNIN' PARDNERS
and DINNER FOR 2 at Bourbon St. Bar & Grille

December 3 | Hiro Ballroom

E-mail address:
First Name:
Last Name:
City, State:
Winner will be chosen on Monday, Nov 28th and notified by e-mail.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nov 3-Hiro Ballroom-Papa Grows Funk-To Benefit The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp‏


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Daytrotter Session: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue



Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue 

Download Free Session

Whatever Spooks, Rattles Or Romps

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley
The New Orleans that I'd like to go to, for my first visit, is the one that Trombone Shorty gives us a guided tour of with everything that he and his group, the Orleans Avenue, give us with every number and every interpretation they play. We've heard that there's some great food down there, but where isn't there something special to sample when considering local cuisine? We've heard that it's beautiful and that things are shaping back up down with rebuilding and recovery efforts, but lots of places are beautiful. Beauty's kind of a dime a dozen. The eyes can always be full, anywhere you go. What we sense the most in Trombone Shorty, the stage name of 25-year-old Troy Andrews, is the voodoo that we've been told is synonymous with that city down on the Bayou. It's that twinkling black magic or something that feels forbidden or unattainable that comes through his instrument. It feels like new language, a purple haze, something that's not quite of this world. There's a haunting that Andrews puts to the notes that he blows out. They have within them the funkiness and soul that provide a commonly accepted stepping off point for discussion, but he takes them into darker corners of the swamp, where they pick up their scruff and scuffings. They come out on the other side of his head and his mouth fully diabolical, completely consequential. They have life that's been given to them by some unknown power and the songs carry with them a certain pluck that would have made mothers and fathers calling it the devil's music had Shorty been making it back when Elvis was deemed Satanic for the swivel of his hips and the playing of such unwholesome R&B-infused rock and roll. Trombone Shorty would have stood at the top of the list of banned musical substances should he have been around back in the 1950s. These days, he's still able to steam up the windows and he brings the humidity of something frisky happening between the sheets to much of his music, allowing it to be heard in the way that anyone wants to hear it. He's a true master, already, at his tender age, the product of and interpreter of past greatness. He sounds intent upon giving new life to the music that he grew up with, adding to it whatever gets into his cage at night, whatever spooks, whatever rattles, whatever gives him a romp.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WWOZ to webcast Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Dumpstaphunk & Stooges Brass Band on Saturday

Live Broadcast of Walter "Wolfman" Washington + Ivan Neville's "Dumpstaphunk" + Stooges Brass Band

DATE: Sat, Nov 5, 2011 7:00pm

'OZ fans Courtney Katzenstein and Jon McHugh have more than friendship and their love of 'OZ in common, they are also both Scorpios. What's that mean for our listeners? Jon and Courtney have graciously offered to let us broadcast their birthday party, featuring Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk and the Stooges Brass Band. Courtney has also made 'OZ her charity of choice and requests for gifts to be in the form of donations to the station. So thank you, and happy birthday to Courtney and Jon!

Please note: This is a private party, but will be broadcast on WWOZ 90.7 fm and online at wwoz.org

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tomorrow: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ The Box

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue


Wed, September 14, 2011

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

The Box

New York, NY

$35 General Admission


Rare indeed is the artist with the virtuosity to draw the unqualified respect of some of the most iconic legends in jazz and the ability to deliver a high-energy funk rock show capable of mesmerizing international rock stars. Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is one such artist - and there is no one else like him.

Trombone Shorty is equally adept on trombone and trumpet and is a man to be reckoned with on both. A product of New Orleans' culturally rich Treme neighborhood, Trombone Shorty was a bandleader by the age of six.

While navigating New Orleans with his band in tow, he was also absorbing lessons from his older brother James, a dynamic musical performer known as "Satchmo of the Ghetto." By the time Trombone Shorty was twelve, he had a Ph.D. in the ways of the streets, which you can still hear in his music.

During a visit to a small New Orleans club, Bono and the Edge saw the 12-year-old trombone player. "We walked in and the place was jumping. There was this little funk band, but they were all playing brass instruments, which is something I'd never heard of or seen before," The Edge recalled. "We were just mesmerized by him. I ended up with Bono, after a few tequilas, dancing with a bunch of girls on the top of the bar. It was one of those sort of nights."

Now, at 23, Trombone Shorty has grown into a performer who commands the stage while emanating an elegance and class gleaned from his successful studies at the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. As a graduate, he joined the ranks of alums like Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., and Nicholas Payton. Another alum, Wynton Marsalis, said of him, "Troy possesses the rarest combination of talent, technical capability and down home soul. I'm his biggest fan."

Shorty has attracted many such legends to his high-profile fanbase, and the diverse and notable names he has performed and soloed with include Norah Jones at Jazzfest 2007, Diana Krall at Madison Square Garden in 2005, and chart-topping rapper Juvenile at VoodooFest 2008.

In 2009, New Orleans' premier music magazine, Offbeat, awarded Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Best R&B/Funk Band for the second year in a row. Trombone Shorty himself picked up an award for Best Trumpet and he has been named Performer of The Year twice. His success - and his promise - has been recognized by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on one of the Fest's two annual official posters. He is the youngest artist to be featured on the poster by 18 years - the next youngest was Wynton Marsalis, who was featured at age 41.
The four years leading up to being tapped for the Jazzfest poster saw Trombone Shorty's profile grow virtually month-by-month. In 2005, he was tapped by Lenny Kravitz to be a featured member of his horn section for the 63-date Electric Church world tour that in North America supported Aerosmith's Rockin' the Joint tour.
In London in 2006, Trombone Shorty worked with producer Bob Ezrin and U2 at Abbey Road Studios. This association led to Trombone Shorty performing with U2 and Green Day during the New Orleans Superdome's post-Katrina re-opening spectacular during Monday Night Football. The show aired live on ESPN and was also broadcast internationally by Westwood One.

Also in 2006, Trombone Shorty made his acting debut on the NBC television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Leading a group of New Orleans musicians, his haunting trumpet performance of the holiday classic "O Holy Night" drew such an enthusiastic response from viewers that NBC released the single for free download on the NBC.com home page.

Trombone Shorty has been profiled by Good Morning America and USA Today and was featured on "Whole Lotta Loving," a collaboration with Lenny Kravitz for the 2007 album Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino. When the 2008 NBA All-Star game was played in New Orleans, he was tapped to play on court during player introductions, along with Harry Connick Jr., Kermit Ruffins, and Branford Marsalis.

THE FUTURE IS SUPAFUNKROCK

The here and now finds Trombone Shorty a fully developed performer bursting into the international consciousness. It's always a challenge to find an appropriate label for artists who make something uniquely their own from a variety of influences. In the case of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, the band created its own tagline for its high-octane music: SupaFunkRock. The group's performances have been known to run for hours at an energy level that few others could sustain for a much shorter performance.

The seeds for Orleans Avenue were sown at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and the group has since evolved into a six-piece touring phenomenon. With Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on guitar, Joey Peebles on drums, Dwayne Williams on percussion and Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax, their performances transcend the boundaries of generation and classification. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue have been drawing ever-growing crowds based largely on word of mouth excitement about their knockout shows, night after night. Making the most of limited time off, they are currently recording new songs that capture the band's rare combination of virtuosity and high-energy party intensity - the next accomplishment to watch for in the career of this unparalleled young artist.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

RIP: Wardell Quezergue, R&B Great

New Orleans arranger, producer and bandleader Wardell Quezergue passed away this morning at East Jefferson Hospital in Metairie at age 81. The cause of death is not yet known, but Quezergue was in declining health in recent years.

Wardell Quezergue. Photo by Greg Miles.

Wardell Quezergue. Photo by Greg Miles.

Quezergue arranged and produced many soul and R&B classics, including Professor Longhair’s “Big Chief,” Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’,” Phil Phillips’ “Sea of Love,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Jean Knight’s “Mr. Big Stuff” and Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue.” When OffBeat‘s John Swenson interviewed him in late 2007, he recalled how he and drummer Smokey Johnson wrote the New Orleans’ classic, “It Ain’t My Fault”:


We had an office on Orleans Avenue and he came in and he said “Quiz”—he used to call me Quiz—he said, “I have something I want you to hear. I want you to record this on me.” “Okay, let me hear it.” He started to diddle with his hands on my desk—dump de-dump dump dump diddle ump de-dump dump dump. I said, “That’s a good beat. Where’s the melody?” He said, “That’s where you come in!”


In his later years, Quezergue and Johnson were involved in a lawsuit over unpaid royalties for the song. The suit was settled earlier this year.


Despite being legally blind since 2005, he continued to work as much as he could. When the Ponderosa Stomp arranged for Quezergue’s orchestra to perform, he would write new charts by dictating them to his son, Brian. In our current issue, the Stomp’s Ira Padnos remembers asking Mac Rebennack if he would perform “Storm Warning” and some of the guitar-based songs he recorded before adopting the Dr. John persona at the 2008 Stomp. “As long as Wardell [Quezergue] does the arrangements, I’ll be willing to take a stab at it, ” said Rebennack, who also had Quezergue do the arrangements for his 1992 album “Goin’ Back to New Orleans and 2004′s N’Awlinz: Dis Dat or d’Udda.


Quezergue’s signature was the bigness of his sound, using large horn sections and strings. He was known as “the Creole Beethoven,” but he explained the nickname’s origins to Swenson with gentle, self-mocking humor:


The thing with [Professor Longhair] is this: Fess, he had to sing live, he never did overdubs as far as I know. I think that was one of the reasons Earl [King] sang on “Big Chief.” That was the first time I worked with the Professor. “Big Chief” had five saxophones, three trumpets, three trombones and five rhythm parts. Artists weren’t used to working with bands like that. I guess that’s how I got the nickname “Creole Beethoven”—not because I’m so brainy; it’s just that everything I did was so loud.


Quezergue was given an honorary degree by Loyola in 2009, and his career was celebrated in New York City that July in an event at Alice Tully Hall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars this Thursday @ Hiro Ballroom


Voice of the Wetlands Allstars: Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Waylon Thibodeaux & more

Event Image

VOICE OF THE WETLANDS ALL-STARS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THEIR FIRST WESTERN U.S. TOUR WITH RAVING REVIEWS AND SOLD OUT SHOWS FROM BOULDER, CO TO SAN DIEGO, CA, AND UP THROUGH SEATTLE, WA. TAB BENOIT, CYRIL NEVILLE, ANDERS OSBORNE, JOHNNY VIDACOVICH, BIG CHIEF MONK BOUDREAUX, JOHNNY SANSONE AND WAYLON THIBODEAUX EMBARKED ON A 16-DATE TOUR IN TWENTY-ONE DAYS TAKING THEIR MUSIC AND MESSAGE OUTSIDE OF LOUISIANA.


THE ALL-STARS' PHYSICAL, DEMANDING PERFORMANCE PRESENTED A POWERFUL BLEND OF SOULFUL BLUES, NEW ORLEANS FUNK, HOODOO RHYTHMS, CAJUN ZYDECO, AND GRITTY ROCK. AUDIENCES EXPERIENCED A SHOW ONLY PREVIOUSLY SEEN AT THE NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL.


LEAD BY VOW FOUNDER, TAB BENOIT, THE VOW ALL-STARS ACHIEVED MUSICAL SUCCESS, AS WELL AS GAINED NATIONAL SUPPORT AND ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THE CRISIS OF LOUISIANA'S WETLANDS. BENOIT'S WORDS AND THE ALL-STARS' MUSIC INFLUENCED AUDIENCES IN ALL SIXTEEN MARKETS. PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF LOUISIANA WERE MOTIVATED TO CARE AND TAKE ACTION FOR A DOMESTIC CRISIS THAT ULTIMATELY AFFECTS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY - ENVIRONMENTALLY, ECONOMICALLY, AND CULTURALLY. WHILE THE VOW ALL-STARS ARE MUSICIANS BY TRADE, THEY HAVE BECOME THE AMBASSADROS OF LOUISIANA'S FIGHT TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE A NATIONAL TREASURE AND A VITAL PART OF THE U.S.

Other upcoming NolaFunky shows...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Economist Q&A: Galactic, a funk band

That New Orleans sound

The Economist Q&A: Galactic, a funk band



WHEN performing live, Galactic makes playing funk music look easy. It isn't. Delivering precise, tight funk is hard work, but this five-piece New Orleans band seems to power through their shows as if they could keep it all going endlessly. Their most recent album, "The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans", captures that energy and plenty of the flavour of the Big Easy. It was recorded during a sold-out show at Tipitinas, a legendary local club, and features some well-known local musicians such as Cyril Neville and Trombone Shorty.

Galactic has a unique sound built from eclectic influences—jazz, rap, electronica, jam-band music and bounce (a local take on hip hop)—honed over years of performing live. They have shared the stage with B.B. King and The Roots, among others, and they have recorded with a variety of other artists. "From the Corner to the Block" (2007) featured a slew of rappers and MCs including Boots Riley of The Coup and Gift of Gab from Blackalicious.

But the band remains devoted to the New Orleans music scene and often collaborates with local talent. "Ya-Ka-May" (2010), the last album, was a love letter to the city (named after a traditional New Orleans soup). “The Other Side of Midnight” is a fine follow-up, but still no match for seeing these guys in person.

Now on a world tour, the band's guitarist, Jeff Raines, answered a few questions from the road via e-mail about the new album, the music of New Orleans and learning from other musicians.

Why did you decide to make a live album from New Orleans?

We recorded our new album for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost is that we live here and wanted to record in the most comfortable environment possible. We also wanted to have options in terms of inviting our musician friends from around town to come play. Our own studio is close by. We did our first live album at Tips exactly ten years ago so we felt like it made sense on that level as well.

From a musical or cultural standpoint, what's changed in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina?

From a musical standpoint I don’t think all that much has changed since the storm. Certainly in the first few years there were less people playing music and going out to the clubs. These days the club scene seems pretty vibrant. There are new brass bands popping up and the bounce rap scene has been getting some national attention.

How does your new album reflect New Orleans music and culture as it is today?

I think this record reflects what Galactic has been doing recently. We have been touring with a fantastic trombone player so we are bringing a more full-bodied horn section feel. Having Cyril Neville on the show singing at that venue also strikes me as being something special to New Orleans.

How have collaborations changed your sound or approach to songwriting?

When we go into our demo-writing process the material that might lend itself to having some kind of vocal element becomes obvious. We sometimes will send the artist we are working with a few ideas and go from there.

What sets funk apart from other music genres? What makes funk "funk"?


I guess funk represents a certain feel in music that usually makes you want to get up.

What is Galactic's version of funk? How is your music unique?

We’ve been able to develop a sound over many albums and years of touring. I think a lot of that comes about through a shared history of playing shows together.

You've sometimes been called a "jazz jam" band. Do you embrace that or shrug it off?

We don’t pay much attention to names the media invent to try and classify what we are doing.

What's the most recognisable way New Orleans has shaped the sound of your band?

Through the songs we’ve learned and then done our own versions of. We’ve always covered songs by local brass bands or our local musical heroes. I think learning all this music has affected us as a band.

Galactic is now on tour. The band is at work on their next studio album, to be released next spring.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Newport Jazz 2011: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Live In Concert


Listen to the set HERE.



Trombone Shorty performs with Orleans Avenue on the Quad Stage during the Newport Jazz Festival.



In New Orleans, jazz is a building block, a musical foundation. Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, fully embraces the future-funk and grimy rock backbeats which bring crowds to their feet. But at his core, he's also a phenomenal jazz trombonist and singer from the Tremé neighborhood. Stardom awaits with the upcoming release of For True; here, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue preview their headlining Newport Jazz Festival set with this more intimate Quad Stage show.


Personnel: Trombone Shorty, trombone/trumpet/voice; Tim McFatter, tenor saxophone; Dan Oestreicher, baritone saxophone; Peter Murano, guitar; Michael Ballard, bass; Robert Peebles, drums; Dwayne Williams, percussion.