Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Pictures: Dr. John & Lower 911 @ Highline Ballroom

Dino Perrucci Photography

Dr. John - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/29/09

Dr. John - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/29/09

Dr. John - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/29/09

Dr. John - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/29/09

Dr. John - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/29/09

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Upcoming: 1/2 Price Dr. John Tickets @ Highline Ballroom

Dr. John & The Lower 9-11 at HighLine Ballroom
HighLine Ballroom (New York City, NY)
Tuesday, Dec. 29 @ 9:30pm (Doors Open at 9pm)
Wednesday, Dec. 30 @ 9:30pm (Doors Open at 9pm)

Full Price: $35.00

Our Price: $17.50

Dr. John & the Lower 9-11 features Mac Rebennack, commonly known at Dr. John the Night Tripper, playing a blend of funk, r&b, psychedelic rock, jazz and Creole roots. In the '50s, Dr. John played guitar on some of New Orleans' greatest records, before an injury forced him to switch to piano. Notable for his eccentric costumes, including voodoo charms and robes, Dr. John has recorded with Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In Pictures: Aaron Neville @ Highline Ballroom

By Dino Perrucci Photography

Aaron Neville - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/19/09

Aaron Neville - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/19/09

Aaron Neville - Highline Ballroom, NYC 12/19/09

Tonight: Garage a Trois Snowstorm Jam @ Brooklyn Bowl

Eye Candy For StrangersNew Years Resolutions @BrooklynBowl

Snowjam with Garage a Trois

December 20th





with Special Guests TBA @brooklynbowl

Show 9:00pm 21+

Garage A Trois is a collaboration between four of the most visionary improvisers of the time: Skerik on saxophones, Mike Dillon on vibes, Marco Benevento on keys and Stanton Moore on drums.

And while improvisation is at the heart of what the quartet has staked its reputation upon at their legendary New Orleans Jazzfest sets and rare, but in demand, club tours, it's the intricate sonic tapestries, tightly orchestrated arrangements, refined melodies and positively modern approach to instrumental songwriting that's at the heart of their upcoming long-player, Power Patriot.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Upcoming; Dr. John @ Highline Ballroom (12/29,30)





DEC 29 7PM

DEC 29 9:30PM

DEC 30 7PM

DEC 30 9:30PM

431 W 16th St NYC

Sat Eye Candy: Professor Longhair

c/o Jambase

As a college student eking out a living at long defunct Cymbaline Records in Santa Cruz, one of our regulars was New Age music superstar George Winston. His albums December and Winter Into Spring were the definition of textural piano bliss, and every jerk water in a cardigan came in with their little yap dog to buy copies in the late 1980s. Given the character of his music one might assume the dude was majorly mellow but what Winston mainly came by to do was special order stoppid rare Japanese CDs of boogie woogie jazz and jump blues. And his main obsession was Professor Longhair, who stirred a hot coal fire inside George that warmed every damn employee up to the New Orleans great. We'd put on his records in the store and the way music flowed through his fingers, the way an 88 purred and kicked beneath his touch, well, it hit one like lightning and made you dance around like a puppet with tangled strings. And that sensation has never diminished for me, and I'm guessing Mr. Winston, too.

Born Henry Roeland Byrd in 1918, the man who became known as Professor Longhair, or just 'Fess for short, took what the other stride and jump pianists were doing and just made it weird. And just plain wonderful, too. There's a crazed pleasure and simmering sense of possibility inside his signature numbers "Go to the Mardi Gras," "Tipitina," "No Buts - No Maybes" and "Big Chief." But, open up his admittedly sparse recorded output - given that he started his career in 1948 and died in 1980 there should be more - and there's all kinds of strange crags and wicked journeys to be found. Often joyful, there's an angled difference to 'Fess' playing and compositional sense that to this day sets him apart, though one picks up some of his peculiar frequencies in Marco Benevento, John Medeski and Brian Haas; not the New Orleans flavor (see Dr. John for that prescription) so much as his joie de vivre and in-the-moment ability to curve into unexpected spaces. He will always be associated and identified with his New Orleans focused material - and rightly so - but there's so much more to Professor Longhair than Mardi Gras, and we cheat ourselves as listeners by limiting our perspective on one of the defining piano voices of the 20th century. To watch him in action was to see music itself come to life, flowing and playing through his entire body as it came into being. Such a beautiful sight.

'Fess would have been 91-years-old if he were still with us today. I know for sure I miss him, and I betcha his piano does, too. Happy birthday, sir, the angels are gonna get a hell of a concert tonight. (Dennis Cook, JamBase Associate Editor)

We begin our 'Fess focused Eye Candy with The Meters backing him on a venerable blues staple. He could take even the well worn and give it a fresh twist, not the least in his wholly unique, impossible to duplicate phrasing and vocal style.

Here he is with pals Allen Toussaint and Tutts Washington in the 1982 documentary Piano Players Rarely Play Together.

Toussaint discusses the Professor's style and innovations.

Proof that Fess' music has traveled everywhere: Japanese club act Nikki & Cup performing a credible cover of his "Doin' It"!

Now, a wicked fun version of "Tipitina" from a particularly copacetic Dr. John and Johnny Winter. They also get into the Lincoln Chase's 1950s hit "Such A Night" in this clip.

Appropriately, we give the last word to the good Professor, with three more killers from the man himself.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Threadhead Records Grants are under way

c/o Weekly Beat

When Paul Sanchez and John Boutte cut the first albums for Threadhead Records, their deal with the Threadheads was that they pay back the money raised for their albums within a year. That has been the deal until now, but the Threadhead Records Foundation is about to launch its first round of grant funding. They are now accepting applications through January 3, 2010, and they're intended to help musicians record music that promotes "the cultural heritage of New Orleans," the press release says. For more information, visit the Threadheads' Web site.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Orleans Jazzfest Schedule Announced

Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, Artist TBA,
Van Morrison, Lionel Richie, The Neville Brothers,
Allman Brothers Band, Anita Baker, My Morning Jacket,
Darius Rucker, Widespread Panic Among Hundreds
Scheduled to Appear at 41st Jazz & Heritage Festival

Scroll down to read the weekend-by-weekend
schedule or click either weekend above

APRIL 23 - 25 (1st WEEKEND)

Artist TBA, Lionel Richie, Allman Brothers Band, My Morning Jacket, Anita Baker, Dr. John, Darius Rucker, The Black Crowes, Steel Pulse, Johnny Lang, Band of Horses, The Levon Helm Band, Drake, Keely Smith, Baaba Maal, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Imagination Movers, Ledisi, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Better Than Ezra, Blind Boys of Alabama, Elvin Bishop, funky Meters, Sax for Stax featuring Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, and Jeff Lorber, Marcia Ball, Shawn Colvin, Pastor Smokie Norful, Terence Blanchard, Cowboy Mouth, The Campbell Brothers, Chocolate Milk, Sam Bush, The Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, Joe Lovano Us Five, Donald Harrison, Lena Prima, Tab Benoit, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Bonerama, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Deacon John, Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, Davell Crawford and One Foot in the Blues with special guests Dr. John and Jon Cleary, The Bounce Extravaganza feat. Big Freedia, Sissy Nobby, Katie Redd, Magnolia Shorty, and DJ Poppa, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band 100 Year Anniversary Celebration, Jon Cleary: Piano, Bass & Drums, Irma Thomas’ Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong feat. Wycliffe Gordon, James Andrews, and Victor Goines, Papa Grows Funk, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, Theresa Andersson, Jewel Brown with the Heritage Hall Jazz Band, Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter Washington & Russell Batiste, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, The Radiators--Pre-War Blues, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Grayson Capps, Kenny Neal, Treme Brass Band, Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark, Jeremy Davenport, Maurice Brown Effect, James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Glen David Andrews, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Roddie Romero & the Hub City Allstars, Honey Island Swamp Band, OTRA, Leah Chase, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, Savoy Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam, Mia X, Cheeky Blakk, and Ms. Tee, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Rotary Downs, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, Little Freddie King Blues Band, Andrew Duhon & the Lonesome Crows, Rumba Buena, Spencer Bohren, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Louisiana LeRoux with Tab Benoit, Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Red Stick Ramblers, Guitar Slim, Jr., Kipori Woods, Kim Carson Band, Ivoire Spectacle feat. Seguenon Kone, The Revealers, Shades of Praise, Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band, Sammy Rimington, The Electrifying Crownseekers, Tribute to Juanita Brooks feat. Betty Shirley, Germaine Bazzle, and Leah Chase, The James Rivers Movement, Leo Jackson & the Melody Clouds, Susan Cowsill, David Egan, Panorama Jazz Band, George French & the Storyville Jazz Band, New Orleans Night Crawlers, Midnite Disturbers, Ninth Ward Navajo Mardi Gras Indians, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers’ Tribute to Rockin’ Dopsie, Sr., Frankie Ford, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Reggie Hall & the Twilighters, Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, Mas Mamones, Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band, Jesse McBride presents the Next Generation, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Septet, Michael Ward, Bleu Orleans, Mahogany Brass Band, Untouchables, Furious Five, and Big Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Creole Wild West and Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Mark Braud’s New Orleans Jazz Giants, Gospel Soul Children, Blessed, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders feat. Butch Thompson, N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Ensemble, Judy Spellman, Leroy Jones, Olympia Aid, New Look, and The First Division Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Golden Comanche, Golden Blade, and Wild Mohicans Mardi Gras Indians, Free Agents Brass Band, The Wiseguys, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, The Revivalists, Rockie Charles, Robert “1 String” Gibson, Beth Patterson, Patrice Fisher & the Honduran Connection, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Tommy Sancton Quintet, UNO Jazz Allstars, Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, Comanche Hunters, Semolian Warriors, and Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians, Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express, Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, Marc Stone Band, Betsy McGovern & the Poor Clares, Alexis Marceaux, Julio y Cesar, Sonny Bourg & the Bayou Blues Band, Chris Clifton, Miss Sophie Lee, June Gardner, The Guitar Woodshed feat. Steve Masakowski, Todd Duke, and Jake Eckert, Mount Hermon BC Mass Choir, Tonia Scott & Anointed Voices, Resurrection Baptist Church Mass Choir of Schertz, TX, Brass Bass Ensemble, Jai Reed, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Real Untouchables Brass Band, Divine Ladies, Dumaine Gang, and Ladies of Unity Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Young Pinstripe Brass Band, Johnette Downing, Kat Walker Jazz Combo, Guardians of the Flame, Single Ladies, Keep N it Real, and Nine Times Men Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Voices of Distinction, Nineveh BC Mass Choir, Kevin Thompson & the Sensational Six, Red Hot Brass Band, Lindsay Mendez, God’s House Westbank Cathedral Choir, The Gospel Stars, Da Souljas Brass Band, Single Men, Family Ties, and Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Delgado Community College Jazz Ensemble, Natasha Richard of Canada, Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Ensemble, Jacquelyn Mayfield, Golden Voices Community Choir, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, Greater Antioch Full Gospel Mass Choir, Black Mohawks, Seminoles, and Red, White & Blue Mardi Gras Indians, Archdiocese of New Orleans Mass Gospel Choir, The Bester Singers and the Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers, New Orleans Young Traditional Brass Band with the Heel to Toe Steppers, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir, Carrollton Hunters Mardi Gras Indians…

Back to top

Artists Subject to Change.

APRIL 29 – May 2 (2nd WEEKEND)

Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Widespread Panic, The Neville Brothers, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Irma Thomas, Gipsy Kings, The Dead Weather, Elvis Costello & the Sugarcanes, Teena Marie, Allen Toussaint, Gov’t Mule, Average White Band, Jose Feliciano, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Kirk Franklin, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gil Scott Heron, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Clarence Carter, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Tye Tribbett, Juvenile & DJ Mannie Fresh, Take Six, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Galactic, Stanley Clarke Band feat. Hiromi, Old Crow Medicine Show, Richie Havens, Marcus Miller, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Pete Fountain, The Radiators, Blues Traveler, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Anders Osborne, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Rebirth Brass Band, Sonny Landreth, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Martin Sexton, Bernard Allison, Ruthie Foster, Jimmy Johnson Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cyril Neville & Tribe 13, Dee Dee Bridgewater – A Celebration of Lady Day, Ellis Marsalis, Buckwheat Zydeco, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Louis Prima, Jr., Henry Butler, The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, Selvy Singers of Arkansas, Aaron Neville, Chris Thomas King, Dala, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, The Davell Crawford Singers, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Inspirational Souls of Chicago, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, John Mooney & Bluesiana, subdudes, Iguanas, DJ Captain Charles, The Dixie Cups, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, The Jon Batiste Band, Nicholas Payton, The Four Freshman, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Russell Batiste & Friends feat. Jason Neville, Pine Leaf Boys, Eric Lindell, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs, Banu Gibson with Swing Out & Tap!, Tribute to Juanita Brooks feat. Wanda Rouzan, Barbara Shorts, and Topsy Chapman, John Boutté, Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Luther Kent, Astral Project, Germaine Bazzle, Soul Rebels, New Birth Brass Band, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, PJ Morton, New Orleans Spiritualettes, The Johnson Extension, Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra, Bobby Lonero’s Tribute to Louis Prima, Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, The Allen Toussaint Jazzity Project, Charmaine Neville, MyNamesIsJohnMichael, Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, Bobby Lounge, Big Al Carson, Lynn Drury, Vivaz!, Nova NOLA feat. Sasha Masakowski, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, Coco Robicheaux & the Swamp Monsters, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Loose Marbles, Heavenly Melodies, Betty Winn & One A-Chord, Kent Jordan, Shannon Powell’s Organ Combo feat. David Torkanowsky and Charlie Gabriel, Forgotten Souls, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, TBC Brass Band, Westbank Steppers, Valley of Silent Men, and Pigeon Town Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Apache Hunters, Wild Red Flame, and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Jockimo’s Groove feat. War Chief Juan and Billy Iuso, Elysian Fieldz, Feufollet, Creole Zydeco Farmers, The Hadley J. Castille Family & the Sharecroppers Band, GROUPA – Nordic Folk Fusion, Tin Men, R. Scully Rough 7, Creole String Beans, Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes, Margie Perez, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone & the XL Band, Kristin Diable, Jimmy Robinson, Kenny Bill Stinson & the ARK-LA-Mystics, Mem Shannon & the Membership, Bamboula 2000, Kora Konnection feat. Morikeba Kouyate of Senegal and Thierno Dioubate of Guinea, Papa Blue Viking Jazz Band of Sweden, Onward Brass Band, Dukes of Dixieland, Tim Laughlin, Val & the Love Alive Fellowship Choir, Jo “Cool” Davis, Zulu Male Ensemble, Phillip Manuel, Roderick Paulin, SUBR Jazzy Jags, Pinstripe Brass Band, Original Prince of Wales and Original Lady Buckjumpers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, New Orleans Indian Rhythm Section, Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, 101 Runners, Evan Christopher & Tom McDermott, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra, Pfister Sisters, Walter Payton with Snapbeans and Filé Gumbo, Brother Tyrone, Driskill Mountain Boys, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, Thomas “Big Hat” Fields, Mark Adam Miller, Benny Grunch & the Bunch, J. Monque’D Blues Band, Mia Borders, Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Classie Ballou & the Family Band, John Rankin, Jonny Frishberg & Bayou DeVille, DJ Soul Sister, Zion Trinity, AsheSon, Los Po-Boy-Citos, Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective, Donnie Bolden, Jr. & the Spirit of Elijah, Ebenezer Mass Choir, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Voices of Peter Claver, Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band, Mario Abney Quintet, Lady Rollers, Original C.T.C. Steppers, and Nine Times Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Baby Boyz Brass Band, Geronimo Hunters, 7th Ward Creole Hunters, and Young Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Joe Hall & the Cane Cutters, Eddie “ChopChops” Paris, Hot Club of New Orleans, Connie Jones & the Crescent City Jazz Band, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Lady Jetsetters Social Aid & Pleasure Club, Ladies Sing the Blues feat. Gina Brown, Angela H. Bell, and Tereasa B., Julliard Jazz Ensemble, Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise, McDonogh #35 High School Gospel Choir, O. Perry Walker Charter High School Gospel Choir, Warren Storm, Willie Tee & Cypress, McMain High School Gospel Choir, Blodie’s Jazz Jam, Xavier University Jazz Band, Tulane University Jazz Ensemble, Pinettes Brass Band, Scene Boosters, Ole & Nu Style Fellas, and Secondline Jammers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, New Wave Brass Band, Red Hawk, Black Seminoles, and Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, Dwight & Connie Fitch with the St. Raymond/St. Leo the Great Choir, N’Fungola Sibo West African Dance Company, Marisa y Mariachi Agave, Grupo Sensacion, Dee-1, Lucky 7, Franklin IV, Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra, Ray Abshire, Bonsoir, Catin, Dillard University Jazz Ensemble, Jamil Sharif & the Jazz Professors, Rocks of Harmony, Some Like it Hot, Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, The Wright Brothers, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, St. Joseph the Worker Music Ministry, Heritage School of Music Band, New Generation, Undefeated Divas, and VIP Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Highsteppers Brass Band, Trouble Nation and Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, David & Roselyn, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Morning Star BC Mass Choir, Arthur Clayton & Purposely Anointed, Gloria Bell & the Revelation Gospel Singers, First Emmanuel Baptist Church Choir, White Cloud Hunters and Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians, Tornado Brass Band, Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel, Pastor Terry Gullage & the Greater Mount Calvary Voices of Redemption Choir, Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, Ayla Miller, Original Four, Original Big 7, and Bon Temps Roulez Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Golden Sioux and Cherokee Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Nashville Children’s Choir, Claudia Baumgartner, Saltimbanqui Puppet Theater of Mexico, Stephen Foster’s Foster Family Program, Hazel & the Delta Ramblers, N’Kafu African Dance presented by Young Audiences, O. Perry Walker Kuumba Players, Jazz Fest Residency Showcase feat. Seva Venet and KIDSmART…

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NolaFunk Lagniappe

Allen Toussaint throws a star-studded soiree in honor of Dave Bartholomew

In Allen Toussaint’s view, Dave Bartholomew deserves much more.

In the 1950s and ’60s, Bartholomew produced and co-wrote most of Fats Domino’s hits, making theirs the most fruitful creative partnership in New Orleans music history. Bartholomew largely shaped the New Orleans big beat, part of the alchemy that rendered rock ’n’ roll out of rhythm & blues.

Toussaint modeled his own fertile career as a songwriter and producer on Bartholomew’s. But despite Bartholomew’s induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, Toussaint believes he has not received his due.

allen toussaint dave bartholomew.jpg

Dr. JOHN - Goin' Back to New Orleans 1992

Dr.JOHN - Goin' Back to New Orleans 1992
Recorded at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans, Louisiana.

MarchFourth Marching Band

artist photo
They might not have 76 trombones but Portland, Oregon's MarchFourth Marching Band generate a hullabaloo that'd make The Music Man skip with joy. With a 12-piece horn line, battery powered electric bass, and a 10 strong percussion core, M4 lustily engages big band tradition, happily swirling New Orleans jazz with Brazilian batucada, Italian exuberance, Eastern European folk, and dance floor fury. Like some great stomping brass-covered mastodon, they literally march fourth, rarely respecting stage boundaries and playing on fire trucks, ferries and more. Their latest, Rise Up (released October 13 on MarchFourth Music), is hearty spirituals for those no church can contain. Individuality lies at the core of this DIY unit, whose members sport unique outfits reflective of their diverse "real" world backgrounds as lawyers, stonemasons, metal workers, etc. Born on a Fat Tuesday, MarchFourth is a Fellini-esque block party for your ears, a ragtag circus hopping with sly, rabblerousing energy. Listen!

Garage A Trois creates instrumental avant-pop

Formed about seven years after Galactic, Garage A Trois made its stage debut in 2000. Following a few shows with the original lineup, the trio format got shelved after percussionist Dillon accepted an invitation to sit in.

“We loved having the vibes and tabla and the different percussion that Mike does,” Moore said. “It added a lot to the band and now, especially, it’s become its own type of thing.”

The Prehistory of New Orleans: Treasures from the Hogan

Listen Online:
[Low] [High]

This program tells the story of how jazz emerged in the context of all the other African American musics that proliferated in late 19th and early 20th century New Orleans: blues, ragtime, Mardi Gras Indian music, vaudeville and minstrelsy, spiritual church music, and more. With our guides Bruce Boyd Raeburn and Lynn Abbott, we'll comb through a vast world of interviews, recorded music, photographs, ephemera, and curatorial knowledge at one of the great American music collections, the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University.

A photo-feature to accompany the Afropop Worldwide Hip Deep episode
"The Prehistory of New Orleans Music: Treasures from the Hogan Jazz Archive"
Photos and captions supplied by Lynn Abbott, Assistant Curator, Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University.

New Orleans Gets Wired: David Simon Turns His Sights on the Big Easy

The chronological series will explore life in New Orleans starting three months after Katrina devastated the city. If HBO orders more seasons, they’ll pick up a year after the first left off. Much like Simon’s previous shows, Treme is an exploration into American urban dystopia—but he hopes to one-up his earlier work while celebrating New Orleans’ virtues with the fervor of a high-stepping brass-band parade.

Treme is named after, but not based in, the city’s most historically significant and musically influential neighborhood (pronounced “truh-MAY”), home to the legendary Congo Square and the Rebirth Brass Brand, among others. Through the eyes of the people that live within its signature milieu of parades, jazz funerals, brass bands, Mardi Gras Indian tribes, bars and restaurants, the show will trace the city’s collective efforts to get back on its feet. “You’re going to watch the city being rebuilt, or not being rebuilt, year by year,” Simon says. “The whole thing is thematic to what New Orleans is, to what it represents in the American psyche. It’s an affirmation of why cities matter.”

Newman mines Big Easy music for 'Frog'

New Orleans in the early part of the 20th century - the setting of Disney's animated "The Princess and the Frog" - is territory that composer Randy Newman has trod before.

"I've been dredging those 30 months I spent in New Orleans for all I could in my life," he quips, referring to the summers of his youth. Songs on Newman's "Good Old Boys" and "Land of Dreams" albums feature the Big Easy as a backdrop, and Newman has long expressed admiration for New Orleans-born artists Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino.

So when producer John Lasseter asked Newman to compose seven songs and the score for "The Princess and the Frog," Newman didn't have to think twice. (After all, Newman's Oscar is for one of Lasseter's Pixar films, "Monsters, Inc." and six of his other 16 nominations are for Pixar songs or scores.)

Kermit Ruffins - Have A Crazy Cool Christmas

Basin Street jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is celebrating the yuletide season with his November 10th release of Have A Crazy Cool Christmas featuring Christmas favorites such as "Silent Night", "Winter Wonderland" and several originals. With a style and sophistication that exemplifies New Orleans, Ruffins album will undoubtedly put you in a wondrous holiday spirit.

Kermit Ruffins
Fresh off the success of Livin’ a Treme´ Life, Kermit Ruffins is ready to add a little Bourbon Street jazz to the upcoming holiday season. Produced by Grammy Winner Tracey Freeman, Have A Crazy Cool Christmas is Kermit Ruffins’ bold foray into Christmas music. The album runs the gamut from yuletide classics like “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells” to Kermit’s own rollicking originals like “A Saints Christmas” and “Crazy Cool Christmas.” Kermit is joined once again by former bandmates from the Rebirth Brass Band, as well as fellow Basin Street Records recording artist Irvin Mayfield and New Orleans hotshot trombonist Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews.

Evan Christopher: New Orleans music without the nostalgia

MP: You’re called “the Ambassador of the Clarinet.” What does that mean to you?

EC: It depends on who’s calling me that. ... Anytime you choose to advocate for a music that is tied to a specific culture, and you take that music other places, you have a responsibility to represent the culture through the music. I think that’s something ambassadors do. There’s a shortage of musicians doing that, in my opinion, especially on my instrument.

I’m benefiting from the fact that the clarinet was a very prominent instrument in early jazz. We’ve got hotels down here with murals of clarinets six stories high. In a way, it’s symbolic of New Orleans music, even more than

see also: Bebopified: Evan Christopher at the Dakota, 10/25/09: Concert review

Remembering the Riverboat President music club

It has been almost 25 years since the Riverboat President left New Orleans. The boat did weekend dance and concert cruises here from the end of World War II until the mid-1980s. Capt. Clarke “Doc” Hawley, who earned his New Orleans harbor license on the President in the mid 1960s, remembers that a band called the Crawford-Ferguson Night Owls played back then.

I’m thinking about the Prez – we always called it the Prez — because Mari Landy recently moved back to town after 20 years. She was one of the bow bartenders, along with Denise Berthiaume, who now owns LeMieux Galleries on Julia Street. They were also 20-somethings back then. A few weeks ago we had dinner on Frenchmen Street. Mari said that when the economy in Portland petered out, she and her husband found the lure of New Orleans too great to resist.


The Revivalists

A brigade as diverse as the music they produce, these five Tulane and Loyola grads make up local band The Revivalists. Zach Feinberg (guitar) and Rob Ingraham (sax) both graduated from Tulane last spring. Dave Shaw (guitar/vocals), George Grekas (bass) and Andrew Campanelli (drums) studied at Loyola. Ed Williams, another Tulane grad, is not officially in the band but accompanies them on pedal steel occasionally. The members aren’t originally from New Orleans, but they now call the city home and draw inspiration from what they say is the “best live music city in the country, hands down.” They learn from the city’s jazz sounds and adapt them into their own styles.

New Orleans street performer “Grandpa” Elliott first artist signed to 'Playing for Change Records'

Grandpa Elliott Small, singing on the streets of New Orleans since he was a six year old, can capture a crowd with a single note. His mellow baritone makes the sounds of a busy New Orleans street fall away with its warm sincerity and while the blues may inform his lyrical harmonica playing, he has his own unique sound. Sugar Sweet, produced by Playing For Change founder Mark Johnson and Reggie McBride, was recorded in New Orleans with the Playing For Change Band. Grandpa Elliott has been singing with the PFC Band for the past year and they have developed an uncanny rapport. Their enthusiasm and ability to lay down sturdy, elastic grooves is evident throughout the album, adding sympathetic backing to Elliott’s soulful vocals and sinuous harmonica.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On This Date (December 12, 1987): Clifton Chenier


Clifton Chenier
June 25, 1925 – December 12, 1987

Clifton Chenier was an accordion player, singer, and songwriter who was considered the undisputed king of zydeco music. The Louisiana native began his music career in 1954, releasing his debut album on a small label that same year. Thanks to regional touring and local airplay, the album became a minor hit, helping him land a deal with the legendary label, Chess Records. By the mid ’70s, he was appearing on national television, which expanded his following even more. In 1983, he won a Grammy for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Album for I’m Here. Clifton Chenier was 62 when he died of diabetes related kidney failure on December 12, 1987.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Upcoming: Galactic feat. Cyril Neville @ Terminal 5

We are proud to announce that legendary New Orleans vocalist and percussionist Cyril Neville will join Galactic for select dates on the YA-KA-MAY Tour including New York on February 5, 2010. A primary member of the Neville Brothers, Cyril also spent time in the 70's as a member of the Meters. He is one of the quintessenital New Orleans icons and the band is thrilled that he will join them as they bring the New Orleans party on the road.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Rest in Peace, Preservation Hall Jazz Band's Ralph Johnson (1938-2009)

By J. Lloyd Miller

Sad news today. A much-loved member of the Preservation Hall family has passed. Ralph Johnson, clarinet player here at Preservation Hall and on the road with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for nearly twenty years, died early this morning. He was a wonderful human being and will be missed very much.

Please follow this link to listen to Mr. Johnson's lovely playing on a recent rendition of the Sidney Bechet classic, Le Petit Fleur...

Ralph Johnson, clarinet
Born August 24, 1938
Died December 7, 2009

Played with: Jerry Butler, the Impressions, Dr. John, Wallace Davenport, Johnny Adams, Chuck Carbo

Musicians teemed through the Sixth Ward district where Ralph Johnson was raised. His father, Son Johnson, was a clarinetist; when he handed the instrument to his son when Ralph was seven years old, the moment embedded itself in Ralph's memory as a solemn rite of passage. Still, making music proved anything but solemn for the young artist, who has since spent decades onstage with New Orleans artists of every style. Playing all reed instruments as well as flute and piano, he performed on his first gig at thirteen -- he had to lie about his age to even be allowed into the 21 and over venue. His connection to Preservation Hall dates back to appearances there with drummer Chester Jones and other bandleaders. For more than ten years Johnson has been a beloved member of the Preservation Hall band, in which he carries on the great traditions of clarinet artistry established in years past by Willie Humphrey and George Lewis.

"Preservation Hall is a place where you can play what's in your soul and make people happy. It's not about playing for yourself; it's playing to see a smile. The more smiles I see, the happier I am. When you play this music, you let your spirit go. You let your spirit say what it has to say. You play your heart out for the people because it makes you happy, just like it makes them happy. That's all that you can do. Why waste this precious time in your life doing anything that doesn't make people smile?" "I've played it all -- rock & roll, straight-ahead -- because all of it, all music, is made by God, not man. That's why I love the whole picture."

NolaFunk Lagniappe

Blind Blues Daddy's terrific new release

Whether you call Bryan Lee The Blind Giant of the Blues or Braille Blues Daddy, it does not matter. Lee, a New Orleans institution since 1982 had a long-time residency at the Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street with his Jump Street Five. This writer saw Lee there in the eighties and was impressed by his Albert King influenced style and husky straight-forward singing to get the vinyl album they had for sale. When the Old Absinthe House stopped being a bar with entertainment, he moved on to other Crescent City venues as well as toured throughout the US and Europe. Since 1991 he has recorded for the Canadian Justin Time label which previously issued 11 albums (one being a compilation) by Lee has just issued “My Lady Don’t Love My Lady,” the third Lee recording that Duke Robillard has produced and it is a typically strong recording. Robillard put together the studio band of some of his long-time associates including bassist Marty Ballou, pianist Dave Maxwell, and saxophonists Gordon Beadle and Doug James with guest appearances by Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Sheppard.

2009 VOODOO Experience: REDUX!

In Pursuit of Bo-Consciousness - Part 7

Although the two would never exactly bond professionally, Joe Banashak hired Eddie Bo not only as a producer, arranger, and writer, but also as a recording artist. Starting in 1966, Bo worked primarily on projects for the Seven B label, including his own releases, and also did writing and production duties for Instant, Alon, Tune-Kel and Busy-B (busy he was). His impressive catalog for Seven B has been discussed and featured by Larry Grogan at hisFunky 16 Cornersweb-zine and blog, and, of course, by Martin Lawrie'sEddie Bo Discography; and I encourage you to look into those sources, if you haven't already. There was so much good Seven B material of Bo's to get into that I will have to come back to it at a (much) later date. I'll be focusing here on just a few of the other interesting records Eddie oversaw for Banashak at the time.

Dee-1 ft Shamarr Allen: Bring 'Em to the Dome

HBO's 'Treme' starts production on regular-season episodes

The first scenes captured for HBO’s “Treme” were sanctified by the smoke of Kermit Ruffins’ mobile barbecue rig, so no wonder it got a green light.


Ruffins plays himself in the pilot episode of the series, which was shot in March and April in New Orleans.

Set immediately post-Katrina, the drama intends to tell the city’s recovery story through fictional characters drawn from some of the real characters who were here then -- men and women who live and work in and around the peculiar vernacular culture known mostly to locals: second-line musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, cooks and chefs, music fiends, Kermit Ruffins.

The trumpeter showed up for his first day of work on “Treme” with his grill in tow – a gig is a gig, after all – and by mid-afternoon on the first day of shooting, the barbecue smoke drifting into the streets around the location set could’ve been the work of special-effects artists. In a way, it was.

Dr. John's weird New Orleans psych music

Years ago, I got turned on to the psychedelic New Orleans "voodoo" vibe of Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack, Jr.). His 1968 debut Gris-Gris is a fantastically weird amalgam of R&B, dark psych rock, and NOLA culture. I'd never seen footage of the Night Tripper, as Dr. John is also known, until today. Quite a spectacle.

The Maple Leaf Bar: Dive In
They’re up there in ‘shrine’ status, places to be venerated, get plastered in, danced to within inches of your life in, become besotted with great music in, rub elbows with as wide a mix of America as you’ll find at a really good dive in. Which is what Zagat, for god’s sake, lists the Maple Leaf Bar as in its section about New Orleans - not the other stuff, but the ‘top dive’ part.

ChazFest 2009: Jeremy Lyons & Deltabilly Boys