LMC NEWS FLASH
LOUISIANA MUSIC COMMISSION
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Ellis L. Marsalis Jr.
Louisiana Music Commission News and Editorials
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Friday April 28
It's Jazz Fest & Festival International Time! Updates will be infrequent for the next 10 days.
Piano Players to be Screened at Prytania May 3
Stevenson Palfi's award winning production, Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together, featuring the last performances of Professor Longhair and Toots Washington, and featuring Allen Toussaint, will be shown at the Prytania Theater on Wednesday, May 3 at 8PM. The feature film is a unique look at three great New Orleans pianists in which they perform together--a truly rare event. The documentary captures the last days of the great Professor Longhair who died during the filming. Longhair's immense talent comes across in the film as his incredible syncopation and solid right hand bass playing are contrasted with Toots Washington's and Allen Toussaint's unique styles. Longhair is truly the hero of the piece, showing profound professionalism and tremendous ability to arrange music around the three players' idiosyncrasies. This is a very rare big screen showing of the movie which won 15 awards, and a must-see for fans of Longhair and New Orleans' piano.
Against the Tide to Air on WLAE April 29
Against the Tide, the story of the Acadian people, produced by Zachary Richard and directed by Pat Mire (Dirty Rice), will finally air in New Orleans on WLAE TV Channel 32 on Saturday at 7PM. The documentary tells the tale of the Acadians and includes filmed footage shot by the Canadian government depicting the expulsion from Nova Scotia in the mid 1700s. The historical depictions are interspersed with footage shot for the documentary by Richard and Mire featuring historians explaining the unique family bonds of the Acadians and how they maintained their connections despite profound the profound tragedies that befell them. The documentary debuted last month statewide on Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Wednesday April 26
Charlie Miller, another great New Orleans trumpet player and composer, has released his second CD. Titled "Fonk Horn," and featuring Fred Staehle, the disc is a spontaneous recording that highlights Miller's dynamic and musical range. Charlie is a longtime sideman of Mac "Dr. John" Rebbenack. A CD release party will be held tomorrow night at the Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp Street, starting at 8 PM. Call 504-528-3800 or 504-528-3805 or send Charlie an email for more information.
We neglected to mention the recent opening of a new room at the House of Blues. Called The Parish (or Gatemouth's Parish according to a sign over the bar), the room will also feature live music. Performing at The Parish during Jazz Fest will be such great acts as The Funk & Truth featuring Leo Nocentelli and Otiel Burbridge, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Derek Trucks Band, Astral Project, ReBirth Brass Band, Los Hombres Calientes, Kermit Ruffins, Snooks Eaglin and many more. The space is smaller than the big room at HOB, but the decor and setting--upstairs and next door to the main HOB entrance--are quintessential New Orleans. The Parish should prove to be an opportunity for many Louisiana acts to perform at the venerable club. Congratulations to Mike Grozier and the staff for this fine addition to the Louisiana live music scene.
Louisianaradio.com will be featuring simulcasts live from Festival International in Lafayette this week. Other live shows will feature Sonny Landreth and Lil' Band of Gold.
Tuesday April 25
Caffeine Music Songwriters' Night returns on April 27 at Carrollton Station on 8140 Willow Street in New Orleans. Featured will be Anders Osborne, Peter Holsapple and Caffeine Music cofounder, Jim McCormick. This is a special Jazz Fest edition and gets underway at 10PM.
The Magic Music Bus is ready to roll. The nonprofit bus provides transportation to New Orleans music venues via a regular route. It is a membership organization with great rates and is also available for hire. Visit their website for the whole scoop.
Musicians' Clinic Benefit at Tip's Uptown Tomorrow Night
The LSU Medical Center Musicians' Clinic will be the benefit of a show tomorrow night at Tipitina's Uptown. Performing will be Ricky Castrillo & Dreamland, Papa Gros' Funk with John Gros, Russell Batiste, June Yamaguchi, Smiley Ricks & special guests Roderick Paulin, Jon Cleary and James Andrews. Also on the bill (this is an incredible lineup), the Forgotten Souls Brass Band (members of both ReBirth and the Dirty Dozen), John Sinclair & the Blues Scholars, and All Funked Up with Willie Green, Nick Daniels, Renard Poche, Eric Traub, Mark Mullins, David Torkanowsky and very special guests, whew! The music starts at 9PM.
Monday April 24
National Park Service Screening Harold Battiste Documentary May 4
The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and the Master Lights Foundation will be screening a documentary called "Harold Battiste: My Story, My Music, My Life" on Thursday, May 4 at the NOCCA Riverfront Jazz Studio located at 2800 Chartres Street. The documentary, directed by Carol Carimi, will be preceded by a reception at 7:30PM. The screening will take place at 8:45PM followed by a performance by the Roland Guerin Quintet at 9:30PM. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 504-940-2900.
James Booker Multimedia Show at Le Chat Noir May 3 & 4
Vocalist Leigh Harris and pianist Larry Sieberth have teamed with multimedia artist Jon Graubarth for a show at Le Chat Noir that honors the eccentric musical genius that was James Booker. Shows will be at 8PM and 10PM on Wednesday, May 3 and at 8PM Thursday, May 4. Le Chat Noir, a new bar and performance venue, is one of the most acoustically balanced rooms in town. Located at 715 St. Charles, the club has free parking next door. For reservations call 504-581-5812. Admission is $10.
Tracy Griffin has released a new CD titled "Grace." There will be a CD release party at Sweet Lorraine's 1931 St. Claude on Thursday April 27 at 9:00PM. For more info and an invite, contact Willard Frederick via email or by phone at 504-467-9458. Tracy is truly a musician's musician, leading one of the best bands in New Orleans and often backing up major acts in and around the city. This is a long awaited CD by one of the finest ensemble arrangers you'll ever hear.
Red Hot Louisiana Records is now online.
Wednesday April 19
Plethora of Special Events Continues Through May
As we noted in last week's story (sorry to only be doing weekly updates, but we're really busy right now), the number of performances and events taking place this time of year is overwhelming. And we have more to report.
The US Postal Service is holding its annual Commemorative Envelope Ceremony in conjunction with the first week of Jazz Fest. This year's honorees are the Neville Brothers. The ceremony takes place at 11AM Thursday, April 27 at the main Post Office at 701 Loyola in New Orleans. Bernie Cyrus will be the featured speaker. Bernie's relationship with the Nevilles, in particular with Aaron, goes back many years. The Commemorative Envelopes are collectors' items and getting autographs from the honorees add even more value. Of course you can never put a value on the experience of a fine spring day hanging out with your favorite musicians. So, get there early and join in recognizing one of Louisiana's finest musical families.
In-store performances will take place all during Jazz Fest at Louisiana Music Factory and at Tower Records. Check out their respective websites for listings.
CDs we've received this week include a long-awaited release from Lafayette guitarist Sam Broussard called "Geeks." The disc is filled with intelligent, beautifully wrought tunes. The songs lyrics are clever, often dark, but always placed in gentle tunes highlighted by Broussard's soft voice and extremely tasteful guitar. For more information contact Bayou Booking & Management via email or by phone at 337-332-3262.
We also received a great package for children called "Louisiana Songs for Kids" that features 16 fun tunes and a coloring book. Written and produced by Gregg Ostrick and Terry Lee Ryan, the 17 songs have titles like "Oscar de la Oyster," "Toulouse the Crawfish Hunter" and "Nobody Like Fun More Than Me!" For more information contact GNO, Inc. at PO Box 24623 New Orleans LA 70184-4623.
Harold Cowart (a legend in his own right) of Bluff Road Recording in Prarieville (just outside Baton Rouge) recently delivered copies of the late Al Hirt's "Al's Bliss" a CD recorded in 1994 that features Charlie Miller, Larry Sieberth, Dr. John and others. It's a great return to a sound that Hirt made famous by combining his fluent and artful trumpet over modern, pleasant pop, Latin and modern and traditional jazz melodies. However, with the combination of musicians, this record gets absolutely funky! For fans of Hirt and for fans of Louisiana music, this is a must-have CD. For more information contact Bluff Road at 225-673-8077.
Basin Street Records just released a new CD by traditional jazz clarinetist, Dr. Michael White, titled "A Song for George Lewis." Dr. White is fresh from a special video taping at the Dew Drop Society Hall & Pleasure Club in Mandeville. The 105 year old building is being preserved by the City of Mandeville as a music history site, thanks to the efforts of its owner, Jinx Vidrine. We're proud to have played an important role in saving this unique rural club where the progenitors of jazz once performed.
The always interesting and enterprising Turducken Recordings and Productions is online with a list of upcoming events and available product. Check 'em out, they try harder!
Not to be outdone, Superfly Presents has a full slate of concerts in store. Check out their listings and note that some of the shows are selling out fast.
This past weekend's French Quarter Festival was a smashing success. Our thanks to the production teams that manage this incredible event. We can't wait for next year! Congratulations to Sandra Dartus and the entire staff.
Also, this past weekend's benefit for the New Orleans Jazz Centennial Jazz Walk of Fame, held Saturday night on the riverboat Natchez, was a success. Our thanks to NOJCC president, Beverly Andry, the National Park Service, the bands and all who attended.
It's Music Overload Time Again
French Quarter Festival, Festival International, N.O. Jazz & Heritage Festival, it's that time of year again when people can't possibly take in every musical event available. In addition, benefits and awards shows abound. We'll try to do justice to the plethora of activities and news.
This week marks the opening week of the French Quarter Festival. Locals will tell you that this musical event is the best of them all because it's free and the stages are scattered around the beautiful Vieux Carre and on the Riverfront. Encompassing two weeks, the FQ Fest features more traditional jazz than any other event in Louisiana. The majority of acts are all members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, thus you're guaranteed to hear from the best of the best. In conjunction with the FQ Fest is the annual N.O. International Music Colloquium on April 14 and 15, also free. The Colloquium is an academic exploration of Latin influences on local music and will be a series of seminars at the Old US Mint. Also taking place during FQ Fest will be a fundraiser for New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration Jazz Walk of Fame to take place on the Natchez riverboat on Saturday, April 15 starting at 10:30PM. The late start is keep the event from interfering with FQ Fest performances. Musicians playing on the Natchez include the Dukes of Dixieland, duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers and the Treme Brass Band. There will be an exhibit of historical photography on display throughout the boat. NOJCC partnered with the National Jazz Historical Park to stage the event and tickets ($20, call 504-586-8777) are selling fast. And there's more next week!
Festival International gets underway in Lafayette on April 26. Also a free festival with stages scattered about beautiful downtown Lafayette, this one features music from around the world from Francophone countries. Of course, some of the best musicians from Louisiana are also featured. For the full schedule, and its an impressive one, visit this link.
Also taking place in Lafayette, and this weekend, is the annual Louisiana Hall of Fame ceremonies. Lou Gabus has done her usual great job of putting together a big show of honorees including Kenny & the Jokers, the Esquires featuring Skip Easterling, Jay Chevalier (singing his latest "Run, Elian, Run"), Dale & Grace ("I'm Leaving It All Up to You"), Van Broussard, Joe Douglas, Jean Knight and many more. The show gets underway this Sunday at 12 Noon at the Heymann Auditorium and lasts until 5:30PM.
The 13th Annual Big Easy Awards are taking place in New Orleans on April 24 with host Harry Shearer. Visit Gambit Weekly's website for the full details.
And of course it's Jazz Fest time beginning on April 29. But you already knew that, didn't you?
New Releases we've received include the latest by Jason Marsalis on Basin Street Records. Mark Samuels at Basin Street is also excited about the fact that another of his label's CDs is on the Billboard Jazz Charts, Los Hombres Calientes entered at #27 as of April 7. Congratulations!
We've updated our Calls for Submissions page.
The March issue of Delta Airlines' Sky magazine featured a cover story on Louisiana music written by Ben Sandmel. The story is the result of our efforts after we saw a cover story on Georgia music many months ago. We're pleased that we were able to expand coverage via a magazine that has a captive audience of travelers and especially happy that a Louisiana writer (and musician) got the gig.
Wednesday April 5
New Orleans Jazz Club to Host 52nd Anniversary Party
The New Orleans Jazz Club will be holding their 52nd Anniversary Celebration on May 3 at the Storyville District Jazz Parlor at 125 Bourbon Street from 1PM to 5PM. Entertainment will be provided by the Tim Laughlin Jazz Band and special guests Dr. Jazz McKenzie and His Jazz Band from New Zealand. The New Orleans Jazz Club is probably the most important jazz club to have formed in New Orleans. Thanks to their work, a collection of items and music from the earliest days of jazz are preserved at the Louisiana State Museum at the Old US Mint. For more information, call 504-455-6847 or visit their website.
Note: Our latest Report is now available online.
With the Louisiana Legislature in Special Session we've found ourselves even busier than usual, thus the lack of frequency in updates to this page. However, we have a fair amount of news to report, so here goes....
New Releases (a short list, more to come)
Next Dominion Music released "Who We Are" by the Soulful Heavenly Stars. For more info call (504) 341-6270.
Louisiana Red Hot Records, hot on the heels of their release of young Hunter Hayes' CD, which sold more than 10000 copies in its first two weeks, just released a new disc from the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB). The CD is titled "Anniversary of a Jazz Legend" and honors the 110th birthday of ODJB founder, Nick LaRocca. ODJB made the first jazz record around 1917 (someone correct me if I'm wrong on that date). Call La. Red Hot Records at (504) 948-4600.
Walter "Wolfman" Washington has a new record on the Bullseye Blues and Jazz label, a division of Rounder.
Doug Kershaw Gets Back to His Cajun Roots on New CD
Susie Q Records, run by legendary Louisiana record man Stan Lewis in Shreveport, just released a new CD by Louisiana Man Doug Kershaw called "Two Step Fever" which features Michael Doucet. The record is a true return to his roots for Doug. It is filled with songs sung in French and features a great group of South Louisiana musicians including Lee Benoit, Freddie Pate (of KBON) and others. The record was recorded at Master-Trak in Crowley in the heart of Cajun country. For anyone who longed to hear Doug Kershaw get back to his Cajun origins, this is the CD you want. For more info call (800) 446-2865.
"Siren to Wail" Hep-C Benefit Concert Looks to be Big Event
We reported previously on this upcoming benefit and on Timothea's efforts to raise awareness about Hepatitis-C, but the good news is the tremendous response to the April 7 benefit at the Howlin Wolf. There will be a reception starting at 7:30 featuring food and good company ($50) and a major concert featuring legendary talent such as Deacon John, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, James Andrews, Luther Kent, the great guitarist, Les Getrex, Bamboula 2000 and more. Since chronic Hep-C affects 1 of every 50 people, this benefit is a major event as we slowly build awareness about this devastating and dangerous disease. Again, musicians lead the way in helping the world heal itself.
Big Easy Awards Set for Monday, April 24
The Lucky 13 Big Easy Entertainment Awards will take place on Monday, April 24 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. This year's host is Harry Shearer and as always, the event will be a hot ticket. Get yours by calling (504) 486-5900 extension 160.
GHB Jazz Foundation's Jazzbeat Available
America's oldest continuously run jazz label is GHB/Jazzology Records in New Orleans. Founded and run by George Buck, the label is a treasure trove of historical jazz recordings. GHB is re-releasing 50 records in celebration of its 50th anniversary and has published another edition of Jazzbeat to highlight the occasion. Recordings by Percy and Willie Humphrey, Kid Thomas, Punch Miller and many other legends are available. And the label isn't just resting on its laurels, many new releases are available including Billy Tircuit, Oscar Washington's New Wave Brass Band featuring the Paulin family and more. The magazine is a great overall jazz 'zine featuring reviews, stories and more and comes highly recommended. Jazzbeat is available to members of the GHB Jazz Foundation, which costs only $5 to join! Contact them at: GHB Jazz Foundation, 1206 Decatur Street, New Orleans LA 70116-2608 or call (504) 525-5000 or visit their website.
Thursday March 23
Former Founding LMC Commissioner Layton Martens Dead
Layton Martens, a colorful New Orleans character, accomplished trombonist, occasional actor and a founding member of the LMC died unexpectedly this past weekend of a heart attack. Layton was active in the Musicians' Union and was one of a small group of musicians and music activists who successfully lobbied the Louisiana Legislature to create the Louisiana Music Commission in 1979. He was an original member of the Commission when it was formed and served for many years. He was known and loved by many. Bultman Funeral Home is in charge of services which will take place at 12 Noon on Saturday followed by a musical celebration. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join in sending Layton off in appropriate New Orleans style.
Wednesday March 15
Annual Fiddlers Championship April 1
The 29th Annual Fiddlers Championship competition will take place at Rebel State Historic Site in Marthaville (approximately 25 miles west of Natchitoches on La. 1221) on Saturday, April 1. The contest is open to all Louisiana residents and will be broken into four categories based on age groups. The event is sponsored by the Office of State Parks. For more information call 888-677-3600 toll free or (318) 472-6255.
New Orleans International Music Colloquium April 14 & 15
The New Orleans International Music Colloquium will be held at the Old US Mint during the French Quarter Festival on April 14 and 15. The colloquium will focus on New Orleans music with this year's theme being "The Latin Tinge, New Orleans, the Gulf and the Caribbean." This will be an academic meeting featuring many historians and other experts on New Orleans music discussing specific topics relating to the theme. For more information visit the French Quarter Festival website or call 800-568-6968. The event is free to pre-registrants.
Against the Tide to Air on LPB Sunday Night
Against the Tide, a documentary on the history of the Acadian people produced by Zachary Richard and directed by Pat Mire will air this Sunday night at 8:40 PM on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The one hour show will tell the tale of the Acadian expulsion and the many tragedies that affected the Cajun people during and after their displacement and relocation to Louisiana. The effects of the Civil War, WWII and the discovery of oil are chronicled as is the revival of Cajun culture that began in the 1970s. Of course the role of music in helping revive and preserve Cajun culture will figure prominently. The show airs statewide except in New Orleans where it is scheduled to air in late April on WYES.
Friday March 10
Whew! Another Record Mardi Gras
Well, good weather and a strong economy produced another record Mardi Gras in Louisiana. In fact, it was almost too crowded on the parade routes, according to some. However, it also was one of the safest Mardi Gras weeks on record in New Orleans with almost no violent crimes. Of course the parades haven't stopped. With Mardi Gras so late, St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day are major parade occasions. However, carrots, potatoes and cabbage will be the throws, and don't expect anyone to be flashing any flesh, either.
Hepatitis-C Benefit Set for April 7 at Howlin' Wolf
Timothea and the Hep C Alert have put together a major benefit on Friday, April 7 at the Howlin Wolf. Featured artists will include Walter Wolfman Washington, Les Getrex, James Andrews, Sista Teedy, Luther Kent, Bamboula 2000, Leslie Smith and more. Mark your calendar. Updates on this event soon.
Louisianaradio.com Just In Page Lists New Releases
Since this was a short and intense week, we haven't had a chance to put in all the updates regarding CD release parties and such. However, Louisianaradio.com has a Just In page that lists the latest CD releases. We highly recommend you visit their site for updates on newly available recordings. We'll have more info next week.
KBON's Paul Marx Has Heart Attack Scare
Yesterday, Paul Marx, owner and founder of "Louisiana Proud" KBON radio suffered a mild heart attack and was admitted to the hospital. The workaholic Marx, whose station has risen from nowhere to the top of the ratings in just two years with it's mostly Louisiana music format, today underwent an angiogram and subsequent balloon angioplasty to open the three clogged arteries revealed by the angiogram. According to station staff, Paul is feeling OK and will now have to follow his doctor's advice and quit smoking and lighten his hectic workload. KBON is perhaps the most important commercial radio station in Louisiana due to its strong support of local music. The station's mostly Louisiana music playlist has had a profoundly positive affect on the music industry in Acadiana. We wish Paul speed in his recovery and hope that both he--and his staff--will follow doctor's orders and quit smoking! (The angioplasty link is to a Smoking and Angioplasty page on MayoHealth.org)
Louisiana Music Commission
3330 N. Causeway Blvd. Suite 438
Metairie LA 70002
Phone: 504-838-5600 Fax: 504-838-5280