Updated 5/18/05 10:55AM CDT
L. Marsalis Jr.
Louisiana Music Commission News and
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Music Commission Relocates
New Orleans, LA - The Louisiana Music Commission has now relocated to its new offices at 800 Distributors Row Suite 107 at the University of New Orleans Nims Center. Please make a note of the new address and the new phone number is .
Music Recording Tax Incentive Bill
Awaiting Governor Blanco's Signature
New Orleans, LA - House Bill 631, a music recording tax incentive bill, authored by State Representatives Alex Heaton (D-New Orleans) and Karen Carter (D-New Orleans), moved forward with the passage of both houses. The bill is currently awaiting the signature of Gov. Blanco. The tax credit bill for the music recording industry, similar to one credited with bringing major film productions to Louisiana but on a smaller scale, was passed out of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Committee. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) and Senator Mike Michot (R-Lafayette) co-authored the bill.
The bill provides sound recording investor tax credits to encourage development of a strong capital and infrastructure base. The bill would provide a credit of from 10 to 20 percent -- depending on the size of the investment -- on money spent on recording projects at Louisiana facilities. There is a $3 million cap on credits.
"I am very proud to see two years of hard work come this close to fruition," said Rep. Heaton. "As evidenced by the tremendous success of the film industry in Louisiana, we expect our music industry to begin seeing comparable results on passage of this bill. Kudos to the Louisiana Music Commission for their leadership and hands on management of another great music initiative."
Rep. Heaton created a coalition of friends of music in the Legislature which included the bipartisan support of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-New Orleans/Jefferson), author of the Film Tax Incentive bill. The coalition has proven to be a harmonious relationship for the cause of the Louisiana entertainment industries.
The Louisiana Music Commission (LMC) and the departments of Economic Development and Revenue will jointly administer the tax credit program. Bernie Cyrus, Executive Director of the LMC, expressed his appreciation to representatives of the New Orleans Mayor's Office and the music community at-large for helping drive "this important legislation to what I hope will be a unanimous vote in both houses." Cyrus noted that the music tax credit will be a tremendous catalyst for creating a viable music and entertainment infrastructure: "We can now reel in executives from major labels that have long expressed interest in coming to Louisiana. Our state boasts over 300-plus studios and thousands of working musicians. We certainly have the skilled workforce to facilitate the recording of any music production."
LMC Chairman Ellis Marsalis called Governor Blanco's efforts on behalf of both the film and music industries "among her most significant achievements to date".
For more information on House Bill 631, contact the Louisiana Music Commission at or log on to louisianamusic.
106.7 The End's inFEST
106.7 The End and Abita Light present inFEST '05 on Friday, June 10, 2005 at the State Palace Theatre. The indoor music festival featuring five bands cost only $20. The line-up includes two great Louisiana bands - Cowboy Mouth and Interstate Pond plus Seether, Theory of a Deadman and the Prom Kings. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster, Ticketmaster, the State Palace Theatre box office (with no service charge) or with specially marked 12 packs of Abita Light. Show is all ages and general admission, doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m so get there early.
Doors 6:00 pm
Interstate Pond 7:00 - 7:20 pm
Theory of a Deadman 7:40 - 8:10 pm
Prom Kings 8:30 - 9:00 pm
Cowboy Mouth 9:20 - 10:20 pm
Seether 10:40 - 11:40 pm
For more information please visit the following web sites:
106.7 The End
Abita Brewing Company
The State Palace Theatre
The Battle for inFEST
The Battle for inFEST will take place Thursday June 2nd, 2005 at the State Palace Theatre in the Core. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Each of the competing bands, including In Vain,Interstate Pond, Ganga of Creeps, Lowerline, 11 Reasons and Sinkhole, will play for 20 minutes and the judges will determine the winner. Jennifer Tusa, Executive Assistant at the LMC will be a judge to see which band will win an opening slot in inFest at the State Palace Theatre with Seether, Cowboy Mouth, Prom Kings, and Theory of a Deadman. Show is all ages and free.
St. Helena Parish Hospital in Greensburg, LA is looking for a few good musicians to perform for its Foundation Day celebration on October 29, 2005. The St. Helena Parish Medical Foundation is trying to raise money for desperately needed equipment and supplies. Any musicians interested in donating some of the incredible talent the state has to offer to a charitable organization please contact the Music Commission.
Congratulations to former student worker, Todd Pereira, who was recently offered a position at the House of Blues in The Foundation Room. Pereria was one of the longest serving student workers at the Music Commission and the staff wishes him well in his endeavors in the New Orleans music scene.
Cut Hits LMC Staff
Due to consolidation and cost saving efforts by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development the Assistant Director position, currently held by Steve Picou, has been eliminated. Please contact the Music Commission for further information on how to contact him. The staff wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Tipitina's Music Co-op in Shreveport Up and Running
Tipitina's latest Music Co-op is up and running in Shreveport. See this press release for details. The new location is in a large building and has a long list of cooperating organizations, making this the biggest facility in the Tipitina's Music Co-op. Southern University is working with Tipitina's Foundation, the Shreveport Downtown Development Authority, the Charles T. Beaird Foundation and others to create a broad range of resources. The co-op is located next door to Artspace, a major artists resource. This is the second of seven planned Tipitina's Music Co-ops in Louisiana.
Louisiana Music Commission Member and Number 1 Hit Artist
John Fred Gourrier 1942-2005
New Orleans, La. - April 15, 2005 - Louisiana music legend John Fred Gourrier, who was recently appointed by Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to the Louisiana Music Commission, died this morning at age 63.
According to Gov. Blanco, Gourrier made significant contributions to the local music industry long before he was appointed to the commission. "John Fred's talents were enormous, and Louisiana definitely reaped the benefits of his amazing gift," she said. "He was a dear friend and I've known his family for years. My heart goes out to the entire Gourrier family."
Executive Director of the Louisiana Music Commission Bernie Cyrus, a close friend and fellow musician, says Gourrier epitomized the Louisiana tradition of the blue-eyed soul singers. "I've lost a dear comrade," says Cyrus. "As a Louisiana musician who had the good fortune of sharing the stage with him, I have a treasured memory from one of Louisiana's greats."
A Baton Rouge native, Gourrier is best known for his 1967 hit Judy In Disguise [With Glasses], which has sold 5 million copies to date. Soon after this success, he appeared on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON and for a short time toured the European circuit with the Beatles. He first gained national recognition in 1959 when he recorded Shirley, which went to number 82 on the national record charts. And it was in 1956 that he formed the band called John Fred and the Playboys. See this story by John Wirt in Baton Rouge daily The Advocate for a detailed and very interesting biography of this great Louisiana musician.
The New Orleans Jazz Club's 57th Annual Anniversary Celebration, Wednesday April 27 @ the Jazz Parlour at Storyville, 125 Bourbon Street 1 to 5pm
Instruments A' Comin' beneft at Tipitina's, Monday, April 25
MO Fest, April 25-26, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, New Orleans
Fest for All, Baton Rouge April 30-May 1
Though the world is focused on the death of the pope, two musicians in Louisiana died, and it seems hardly anybody noticed. Billy Tircuit was a singer and a cultural icon. He recorded with many great bands including the Monitors, the Moonbeams and the Senors. In the mid 1990s he appeared on LTV and in 1999 he recorded a "comeback" disc and worked with a Mardi Gras Indian group led by June Victory. Tircuit's career highlights took place in the 1950s when he recorded for Specialty, Imperial and Aladdin. His early recording can still be found on various compilations and on Tuff City Records.
David, "King David" Jackson Jr. was a rapper with ambition. He was a young African American trying to use the New Orleans hip hop scene to launch his career and give him the ability to do big things. He wanted to give back to the community and help others. He had plans that were cut short when he was shot and killed on March 18. He died at Charity Hospital. The company he hoped would make his dreams happen, Been Through A Lot Entertainment, is aptly named. King David had been through a lot. Chris Rock, in his current HBO comedy special, says that "nobody cares when rappers get shot." It's his way of bringing some light to the fact that so many rappers die violent deaths. It is a tragedy and a shame. King David was 32 and had 3 children. We hope they inherit his legacy of ambition and desire to help the community.
Festival & Event Season Kicks into High Gear
It's April, and there are more music events online than anyone not from Louisiana can imagine. Here are just some of the links and information that will help you find the time to do it all.
Freret Street Festival, Saturday April 2 from 11am to 7pm. Three stages, great music, free.
Bluegrass on the Bayou, LSU Baton Rouge April 1 & 2
French Quarter Festival, April 8-10, plus the New Orleans International Music Colloquium will also be hosting it's annual academic conference and honoring music legends during the festival.
Wednesday at the Square, Washington Square New Orleans, April to June, Free concerts
What are we thinking!? There are too many for us to list, especially since others have already done the dirty work! Here's the Times-Picayune's Festival Guide.
And here is another great listing of more sites, sounds, places to stay and eat while in New Orleans and the surrounding area. Thanks to neworleansguesthouse. Really, this one's an amazing link.
The Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Week is April 11-16 at Chicot State Park near Ville Platte.
The 3rd Annual SpicyRock Festival is Saturday, April 9 at the Mandeville Trailhead Theater.
The Ponderosa Stomp #4 takes place April 26-27th @ Rock n Bowl.
Baton Rouge Clubs Team for Gas Food Lodging Fest
for Bands Headed to SXSW
Several clever and cooperative Baton Rouge music venue operators and local independent promoters are capitalizing on the upcoming SXSW music conference in Austin. In a mutually beneficial arrangement, six venues are tapping bands traveling to the conference to create a special Gas Food Lodging Festival March 11-24 that features both local and touring acts. This is a brilliant idea and we commend the Baton Rouge folks for having the wisdom and spirit of cooperation to make this happen.
State & City of N.O. Teaming for SXSW
Mark Smith, the recently appointed head of the Entertainment division of Louisiana Economic Development is leading an effort between the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans to have an expanded presence at the upcoming SXSW festivals and conference in Austin. 17 Louisiana artists are showcasing at various venues and times during the music component of the festival, which runs from March 16-21. On Thursday, March 17, a Louisiana reception is being held at Brush Square Park from 1pm to 5pm. Music, food and screenings of documentaries and movies about and/or featuring Louisiana talent will be highlighted. Jack Leonardi of Jacque Imo's is handling the catering and musical artists include Irvin Mayfield & Los Hombres Calientes, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Grayson Capps with Teresa Andersson, Susan Cowsill, Shannon McNally and Andi Hoffman & B-Goes. Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu will deliver welcoming remarks. Sponsors of the event include the Office of the Governor of Louisiana, the Office of the Lt. Governor of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, Louisiana Economic Development, Basin Street Records, offBeat Magazine, Southern Comfort and Lion's Gate Films. There is an ongoing effort to bring film music supervisors to the event. SXSW also includes a film component that runs from March 11-19 and many film industry leaders will be attending. Scott Aiges with the City of New Orleans is coordinating the reception and anyone from Louisiana attending SXSW is invited, contact Scott for details. The Louisiana Music Commission will be represented by Executive Director Bernie Cyrus and Jennifer Tusa. A flyer promoting all the Louisiana artists performing at the festival will be inserted into each of the "goody bags" received by every registrant of the SXSW music component. Also, any Louisiana artist or label seeking to display promotional items in a booth at SXSW should contact offBeat Magazine. Jan Ramsey of offBeat is offering to deliver promotional items to be displayed in the SXSW trade show booth. However, space is limited in the truck, so contact offBeat as soon as possible.
Additionally, two of the evening showcases will be Louisiana events. On Wednesday, March 16 at Mother Egan's, 715 W. 6th Street there will be a State of Louisiana Presents starting at 9pm with Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Jeff & Vida Band, Andi Hoffman & B-Goes, Papa Mali, and the Bluerunners. On Thursday evening, March 17 at The Fox & Hound, the City of New Orleans and Basin Street Records present, starting at 8pm, Teresa Andersson, Jon Cleary, Kermit Ruffins, Los Hombres Calientes, Cowboy Mouth, and Supagroup.
New Trad Jazz Club Opens on Canal Street
The Grand Palace Hotel, located on the corner of Canal and Claiborne, is the home of a hot new jazz venue. Working in partnership with musician/impresario Jack Maheu, Grand Palace Jazz opened last night with a set of hot traditional New Orleans Jazz played by the Heritage Hall Jazz Band, which is made up of some of the best players in town, including Maheu, Charlie Miller, Matt Perrine and others. The venue is well appointed with panoramic views of Canal Street and the passing streetcars. We offer our congratulations and best wishes for a successful run.
Gone But Not Forgotten 2004
Greg Hardison of Satchmo has posted his annual list of the dearly departed from the Louisiana music world. Gone But Not Forgotten 2004 is now online. The list as always includes many legends whose passing was duly noted. But it also lists some lesser known but important figures whose lives influenced and affected many. Our thanks to Greg for his diligence in helping us all gain a better appreciation for these talented people.
NOSACONN/Int. Arts Fest Team for Batiste Birthday Bash
Damon Batiste's birthday celebration has been turned into a major musical celebration. NOSACONN and the International Arts Festival have teamed to bring together an array of stars including Troy Andrews, Donald Harrison, Leo Nocentelli, Davelle Crawford, Ivan Neville, Russell Batiste, Tony Hall, Paul Batiste, Jonathan Batiste and more. The show takes place this Sunday night, February 13, at 10:30pm at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street in New Orleans.
MusiCares Benefit @ Tip's Saturday Night
Chris Thomas King, Susan Cowsill, Henry Butler, Shannon McNally and friends will perform at Tipitina's Saturday, February 12 to benefit the Grammy Foundation's MusiCares program which assists with health expenses and other family crises. The event is being held on the eve of the annual Grammy Awards, which airs Sunday night.
N.O. Jazz & Heritage Festival Lineup Announced
The NO Jazz & Heritage Festival announced this year's lineup and the addition of a new stage for Brass Bands. Additionally, they announced ticket prices and a new VIP ticket package. See all the details here.
Ponderosa Stomp Returns to Rock N Bowl
The Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau will once again bring the living legends of rock, swamp pop, R&B and more to the Rock n Bowl April 26th & 27th for the Ponderosa Stomp. As always, there will be an amazing array of talent and a once in a lifetime chance to hear the true legends of American music. This is always one of the most emotionally rewarding and musically satisfying events of the year.
French Quarter Festival Ready to Go
The annual French Quarter Festival, set for April 8-10, has lined up the artists and stages for this year's events. One of the most popular festivals in the state, this free series of events features stages throughout the French Quarter and along the river and highlights some of Louisiana's best artists.
Festival International Announces Lineup
Lafayette's Festival International de Louisiane today announced their lineup. The festival, now in its 19th year, will take place in downtown Lafayette from April 20-24. The annual event is free and features food, crafts and music from around the world.
January 10, 2005
Many apologies for the lack of updates...your webmaster has been absent due to both the holidays and family needs. Sorry to say, the lack of updates will continue for a while. On the good news front, we are negotiating with our friends at HotLocalMusic about partnering on a few things including a much-needed update to the design//layout of the site. If all goes as planned, you should see some significant changes here soon. And please visit the HotLocalMusic site, because they've put together a tremendous set of tools to help both artists and venues.
Tipitina's is celebrating their 27th Anniversary with a special series of events this weekend. Included is a drum clinic featuring the legendary Earl Palmer, Zigaboo and more. Plus, Saturday night, a grand gala will be held featuring a who's who of musical stars. Our sincere thanks to all the folks at Tipitina's for their amazing work. Here's to another great year!
The annual offBeat Best of the Beat Awards will take place on Friday, January 21 at Generations Hall. This is always one of the best musical events of the year. Don't miss it!
John Fred Gourrier, of John Fred & the Playboys, has been appointed to the LMC by Governor Blanco. John had a huge hit with "Judy in Disguise" back in the 1960s and is a true Louisiana musical legend. We welcome him aboard and look forward to his input. He replaces accomplished Maestro Xiao Lu-Li, former director of the Acadiana Symphony.
If reality TV is your gig, there will be an open audition by Mark Burnett Produtions, the creators of Survivor, for a singer for the band INXS. The auditions are open to all singers and will be held at Tipitina's on February 14 and 15. For more information, contact J'Mel Burgos via email.
From the Staff: Best Wishes for a
Happy Holiday Season!
Happy New Year!
Grammy Nominations Shine Light on Louisiana
Louisiana artists included in this year's crop of nominees include Tim McGraw, Dr. John, Britney Spears, Beausoleil, Ellen DeGeneres, Harry Connick Jr., Dirk Powell, Kix Brooks, Trace Adkins, Michael Rhodes, Terrence Blanchard and Branford Marsalis. Thanks to the song (and CD of the same name) "Live Like You Were Dying," McGraw is nominated for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Album, and the songwriters were nominated for Best Country Song and for Song of the Year (it wasn't written by McGraw). Spears is up for Best Dance Recording for "Toxic." And the category that seems to be invented for them, Brooks & Dunn are up for Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal (that sure is a mouthful) for "You Can't Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl." Branford Marsalis is our biggest jazz nominee with his CD "Eternal" up for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. Terrence Blanchard is part of a group led by McCoy Tyner for "Illuminations" in the same jazz category. Harry Connick Jr. has a prestigious Best Traditional Pop Album nomination for "Only You." Dr. John show up in two nominations with a Best Gospel Performance (!) for his duet with Mavis Staples on "Lay My Burden Down," and he is up for Best Contemporary Blues Album for "N'awlinz Dis Dat Or D'udda." Trace Adkins is part of a group of artists nominated for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album for "Amazing Grace 3-A Country Salute to Gospel." Back for another round is Lafayette's Beausoleil whose "Gitane Cajun" is nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album. Beausoleil seems to have a good chance of winning this year as the other nominees are not as well known as past competition. Another Lafayette area musician, Dirk Powell, is part of the nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for his contribution to the "Cold Mountain" soundtrack. That album is also nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for the work of producer T Bone Burnett. Michael Rhodes is a much in-demand bassist who played with The Notorious Cherry Bombs who've received two nominations in the Country category. While we're stretching, a song on the "Cash Money Classics" CD is nominated for Best Female R&B Vocal by the legendary Tina Marie. And finally, Louisiana native Ellen DeGeneres garnered a Best Comedy Album nomination, likely the first ever for anyone from here in that category. All in all, a dozen Louisiana artists are connected to seventeen nominations, not a bad year at all. You can see a concise list here, thanks to the ever dilligent Greg Hardison of Satchmo.
Tabby's Blues Box Ends 27 Year Run
Baton Rouge legend, and LMC member, Tabby Thomas, 75, spent Saturday night like he has for more than a quarter century, basking in the attention of adoring fans at his club, Tabby's Blues Box. But, after several tough years in which he suffered a major auto accident and, more recently, a stroke, he decided that it was time to end his run as a night club owner. Thomas, whose blues pedigree is as well-rounded as that of any bluesman of the past 50 years, celebrated in style with a party that went well past the normal legal closing time in Baton Rouge. Thomas is also the father of Chris Thomas King, whose work in music and movies ("O Brother, Where Art Thou" and "Ray") has brought even more fame and attention to the family. A great story is available here. Baton Rouge's nightlife is going to miss this venerable institution and musical great.
Cultural Economy Initiative Conference
December 9 & 10
A conference to explore the creation of a new economy in Louisiana, based on cultural resources including the arts, music and more, is being staged at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on December 9 and 10. Sponsored by the offices of Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu, the conference will start with a day of panels, speeches, presentations and more, culminating with a special showcase staged by the Louisiana CrossRoads initiative of Lafayette. The second day will focus on workgroups strategizing solutions and plans. The conference is open to all and costs $50 for the two days, including food. This is a strong, worthwhile effort to bring people together to plan a better economic future for Louisiana. We urge everyone to participate.
Legendary Zydeco Club Owner Dies
Kermon Richard, owner of the legendary Cajun prairie zydeco venue, Richard's Club, on Hwy. 190 near Lawtell, died of a heart attack at age 63. The club, which his father opened in 1947, is probably the most revered and important zydeco venue in the world. Situated in a rural area on the main highway between Eunice and Opelousas. It is the site of trail rides, barbecues, receptions and more, making it a vital community resource. The club has been the site of numerous recording sessions and documentaries. Read the whole story here. Funeral services are set for Saturday at 11am at Holy Family Church in Lawtell with visitation will begin at 8am, Williams Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Grammy Nominations Lists Include Lots of Louisiana Music
Releases for consideration for nomination for the Grammy Awards include music from around the state. Thanks to the hard work of Cynthia Simien, Basin Street Records and others, more than 2 dozen recordings met the qualifying standards and are on the ballot. We emphasize, however, that these are the membership voting ballots and are one of the steps that leads to a coveted Grammy nomination. These ballots are voted on by members in the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, NARAS, the organization behind the Grammy Awards. Louisiana membership in NARAS has grown in recent years thanks to strong outreach efforts by local music organizations and the Memphis Chapter, which administers the state. Thanks primarily to the hard work of Cynthia Simien, a Cajun/Zydeco Grammy category is close to becoming a reality. What is critical is a continued growth in the number of voting members from Louisiana in NARAS. To be a voting member, one must have released, produced or otherwise contributed professionally to commercially released music products.
Louisiana Christmas Music
Our friend Greg Hardison at Satchmo has the BIG LIST of Christmas music by Louisiana artists. It's never too early to peruse the amazing array of recordings available, including many brand new releases. It's time to start planning for your gifts and parties. Louisiana music makes a great gift.
Siren to Wail Benefit Set for Nov 20
The annual Siren to Wail Benefit/Gala to help raise funds for the organization that is leading Louisiana in Hepatitis C awareness and outreach, is set for Saturday, November 20 at Tipitina's. As in past years, many great stars are contributing their time and efforts including Bobby Rush, Allen Toussaint, the Dixie Cups, Frankie Ford, Sunpie, The Iguana's, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Irene Sage, Bamboula 2000, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Troy Andrews (Trombone Shorty) featuring David Torkanowsky, Timothea with the Blue Soul All Star Review and guests Jeslyfe, Tanya Boutte, Diane Lotny, Lance Ellis, and Bob Andrews. This event is always a sellout, so we recommend you get your tickets early!
New Orleans After Midnight Returns Oct. 2
New Orleans After Midnight, which ran for 5 seasons and garnered the highest ratings ever for a locally produced nighttime show, is returning this Saturday, October 2, at 12:30am on WVUE Fox 8. The show, now titled Hot Local Music Presents New Orleans After Midnight with host Bernie Cyrus (NOAM), will be a half hour of interviews, music news and music, all shot at various music venues. Sponsored by the Louisiana Lottery, HotLocalMusic, the House of Blues, The Dock, and various other local and regional businesses. NOAM is schedule to produce 13 episodes that will air over 26 weeks. Contrary to unverified statements by a local music magazine publisher, NOAM is not being produced with any funds from the LMC.
HotLocalMusic is a Louisiana company that serves as a booking solution for both musicians and music venues. Via the HotLocalMusic site, artists and clubs can do everything from booking to promotion. The site has created a new model for artists and clubs to communicate, promote and contract services. It allows artists to create fan bases that are specific to cities or venues and allows venues to access vital information such as band press kits, music and recent attendance figures. "HotLocalMusic has the potential to become a major player in the music industry, " Bernie Cyrus notes.
The debut show features Jean "Mr. Big Stuff" Knight in her first House of Blues appearance, and Los Hombres Calientes.
FYI, the webmaster of this site is not a graphics designer and has no skills with the current crop of web design programs that allow for rollovers and other nice bells and whistles. Though we've solicited a number of proposals from designers, the cost of redoing this site to make it more attractive and functional is steep by our budget measures. So, our apologies if there are a few stale items, odd formatting or unattractive layouts. We wear lots of hats around here and do our best to keep useful information on this site. One philosophy we have is that we are not going to duplicate the work or information that is done by others. So, we don't have a directory or club listings or a lot of information about various goings on. Instead, we try to provide news and information that is helpful and possibly not available via other, better funded and/or designed sites. And we try to support, in whatever ways are possible, important projects that affect the well-being of musicians, venues and music professionals. With a current budget of less than $230,000, there is not much we can do to be the main funding source for the kind of large scale projects that many would like to see. However, we maximize our impact by partnering with others. Every accomplishment of the LMC (see our LMC Summary Report 1992-2003 for a list) was done in partnership and with the assistance and cooperation of many others. We are proud of these team efforts and continue to do our best to be a catalyst for improvement.
Kelly Keller, Co-owner of Circle Bar, Passes
Kelly Keller, co-owner of the Circle Bar in New Orleans, former longtime manager of Dash Rip Rock and a strong supporter and promoter of alternative rock music, was found dead at her home Saturday morning. Kelly was an important part of the music scene in Baton Rouge and south Louisiana in the 1980s and early 90s. When she parted ways with Dash she moved to New York City. Kelly then seized an opportunity to run her own bar when she became a co-owner of the Circle Bar on Lee Circle and returned to Louisiana in the 1990s. The Circle Bar became a trendy spot on St. Charles Avenue and has hosted diverse and interesting musical artists. It is one of the city's hip venues and often has seen its share of famous stars amongst the clientele. Keller was a native of Eunice and will be buried there on Tuesday at 2pm. Ardoin's Funeral Home ( 1301 W Laurel Ave Eunice, LA 70535-4011 Phone: is in charge of arrangements. Visitation begins today from 5 to 10pm and again tomorrow beginning at 8am. Plans for a New Orleans memorial are not set as of this writing. We will update this when more information becomes available. Kelly Keller was a friend of this writer and her untimely passing is both a shock and a loss. The music scene in New Orleans has lost an important and vital member.
La. Entertainment Hall of Fame Ceremonies @ Boomtown This Sunday @ 1pm
Induction ceremonies for the Louisiana Entertainment Hall of Fame will take place this Sunday, September 26 at 1pm at the Boomtown Casino in Harvey. Lou Gabus, the Lafayette-based founder, will honor more than two dozen inductees with backgrounds in music, theater, movies and broadcasting. The Living Legend award will go to singer Jimmy Elledge. The show also features a wide range of music, some by inductees. More to come....
New Loyola University music biz head, John Snyder, announced this week that they will be hosting a Louisiana Masters Series starting today with the legendary Gatemouth Brown. The series will be a master class that will include performance, interviews, a question & answer session and more. Each one will be recorded for broadcast and a future DVD series. Gatemouth recently learned that he has lung cancer and had decided to continue performing as long as he can. The series is free and will be held in Nunemaker Hall in the Monroe Science Complex on the Loyola campus at 4:30PM today. Kudos to the staff at Loyola for pulling this together so quickly and for taking on such a much needed project.
Cutting Edge Conference Gets Underway This Week
The 12th Annual Cutting Edge Music Conference & Roots Music Gathering gets underway on Thursday evening and continues through Sunday morning. This is the longest running professional music conference in Louisiana. Panels, workshops, showcases and more will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Superdome and in various other venues. See the website for details. We highly recommend this conference and look forward to seeing lots of people there. In fact, if you call the office Thursday or Friday and nobody answers it's because we're at the conference--you should be too!
Sept. 1 Deadline for Music Directory
The offBeat Magazine Louisiana Music Directory, the most comprehensive reference to the state's music industry, is nearing its deadline for submissions. September 1 is the absolute deadline for getting information into the directory. For more information, send an email to Craig Guillot or call .
City of N.O. Hosts Jazz Town Hall Meeting Aug. 4
The City of New Orleans is hosting a "Jazz Town Hall Meeting" on Wednesday, August 4 from 2pm to 4pm at the Old US Mint. The purpose of the meeting is to gather feedback from the general public regarding what the City can do to better promote jazz. The public meeting is a precursor to an invitation-only meeting of government and civic leaders on August 9. To assist in this process, a new website, has been setup. This new site includes a message board on which people can post their suggestions and feedback.
4th Annual Satchmo Club Strut Kicks off Satchmo Summerfest Next Week
The 4th Annual Satchmo Club Strut, a fundraiser for New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration, will kick off the Satchmo Summerfest with a night of live music in the Frenchmen Street corridor. 17 different venues including restaurants and music clubs will be hosting live music. The audience can purchase a special wristband for $25 or a VIP pass for $50 that gives them admission to all the shows. This special, once a year event is one of the highlights of summer and is highly recommended. Satchmo Summerfest will take place on the grounds of the Old US Mint from August 4-8.
Shreveport's "Stage of Stars" Museum Opens
50th Anniversary of Elvis Presley Contract to be Celebrated in October
One of the most influential radio shows in American history was Shreveport AM powerhouse KWKH's "Louisiana Hayride," staged at the beautiful Shreveport Memorial Municipal Auditorium, During the show's many year span it helped launch the careers of some of music's greatest stars. In fact, the first contract signed by Elvis Presley for multiple appearances was with the venerable radio show. In October, the city will celebrate the 50th anniversary of that contract with a major event. Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 a host of luminaries, including many who were there, including D.J. Fontana, the Jordanaires and special guest guitarist (and Shreveport native) James Burton, will participate. The big concert will be on Saturday at the Auditorium.
The museum exhibits available for view by the public include memorabilia from the show, costumes and suits worn by performers, instruments and more, all tucked into various rooms throughout the historic building. Even the backstage dressing room is included in the exhibit areas. The Friends of the Municipal Auditorium have worked hard to secure funding, resources, exhibit materials and more to get this long-overdue museum up and running. The street in front has been renamed for Presley and the Presley estate has worked closely with the developers to ensure authenticity and to assist in making the events happen.
Kudos to the many people in Shreveport and the surrounding area who've given their time, money and hearts to this wonderful project. Visit the Stage of Stars website for your own tour of the building, historical information, events news, links and more.
Carencro-native, singer Marc Broussard, is set for a major label CD launch on August 3. The debut CD, titled "Carencro" is being released by Island Records. Already generating great press and a growing audience, Broussard is noted for his rich, soulful voice and passionate performances. He's won over industry insiders by simply playing his acoustic guitar and singing in their offices and, in one important case, in a parking lot for Lafayette native and music insider, Leah Simon of Alternative Radio Marketing, a Santa Monica promotions company that has assisted in the development of several major artists. The LMC can take credit for convincing Simon to release an independent EP that has gone on to sell more than 20,000 copies. A promotional copy of Broussard's new release was recently received by the LMC and to us it sounds like a winner. Look for more from this young up-and-coming star. Broussard will be appearing at the House of Blues on July 28.
Congratulations to Amanda Shaw for her recent cover on the Times-Picayune's TV Focus and her appearance in a new Disney television production which drew accolades from the director. We've long known that the exuberant and talented Ms. Shaw is destined for a great career. Now, even Hollywood is noticing.
Music Lessons can increase your child's IQ according to a study by a Canadian university. The study backs up theories about music and arts education and the impact of the arts on the development of children. A very good overview and link to the full story can be found here. Though the much-publicized "Mozart Effect" in which listening to music was credited with increasing spatial and math skills has been debunked, this more thorough and recent study on the effect of music lessons has been validated by other scientists and organizations.
Rapper B.G. will be having a CD release party at the House of Blues this Saturday, June 24. Formerly part of the posse at Cash Money, this marks the rapper's debut with a label that is not based in Louisiana.
Satchmo Posts Louisiana Guide to Grammys: Info and Links to 44 Years of Nominations, Winners, Songs
We've raved about Greg Hardison so many times that you're probably tired of it. But, he's done it again and we are again astounded by his dedication and work. Greg's Satchmo site, perhaps the most comprehensive site for Louisiana music information and resources in the world, has now added a Guide to Louisiana Music at the Grammys, a detailed listing of nominees, winners, songs and more that goes back to 1958. It is an amazing treasure-trove of information that shows how influential Louisiana music and musicians have been. And it will help many people discover and reveal stories that will extend these entertainers impact into the future. We are running out of words with which to convey our gratitude to Greg Hardison for his work.
Cyrus Teams with HotLocalMusic for New TV Show
Bernie Cyrus Presents HotLocalMusic will shoot its debut show at the House of Blues this coming Monday, July 19, doors open at 8pm. HotLocalMusic is a Northshore software solutions company that has targeted venues, artists and labels with products that allow artists and venues to promote, schedule, negotiate and manage their relationships with both each other and the audience. The show plans to highlight music venues, starting with the House of Blues, and will feature and be produced from various music clubs in Louisiana. Monday's show will feature Jean Knight, whose "Mr. Big Stuff" is the all-time biggest seller in the Stax Records catalog. Bernie Cyrus Presents HotLocalMusic will also air the recently completed music video by Timothea and other highlights of the local music scene.
Tipitina's Foundation recently announced statistics validating the success of the New Orleans Music Co-Op. In a press release, they noted substantial earnings increases for members and a strong economic impact. CORRECTION: We erroneously noted that the Music Co-op would be opening in Shreveport. However, despite the enthusiasm of Shreveport officials and their statements to us, final plans are not in place. We apologize for jumping the gun. However, we can report that Tip's Foundation is exploring plans to expand into other Louisiana cities. We'll post links and news whenever appropriate. Our sincere congratulations to Roland Von Kurnatowski and his staff, Scott Aiges of the City of New Orleans and everyone involved for their hard work to help musicians get access to the fundamental tools of business.
Jason Songe has posted an extensive list of online live music reviews at his site, . Check it out. Great work, Jason!
Happy Independence Day!
New Movie Features Louisiana Artists
A Disney documentary will be heading to movie theaters across the country starting on July 2 and features Louisiana artists. America's Heart & Soul is a journey into the heartland of the USA and tells the inspiring stories of people of all walks of life. Louisiana musicians Marc & Ann Savoy and James & Troy Andrews are featured in the film. It will be in limited release nationwide with the only scheduled Louisiana showing to take place at the Landmark Canal Place Cinema.
Timothea Taking Siren to Wail Hep-C Effort to Washington DC This Weekend
Timothea is having a great year. She recently won a Big Easy Award for best female performer and just released an amazing new video shot by hot producer/director Aaron Walker. Now she's taking her Hep-C efforts to the nation's capitol in performances tied to National Hepatitis-C Testing Day, this coming weekend, June 10-12. Siren to Wail, the organization headed by Timothea, is a major participant. Timothea and the Blue Soul Band will be playing on the Capitol lawn at noon on Saturday and will be joined by other musicians. Our congratulations and sincere thanks to Timothea for her undaunted efforts to raise awareness and provide assistance to literally millions (6 million in the US alone) of people who have this debilitating and often fatal liver disease.
Deacon John's Jump Blues @ Lincoln Center June 18
The acclaimed Deacon John's Jump Blues hits the Big Apple on Friday, June 18 in a special performance at Lincoln Center. Henry Butler and Sista Teedy Boutte will be joining Deacon as they rock the house with classic New Orleans R&B. Congrats to Deacon and to the promotion team at Vetter Communications for this special accomplishment.
15 Minutes Songwriters Night returns to the Parish at the House of Blues tonight. The acclaimed shows feature several great songwriters each performing for 15 minutes making for a fast-paced show with never a dull moment.
The 12th Annual Cutting Edge Music Conference & Roots Music Gathering, August 26-28, will be here soon. Be sure to check out their website for information on registration, booths and more. This is the state's longest running music conference and always offers an array of timely panels, workshops, showcases and more. Don't miss your chance to network and participate in this important event.
MasterDigital Completes Grammy-funded Archival Project
If you've never ventured into the Grandstand at the Fairgrounds during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, then you've missed some amazing moments. Every year, festival organizers schedule interviews with legendary musicians. Even the interviewers are interesting since they are always historians, journalists or activists. With 245 interviews now in the can, this oral history treasure is one of the many jewels of the N.O. Jazz & Heritage Foundation's archives. And now, thanks in part to a grant from the Grammy Foundation, these interviews have been transcribed to CDs and are available to writers, researchers, educators and others seeking to learn and/or teach others about our musical heritage. Parker Dinkins, the mastering and archival wizard of MasterDigital Corporation in New Orleans, recently completed the daunting task. The NO Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive is housed in the French Quarter at 901 Toulouse. For more information, email . Parker Dinkins also compiles the most comprehensive online directory of Louisiana Recording Studios. He's also the mastering engineer behind literally hundreds of great Louisiana recordings and has done archival work for institutions around the world.
Local Rock Band Subject of Major Label Pursuit
World Leader Pretend, an arty, New Orleans-based rock band, have been pursued by several major labels recently, and the major online music press is noticing. Hits Daily Double, the online face of longtime music insider magazine (and a site we highly recommend), Hits, featured a headline and blurb about the band's status as a hot item in the biz. We've known about and appreciated the band for quite a while. In fact, some of the staff here can't seem to get enough of their CD. It's nice to see that we're not alone in our fascination with this emerging band. Congrats and good luck!
Ken Keene 1941-2004
Ken Keene, manager and business partner of Frankie Ford for more than 35 years, died Sunday of complications from diabetes. A memorial service is planned for a later date. For more information on Ken and his lifetime of work with Frankie Ford, visit this link. Our sincere condolences to Frankie and the friends and family of Ken Keene.
La. Native in Finals of American Idol
New Orleans native George Huff is a finalist in the popular Fox TV show American Idol. Huff, whose musical education includes 6 semesters in music at the university level and a lifetime of appreciation for gospel music, has consistently wowed the judges and the audience. Viewers can vote for their favorite via a phone number shown on screen during the show which is airing for the next three nights. Click here for a special, locally produced site with lots of information on George.
Loyola Hosting Free Music Business Seminars Featuring Branford Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Ian MacKaye
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Loyola will be filled with significant music industry leaders hosting seminars, interviews and panels, all free and open to the public. On Tuesday at 5:30PM, Branford Marsalis will discuss his experiences and plans in Miller Hall Room 114. On Wednesday, Ian MacKaye will discuss new independent music business models in which artists make more of a fair share. That's also in Miller Hall Room 114 at 6:30PM. Also on Wednesday, the Louis Armstrong Foundation is presenting a special panel discussion titled "Contemporary Jazz in a Traditional Town" and will feature Gregory Davis moderating a panel comprised of Alvin Batiste, Harold Batiste and Ellis Marsalis. That's at 7PM in Nunemaker Auditorium. Then on Thursday afternoon at 12:30PM, legendary pianist and composer Dave Brubeck will discuss his career, also at Nunemaker Auditorium. An amazing array of topics and music legends, again, all free and open to the public. For more information visit this site.
Musicians Clinic Benefit 27th & 28th @ O'Flaherty's
Richard Carr's Original Music Series will benefit the LSU Musicians Clinic at special performances at O'Flaherty's (514 Toulouse). More than 50 singer-songwriters including Judith Owen & Harry Shearer, Coco Robicheaux, Timothea, Leslie Smith, Irene Sage, Mike West, Jim McCormick, Paula Rangell, Ricky Castrillo, and many others will perform. This is the second year that the series and venue have paired for this benefit. According to Carr, "not one cover tune will be played." For more information, call Richard at or Lee Quick at .
Busy Month for Music Underway
It's here again--April--and there are more music events than ever in Louisiana. This past weekend's kickoff event, the French Quarter Festival, was picture-perfect and, hopefully, sets the tone for everything else.
Of course, the two biggest events, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Festival International in Lafayette, dominate discussions of exactly where to go and who to see. But there are many other significant music events taking place both during the week and on the weekends.
One of our favorite music shows is the 3rd Annual Ponderosa Stomp being held Tuesday and Wednesday, April 27 & 28 at Rock N Bowl. This show always features once-in-a-lifetime performances by living legends, many of whom have never gathered on the same stage before. This year's lineup includes the often-reclusive Bobby Charles, Dale Hawkins, Lazy Lester, Oliver Morgan, Zigaboo Modeliste, and many, many more.
The 2nd Annual Mo Fest which takes place on the levee in New Orleans will feature plenty of great music. This free festival is Monday & Tuesday, April 26 & 27th from noon until evening.
Literally dozens of night shows, special events, art openings and more will take place during the next 2 weeks, including:
Instruments a Comin' is an annual benefit at Tipitina's that raises money to buy band instruments for public schools. It takes place on Monday, April 26.
Also that same night is the WWOZ 16th Annual Piano Night which will honor Marcia Ball and feature piano greats David Torkanowsky, Joe Krown, Tom McDermott, Jon Cleary, Willie Metcalf, Josh Paxton, Carol Fran, Ronal Markham, Michael Pellera, John Gros and many more. The party starts at 6pm at Generations Hall.
Make It Funky is a special, once in a lifetime concert and film production taking place at the Saenger on Tuesday, April 27. Being shot as a movie/television show, this concert will feature the Nevilles, Allen Toussaint, Lloyd Price, Earl Palmer, Henry Butler, Dirty Dozen, and many more. An amazing concert being captured to help tell the true story of how more great, funky music comes from New Orleans, Louisiana than anywhere else in the world.
Report from the RnR Hall of Fame
We've raved about our friend Greg Hardison's site, Satchmo, many times. But, this week he's posted an amazing report by Nita Ketner of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's recent events honoring the role of New Orleans in music that we noted last month. Nita is formerly of New Orleans and has a vast knowledge of the history of the city's music. She now lives in Cleveland and wrote an extensive, sometimes touching, story covering the panels and performances that featured Cosimo Matassa, Deacon John, Dr. John, Earl Palmer and more. It's a great read and we commend Nita for her work and for her ongoing efforts to bring attention to our music legacy.
C&M Music is doing musicians a really big favor. If you have a CD, bring it to their Kenner store and they'll consider putting some of your music onto the air in their radio spots on KKND 106.7 The End. This is mainly for rock bands. Our sincere thanks to Chris and Melvin at C&M for putting their money where it can do even more good. It's never been harder to get radio airplay, and thanks to C&M Music, many local rock acts will finally get to be heard.
A new rehearsal space has opened in New Orleans, Monster Rehearsal Studios is located on Oak Street, Uptown in the former location of Muddy Waters & Jed's. It's a legendary spot, across the street from the Maple Leaf. They have 10 rooms available for hourly, daily, weekly or monthly rentals. Call or send them an email.
The New Orleans Music Office Co-op, yet another initiative of Tipitina's Foundation, is growing rapidly and has reached the 100 member mark. The Co-op only costs $10 per month to join and gives fledgling music businesses access to computers, databases, faxes, web design and management and more.
The New Orleans Musicians' Clinic has outlined an ambitious agenda. The clinic has expanded into eye care, dental care, hearing and other important health issues affecting musicians. They are aggressively seeking volunteers/patrons to assist in fundraising and other activities.
The River Road African American Museum is hosting a 10th anniversary fundraiser and paying tribute to Ascension Parish musicians Joe King Oliver, Plas Johnson and Bill Summers. The event will be held on Sunday, March 14 in Donaldsonville and will include a banquet and concert.
The Smokin Blues and BBQ Challenge will take place March 26-27 in Hammond. Music, food, cooking classes and more. Check this link for the details.
The 2004 Louisiana Music Cavalcade has been announced by Louisiana Secretary of State Fox McKeithen. Interested artists should visit their website for information on how to participate.
Greg Hardison of Satchmo has updated his Gone But Not Forgotten pages for 2003.
LMC Meeting Tuesday, Feb. 10 @ UNO Boggs Conference Center
There will be a meeting of the Louisiana Music Commission at 1pm on Tuesday, February 10, 2003 in the amphitheater of the Lindy Boggs Conference Center in the CERM Building in the Research Park on the campus of the University of New Orleans. This meeting is open to the public. Amongst items on the agenda are discussion regarding the upcoming 25th anniversary of the founding of the LMC, an overview of the agency's accomplishments since 1992, the status and future of the Amusement Tax on live music and more.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Host Deacon John's Jump Blues Premier and Focus on New Orleans in Multi-day Events: Matassa Featured
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be premiering the acclaimed music feature Deacon John's Jump Blues, which was produced by Baton Rouge's Vetter Communications (thank you Cyril Vetter), on February 10 as part of a series of events recognizing Black History Month. New Orleans is the focus of several of the special programs on tap with an array of legendary musicians, producers and more taking part. Several inductees, including Allen Toussaint, Dave Bartholomew and Earl Palmer will take part. Most heartening, is the recognition and featuring of Cosimo Matassa. Though he has yet to be inducted, this series will help bring to light Matassa's contributions to music and society as the owner and engineer of the legendary studios in which more Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees first recorded than any other. The LMC has long advocated that Cosimo Matassa should be inducted into the RnRHOF (see why). Writer Jeff Hannusch is also participating in the series and will conduct interviews. Our thanks to all who put this amazing series of performances, interviews and presentations together.
TapeOp Magazine Annual Conference in New Orleans
Cosimo Matassa to Keynote
TapeOp Magazine ("The Creative Music Recording Magazine), a very useful publication geared to recording engineers of all types (home and professional, will be holding their 3rd Annual TapeOpCon gathering in New Orleans May 28-30. The conference will feature an amazing array of engineers and producers including Steve Albini, George Massenburg, John Keene, Steve Berlin, Jim Dickinson, Tony Visconti, Joe Chiccarelli, Mark Bingham, John Doe, Larry Fast, John Fischbach, and many others. Jim Odom of Baton Rouge-based high end manufacturer PreSonus and our friend Jenny Toomey of the Future of Music Coalition will also be on panels. The conference will be held at the Fairmont Hotel with the keynote and some workshops at the Orpheum Theater. Registration is open to all applicants. See the TapeOpCon site for more information. This is a valuable conference for all musicians who hope to expand their talent into recording, producing and general production. We highly recommend it and are happy to have assisted in their coming to Louisiana.
We just posted a new report. The LMC Summary Report 1992-2003 is a bullet-text listing of significant accomplishments during our tenure. It should prove an interesting read to those of you who keep up with our work and is a nice historical snapshot of many of the events and milestones of the past 12 years. Also online is our June 2003 Report. Please let us know what you think.
Tipitina's is celebrating their 26th anniversary this week with a series of great shows.
It's been one full year since the Amusement Tax on live music went away. Though music venues are no longer subject to the tax, it's still on the books and could be revived at any time. We're planning an upcoming meeting/event to address the status of the tax and will post a notice here when we finalize the date and site.
January 12, 2004
Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen Passes
Anthony "Tuba Fats" Lacen, whose performances in Jackson Square were witnessed by hundreds of thousands of visitors to New Orleans over the years, died of a heart attack at his apartment on Dumaine Street over the weekend. Lacen played with many brass bands in New Orleans including the Olympia, Tuxedo and his own, the Chosen Few. His health problems were well known, in part, due to the controversial removal of benches in Jackson Square several months ago. In addition to his heart condition, he suffered from diabetes. Tuba Fats was a well loved character whose devotion to traditional New Orleans jazz helped preserve and renew brass bands. He was a a highly gifted musician whose cheerful demeanor was shared with all. He will be sorely missed. As of this posting, funeral arrangements have not been announced. However, it is reasonable to expect that the passing of this great but humble musician will be celebrated with music. As soon as we know more about plans, we will post them here. Our condolences to his family and to all who knew and loved him.
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