OffBeat Magazine January 2020

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ALL THE NOMINATIONS! BEST MUSIC of 2019! Best of the Beat Lifetime Achievement in Music

STEVE MASAKOWSKI MARGIE PEREZ RHIANNON GIDDENS

NEW ORLEANS MUSIC, FOOD, CULTURE—JANUARY 2020

Free In Metro New Orleans US $5.99 CAN $6.99 £UK 3.50





CONTENTS TA B L E

p. 32

O F

p. 30

6 Letters 7 Mojo Mouth 8 Fresh

p. 34

20 The Banjo

32 Positive Vibrations HeartBeat

22 The 50 Best Albums of 2019

34 Lifetime Achievement in Music:

An unusual voice in the story of New Orleans music.

Emilie Rhys and father Noel Rockmore exhibit at the Jazz Museum; Five Questions with WWOZ Deejay Suzanne Corley; Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans; Riverboat Louis Armstrong; Hogs for the Cause; Five Questions with MaCCNO; My Music with Natasha “Nattie” Sanchez; Buku and much more.

Obituaries

Our writers and editorial staff have gathered 50 of our most recommended albums. Best of the Beat

24 The Nominations

The complete list of nominees for the Best of the Beat.

14 Jerome “Jerry” Jumonville 15 Earl Bernhardt 16 It Was Like A Fantasy

26 Lifetime Achievement in Music

18 The Story of People and Place

30 Positive Vibrations HeartBeat

Accordion-making was considered a hobby, but Randy Falcon turned it into a business.

Education: Steve Masakowski.

28 Lifetime Achievement in Music

The Folk Alliance celebrates creativity and supports traditions.

BLAST FROM THE PAST February 1996

Best of the Best Music Awards

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Business: Shirani Rea of Peaches Records.

Award (Musician): Margie Perez.

Award (Culture Bearer): Clarence “Delco” Dalcour. Charlie Gabriel.

38 OffBeat Eats 39 Restaurant Review

Michael Dominici reviews True Food Kitchen.

40 Reviews

Paul Sanchez, Harry Connick, Jr., James Martin, T’Monde, Evan Christopher, Bipolaroid, Blato Zlato, Katy Hobgood Ray, Kenneth Hagans, Misled, Sabrina Stone and more.

48 Listings 53 Backtalk with

Rhiannon Giddens.

Our very first Best of the Beat Music Awards was titled Best of the Best. “Ever since we started publishing OffBeat in 1988, we’ve wanted to do something special to honor the great musicians and music industry people here in New Orleans–an awards event where musicians and music industry folk can celebrate their accomplishments and honor their peers.” (To read more this issue can be purchased at http://www.offbeat.com/shop/back-issues/1996/offbeat-magazine-february-1996/)

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letters Louisiana Music, Food & Culture

“Nothing can compete with the unique vibe of this town. It all feeds off each other—the music, food, architecture, religions, art, history, slavery, economy, the weather, street vibe and culture, and on and on.” —Danny Kapilian, Brooklyn, New York

New Orleans and Nashville

This letter is in response to Jan Ramsey’s blog post “The Difference Between New Orleans and Nashville” with guest editorial by Loyola’s Music Industry Studies Program former director John Snyder.—ED. My fourteen year old son Lieff auditioned at and was recruited by NOCCA [New Orleans Center for Creative Arts], and the high school and the city offered something that all our years in Brooklyn and Manhattan couldn’t compete with. Not for a dedicated talented young jazz and funk drummer. Where else but NOCCA and this town would better support a streetwise grooving young teen player who lives in the spaces where Monk, James Brown, Miles Davis, the Meters, Mac, Stevie, Marvin, Aretha, Herbie, P-Funk, D’Angelo, Angelique Kidjo, Treme Brass Band, Snarky Puppy, and Tank and the Bangas all cross paths? I sublet our longtime place in Brooklyn, and rented a little home three blocks from NOCCA in Bywater. Lieff is thriving. Lieff has been raised backstage (and a bit on stage). I’ve produced hundreds of concerts for George Wein’s Festival Productions out of the New York City office since 1989—JVC Jazz at Carnegie Hall to Newport Jazz and Folks Fests to Jazz Fest in New Orleans to Playboy Jazz to JVC in Europe. Visited NOLA dozens of times since the late ’80s, and was transfixed the very first time—so this family move was somewhat premeditated, but it is still a major consciousness raiser being here as a resident now. Enough backstory, back to your [John Snyder’s] essay. Nothing can compete with the unique vibe of this town. It all feeds off each other—the music, food, architecture, religions, art, history, slavery, economy, the weather, street vibe and culture, and on and on. I’d respectfully argue that in New Orleans the groove and vibe here seems to come

before the song (notwithstanding hundreds of chestnuts). In the discussion about New Orleans and Nashville, New Orleans’ culture is deeper than the hole that goes all the way to China. But Nashville is a songwriter town much more than New Orleans is. It is simply true that the New Orleans impact is far less in its songwriting legacy (Armstrong, Jelly Roll, Dave Bartholomew, Allan Toussaint, Art Neville, Mac) than in its unbelievable sound feel and vibe. The list of impactful Nashville songwriters, though, is beyond over the top (Hank, Cash, Parton, Haggard, Kris, Willie, Reba, Loretta, et al). I’m in love with New Orleans, and I’m paying attention to certain new artists here who are also songwriters—Tank Ball, PJ Morton, Aurora Nealand, and several others I feel are creating new inspiring music that moves the needle. New Orleans’ glorious music traditions will remain intact, I just look to the songwriters who will help transform the scene to something even richer than it already is. You [Jan Ramsey] and the OffBeat staff do awesome work. I’ve been a reader for decades. Many thanks for the great work. —Danny Kapilian, Brooklyn, New York International Folk Alliance

My wife Barbara and I will be attending our first International Folk Alliance gathering this January, both because it is time for us to try this event out and also because the current meeting is in New Orleans and we love opportunities beyond Jazz Fest to come down. Now that we have joined the Folk Alliance as non-performer members, we receive their periodic emails. Given this, I want to congratulate you [Jan Ramsey] on being recognized by the Folk Alliance for your contributions to folk music and New Orleans. This is a wonderful honor, well-deserved. —Gordon R. Hodas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

JANUARY 2019 Volume 33, Number 1 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Jan V. Ramsey, janramsey@offbeat.com Managing Editor

Joseph L. Irrera, josephirrera@offbeat.com Web Editor

Amanda “Bonita” Mester, amanda@offbeat.com Consulting Editor

John Swenson Layout and design

Eric Gernhauser Listings Editor

Katie Walenter, listings@offbeat.com Contributors

Stacey Leigh Bridewell, Michael Dominici, Robert Fontenot, Herman Fuselier, Jeff Hannusch, David Kunian Jay Mazza, Tom McDermott, Amanda “Bonita” Mester, Brett Milano, Paul Sanchez, Sabrina Stone, Seva Venet, Dan Willging, John Wirt, Geraldine Wyckoff Cover PHOTO

Camille Lenain Videographer/Web Specialist

Noé Cugny, Noécugny@offbeat.com Advertising Sales/ Promotion and Event coordinator

Camille A. Ramsey, camille@offbeat.com Advertising Design

PressWorks, 504-944-4300 Interns

Nick Coleman, Michael Frank, Lauren Hicks, Bryce Jenkins, Gabriella Killett, Sabrina Stone Distribution

Patti Carrigan, Doug Jackson

OffBeat (ISSN# 1090-0810) is published monthly in New Orleans by OffBeat, Inc., 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 944-4300 • fax (504) 944-4306 e-mail: offbeat@offbeat.com, web site: www.offbeat.com

/offbeatmagazine Copyright © 2019, OffBeat, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. OffBeat is a registered trademark of OffBeat, Inc. First class subscriptions to OffBeat in the U.S. are available for $65 per year ($70 Canada, $140 foreign airmail). Back issues are available for $10, except for the Jazz Fest Bible for $15 (for foreign delivery add $5) Submission of photos and articles on Louisiana artists are welcomed, but unfortunately material cannot be returned.

OffBeat welcomes letters from its readers—both comments and criticisms. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and contain the current address and phone number of the writer. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for length or content deemed objectionable to OffBeat readers. Please send letters to Editor, OffBeat Publications, 421 Frenchmen St., Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116.

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O F F B E AT. C O M


A Busy New Year, Musically

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y the time this issue of OffBeat hits the street, it’ll be past Christmas and in that weird time of year during the holidays that’s

between Christmas and the New Year. For years, January was one of those “dead” times—between the holidays and Mardi Gras season when craziness runs rampant. This is one of the reasons we’ve always scheduled the “Best of The Beat Awards” during January. This year, by the way, the Best of The Beat Music Awards will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. on Thursday, January 30, 2020 (see the ad in this issue for more details and bands). We’re excited to be able to move the event to the Jazz Market in cooperation with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and their staff, as it’s a great space for an event like the Awards—although our experiences at Generations Hall have always been wonderful.You can purchase tickets on OffBeat.com. With the expansion of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, we’ll feature the Music Business and Lifetime Achievement Awards at that venue on January 16. This January, the city will welcome the JEN (Jazz Education Network) conference to New Orleans at the Hyatt from January 7 through 11. JEN has been in New Orleans before, four years ago. It’s about everything “jazz,” and is particularly important to have the event in New Orleans because of our important ties with this all-American

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A Note From Publisher J an Ramsey

art form. Personally, I am convinced that music education is crucial to improving overall education in this country; the more musicians and students, who can connect, learn and flourish within jazz, the better off we’ll all be. And it’s jazz, for goodness’ sake… we invented it here. There are workshops, mentoring sessions, performances beaucoup that include a wide swath of New Orleans’ talented jazz musicians, students and educators, in addition to national and international artists, students and teachers. The highlight of the event is JEN’s “Scholarship” event on January 10 (which raises money for their stellar scholarship program) featuring the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, led by Adonis Rose; Tia Fuller; Mark Whitfield and Chucho Valdés. And last, but not least, from January 22 through 26, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is coming to the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans. I’ve heard about this event for years, and it’s truly going to be a huge event, bringing in musicians, talent bookers, music businesses, festival promoters and a lot more from all over the world. The FAI showcases musicians—after a long and strenuous evaluation process—who will perform on stages throughout the larger meeting rooms at the Sheraton. They include many Louisiana musicians, and skilled musicians in the folk tradition (which is pretty wide) who’ll perform in individual showcases in rooms at the Sheraton. It’s virtually an orgy of fantastic music. Anyone who loves music should try to attend the open-to-the-public events at both of these conferences.You can get information on both at the organizations’ respective websites: jazzednet.org and folk.org. Happy Musical 2020! O

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Premier National Jazz Event in New Orleans The Jazz Education Network (JEN) is a “global community that inspires collective improvisation in music, action and word. Their annual gathering [last held in New Orleans four years ago, and to return in 2024] fuels the conversation as students, teachers, pros and enthusiasts connect, learn and jam to contribute to the distinctive art form called jazz.” This year, the 11th Annual Conference will be held in New Orleans from Tuesday, January 7 through Friday January 10. At the conference, participants will be able to network and experience live performances, workshops, panel discussions, mentoring clinics, research presentations and the JENerations Jazz Festival. The conference is described as “Part music festival, part networking, part education and all inspiration.” There are workshops, panels

and lectures on topics ranging from how to grow your Instagram into an effective jazz fan base; how to publish, place and monetize books; the fundamentals of copyright; building brand and audience through creative partnerships; even how to start your own jazz camp. The event will include performances by world-renowned jazz artists and many New Orleans musicians. The all-female Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, John Mahoney Big Band, Ricky Sebastian Quintet with Steve Masakowski, Oscar Rossignoli, Brian Quezergue and Derek Douget, New Orleans Jazz Professors: Jazz History and Revival Show with Matt Lemmler, the Preservation Hall Legacy Band, and the Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, among many others, are all scheduled to perform.

Lectures include topics such as “Brubeck, Armstrong, and The Real Ambassadors” by Ricky Riccardi and Sarah Rose; “King Porter Stomps: Improvisation in the Solo Piano Music of Jelly Roll Morton” by Gordon Sheard; “An Introduction to Today’s New Orleans Music presented by Brian Seeger,” with presentations by Evan Christopher, Ricky Sebastian and many, many others. Legendary saxophonist and educator Sir Edward “Kidd” Jordan will receive a JEN LeJENds of Jazz Education awards (Jordan was the recipient of OffBeat’s 1999 Best of The Beat Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education); and New Orleans’ music educator, musician and arranger Stephen Foster will receive the Donald Meade Legacy Jazz Griot Award.

The public is invited to attend the JEN Scholarship Award event on Friday, January 10 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. (ticketed event). The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will honor the lives and legacies of Aretha Franklin and Allen Toussaint. Franklin’s vocal prowess will be reimagined and the enduring impact of Toussaint’s musicianship and songwriting ability will be showcased by the 19-piece jazz orchestra. Guest artists, Tia Fuller, Mark Whitfield, and the 2020 LeJENd of Latin Jazz, Chucho Valdés, will join the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra for this special event. For more information, visit jazzednet.org. —Sabrina Stone

A rt f u l D u e t

Despite not growing up with her portrait-painter father, Emilie Rhys is a third-generation artist. Following in famous New Orleans artist Noel Rockmore’s footsteps, Rhys specializes in depicting New Orleans musicians. In her serene French Quarter studio, she paints portraits on canvas and smaller images on cooper plates. At music venues, Rhys spontaneously draws pen-and-ink representations of musicians in performance. She achieves remarkably accurate likenesses in both mediums. In January, the works of father and daughter will be exhibited together in a museum setting for the first time. New Orleans Music Observed: The Art of Noel Rockmore and Emilie Rhys opens January 30 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The exhibit pairs portraits by Rhys with Rockmore: works gathered

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from private collections, the Jazz Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Historic New Orleans Collection. Rockmore moved to New Orleans from New York City in 1959. He’s locally renowned for his hundreds of portraits of Preservation Hall jazz musicians. Rhys moved to New Orleans in January 2012 from Santa Fe, New Mexico. During an exploratory visit to the city three months before the move, she instinctively went to Preservation Hall. While Rockmore’s images of the hall’s musicians looked down upon her from the venue walls, Rhys drew the evening’s performers. “It felt intrusive, potentially distracting to pull out a sketch pad and start drawing,” she remembered. “But I will do anything for art. Even if I have to

put myself out there in a way that’s uncomfortable, I will do it if the art needs it.” Rhys’ studio paintings and the drawings she does at music venues are two different worlds of portraiture. The oil paintings can take years to complete. She does drawings in the moment, during the excitement of performance. In the intimacy of her studio, Rhys said, “We talk a lot. And I give them my iPod and let them choose the music. I’m building a library of local music. Charlie Gabriel always picks Allen Toussaint. And the reason why is that, at the end of Allen’s life, he toured with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Charlie said he and Allen got very close and, when they were on stage, Charlie was in awe every time Allen played.”

Rhys’ pen-and-ink renderings of musicians on stage capture the immediacy of improvisation. “I see it as the music being transmitted onto the page,” she said. New Orleans Music Observed: The Art of Noel Rockmore and Emilie Rhys opens with a free reception at 6 p.m. January 30 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Avenue. Rhys’ work is available at Scene by Rhys Fine Art, 708 Toulouse Street (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday through Monday) and scenebyrhys.com. —John Wirt O F F B E AT. C O M

Photo by SOPHIA GERMER

Emilie Rhys, Noel Rockmore exhibit at Jazz Museum.


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My Music

My dad, [George Sanchez], is a writer, actor and director, and my mom was an actress, so I was always around theater, was on stage by kindergarten and did theater through high school and college but I was never comfortable saying somebody else’s words. That’s why I started writing my own songs. I’m much more comfortable saying what I’ve got to say. I wanted to learn to play two Beatles songs on guitar. But I didn’t know how to play those songs so I started writing my own. In 2005 prior to Katrina I went to an open mic. A friend who I call “Bossy” was sitting in the back with Phil Melancon booking me a gig without me knowing it. She was the only person in the world

who called me “Nattie” and Phil said, “How do you wanted to be listed?” We both said “Nattie.” I played there once a month and then Katrina happened. I had started doing school photography which brought me to small towns around Louisiana and I started taking pictures in small towns. I was terrified to perform until I read Frank Zappa’s biography. Zappa said John Cage could stand on stage and say “I’m going to spit out carrot juice” and it would be art because he announced it—that is his frame. He said every piece of art has a frame and I went, “Nattie is my frame.” I performed at the CAC as part of a group ensemble of women artists called Women In

War; everybody had these really strong stories about women and then I came out there and I’m like, “Hey! I met this really funny lady at Jazz Fest” and sang three songs. I ended up at Buffa’s where I was the inaugural performer; I’m very proud of that. David Roe was the bartender and host. I did Buffa’s regularly for three or four years playing David Roe’s World’s Strangest Open Mic. In 2014 he asked me to book a Songwriter Circle once a month and I said, “Sure, what’s that?” he explained the format. Later that year he left Buffa’s and left me the Open Mic

night. It wasn’t meant to succeed because there was all that court stuff about live music at Buffa’s but we moved it to an earlier time and it worked. My latest project is the book release of The Louisiana World Tour. It is a photographic and philosophical road trip through the state of my world which is Louisiana and my mind—photos and songs from Louisiana’s small towns with international names. When I was 27 I used to think, “I really just want to sit on a stage and tell people what I think, that’s it”, but I had no idea how to get there… but then I did… and now it’s what I do. Full disclosure: Natasha Sanchez is Paul Sanchez’s niece. —Paul Sanchez

Sound Check

Five Questions with the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans (MaCCNO) We’ve seen several street performers arrested this year because of a law previously deemed unconstitutional. How can we protect the rights and safety of the city’s cultural ambassadors? The law [Section 66-205 of the Municipal Code] bans playing musical instruments on the street after 8 p.m. It singles out musical instruments among soundproducing devices. The previous mayoral administration said they would not enforce it. However, it was recently used as justification in the arrest of a street performer. Pushing our elected officials to remove harmful laws like the one mentioned above and to reduce the number of law enforcement agencies that interact with street performers is a start in the right direction. Whatever happened to the

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musician loading zones that were created this year? A partial solution to musicians being ticketed while loading/ unloading music gear into vehicles was passed by Councilmember Palmer’s office, but it largely ignored community input. We were assured that there would be a pilot period, where revisions could be made depending on the results. Since then, the Office of Safety and Permits has apparently not moved forward with the ordinance’s implementation. We’re unsure why. What are some ways to make Frenchmen Street more pleasant for visitors and more profitable for musicians? Remove legal barriers for businesses who want to charge a door cover [this ensures musicians can be consistently paid]. Create tipping-etiquette education

with tourism infrastructure and businesses to properly educate MaCCNO staff members Hannah Kreiger-Benson, Renard Bridgewater, Ethan Ellestad visitors and to increase that piece of musicians’ livelihoods. Explore alive. options to ensure a guarantee for Update the noise ordinance! It’s all performances, including subsidy old and needs updating. from the tourism industry surplus. What are some ways that Make changes to traffic patterns— New Orleanians can get create spots for ride-sharing involved in cultural issues? vehicles to drop off passengers Getting out there to support rather than come down the street. live local music is a great place to What are the big cultural start. Determine what district you issues we should look out for live in, who your respective City in 2020? Council member is and engage Live outdoor entertainment is them on issues you care about. something that the City is trying You can always follow MaCCNO to regulate. There will likely be (@musicculture504) and partner a study, looking at the way that organizations [including OffBeat] sound travels in our dense, old, for updated information as issues mixed-use neighborhoods. An evolve, and for more specific early version of restrictions was ways to feel empowered. pushed back, but the issue is still —Stacey Leigh Bridewell O F F B E AT. C O M

Photo by Eliot Kamenitz

Natasha “Nattie” Sanchez



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Sound Check

Five Questions with WWOZ Deejay Suzanne Corley Describe your musical worldview when you moved to town. I moved to New Orleans in 1991 and I didn’t have very much of a musical worldview, other than curiosity to know more than I did. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains, a stone’s throw from the Carter Family Fold and was very aware, but not appreciative of, that kind of roots music. Apart from your experiences on the radio, how has living in New Orleans shaped your connection to music? Living in New Orleans and listening to WWOZ have completely shaped and deepened my connection to music. I moved to New Orleans for graduate school and didn’t necessarily have the intention of staying here the rest of my life, but the importance and prevalence of music here is definitely one of the things

that made me stay. Your World Journey shows are consistently entertaining and informative. How would you go about preparing for a show on a place you’ve never visited, say, Madagascar? I have featured Madagascar on the World Journey before. No way would I limit the music I present to the countries I’ve visited. In the case of Madagascar, I got a CD called The Moon and the Banana Tree: New Guitar Music from Madagascar back in the mid-’90s when it came out. I heard a review of it on NPR and went straight to Tower Records to buy it because I had never heard a guitar sound like that before. Over the years I kept my antenna tuned to more music from there and then when I started as the regular World Journey show host in 2006, Madagascar was one of the places I worked on to

accumulate enough music to be able to present a two-hour show’s worth of Malagasy music. How do you come up with the featured country? I started on the radio, at WWOZ, right as the digital era of music was making downloads from all over the world available. I’m always searching for new stuff. And I’m proud to say that I have always put music on the airwaves that I’ve obtained legally—like all the other ‘OZ show hosts, I have to buy my own music. Having all of world music, plus a concentration on Brazilian music as my purview—sometimes it’s tough keeping to a budget. There’s so much beautiful music out there. As co-host of Tudo Bem, you know how vast and bewildering the world of Brazilian

music is. If people wanted to really start plumbing this world, do you have a starter CD or two to recommend? I wouldn’t recommend a CD at this point. My former Portuguese students, for example, have taken what I taught them about Brazilian music, decided which artists they like, and have gone to Spotify to hear those artists and learn about similar ones I didn’t introduce them to. —Tom McDermott

S W EET T W EET S DJ Soul Sister @djsoulsister Maaaaan... Full disclosure. When that boom happened, I was in the shower. I jumped out so fast, and wrapped a towel around me ready to run into the street, in case of emergency. EVERYBODY would’ve gotten a treat for their cameras if I’d run into the streets naked! It’s Your NOLA @ItsYourNOLA The Columns Hotel on St. Charles has been sold. One of our favorite places in the city is under new ownership. Danielle Bias @Daniknows Is it a coincidence that the first Black composer who will have his opera staged by The Met Opera, Terence Blanchard, is from New Orleans? Of course not Scott Lay @scottlay @JonBatiste plays the drums too? He really has inherited Prince’s legacy. Absolutely amazing musician. @colbertlateshow

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Dee-1; IG@dee1music There’s power in community but there’s freedom in self-sufficiency. Strive for both. Michael Tisserand @m_tisserand I think maybe it’s time that Randy Newman released that song he wrote about Trump’s penis with the chorus “What a dick.” John Papa Gros @JohnPapaGros I grew up in the 70s and the 80s, so I consumed everything from Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, ZZ Top, Yes… all of that thrown in with Fats Domino, Huey Piano Smith, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers and The Meters. These are the influences that became my musical DNA. Stanton Moore @Stanton_Moore Here’s a shot of Robert Mercurio and I rehearsing in our old place on Melpomene. I think this was around 1997. Robert and I are on the road with Ivan Neville and #DragonSmoke this week. Happy to be playing with this guy for over 25 years! O F F B E AT. C O M


B RIEF

Riverboat Louis Armstrong

On Saturday, December 14, New Orleans’ newest and largest riverboat, the Riverboat Louis Armstrong, opened its doors. The boat has a 3,000-passenger capacity and four entertainment decks. The boat will offer a series of late night and moonlight cruises with live music. A Louis Armstrong gospel jazz brunch will be featured on Sundays. You can board the boat directly behind the Hilton Riverside at Riverwalk (2 Poydras Street, where Canal and Poydras Streets meet.) The riverboat also has a Louis Armstrong Foundation Room on the third level with Louis Armstrong memorabilia on display.

Humanist of the Year

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Billy Nungesser, has selected trumpeter, composer and educator Terence Blanchard as the 2020 Humanist of the Year. Blanchard will be honored on May 7, 2020 at the LEH Bright Lights Awards Dinner.

Hogs for the Cause

The 12th Annual Hogs for the Cause has announced the 2020 lineup. Musicians include Old Crow Medicine Show, Robert Randolph and the Family Band featuring the Soul Rebels and Taz Niederauer, Sweet Crude, The Iceman Special, Dave Jordan

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& the NIA and many more. The event and fundraiser will take place at the UNO Lakefront Arena March 27 and 28, 2020. Crescent City Duplication

Diana Thornton and Mike Hogan have sold Crescent City Duplication to New Orleansbased SunRea Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Louisiana Red Hot Records, Inc., who will continue offering CD/ DVD duplication services to the Greater New Orleans region. Louisiana Red Hot Records was the recipient of OffBeat’s Best of the Beat award for label of the Year in 2018. Louisiana Red Hot Records will keep the wellknown Crescent City Duplication name and web domain. “We are excited at the opportunity to continue to deliver the same CD/ DVD quality that local musicians expect and deserve” said Carmen Sunda, owner of SunRea Enterprises.

Buku Music + Arts Project

The Buku Music + Art Project has announced the 2020 artist lineup. The headliners will be Tyler, the Creator, Flume, Illenium, Glass Animals and Run the Jewels. Others artists include the Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot and New Orleans indie rock band Video Age. The festival will take place on March 20 and 21, 2020 at Mardi Gras World. J A N U A RY 2 0 2 0

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inmemoriam

Jerome “Jerry” Jumonville (1941 – 2019) New Orleans saxophonist, arranger and composer Jerry Jumonville passed away on December 7, 2019 after a long illness. Originally from New Orleans, he was based in Los Angeles for much of the 1960s through the 1980s where he was a busy session musician, before returning to his hometown. “I’m an Uptown boy. I grew in the Carrollton area near St. Charles; I guess we call it Riverbend now. My daddy owned a hobby shop on Freret Street by Napoleon.” Jumonville’s appetite for music was whetted while he was a student at McMain Jr. High, where he listened to R&B records played on the jukebox inside the student lounge. “We listened to Fats, Joe Turner, Little Richard and we liked to dance. I had a friend who had a set of drums and we’d go to his house after school and listen to records and play along with them. At first I wanted to play drums. My parents felt that the drums created too much noise, so that was out. “Then my parents borrowed an E flat saxophone from someone whose kid quit playing it. All my favorite records had saxophone solos on them so I started trying to copy them. I had a teacher in the neighborhood, Mr. Lafasso, who taught me to play and to read music. In about three months I learned all of the notes on the saxophone and I started arranging melodies.” Jumonville began sitting in with The Barons—a group of older rock and roll musicians—and going down to Cosimo’s studio to watch the action. “We found out that was where they made

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a lot of the records we listened to, so we started to take rides there to see what was happening. We got to see people like Fats [Domino] record and got to see saxophone players like Nat Perillat, Lee Allen and Clarence Ford, guys I really admired. We also met Mac Rebennack at Cosimo’s; he was already playing sessions.” Eight months after picking up the saxophone, Jumonville was playing professionally and formed The Matadors, a six-piece R&B band made up of high school students. Jumonville would soon have a full musical plate. In addition to playing with Al Hirt, he had also formed an R&B group called The Magnificent Four Plus One which included Ronnie Barron on vocals and piano. With the advent of the Beatles, the Magnificent Four Plus One donned black mohair suits and became The Prime Ministers. Mac Rebennack had relocated to Los Angeles and was working with Harold Battiste on Sonny & Cher records, as well as on other sessions. Rebennack called Ronnie Barron and invited Barron and the Prime Ministers to move to California. “Mac said there was lots of studio work—I wound up out there for 25 years.” Jumonville’s skills served him well in Los Angeles. Once word got around that there was a New Orleans cat in town that could handle sessions with the minimum amount of hassles, his phone began to ring with offers for studio work.

album Jump City, a driving instrumental album. In 1991 Jumonville returned to New Orleans. “I’d just gotten divorced. Billy Fayard was opening Jelly Roll’s which was located in Al Hirt’s old club on Bourbon Street. He said if I came back I could have all the work I wanted so I wound up moving back home and starting a band.” In 1993, his career took another stylistic turn when he joined Rockin’ Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters. “I got to know Dopsie from sitting in with his band at the Maple Leaf,” said Jumonville. He liked my R&B tone. By the end of the 1970s, When John Hart resigned to play Jumonville had earned a platinum with C.J. Chenier he offered me record for Bette Midler’s The a job. Zydeco is fun to play, but a Rose and had played on Rod saxophonist doesn’t get a chance Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night.” to play much. You play some easy He also toured briefly with Dr. rhythms, play an eight or 12 bar John and Rickie Lee Jones. In solo and that’s it.” April 1982 in the New York Times, Recently Jumonville had been Robert Palmer reviewed of a playing with drummer, Freddie live performance by Rickie Lee Staehle at Friday happy-hour Jones: “Her band, which got off shows at Buffa’s. “I have a little to a rough start, found its groove following in New Orleans; people and sailed along, adding delightful know Jumpin’ Jerry around here. doo-wop vocals to the Coasters’ They know they’re going to oldie ‘Shopping for Clothes,’ come hear a great show and it’s punctuating the detailed and not real loud and not a bunch sometimes cluttered arrangeof foolishness. It’s going to be ments with direct, compelling some nice, serious, but fun, music. solo turns. The standout here was I usually write a set list and I the saxophonist, Jerry Jumonville.” decide at home how I want my By the early 1980s, studio show to be that night. Sometimes work had begun to slow down it will be all originals—I have to a trickle. Horn sections were enough material to do that—but no longer in vogue as they were I like to put standards in my being replaced by synthesizers. repertoire just so people can Jumonville began concentrating recognize things.” on working live dates with his —Jeff Hannusch and own band. In 1986, he cut his first Joseph Irrera O F F B E AT. C O M


inmemoriam

Earl Bernhardt

Photo by WILLOW HALEY

(1939-2019) Earl Bernhardt, an entrepreneur, co-proprietor of the Tropical Isle chain of French Quarter clubs (with longtime partner Pam Fortner), friend and employer to many working musicians, and long-time president of an organization promoting Bourbon Street businesses, died of natural causes at his New Orleans home on December 5, 2019. Bernhardt and Fortner were the recipients of five OffBeat Best of the Beat Awards, the “Bourbon Street Award,” which recognizes Bourbon Street businesses that support and promote local music. He was 80. Bernhardt and Fortner are renowned for the invention of the signature cocktail, the “Hand Grenade,” a strong combination of various liquors and flavorings— often copied but never counterfeited. The “Hand Grenade”— whose recipe is a secret—was trademarked and vigorously defended against copycats. The drinks are brilliantly packaged and served in a electric lime green container that roughly resembles a tall, slender “grenade.” “Big” Al Carson, who performed at Bernhardt and Fortner’s Funky Pirate club for over 20 years, had nothing but

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praise for his late employer. “Earl knew what people wanted in his club. He was a wonderful, giving cat. He took care of me and a lot of other musicians just like a father. If you had a problem, or he had a problem, we could sit down and work it out. He was a guy that really cared about live music back then when a lot of club owners didn’t.” When asked about his formula for success, Carson summed it up aptly. “Earl originally was in the radio business. He listened to other people and found out what they liked. They told him what they cared about and he cared about what they said. He had a lot of energy back then and was always around. In later years, his health fell off, but he was always by the phone if there was a problem. He was a good friend and he will be missed by a lot of people.” A native of Mississippi, Bernhardt graduated with a

degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi. After stints at several small Southern stations, in 1980 he became established as a morning personality, and spun C&W records at WBKH in Hattiesburg. In 1984, the year of the World’s Fair in New Orleans, his life took a new direction. At a friend’s insistence, Bernhardt mortgaged his home in order to finance a concession booth at the Fair and there hired Fortner, who became his business partner. The partners opened a tropically-themed outdoor bar which served daiquiris, frozen drinks and import beers. Not surprisingly during the New Orleans summer, Bernhardt’s enterprise proved to be highly successful. At the end of the Fair, Berndhardt took his profits, and along with Fortner, opened up a small club on Toulouse Street, dubbed

the Tropical Isle. The Surf Bum/ Jimmy Buffett theme was the mainstay of the club, along with a variety of frozen drinks and beers. Eventually, the Tropical Isle moved around to its present location on Bourbon Street. It was during this era that Bernhardt came up with aptly-named “Hand Grenade.” However, in addition to the popular cocktail, live music—no dee jays—was a mainstay at the Tropical Isle. Bernhardt hired as many as three different bands to play day-and-night seven days a week. “I always thought live local music was the real attraction in the Quarter,” Bernhardt once said. “Local Cajun, zydeco, oldies and blues especially work well here. People from out-of-town really like that kind of music because they can’t hear that kind of music back home.” Eventually, Bernhardt would open six other locations in the French Quarter, many of which feature live local music. Bernhardt is survived by his wife Martha, and three children. There was a public visitation at the Omni Royal Orleans and jazz funeral with a second line to the Tropical Isle in mid-December. —Jeff Hannusch

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It Was Like A Fantasy Accordion-making was considered a hobby, but Randy Falcon turned it into a business.

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O F F B E AT. C O M

Photo by Herman Fuselier

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“It’s the same size accordion,” said Falcon. “But andy Falcon grew up in the French-speaking by Herman Fuselier instead of having four stops (on the treble side), it region of southwest Louisiana listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark Five. He had little had six. There was one on the bass side to match the front side. It was controversial. A lot of people said it may or may not be good. I’ve had interest in his family’s Cajun music royalty. A second cousin, Joe Falcon, a lot of people play it to this day. It was just something different.” had Cajun music’s first commercial recording, “Allons a Lafayette,” in Falcon has witnessed many changes during his four decades in 1928. accordion building. But he’s perhaps most pleased that the Cajun Still, Falcon was intrigued by the 10-button accordions that fueled accordion caught the ears Cajun songs. Early squeeof young people. zeboxes that had made “When I started, Cajun their way to Louisiana from wasn’t cool—or hot,” Germany before World said Falcon, a retired War II had the supply school teacher. “My first virtually cut off by the 20-something years of war. The drought created making an accordion, a tiny cottage industry 75 to 80 percent of my of accordion builders in customers were over 60 bayou country. years old. Falcon sought out one “When Wayne (Toups) of those early makers, came out with his rockShine Mouton. Falcon Cajun band, which he calls asked Mouton how to zydecajun, it really got the make an accordion and interest of the young kids. the builder replied, “One Some wanted to play the at a time.” But Mouton’s Randy Falcon, left, stands with traditional music. Some wise words and lessons Grammy winner Wayne Toups wanted to play like him. turned into Falcon’s at Festivals Acadiens et Creoles A lot of them wound up first accordion. Falcon in Lafayette. playing the zydeco style. quickly forgot about Paul At that time, it was just McCartney and Mick really starting to come back.” Jagger. As Falcon leaves accordion building behind for health reasons, he’s “I was hooked,” said Falcon, who lives near Lafayette, Louisiana. “It ensuring that his legacy continues. He’s passing the stops to Rusty was like a fantasy, I made something that was usable. Even if it was Sanner, 40, a student for the past 12 years. Sanner will build the a copy of something, I made this instrument. It was a viable part of “Heritage” brand accordions. Cajun music. Just the idea of watching Mr. Mouton make accordions Sanner becomes part of a landscape where the handmade instrufor so long made me think maybe I could do it. It made me want to ments average $3,000 or more. Waiting lists can be long, as top do it.” models feature specialty woods, designer bellows and reeds imported Forty-five years and dozens of squeezeboxes later, Falcon is retiring from Europe. as builder of the trademark “Falcon” accordions. His clientele has Falcon said the knowledge and months of labor that’s poured into included Grammy winner Wayne Toups, who electrified the Cajun just one accordion often goes unappreciated. scene in the 1980s with a rock, R&B and zydeco-infused style; fan “People in the crowd dancing or listening to the radio, they favorites Jamie Bergeron; Roddie Romero; Jackie Caillier and Hunter just think it’s a whole lot of fun. They don’t realize that with music, Hayes, who was a star as a toddler, and who’s now making hits in the sound is what musicians are going to look for. When I started, Nashville. accordion-making was considered to be a hobby. I turned it into a Falcon enjoyed stardom as a game-changer in diatonic accordions. business. But some guys may make one or two a year. They don’t have The instruments were traditionally made to play in one key, with C spare parts or the extra equipment they would need to do this. being the favorite of most Cajun singers. “Usually, the more reputable people do it with the proper technique. But 25 years ago, Falcon crafted a box that played in two keys. You have to have replacement reeds, bellows, different kinds of woods, With help from the local university, his invention received a patent and stained and inlay. I was always considered part time, but I called myself a marked the first change in diatonic accordions since their invention in full-time part time. I never stopped in 45 years. O 1885.


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The Story of People and Place

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The Folk Alliance celebrates creativity and supports traditions.

he 32nd annual Folk Alliance International “We’re trying to connect people,” Finnan said, “provide by John Wirt conference is coming to New Orleans. Running resources, celebrate creativity and support traditions that January 22 to January 26 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, don’t have the commercial attention of the media and industry. We foster the conference includes keynote speakers Mavis Staples and Rhiannon opportunities for people to make a living doing what they love and to Giddens, one-hundred-eighty showcasing performers, an opening night lead by example on social issues.” awards show plus industry panels, mentoring sessions and networking Several Louisianans will be honored during the FAI awards show. New events. Orleans’ Preservation Hall, Lafayette’s The 2020 FAI conference theme BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet and Aengus Finnan is The Story of People and Place. In the late gospel star Mahalia Jackson New Orleans, a port city that’s will receive the Elaine Weissman among the most culturally diverse Lifetime Achievement Awards. Socially places in the United States, the conscious singer-songwriter Ani conference will address diversity, DiFranco will receive the People’s inclusion, immigration, interaction Voice Award. and influence. Conference regisOffBeat magazine publisher Jan tration information is available at Ramsey and New Orleans folklorist folkconference.org/register. and writer Ben Sandmel will receive Aengus Finnan, executive director the Spirit of Folk Award, an honor of the Kansas City, Missouri-based recognizing the promotion and FAI, anticipates more than threepreservation of folk music. American thousand attendees from forty-five Routes host Nick Spitzer will be countries. “Our theme this year is inducted into the FAI’s Folk DJ Hall of universal,” Finnan said. “Everyone Fame. calls somewhere home and that somewhere informs who they are and The FAI’s 30-minute, full-production showcases place performers in the stories they tell. The theme is not specific to New Orleans, but it’s front of bookers, agents, managers, record labels and media. The many certainly amplified by the city and heavily featured in our programming.” Louisiana performers at the 2020 conference were selected from more The multitude of music styles covered by the FAI encompass Appala- than twelve-hundred applicants. They include New Orleans’ Cha Wa, chian, Americana, bluegrass, blues, Cajun, Celtic, Francophone, indie-folk, Jamie Lynn Vessels, Leyla McCalla, Luke Winslow-King, Benny Amón’s indigenous, Latin, old-time, traditional, singer-songwriter, spoken word, New Orleans Pearls, Lakou Mizik and Helen Rose; Acadiana’s Dirk Powell, zydeco and fusion. Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Gina Forsyth, Michael “It is a world view of folk music as the music of the people,” Finnan Doucet avec Lâcher Prise, Pine Leaf Boys, the Revelers and Zachary explained—“which is obviously different from state to state and country Richard; Lake Charles’ Sean Ardoin; and Nashville-based New Orleans to country. From indigenous songs revived from wax cylinder recordings native Mary Gauthier. to contemporary urban fusions, and from hip-hop to cumbia, the music “We have a juried process with festival directors from across the of the people should be defined by communities themselves, not by me, country and world,” Finnan said. “The incredible showing of Louisiana our board, or our organization. We are here to serve them all.” artists who were selected by the jury is a testament to the talent here.” Gospel and rhythm-and-blues star Staples will do her January 23 Finnan, an Irish-born Canadian who toured as a singer-songwriter for keynote appearance in an interview format. Giddens, a Grammya decade, believes folk music in the early 21st century is in a healthy winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and 2017 MacArthur state. “It is truly in a renaissance, with an overwhelming number of artists Genius grant recipient, will deliver a keynote address on January 25. coming from countless communities, eager to share their traditions, craft, “Mavis Staples has been stalwart in her commitment to addressing passion and stories. I often have an aerial view in my mind of global folk issues and inspiring hope through music,” Finnan said. “At a time when artists packing up their instruments and heading down to the next gig to there was even more risk and consequence, she used her platform to sing songs in cafés and concert halls and festival fields. They’re traveling on advance change.” a highway in Vermont, a bus in Alberta, a train in India, the metro in Paris, Like Staples, Giddens has committed her voice to addressing cultural a flight from Argentina. If the entire music industry imploded there would equity and a call to action, Finnan said. “She is bravely and articulately still be folk songs, people to sing them and people gathering to hear calling on us all to listen, learn and lead. Her message is urgent and them. Folk is indestructible, the intimacy is infectious and the talent pool is needs more than applause at the end of each song.” limitless.” O The nonprofit FAI celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1989. Its mission The Folk Alliance International conference runs January 22 to January “is to serve, strengthen and engage the global folk music community 26 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. More information is available at through preservation, presentation and promotion.” folkconference.org and folkconference.org/register.

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The Banjo

he first banjo ever documented 1915 five-string banjos have not made a in New Orleans was in 1819. home in New Orleans music. Often visitors British-American architect Benjamin to New Orleans expect to see and hear Latrobe illustrated the instrument as a banjo but, presuming a five-string, are he witnessed it during a performance confused when they see and hear a fouror six-string. in Congo Square. It was a Haitian The six-string banjo in particular is the Banja, a masterpiece of beauty and by Seva Venet subject of a lot of confusion. Considered craftsmanship, and closely related to its by many to be a “fake,” the instrument African ancestors. has deep roots in New Orleans jazz, blues In the decades following came a and dance bands. In fact, some of the scattering of banjo references in New earliest and most influential blues and jazz Orleans. A witness to a voodoo ceremony recordings featured six-string banjo players in 1825 noted: “… A banjo-player, too, from New Orleans. The most outstanding sprang up, and pandemonium was of these include Papa Charlie Jackson, unloosed.” A newspaper review in 1830 the first successful male blues artist, and mentioned “Butler’s Banjow,” a very rare Johnny St. Cyr, who recorded on some of mention of the legendary banjoist John the first and most influential jazz sessions “Picayune” Butler. And in 1841, a dance George Guesnon and Emanuel Sayles with Jelly Roll Morton’s Hot Peppers and party was reported in which “banjos were Louis Armstrong’s Hot 5 and 7 sessions. knocked in—and ivories were knocked out.” Later, New Orleans native and veteran Significantly, these first sightings were all of in the New York jazz and blues scene, people with African and Afro/Caribbean Danny Barker brought his decades of heritage. The instruments would have recording and performing chops on probably been crafted by their owners. the guitar to the six-string banjo along With the rise in popularity of minstrel with his old style New Orleans Creole entertainment in the 1850’s, there were “rigamarole.” It took the banjo to new many itinerant banjoists, often performing levels of harmonic and technical potential, concurrently in New Orleans. There are sophistication and groove.Yet, the six-string several banjoists born in or around New banjo is still unappreciated in the larger Orleans who would, in their time, go on sphere of American roots music. to some renown abroad through minstrel The first documented account of a banjo by Bejamin Through the depression era of performances. In 1855, New Orleans native Latrobe in 1819 (left) and a modern version (right). the 1930’s work was thin, but in the Louis Moreau Gottschalk first performed his most famous composition “The Banjo” in his home town. The piece, early 1940’s there opened new avenues of opportunity and indeed popularity for musicians. In this “revival” of New Orleans Jazz, Lawrence written for piano, was an effort to reproduce the sounds of African Marrero and others would bring forward what is now considered an American banjo styles of his day. iconic sound of a New Orleans rhythm section. This simple four strums First published in 1867 in “Slave Songs of the United States” the to the beat, built for dancers, was simple, accessible and infectious. popular Creole song “Miché Bainjo” was being sung in New Orleans In the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, Preservation Hall, Bourbon Street clubs, the and around the surrounding countryside. It depicted an arrogant Palm Court Jazz Cafe, steamboats on the river, or the streets of the dandy sporting a banjo. The song has been recorded several times by French Quarter would be the best bet to experience jazz banjo. In New artists such as Pete Seeger and Danny Barker and is still sung today in Orleans, stellar banjoists still play the role of rhythm men, improvisers, elementary schools around Louisiana. In 1993, educator and modern jazz clarinet master Alvin Batiste recorded his original piece, “Banjo singers and songwriters—Leyla McCalla, Don Vappie,Tuba Skinny’s Jason Noir,” based on the original Creole melody. Lawrence, and more—who keep busy both at home and abroad. Around the turn of the century the music scene in New Orleans The year 2020 marks 201 years after the first citing of the banjo in featured many dance ensembles featuring guitars, but several contemNew Orleans—more iconic than ever, it is a voice in the story of New poraneous ads noted ensembles that used banjo. The first jazz artist, Orleans music and an instrument dynamic and futuristic, if adaptable to cornetist Buddy Bolden, in 1900 and probably earlier, used banjo in his its fluid population and music scene. O bands and by the late 1910s and into the 1920s most of the popular The sixth annual Danny Barker Banjo & Guitar Festival takes place in New New Orleans dance (a.k.a. jazz) bands featured banjo. Orleans from January 15 through January 19, 2020 and will include school Five-string banjos were the most popular model nationally around the clinics, workshops, panel discussions, interviews and live music performances turn of century and, in New Orleans, would have been five-string banjos at a variety of venues, including the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Snug Harbor, or plectrum banjos which were tuned like a five-string but without the Xavier University, NOCCA, UNO and the George and Joyce Wein Center. “drone” fifth string. Ever since 1915 when banjos became part of the Seva Venet is a working New Orleans banjoist/guitarist, band leader traditional dance/jazz band ensembles in New Orleans, four-string tenor and educator. He is currently writing a book on the history of the banjo in banjos or six-string guitar banjos a.k.a. “gitjoes” were the style used. Since New Orleans.

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An unusual voice in the story of New Orleans music.

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TOP PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY THE TULANE HOGAN JAZZ ARCHIVES

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TOP 10

e’ve polled our writers and editorial staff and have gathered 50 of our most recommended albums of the year. We didn’t include reissues and only included 2019 releases. Some titles released in December 2019 will be considered in the 2020 “Best of ” list. Four of our choices are being considered for a GRAMMY, two in the top 10: PJ Morton: Paul and Bobby Rush: Sitting on Top of the Blues and two in the Top 50: Branford Marsalis Quartet: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Ancestral Recall. We understand the difficulties in ranking and we only rank the Top 10. We hope that the readers use this list merely as a guide to the best music that Louisiana has to offer: there’s a lot of great music out there!

1. The Soul Rebels: Poetry in Motion (Mack Avenue) What The Soul Rebels have accomplished with Poetry in Motion is their magnum opus. It’s catchy and vibrant, energetic and polished. —reviewed

October 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff and Amanda Mester

2. Galactic: Already Ready Already (Tchoup Zilla / Thirty Tigers) If the goal was to present good songs in a tasty context, they’ve more than succeeded. — reviewed February 2019 by Brett Milano

3. John Boutté: a “well tempered” Boutté (Independent) This is above all a singer’s album, and you’re unlikely to hear a better vocal disc this year.

the songs stemmed from a recent string of writing collaborations, but in this context they become a summing-up statement; taking in all the music he’s absorbed over the decades. —reviewed January 2020 by Brett Milano 7. PJ Morton: Paul (Morton Records) On Paul, a first name he shares with his father, PJ Morton brings on the soulfulness that is the essence of his style. —reviewed October 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff 8. Tank and the Bangas: Green Balloon (Verve Forecast) Tank and the Bangas take it to a whole new level on their sophomore effort. —reviewed July 2019 by Robert Fontenot

9. Bobby Rush: Sitting on Top of the Blues (Deep Rush) His brand of blues-funk is always pleasing to his many fans on CD and live. —reviewed November 2019 by Jeff Hannusch

—reviewed September 2019 by Brett Milano

4. Anders Osborne: Buddha and the Blues (Back on Dumaine) He is in an upbeat frame of mind

here, the guitars are built more on textural layers than firebrand solos. —reviewed July 2019 by Brett Milano 5. Leyla McCalla: The Capitalist Blues (Jazz Village) Leyla McCalla’s third solo release The Capitalist Blues is remarkable in terms of ambition, scale, and realization. —reviewed December 2019 by Michael Dominici 6. Paul Sanchez: I’m a song, I’m a story, I’m a ghost (Independent) Many of (not ranked, listed in alphabetical order) Benny Amón: Benny Amón’s New Orleans Pearls (Independent) This is a solid debut, and a reminder of how this 75-year-old strain of New Orleans jazz keeps reaching out to young musicians and lures them to town. —reviewed April

THE NEXT 40

2019 by Tom McDermott

Bonerama: Bonerama Plays Zepelin (Basin Street Records) It’s full of audacious arrangements that turn the classic tunes every which way, yet remain entirely true to the Zeppelin spirit. —reviewed April 2019 by Brett Milano

Brad Walker Quartet: Live at Snug Harbor (Independent) The climax of Live at Snug Harbor sums up the best of the Brad Walker Quartet in that it offers the dynamics of the ensemble in its most comprehensive mode, yet reveals a progressive essence. —reviewed December 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff and David Kunian

Branford Marsalis Quartet: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul (Okeh / Sony) The Branford Marsalis Quartet’s The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul is a superb album that stands proudly alongside the saxophonist’s last killer studio release, Four MFs Playin’ Tunes. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by Geraldine Wykcoff

Charlie Wooton Project featuring Arsène Delay: Blue Basso (Wild Heart Records) Blue Basso is likely to vault [Wooton] into a new level as a

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10. Nicholas Payton: Relaxin’With Nick (Smoke Session Records) Relaxin’ with Nick is just what the title promises as

Nicholas Payton, Peter Washington and Kenny Washington invite listeners to their world where improvised music moves pleasurably and vigorously through the ages devoid of barriers. —reviewed November 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff

bandleader. —reviewed September 2019 by John Wirt Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: Ancestral Recall (Stretch Music) Scott’s Ancestral Recall, filled with his original compositions, challenges listeners to accept his sometimes thought-provoking, often moving and occasionally perplexing visions. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff Dave Jordan: Burning Sage (Independent) Dave Jordan has crafted a great album. Filled with songs with adult themes like loss, lost love and regret, Burning Sage is a powerful statement from a mature songwriter not afraid to expose powerful emotions. —reviewed December 2019 by Jay Mazza Davell Crawford: Dear Fats, I Love You (Basin Street Records) Dear Fats, I Love You is for those who feel the same adoration of Antoine “Fats” Domino, as the genius of Davell Crawford expresses on this historic album. —reviewed May 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff Donna Angelle and the Zydeco Posse: I’m Just a Country Girl (Cypress Records) The good news is she’s back on track with her best album yet, featuring nine originals and one cover. —reviewed October 2019 by Dan Willging

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers: Bon Ton (Louisiana Red Hot Records) The always-energetic Dwayne Dopsie delivers the goods with

his stunning, one-of-a-kind, modernly intricate accordion workouts, while also remembering zydeco’s blues roots, and the genre’s downhome, party attitude. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff O F F B E AT. C O M


Esther Rose: You Made it This Far (Father /Daughter) Marrying the croon of Patsy Cline with the twang of Loretta Lynn and the adenoidal angst of Tammy Wynette, she sounds even more relaxed here than on her debut. —reviewed November 2019 by Robert Fontenot

Russell Welch: Acetate Sessions (Twerk-O-Phonic) Rather than just continuing the fine tradition of musicians celebrating the genre, he actually recreates it, using real acetate masters. —reviewed October 2019 by Robert Fontenot

Extended: Harbinger (Origin Records) Harbinger manifests superb musicianship, creatively employed, to produce a highly- individualized yet collective artistic endeavor that is a privilege to experience. —reviewed

Sam Price & the True Believers: Dragonfly (Independent) The title track is the real standout, however, a mixture of light Afrobeat percussion and acoustic Delta blues that really makes you feel like you’re lying in the September 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff tall grass. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by Robert Fontenot Ghalia: Mississippi Blend (Ruf Records) Although her version of the blues Samantha Fish: Kill or Be Kind (Rounder) The totality of her versatility, has always been electric and filtered through her rock and punk roots, the expression, solid guitar skills and on-stage prowess fuse into a dynamic approach here is purely organic. —reviewed November 2019 by Robert Fontenot package. —reviewed December 2019 by John Wirt Herlin Riley: Perpetual Optimism (Mack Avenue) Perpetual Optimism Sean Ardoin: Ven (Zydekool Records) It’s not a collection of new material sonically projects Riley’s love of jazz music, and the music’s richness when nor is it a greatest hits package, but previously-released tunes re-imagined shared with like-minded musicians and listeners. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible the way Ardoin says he originally envisioned them. —reviewed October 2019 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff

by Dan Willging

James Martin: Keep Movin’ (Parlor Records) The three straight-up Smoking Time Jazz Club: Contrapuntal Stomp (Independent) The song funk instrumentals are less surprising but they’re all satisfying; the title choices are an effective balance of familiar and unique, with several to track is no less melodic than the vocal tunes. —reviewed in January 2020 burn up the dance floor and some to sway to. —reviewed June 2019 by by Brett Milano

Jon Batiste: Anatomy of Angels – Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve) There is never a dull moment with Batiste at the piano as he keeps changing the dynamics, going from quiet to ferocious, both within a single tune, and from selection to selection. —reviewed August 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff Jon Batiste: Chronology of a Dream – Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve) Batiste’s warm personality and the audience’s interaction on the beautifully-recorded Chronology of a Dream welcomes listeners to the party. — reviewed December 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff

Keith Frank: Keith Frank presents the Soulwood All-Stars Vol. 3: Legends of the South (Soulwood Records) This record easily stands among the best of Frank’s voluminous discography. —reviewed August 2019 by Dan Willging Khris Royal & Dark Matter: Dark Matter II (Independent) This is the sort of album that a major label would no longer release in a million years: a jazz-funk set that features first-rate players soloing at length for the joy of it. —reviewed August 2019 by Brett Milano Lena Prima: Prima La Famiglia (Basin Street Records) It’s a bit different and a lot more ambitious than anything she’s done before, less a tribute to her dad than a warm embrace of the Italian pop tradition, mostly from pre-rock eras. —reviewed February 2019 by Brett Milano Lilli Lewis Project: We Belong (Louisiana Red Hot Records) You don’t need to feel her gentle pan-cultural righteousness in order to appreciate her sonic palette: a pair of ears and an open mind will do. —reviewed

Stacey Leigh Bridewell

Soul Brass Band: Levels (Independent) The Soul Brass Band has gelled into a solid unit with songs that will keep you coming back for another listen, and another, and another. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by Jay Mazza

T’Monde: Lights in the Harbor (Valcour Records) Once again,T’Monde has raised the bar when it was high enough already. —reviewed January

2020 by Dan Willging

The Iceman Special: The Iceman Special (Independent) The Iceman Special’s album debut is a 13-track voyage to the music of the 1970s and ’80s and this quartet’s genre-splicing present. —reviewed February 2019 by John Wirt

The Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band: The Crustaceous Capers of the Jumbo Jazz Band (Independent) This album is the physical embodiment of jazz swashbuckling. —reviewed October 2019 by Stacey Leigh Bridewell The New Orleans Catahoulas: Homegrown (Independent) Recorded live at The New Orleans Mint [New Orleans Jazz Museum], it’s an infectiously energetic, groovin’ album from a band that is sure to become a fixture in town. —reviewed July 2019 by Stacey Leigh Bridewell The New Orleans Swinging Gypsies: Hot Boudin (Independent) It’s refreshing to hear great original material paired so ably with some gems from a genre that continually renews itself. —reviewed December 2019 by Jay Mazza

November 2019 by Robert Fontenot

Tom McDermott: Tom McDermott Meets Scott Joplin (Arbors Records) The crowning moment of this record comes when McDermott lets it Lost Bayou Ramblers: Asteur (Lost Bayou Records) Asteur features well-received live performances from seven New Orleans area venues. — all hang out, by bringing his improvisational wit and technique to bear on reviewed December 2019 by Dan Willging Joplin’s most famous composition, “Maple Leaf Rag.” —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 by John Swenson Marc Stone: Live At Tipitina’s (Independent) Stripping his sound down to the basics—his voice, his guitar and his trusty slide—Marc Stone’s latest Tony Dagradi: Down Time (Astral Music) Dagradi is a one-man sax release, which was recorded at Tipitina’s back in May 2018, is a strong section with Brian Blade and Stanton Moore taking turns behind the statement and a timely testimonial to the blues. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible drum set. —reviewed September 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff 2019 by Jay Mazza Tuba Skinny: Some Kind-A-Shake (Independent) Everything on Some Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Tuba to Cuba (Sub Pop) Throughout the Kind-A-Shake, from the top-notch musicianship to the thoughtful arrangealbum, the music sails between the two musical ports and often seemingly ments, to the kick up your heels album art by Shaye Cohn, is just splendid. meets mid-sea. —reviewed August 2019 by Geraldine Wyckoff —reviewed June 2019 by Stacey Leigh Bridewell Quiana Lynell: A Little Love (Concord Jazz) It shows an edgier side of Warren Storm: Taking the World, By Storm (APO Records) Surely, the vocalist, which allows her to express the album’s theme that A Little this won’t be the last time these songs will ever be recorded but Love, in whatever form, can go a long way. —reviewed Jazz Fest Bible 2019 if they are, these renditions would endure for eternity. —reviewed by Geraldine Wyckoff OF F B E AT.C OM

December 2019 by Dan Willging

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The Nominations The complete list of nominees

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for the Best of the Beat.

he OffBeat Music and Cultural Arts Foundation’s Best of the Beat Nominations are in. We solicited nominations from musicians and many others in the music community. We then gave the results to our writers and editors and with input from both, determined the nominations in each category. The public starts voting on December 26 at OffBeat.com and ends on January 15. Winners will be announced at the Best of the Beat, which will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Thursday January 30. The 2019 Best of The Beat Awards and Party will feature performances by J & the Causeways, the Soul Rebels, Charlie Wooton Project featuring Arséne DeLay, members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and a Preservation Hall tribute to Charlie Gabriel. Sponsors for this year’s Best of the Beat Awards include OffBeat Media, Positive Vibrations Foundation, New Orleans Jazz Market, New Orleans Jazz Museum, WWNO, WYES and WHIV. Many of the city’s finest restaurants will be serving food which is part of the ticket price. Tickets for the Best of the Beat are on sale now at Eventbrite.com.

Artist of the Year

• Lelya McCalla • PJ Morton • Samantha Fish • Tank and the Bangas • The Soul Rebels

Song of the Year

• “Buddha and the Blues” written by Anders Osborne • “Empty World” written by Mark Mullins • “Going Straight Crazy” written by Ben Ellman, Boyfriend, Album of the Year Jeff Raines, Rich Vogel, Robert • Anders Osborne: Buddha and the Mercurio, Samantha Michelle Blues (Back on Dumaine) Montgomery, Stanton Moore • John Boutté: a “well tempered” • “Slide Back” written by Boutté (Independent) Marcus Hubbard • Leyla McCalla: The Capitalist Blues • “Walking in Liverpool” written (Jazz Village) by Paul Sanchez, Pete Riley and • PJ Morton: Paul (Morton Records) Pete Riley, Jr. • Tank and the Bangas: Green Balloon (Verve Forecast) Best Blues Performer • The Soul Rebels: Poetry in Motion • Bobby Rush • Johnny Sansone (Mack Avenue) • Marc Stone Best Emerging Artist • Samantha Fish • Benny Amón • Walter “Wolfman” Washington • Chapel Hill • Esther Rose Best Blues Album • J & The Causeways • Bobby Rush: Sitting on Top of the • Sierra Green & the Soul Machine Blues (Deep Rush)

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• Ghalia: Mississippi Blend (Ruf Records) • Marc Stone: Live At Tipitina’s (Independent) • Samantha Fish: Kill or Be Kind (Rounder) • Smoky Greenwell: Blues and the Power of Peace (Greenwell Records) Best R&B/Funk Artist

• Galactic • Khris Royal & Dark Matter • PJ Morton • Tank and the Bangas • Water Seed

Best Rap / Hip-Hop / Bounce Artist Album

• DeeLow Diamond Man: Good Vibes Diamond Edition (Tangalang Records) • Fendi P: Fendi P 3 (Jet Life Recordings) • Kenneth Brother: Kenneth Brother 4 (WSL Productions) • Pell: Gravity (PayDay Records) • The DJ (Ze11a and Paco Troxclair): The DJ (Independent) Best Traditional Jazz Artist

• Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses Best R&B/Funk Album • Preservation Hall Jazz Band • Charlie Wooton Project featuring • Russell Welch Arsene Delay: Blue Basso (Wild • Tom McDermott Heart Records) • Tuba Skinny • Galactic: Already Ready Already Best Traditional (Tchoup Zilla / Thirty Tigers) • PJ Morton: Paul (Morton Records) Jazz Album • Benny Amón: Benny Amón’s New • Tank and the Bangas: Green Orleans Pearls (Independent) Balloon (Verve Forecast) • Russell Welch: Acetate Sessions • The New Orleans Catahoulas: (Twerk-O-Phonic) Homegrown (Independent) • Smoking Time Jazz Club: Best Rock Artist Contrapuntal Stomp (Independent) • Anders Osborne • The New Orleans Swinging • Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes Gypsies: Hot Boudin (Independent) • The Iceman Special • Tuba Skinny: Some Kind-A-Shake • The Revivalists (Independent) • Trombone Shorty & Best Contemporary Orleans Avenue Best Rock Album

• Anders Osborne: Buddha and the Blues (Back on Dumaine) • Bonerama: Bonerama Plays Zeppelin (Basin Street Records) • Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes: Melt Your Face (Full Fontal Records) • The Iceman Special: The Iceman Special (Independent) • The Rakers: Five (Independent) Best Rap / Hip-Hop / Bounce Artist

• DeeLow Diamond Man • Fendi P • Kenneth Brother • Pell • The DJ (Ze11a & Paco)

Jazz Artist

• Brad Walker • Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah • Herlin Riley • Nicholas Payton • Quiana Lynell Best Contemporary Jazz Album

• Brad Walker Quartet: Live at Snug Harbor (Independent) • John Boutté: a “well tempered” Boutté (Independent) • Jon Batiste: Chronology of a Dream – Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve) • Nicholas Payton: Relaxin’ With Nick (Smoke Session Records) • Quiana Lynell: A Little Love (Concord Jazz) • Tony Dagradi: Down Time (Astral Music)

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Best Brass Band

• Big 6 Brass Band • Da Truth Brass Band • Hot 8 Brass Band • Soul Brass Band • Soul Rebels Best Cajun Artist

• Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole • Daquiri Queens • Feufollet • Lost Bayou Ramblers • Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys Best Zydeco Artist

• Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band • Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band • Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers • Lil Nathan & The Zydeco Big Timers • Mike Broussard & Nu’Edition Zydeco Best Zydeco Album

• Donna Angelle and the Zydeco Posse: I’m Just a Country Girl (Cypress Records) • Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers: Bon Ton (Louisiana Red Hot Records) • Keith Frank: Keith Frank presents the Soulwood All-Stars Vol. 3: Legends of the South (Soulwood Records) • Mike Broussard & Nu’Edition Zydeco: One Shot (Independent) • Sean Ardoin: Ven (Zydekool Records) Best Roots Rock Artist

• Dave Jordan • Paul Sanchez • Sam Price & the True Believers • Shawn Williams • Yvette Landry & the Jukes Best Roots Rock Album

• Carlo Ditta: Hungry for Love (Orleans Records) • Dave Jordan: Burning Sage (Independent) • Paul Sanchez: I’m a song, I’m a story, I’m a ghost (Independent) • Sam Price & the True Believers: Dragonfly (Independent) • Warren Storm: Taking the World, By Storm (APO Records) OF F B E AT.C OM

Best Country/Folk/ Singer-Songwriter Artist

• Esther Rose • Gal Holiday • Katy Hobgood Ray • Lelya McCalla • Sarah Quintana

Best Country/Folk/SingerSongwriter Album

• Esther Rose: You Made it This Far (Father /Daughter) • Katy Hobgood Ray featuring Dave Ray: I Dream of Water (Out of the Past Music) • Leyla McCalla: The Capitalist Blues (Jazz Village) • Lilli Lewis Project: We Belong (Louisiana Red Hot Records) • Sarah Quintana & Christophe • Lampidecchia: Love Letters (Independent)

Best Bass Player

Best Accordionist

Best Guitarist

Best Violin / Fiddle Player

Best Drummer

Best DJ

Best Saxophonist

Best Other Instrument

• George Porter, Jr. • James Singleton • Jesse Morrow • Peter Harris • Roland Guerin

• Anders Osborne • Jimmy Robinson • June Yamagishi • Samantha Fish • Steve Masakowski • Billie Davies • Doug Garrison • Herlin Riley • Johnny Vidacovich • Stanton Moore

• Aurora Nealand • Dan Oestreicher Best Gospel Group • James Martin • Franklin Avenue Music Ministry • Roger Lewis • Greater St. Stephens Mass Choir • Tony Dagradi • Johnson Extension • Legendary Rocks of Harmony Best Clarinetist • McDonogh #35 High School • Charlie Gabriel Gospel Choir • Dr. Michael White • Evan Christopher Best Cover Band • Gregory Agid • Bag Of Donuts • Tim Laughlin • Bucktown All-Stars • Low End Theory Players Best Trumpter • Top Cats • Ashlin Parker • Where Y’acht • Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown • Leroy Jones Songwriter of the Year • Nicholas Payton (Allen Toussaint Award) • Shamarr Allen • Anders Osborne • Esther Rose Best Trombonist • Leyla McCalla • Charlie Halloran • Paul Sanchez • Corey Henry • PJ Morton • Mark Mullins • Paul Robertson Best Female Vocalist • Troy Andrews • Erica Falls • Meschiya Lake Best Tuba/Sousaphonist • Quiana Lynell • Benny Pete • Samantha Michelle Montgomery • Jon Gross (Princess Shaw) • Kirk Joseph • Sasha Masakowski • Matt Perrine • Phil Frazier Best Male Vocalist

• Anders Osborne • Cyril Neville • J’Wan Boudreaux • John Boutte • PJ Morton

Best Piano / Keyboardist

• Jon Cleary • Kyle Roussell • Oscar Rossignoli • PJ Morton • Tom McDermott

• Andre Michot • Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes • Chubby Carrier • Michael Ward-Bergeman • Sean Ardoin • Amanda Shaw • Hanna Mignano • Joel Savoy • Louis Michot • Matt Rhody

• Bouffant Bouffant • G Cue • Kelly Green • Raj Smoove • RQ Away • Helen Gillet (cello) • James Rivers (bagpipes) • Johnny Sansone (harmonica) • Lelya McCalla (cello) • Washboard Chaz (washboard) Best Music Video

• Leyla McCalla: Money is King Directed by Nisa East https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=lcjQdPcbS3c • Paul Sanchez with Pete Riley and Pete Riley, Jr.: Walking in Liverpool Directed by John Sanchez and Penchant Productions. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=wTHa0ZxitJw • Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Keep Your Head Up Directed by TG Herrington https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=PdUHN_Z6bas • The Soul Rebels: Good Time (Feat. Big Freedia, Denisia & Passport P) Video by Chris Haney with Greenhouse Collective https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=P72i2B2jOQM • Tank and the Bangas: Hot Air Balloons Directed by Tavia Osbey https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WGpMwqw4k_U

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Lifetime Achievement in Music Education:

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teve Masakowski never focused on making by Geraldine Wyckoff teacher in New Orleans. “There are a lot of great players who aren’t teaching his career. While attending Boston’s necessarily good teachers; he was one of the rare few. He had a way Berklee College of Music he earned a Professional Diploma of being encouraging, demonstrating and also inspiring students. He rather than a degree in music education. When pianist/educator Ellis probably taught most of the great guitar players in New Orleans like Marsalis offered him a full-time position in 1992 at the University of New Orleans, he remembers thinking, “Oh, I’ll give myself five years.” Phil DeGruy and Cranston Clements. “Hank got me on the track listening to these other players—Wes That, of course, was almost 30 years ago and the guitarist has gone on to become a full professor of jazz studies and holds the Coca-Cola Montgomery, Joe Pass. Of course, at the time, I didn’t have the records. LPs were very expensive and Wes and Pass [jazz recordings] Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the university. were hard to find. I had a reel“I basically learned by playing to-reel tape recorder and Hank and of course I studied with would lend me the prized LPs some fantastic teachers like Hank and I would go home and record Mackie,” Masakowski says. “I them. That’s when I started to personally never really put much blossom as a guitar player.” credence in degrees. At the time, Masakowski would spend a it was more important for me to great deal of time listening and play with as many great musicians playing along with these albums as possible. I feel that profestrying to copy what the artists sional experience has been much were doing. As an educator on more valuable in my career. From the university level, he has his the bandstand is where most of students transcribe material and my education came.” play what they are hearing. “It’s That includes, of course, his very ear-intensive,” he explains. decades with Astral Project that “I think the best way to develop he joined in 1987. “I’m the junior an ear is vocalizing—singing what member,” he adds with a laugh. you hear. I like to say, you really “My goal as a teacher is to don’t know it if you can’t sing it. turn out creative and productive You don’t have to sing like Sarah individuals,” Masakowski says. “I Vaughan or somebody. love helping students discover Unlike Masakowski who had who they are and finding their a limited number of recordings own path in music.” available to him, students today Masakowski grew up in the have a vast amount of music last house on Magazine Street from around the world at their and recalls being able to listen fingertips. “There is such a to the Paul Crawford Jazz Band plethora of information on the through his open window— internet; you can learn so much the family’s home didn’t have just by watching, though it can get air-conditioning. As a kid, he had a bit scatterbrained,” Masakowski the opportunity to hear brass offers. “It’s important to do bands and marching bands as one thing and do it really well. they rolled nearby. His home There are so many avenues that was often filled with music; his it requires me to teach from my personal experience. For instance, mother was a semi-professional vocalist who would sing around the we teach the music of James Black,” adds the guitarist, referring to house and play records. the New Orleans drum master who played in his band Mars in the Masakowski began playing bass and was in a group that dug in on 1980s. “Black was always a challenge—he was so precise and wanted tunes from the British rock band Cream. Interested in getting into composing, he realized he needed to learn chords in order to accom- everything to be perfect.” On his return to New Orleans from Berklee in 1977, Masakowski plish that goal. He was told that Hank Mackie was the best guitar

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Steve Masakowski


sought out noted music educator Dr. Bert Braud to help him assimilate what he had learned at the college. “When I studied at Berklee College of Music, it was a great experience, but I felt that sometimes the people who were teaching were recent graduates who were basically teaching from the book,” says Masakowski who is definitely a proponent of professional musicians in the classroom as they are at UNO and so many schools and universities in New Orleans. “They’re bringing life experiences that reflect what students want to learn—music, business, personal development. It brings a certain amount of insight.” “Something that I learned from Bert Braud is that you can’t really teach creativity,” he continues. “You can only demonstrate what other people have done, analyze that and hope that in some kind of way students can glean something from it. The only way we can help develop musicians is by looking at the great players through history. Masakowski took the opportunity to share bandstands with many exemplary artists who became his “professors,” including three years performing duet gigs with pianist Ellis Marsalis at the now- defunct Magazine Street jazz mecca, Tyler’s Beer Garden. “That was a real learning experience,” the guitarist exclaims; “when you play with Ellis, you’re not only learning about music, but off the bandstand we’re talking about politics, science, anything. I learned a lot from [saxophonist] Alvin “Red” Tyler; he knew thousands of songs, and I’m on his album Graciously. I played with some of the greatest modern players in New Orleans like [keyboardist] Willie Tee and [saxophonist] Earl Turbinton. He credits working with Astral Project, for whom he composed such memorable tunes as “Sidewalk Strut” and “Big Shot,” for forcing him to be spontaneous and think out of the box. “The band is highly rhythmic with Johnny V’s [drummer Johnny Vidacovich] sensibilities and Tork [pianist David Torkanowsky] as the essence of New Orleans.” Masakowski’s extensive resume reflects his journey as a musician, composer, educator and inventor. It includes two albums of his, What It Was, with liner notes by renowned guitarist/banjoist Danny Barker, and Direct AXEcess on the prestigious Blue Note label, as well as multiple recordings as a sideman. Early on, he toured with vocalist Dianne Reeves and mixed it up and recorded with saxophone greats Dave Liebman and Rick Margitza plus many others. Masakowski has received numerous honors including several in the best guitarist category in Offbeat’s Best of the Beat Music Awards. In recent years, the guitarist has often been heard performing with the Masakowski Family Band that includes his daughter Sasha on vocals and his son Martin on bass. On the educational front, Masakowski has published guitar lessons for such noted magazines as Guitar Player and wrote a book on jazz ear training for Mel Bay Publications. While holding the chair of the Coca-Cola Endowment, he has developed a number of related programs to enhance the jazz studies curriculum. “I basically wanted to continue what Ellis was doing with the Endowment,” says Masakowski. “I wanted to make New Orleans an extension of the program. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz and UNO is in New Orleans and should reflect that.” “I am a perpetual student,” declares Steve Masakowski, an excellent musician and educator despite any hesitation to enter the classroom door. His students, UNO and New Orleans stand as the beneficiaries of his shared knowledge. O OF F B E AT.C OM

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Lifetime Achievement in Music Business

Shirani Rae of Peaches Records

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hen Shirani Rea opened Peaches by Amanda “Bonita” Mester said, ‘go share the love,’ not ‘be the best lawyer or doctor,’ ” she says. “Love is what keeps everyRecords in 1975, she became an independent business owner with a humanist approach to thing together. Our Earth is so damaged right now with that lack of love; that’s why I’ve always taken care of the homeless and the hungry.” her bottom line. The beloved record store, now located on Magazine Rea brings up the recent collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel on Canal Street and Napoleon Avenue, is not only one of New Orleans’ best Street, which affected the St. Jude Community Center’s ability to feed places to buy music and merchandise, but also a venue for live perforthe homeless community. “For years we’ve fed the homeless there; mances and philanthropic events. Along with her kids Lillie and Lee, when they closed the area down [after the building collapse] and no she operates the storefront with unbridled warmth, greeting every one could come and go, they called me to tell me they had to feed customer with a smile and an embrace in her eyes—which are always 150 people and they had nowhere to do it, so [Peaches] got everything done up in immaculately applied eyeshadow. together and brought the bags to them.” If you’ve ever shopped at Peaches, chances are you’ve been called Loving all people is well and good, but this is the Lifetime “sweetheart” or “honey” in Rae’s slight Sri-Lankan lilt.You may have Achievement Award in Music . stumbled in on a day when How, I ask her, does her holistic, Peaches was hosting one of its spiritual approach work in a signature “Hashtag Lunchbag” capitalist economy? Aren’t the events, when lunches are two antithetical? packed for the city’s homeless “Not really, if you do it from community. Or perhaps you’re your heart,” she replies. “It’s not a history buff who heard about money because when the legend of the original you do something from your Woolworth’s diner counter Ms. heart, everything grows. An Rae has left in-store, accomexample is Frank Sinatra: even panied by a plaque explaining its all these years later, he’s still role as a place for sit-ins during alive in most people’s minds the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s because he always sang from and ‘60s. his heart. Money grows from The store has been in its that. None of us have papers current, approximately 15,000 to inherit the earth and we square-foot location since 2016, also can’t take any of it with us. when it replaced an antique store. Originally located near Cooter Brown’s uptown, Peaches moved It all stays here. So I never felt very connected to money, ever. I never wanted presents. I like sharing. I don’t wait for birthdays and holidays. If to Gentilly Road and remained there for 30 years until moving to the old Tower Records location in the French Quarter post-Katrina. During you feel like giving from your heart, just do it.” Peaches is a kind of stimulus package for local creatives, too. It’s not that era, the store became invaluable to the development of Cash Money Records’ growth in its early years, becoming one of the earliest just a place where a musician can sell a few records. The store carries everything from books to enamel pins, cheeky kitchen aprons to businesses to cater to the growing hip-hop consumer base. Decades clothing—a lot of which is crafted by local artisans. later, the business is still associated with the city’s rap scene in general, “We take care of the painters, the candle makers,” she explains. but Ms. Rae is a devout audiophile who assures me she prefers no “These candles we carry, I got some of the other businesses up and genre over another. “Music is part of my spiritual blood,” she tells me. “It comes from one down the street to carry them, and the woman who makes them was soul and goes to another soul, and since I was young, music has soothed able to buy a house. She had so many orders she almost didn’t know what to do. Helping people’s dreams come true, that’s important.” whatever was disturbing my world. I don’t know how I would have She circles back to the importance of love and the music business’ turned out if I didn’t have the influence of music.” history of abusing certain kinds of artists. “After Katrina hit, a lot of Shirani says that, from an early age, she resisted traditional views people didn’t want to come in [Peaches] because we had so many of how things should operate; she liked to wear black and didn’t care people who ‘looked like gangsters.’ They deliberately keep us separated much what her family thought. She emphasizes the role love plays in so that we don’t have a voice. Many artists get abused by the big her approach to life, but it’s not a platitude or sentimental. Instead, it people with the big money and that prevents people from having a truly permeates every aspect of not only Shirani but Peaches, as well. “When we were dropped in this universe we were all naked and He happy life. So, I like to play a small part in making dreams come true.” O


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Positive Vibrations HeartBeat Award (Musician)

Muvelho came out of her own rediscovery of the argie Perez embodies what it means to be a by Brett Milano Latin music she’d grown up with. Her parents are Cuban working artist in New Orleans right now: she plays whenever possible, constantly expanding her reach with immigrants who moved to Washington, DC where she was born. “As a variety of bands and collaborations. Originally a songwriter working in my mom cleaned the house she would always play the Fania Allstars a funk-rock vein, she’s branched into Latin and African music, embracing and Celia Cruz, so I learned all that by osmosis. They came over in 1959 before the revolution, and they had every intention of staying. So her roots while reflecting her hometown’s musical diversity. Through we grew up with Cuban cooking and it she’s maintained the charm and music, but the area we lived was not very positivity that makes her a joy to see Latin. And that included the language; my onstage. parents wanted to be speaking English, Currently she can be seen as the so I lost a lot of my Spanish growing up. frontwoman of Muevelo, a vibrant I’ve been re-learning it now, and conjuLatin band that plays monthly at gating the verbs can be a challenge.” She the Ace Hotel; the band’s regular rediscovered that music for a Celia Cruz shows—which include free dance tribute show at the Ellis Marsalis Center; lessons beforehand—have become her musical partner for that show was a must-see for locals and visitors saxophonist Brent Rose who now alike. Her other regular gig, two co-leads Muvelho. “Before Katrina there Mondays monthly at 30/90, featured was a big Latin influence. Café Brasil her regular solo band (the “funky always had Latin bands and a lot of bands boy band” as she calls them) and her were playing, but then it dropped off own songs. She’s also in a couple of the radar. Now that’s changing; you can all-star lineups that play less regularly, walk down Frenchmen Street and hear including Afro-Cuban Sacred music a 10-piece band making powerhouse band Moyuba, the West Africanmusic.” themed Ensemble Fatien and the Given her love for the city, it’s not jam-band supergroup the M&M’s. surprising that she’s begun working as Also rare, but unmissable, are appeara tour guide. It’s only lately that a friend ances by N.O.B.A.B.E.—that would convinced her to get the license and be the New Orleans Bad-Ass Bitch work for Historic New Orleans Tours, Experience—which features 16 of where she does musically-themed tours. the city’s jazz and R&B women that “I have a weird social anxiety thing had its inaugural show at Preservation where I can sing in front of an audience Hall in 2018. More recently she’s and never get nervous, but when I’m been the featured singer on the local TV show, Spotlight New Orleans with John Calhoun, where she gets to speaking it can be uncomfortable. But I keep in mind that I’m telling stories and there are so many things I want to say to people so I’m provide musical intros for a wide array of guests. just saying them out loud.” “I am constantly looking at my calendar,” she says. “I am my own Her various projects haven’t always left room for her to sit down booking person, my own manager and my own therapist. When people and write songs—a shame, since her last full CD Love is All was a local ask how I’m doing I say ‘Exhausted, but having fun.’ I’m always trying to highlight three years ago. But she has lent her pen to the Per Sister get out of my comfort zone and work with great musicians I admire, project, where she’s joined other local songwriters (including Sarah same as when I first came here 15 years ago.” Quintana, Lynn Drury and Spirit McIntyre) in lending voice to women Her first visit was actually in 1994, when she was touring with a who have been incarcerated. The woman she chose to write about world beat band and took in Jazz Fest, getting her head turned around (who’d rather her name not be made public) was one who’d gotten a by an Allen Toussaint set. After a stay in Los Angeles where she had some success as a backup singer, she moved here permanently 10 years long sentence she hadn’t deserved. “When she was released she had this tenacity and unwavering faith in God, instead of being bitter like she later. “Because I’m not [originally] from here, I’m well aware that I’ll always not ‘be’ from here. But I am here to stay and I want everyone to could have been. And that was something I found really inspiring. At the moment I maybe write two songs a year, but when I do I try to make know that. I decided to become a musician here because of the love I them count.” O have for the city and for showing it off to people.”

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Margie Perez


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Positive Vibrations HeartBeat Award (Culture Bearer)

larence Dalcour, 71, is a soft-spoken man by Geraldine Wyckoff on Mardi Gras day to first travel through the neighborhood. “That’s where you came from so who as Big Chief Delco of the Creole you don’t forget it.” Osceola displays old time Black Indian ways that he acquired Passing on his knowledge to younger Indians is important to Dalcour through listening and observing the elder chiefs. Chief Delco, whose nickname refers to the Delco battery, became and he often engages them in conversation. “I love them because they’re sewing,” says the chief adding, “but you have to have a meaning interested in the Indians through his father and uncle who would behind what you’re sewing. If you want to do this, you want to do it follow the Yellow Pocahontas gang led by Big Chief Allison “Tootie” right.You teach things the right way because they’re coming into an Montana. When Dalcour was growing up in Vascoville [in Gentilly] unusual culture. When I see young Indians there was only one Mardi Gras Indian in no matter what tribe they’re in, I talk to the area, the now-notorious Wildman Rock them and tell them different things about who roamed dump sites in search of items the culture. They’re the same as I am. They’re for his suit. “I remember him from when I in it for their communities and they want to was a little boy,” says Dalcour. “He used to play the game. We are not real Indians; the walk with a cane and he was wild!” Since thing about us is that we play Indian. So you Dalcour’s grandmother lived across the have to know how to play it.” street from Montanas’ North Villere Street Dalcour also respects the great home, they headed there on Carnival day. knowledge held by the loyal followers of When Dalcour returned to New the Black Indians. “You have some guys Orleans in 1969 after serving in the who have never put on a feather in their military in the Vietnam War, he asked life who can teach you more about Mardi Chief Tootie Montana if he could join the Gras Indians than Mardi Gras Indians,” he Yellow Pocahontas. “It was something to says. do, something to keep my mind off of what In 2011, Dalcour received the Mardi I was going through—it was calming and Gras Indian Hall of Fame’s Peace Chief peaceful.” award not only for his decades of masking “I learned a lot from my tribe—I used Indian and sharing his wisdom, but also in to talk to Tootie a lot and to Hatchet Fazio recognition of his ceremonial release of [Ray “Big Chief Hatchet” Fazio] and just all rock doves—homing birds that return to the people. Tootie made me a trail chief their loft—to promote peace within the and kept me close to him. Only a big chief Indian Nation and throughout the city. He gives you that important position.” performs this moving rite to honor those Dalcour remained with Big Chief Tootie who have passed as well as at wedding for several years though while in the celebrations and various Indian gatherings. midst of making a suit, a skill he learned “It comes from my heart,” says the chief who has been raising rock on his own, he realized that it just didn’t look like those of the Yellow doves since he was in his 20s. This activity was inspired by the YellowPocahontas. “It was my [personal] style,” says Dalcour who decided jacket’s Big Chief Thomas Sparks, another elder who taught Dalcour to form his own gang, the Creole Osceola that would become his old-time Indian traditions. “To me, Mardi Gras Indians mean a whole neighborhood’s first Mardi Gras Indian tribe. lot when it comes down to peace. In learning this culture you have to “I wanted an Indian name so I took the name of Chief Osceola, know how to speak to each other, to relate to each other.” who was a Seminole chief [in Florida],” Dalcour explains. “What Some people might find it contradictory that Chief Delco, a peaceimpressed me is that he married a slave woman and a lot of the loving man, often uses the word gang, which many people equate Indians that ran with him were runaway slaves. The ‘Creole’ comes with thugs, when talking about the Creole Osceola. “‘Gang’ originated from my area, Vascoville—the 7th Ward.” because a lot of the guys masking Indian labored on the riverfront. “I do it for the community,” says Big Chief Delco of his continued The groups who worked in certain areas with specific tasks were desire to mask Indian. He explains that his “community” includes known as work gangs,” Dalcour explains of the word’s historic use in the three villages of Gentilly–Vascoville, Sugar Hill and Pilotland. “My the Black Indian Nation. community is a family community, so everybody knows each other “I studied the chiefs that are gone away,” says the always distinand they love knowing each other. Now there is a tribe there for guished Big Chief Delco. “That’s what I had to do for the culture.” O Carnival.” The Creole Osceola still come out from Dalcour’s house

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PHOTOGRAPH BY Noé CUGNY

C

Clarence “Delco” Dalcour



L i fet i me A ch i e v eme n t i n M u s i c

When Charlie Gabriel, 87, was a youngster of

maybe eight or nine years old, he had a talk with God. “I remember myself saying: I want to be a musician and I don’t want to play just one style. I want to be able to play music so wherever I am at and somebody needs a saxophone player they’ll call me because I’ll be qualified to play all styles of music.” Through his love and dedication to music and the influence of his very musical family members who guided and inspired him, Gabriel’s prayer was granted. “I never had a day job,” declares Gabriel, who at age 11 began playing clarinet and saxophone professionally with New Orleans’ renowned Eureka Brass Band. The native New Orleanian moved to Detroit as a teenager and following decades in the Motor City, returned to his hometown to become a much-admired member of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band since 2008. “Charlie lights up the stage,” says Ben Jaffe, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s artistic director and sousaphonist. “His energy is a gigantic glowing sun. When you hear him play, you’re hearing the whole history of jazz.” Even in a city that boasts numerous musical families, the Gabriels stand out. Charlie’s great grandfather, Narcesse Gabriel, who was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and arrived in New Orleans in 1856, was a bass player. His grandfather, Martin Joseph “Big Manny” Gabriel, blew trumpet in the National Jazz Band in 1902, a group that also included noted saxophonist and bandleader Harold Dejan. Charlie’s father, Martin Gabriel, who was also known as Manny, played drums and alto saxophone. Not to be left out, his mother Emily was also musically inclined and played saxophone. Charlie’s uncles and cousins filled the musical ranks and the Gabriel legacy continues into a next generation as Charlie’s nephew,

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trumpeter Dameon Gabriel leads the Gabriel Brass Band in Detroit that includes more kinfolk. Charlie’s first instrument was the clarinet, though he wanted to blow trumpet. “I had five brothers and two were already on trumpet,” he explains. “My father said, ‘You all can’t play the same instrument.’ He said, ‘You and Clarence [Charlie’s cousin Clarence Ford] are gonna play saxophone.’ Well, the key to playing saxophone is to learn the clarinet; the clarinet is the mother instrument to teach you how to play saxophone.” “There was music in my house every day, all day and all night just about,” Charlie fondly remembers. “There was a piano in front room that my uncle Clarence would play with Uncle Percy on bass. That’s like any day of the week.” It wasn’t important to the family that there was no formalized Gabriel band. Someone, says Charlie, would just call out, “We got a job, fellas,” and they’d put a group together. “I was a little boy so I didn’t know what those grown people were doing,” Charlie remembers with a laugh. Charlie began studying saxophone with his father at age seven with Clarence [Ford] right there in on the lessons. (Ford would go on to play with the Fats Domino Band and become known as an exceptional modern jazz saxophonist.) By the time Charlie was 11 he could read music and in 1943 joined his father as a member of the Eureka Brass Band, a highly-respected unit that was formed in 1920. Charlie blew B flat clarinet with the Eureka that was then led by trumpeter Dominique “T-Boy” Remy and included such notables as clarinetist George Lewis, trumpeter Kid Sheik and brothers, clarinetist Willie and trumpeter Percy Humphrey. During World II, many musicians were serving in the military which meant the older guys needed players to

photographs by Camille Lenain



fill out their bands. That gave the young Charlie the opportunity to perform with many of the New Orleans legends like trumpeters and bandleaders Remy, Alvin Alcorn and Kid Howard. Charlie remembers primarily blowing saxophone with Howard at weddings and dances. Seeking greater opportunities and to leave behind the oppressive segregation in the south, Charlie’s mother and brothers headed to California though car trouble detoured the trip to Detroit. At his father’s insistence, Charlie remained in New Orleans for a time so his dad could further tutor his son in classic New Orleans jazz. At age 14, Charlie headed north and remained in Detroit an amazing 60 years. “There wasn’t too much work for the clarinet in Detroit,” says Charlie, who soon began playing sax with vibraphonist and pianist Lionel Hampton’s band. “I was with him for only a short time but I did have the opportunity to play with Mingus [bassist Charles Mingus] and [vibraphonist] Red Norvo, which was a great experience.” During those years, modern rather than traditional jazz was popular in Detroit. “It was a different era—music doesn’t stand still,” says Charlie, who was taking another step towards his desired destiny to become a musician who is proficient in many genres. Gabriel played with a variety of great vocalists including jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Nancy Wilson as well as blues and R&B singer Denise LaSalle. He recorded in the famed Motown Records studio with its first in-house band, the Funk Brothers, directed by pianist Joe Hunter. As was standard in those days, the musicians on any given session weren’t often credited and Gabriel doesn’t recall any of the records on which he might have appeared. By 1969, Gabriel was in the band backing the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin whose career was really blasting off. “She was such a wonderful lady and she took very good care of the band,” he remembers. “She was a fantastic piano player and what I didn’t know was that she sang opera too. She shared her knowledge with the cats in the band. When we had rehearsals, she stood in the back and offered her expertise. ‘Maybe approach it this way or that way’—because the music is still on the paper. Music stays on the paper until you make it in here [Charlie taps on his heart] for you. If you keep it on the paper you never learn it.You’re going to have to take it off the paper and then you become the music. So you never hear it the same way twice. Once it’s played it’s gone. That’s why live music is so important because it keeps us alive.” Gabriel vividly remembers a day when he was in France with Franklin and the band was rehearsing the song “My Way.” After they were finished a man who had been listening approached Charlie, who had

been blowing baritone and proclaimed, “You’re from New Orleans.” “I said ‘No, I’m from Detroit.’ He got very angry and repeated, ‘You’re from New Orleans because it’s in your music.’ ” It turns out that the guy, who obviously boasted “big ears”—having recognized the saxophonist’s musical origins—knew Charlie’s grandfather, Martin Gabriel, which Charlie discovered after telling him his name. “The New Orleans sound was there all the time,” says Gabriel allowing that it’s possible, depending on the material, that his years in Detroit can also be heard in his music. As Jaffe noted, Gabriel’s horn speaks of the history of jazz itself from the early purveyors of the traditional music to the modern sounds of big bands, bebop and beyond. He’s been intricately involved in its evolution. Beyond his family’s great influence, Charlie embraced the music that swirled around him. “I was taking things from everybody who played well,” he remembers. “The person who really impressed me [on clarinet] was Louis Cottrell. I saw him many times with Sidney Desvigne’s band. I heard him play “Star Dust” and that stayed with me all my life. It just let me see the fullness of the instrument and how he handled it in a beautiful way. What made him musically came out in his horns. Then there’s [clarinetist] George Lewis—what can I say?” “On saxophone you have to talk about Charlie Parker,Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane...There were so many of them. The guy I used to like was Lester Young and I studied his style. I tried to get something from them all one way or the other.” Gabriel didn’t really play much modern jazz in New Orleans except when he came down with drummer J.C. Heard’s band to celebrate the opening of the Hilton Hotel. He had a blast when he got to meet up with old friends at a gathering at drummer Freddie Kohlman’s house where attendees included trumpeters Sweets Edison and Clark Terry. Other than that, he only blew modern jazz in the Crescent City at informal jam sessions. “The modern market all over the country is very small,” he laments. “Music is a business like anything and there are a lot of people for same job. If you want to be among those unemployed, you’re welcome to that.” Since he was 16, Charlie has been traveling the world performing in countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain. “I’ve been very, very blessed playing music,” he says humbly. His journeys have continued with the very active and in demand Preservation Hall Jazz Band that he joined soon after Hurricane Katrina. A highlight destination for him was going to Cuba for the making of the documentary “A Tuba to Cuba” and its subsequent album of the same name. “I felt at home in Cuba—it’s almost like being here in New Orleans,”

“On saxophone you have to talk about Charlie Parker, Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane...There were so many of them.The guy I used to like was Lester Young and I studied his style. I tried to get something from them all one way or the other.”

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Gabriel says. “They energize you with their music and we energize them with our music so it’s like a natural marriage.” “When Katrina hit New Orleans I was watching it on TV and I was crying like a baby,” Gabriel remembers. “It just blew me off my feet. I always knew I was going to come back home and spend my last years playing music in New Orleans.” Sometime in 2008, Gabriel got a call from Ben Jaffe asking him if he would be interested in doing some work with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band that was on the road with the Blind Boys of Alabama for its “Down by the Riverside” tour. “I was very, very happy because it fit right into what I wanted to do—it was very timely.” “After Katrina, word got back to me through Shannon Powell [via trumpeter Marcus Belgrave with whom Gabriel played and recorded] that Charlie wanted to come back to New Orleans,” Jaffe remembers. “That’s all I really had to hear. We weren’t looking for a clarinet player but if somebody like Charlie wants to come back to New Orleans, that’s what Preservation Hall does. “I never left New Orleans really; my body left New Orleans” Gabriel says. “I just fit right into it. It was wonderful for me. Ben was very inspiring.” “It’s been an opportunity for me to be connected to part of my past,” Jaffe says of having Gabriel in PHJB. “Charlie is directly connected to all of the musicians I grew up with. Willie Humphrey was best friends with Charlie’s father so Charlie can play exactly like Willie Humphrey or George Lewis.To him it’s conversational. It’s something he grew up with. That’s important because you can’t create that. It’s astonishingly beautiful that connection to the origins of New Orleans jazz is with us today.” Gabriel’s contributions to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band go beyond his talents as a clarinetist and saxophonist to those of a singer and composer; though it’s true when he steps forward to take a horn solo, energy rises. His breathy saxophone beautifully fills a more modern number, his original ballad “Corazon,” on the group’s fine 2019 release, A Tuba to Cuba. Corazon means heart and Charlie’s horn speaks exactly to that. Through the years, Gabriel says he has composed many songs for different vocalists and his pen continues to be busy writing for the PHJB. He and Jaffe share melodic and lyrical duties. “It’s a full collaboration,” Gabriel says. “Because Charlie is a horn player, he naturally hears melodies,” Jaffe explains. “I’m a bass player so naturally I hear bass lines, chord changes and rhythmic patterns. Sometimes he’ll bring a melody to me and I’ll help him put a rhythm to it. Sometimes he’ll have a thought and I can just help him refine the words or think of saying it different ways. It’s good to have someone to bounce an idea off of. We actually complement each other incredibly well.” When Charlie stands up to sing a tune like “Tailgate Ramble,” whether he’s performing at “the Hall” or on the road, he absolutely delivers the whole package—he smiles, dances, laughs and makes it personal. “I never had to sing, but people always asked me to sing,” says Gabriel who often took the role as a vocalist in bands when, early on, he traveled in Europe. It’s easy to tell how much Gabriel enjoys working with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. His eyes sparkle and a big grin lights up his face when he talks about the “fine” musicians in the ensemble and how they combine their tones and spirits to become one. “Each instrument is a voice,” he explains. “Each one of their voices creates a chord and it also creates the melody.” He then demonstrates by scatting some notes and then says, with a laugh, “That’s how that works.” With his childhood prayer having been answered, Charlie Gabriel is a contented man. His warmth, lifetime experiences and love of music radiates through his horn to embrace all of those lucky enough to be around him. O OF F B E AT.C OM

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offeats AMERICAN Port of Call: 838 Esplanade Ave., 523-0120

MUSIC ON THE MENU Banks Street Bar & Grill: 4401 Banks St., 486-0258 BARBECUE Buffa’s: 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038 The Joint: 701 Mazant St., 949-3232 Carnaval Lounge: 2227 St. Claude Ave., COFFEE HOUSES 265-8865 Café du Monde: 800 Decatur St., 525-4544, Chickie Wah Wah: 2828 Canal St., 304-4714 56 Dreyfous Dr., 635-8033 Gattuso’s: 435 Huey P Long Ave., Gretna, 368-1114 CREOLE/CAJUN House of Blues: 225 Decatur St., 412-8068 Cochon: 930 Tchoupitoulas St., 588-2123 Howlin’ Wolf’s Wolf Den: 907 S. Peters St., Cornet: 700 Bourbon St., 523-1485 529-5844 Galatoire’s: 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021 Le Bon Temps Roule: 4801 Magazine St., Gumbo Shop: 630 St. Peter St., 525-1486 895-8117 New Orleans Creole Cookery: 508 Little Gem Saloon: 445 S. Rampart St., Toulouse St., 524-9632 267-4863 FINE DINING Maison: 508 Frenchmen St., 289-5648 Commander’s Palace: 1403 Washington Mid City Lanes Rock ‘N’ Bowl: 4133 S. Ave., 899-8221 Carrollton Ave., 482-3133 Josephine Estelle: Ace Hotel, 600 NOLA Cantina: 437 Esplanade Ave., Carondelet St., 930-3070 266-2848 Justine: 225 Chartres St., 218-8833 Palm Court: 1204 Decatur St., 525-0200 Mr. B’s Bistro: 201 Royal St. 523-2078 Rivershack Tavern: 3449 River Rd., 834-4938 Southport Hall: 200 Monticello Ave., FRENCH Café Degas: 3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635 835-2903 La Crepe Nanou: 1410 Robert St., 899Snug Harbor: 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696 2670 Three Muses: 536 Frenchmen St., 298-8746 GERMAN Bratz Y’all: 617-B Piety St., 301-3222

NEIGHBORHOOD JOINTS Cake Café: 2440 Chartres St., 943-0010 Dat Dog: 601 Frenchmen St., 309-3362; GROCERY STORES 5030 Freret St., 899-6883; 3336 Breaux Mart: 3233 Magazine St., 262-6017; Magazine St., 324-2226 2904 Severn Ave. Metarie, 885-5565; Junction: 3021 St. Claude Ave., 272-0205 9647 Jefferson Hwy. River Ridge, 737Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar & Restaurant: 8146; 315 E Judge Perez, Chalmette, 701 Tchoupitoulas St., 523-8995 Mardi Gras Zone: 2706 Royal St., 947-8787 Parkway Bakery and Tavern: 538 Hagan Ave., INDIAN 482-3047 Nirvana: 4308 Magazine St., 894-9797 Piece of Meat: 3301 Bienville St., 372-2289 Sammy’s Food Services: 3000 Elysian Fields JAPANESE/THAI/CHINESE Ave., 948-7361 Bao & Noodle: 2700 Chartres St., 272-0004 Mikimoto: 3301 S Carrollton Ave., 488-1881 Tracey’s: 2604 Magazine St., 897-5413 Ye Olde College Inn: 3000 S. Carrollton Sukho Thai: 4519 Magazine St., 373-6471; Ave., 866-3683 2200 Royal St., 948-9309 Wasabi: 900 Frenchmen St., 943-9433 PIZZA LOUISIANA / SOUTHERN Midway Pizza: 4725 Freret St., 322-2815 Balise Tavern: 640 Carondelet St., 459-4449 Pizza Delicious: 617 Piety St., 676-8482 La Petite Grocery: 4238 Magazine St., Slice Pizzeria: 1513 St. Charles Ave., 525891-3377 7437 Praline Connection: 542 Frenchmen St., Theo’s Pizza: 4218 Magazine St., 894-8554; 943-3934 4024 Canal St., 302-1133; 1212 S Clearview, 733-3803 MEDITERRANEAN Mona’s Café: 504 Frenchmen St., 949-4115

MEXICAN/CARIBBEAN/ SPANISH Barú Bistro & Tapas: 3700 Magazine St., 895-2225 El Gato Negro: 81 French Market Place, 525-9846; 300 Harrison Ave., 488-0107; 800 S Peters St., 309-8804 Juan’s Flying Burrito: 2018 Magazine St., 569-0000

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SEAFOOD Briquette: 701 S Peters St., 302-7496 Deanie’s Seafood: 841 Iberville St., 5811316; 1713 Lake Ave. Metairie, 834-1225 VIETNAMESE Namese: 4077 Tulane Ave., 483-8899 WEE HOURS Buffa’s Restaurant & Lounge: 1001 Esplanade Ave., 949-0038

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diningout

True Food Kitchen spiked with chili. Another hit was the roasted beet and goat cheese flatbreads served with in the dining room from floor-tofresh arugula, and cilantro-spiked ceiling glass panels, and brightlypumpkin seed pesto. colored modern furnishings Salads are substantial and adorned by plants. Right off the range from a simple organic bat, diners are offered an array of lo-cal healthy beverages such as Dr. Tuscan kale salad with lemon, garlic, and grated Grana Padano Weil’s Wellness Shot made from cheese, to their chopped salad sea buckthorn, pomegranate and with jicama, apples, Marcona ginger; and the ever-popular O.G. made with ginger, lime and honey, almonds, dried cranberries, Medjool dates with faro and with a splash of sparkling water. Manchego cheese, drizzled with This approach continues with the champagne vinaigrette. craft cocktail program with items Pizzas include a classic such as the Citrus Skinny Margarita and Passion Colada—a classic Piña Margherita with crushed organic tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, Colada spiked with passion fruit and a tomato and arugula juice. Other options include local served with a drizzle of olive oil rotating seasonal beers, ciders, and lemon. The savory chicken and a streamlined wine selection sausage pizza has roasted fennel of just over 30 wines.True Food slices, crushed organic tomatoes, Kitchen also provides an 11-point and smoked Gouda cheese. The nutritional chart online for every butternut squash pizza was the item on the menu, which are most exotic, combining sweet also classified as either vegan, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, vegetarian, gluten-friendly or as a kale, vegan almond ricotta, dried seasonal highlight. cranberries, and sage—delicious Starters begin with a savory, flavors of the season. hearty butternut squash soup The bowl selections are a kind and move on to kale guacamole, of build-your-meal situation with an herb-infused hummus, or options such as Korean noodles; edamame dumplings served in another featuring Panang curry a dashi broth enhanced with seasonal Asian herbs and a drizzle with coconut milk and Thai basil, or you can go with ancient grains of truffle oil that ups the umami flavor profile. Charred cauliflower or perhaps teriyaki quinoa, or even cauliflower polenta with the is garnished with deeply flavorful harissa tahini, Medjool dates, pista- option of adding tofu, grass-fed chios, mint and dill. Brussels sprouts steak, shrimp, or salmon. True Food Kitchen also serves are roasted with mushrooms and four different burgers: grass-fed coated in a miso/sesame dressing

photo courtesy of TRUE FOOD KITCHEN

Review by Michael Dominici Locals don’t have to go too far back in time to remember just how challenging it was to find restaurants that offered a variety of healthy options, let alone cater to them. In 2020, we have dozens of dining establishments that give healthconscious meals ranging from Carmo, 1,000 Figs, City Greens, Sneaky Pickle, Green Goddess, and the impressive True Food Kitchen, which opened a grand scale operation on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Julia Street in late September 2019. True Food Kitchen is located in The Julia, a $25 million dollar mixed-use development next to Bonci Pizza.The brand was created in Phoenix, AZ in 2008 by restaurateur Sam Fox and Dr. Andrew Weil with a menu developed in accordance with Weil’s “anti-inflammatory food pyramid.” In 2018 Oprah Winfrey became an investor and True Food Kitchen expanded to two dozen locations with plans to double that number in the next few years.Their philosophy is “Food should make you feel better, not worse, and that great tasting food can serve as the foundation for a life well-lived.” The New Orleans location of True Food Kitchen is a welcoming environment enhanced by the natural light

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burger on a flaxseed bun, a Middle Eastern-inspired quinoa burger, a beet burger with avocado and jicama slaw, and a turkey burger with Gouda cheese, avocado, and jalapeño remoulade.There’s also a chicken and avocado wrap loaded with hummus, mozzarella, tomatoes, and cucumbers. A full range of entrees includes either fish or steak tacos with coconut lime crema, grilled salmon with caramelized onion farrow, and a pumpkin seed pesto, as well as Thai coconut sea bass with coconut turmeric broth, bok choy, green beans, rainbow carrots, and quinoa brown rice—a tour de force.The ever-popular poke bowl is served with wild-caught albacore tuna, quinoa rice, mushrooms, snow peas, cucumber, cashews, ginger, and dressed with a turmeric ponzu. Mediterranean chicken is served with quinoa, organic tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, olives, Peppadews, green beans, feta cheese, flavored with zesty oregano vinaigrette.There’s also hearty lasagna Bolognese with fennel chicken sausage, mushroom, organic spinach, lemon ricotta, herbs as well as a spaghetti squash casserole with tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella. Service at True Food Kitchen is well-paced, and the servers clad in t-shirts with words like “Authentic” and “True” are helpful in fielding questions and navigating the menu. With New Year’s resolutions upon us,True Food Kitchen is highly recommended dining consideration and judging from the enthusiastic support they have received locally, it’s abundantly clear that local diners dig this place. O 801 Saint Charles Avenue, (504) 558-3900, Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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reviews CDs reviewed are available now at Louisiana Music Factory 421 Frenchmen Street in the Marigny 504-586-1094 or LouisianaMusicFactory.com

A Lonesome Coda decades to come.The mood turns grittier in “Walking in Liverpool,” written with Pete Riley and Peter J. Riley Jr. and tellingly not a Beatlesstyled song (save for a few dabs of Harrison-esque slide). Rather, it catches the mood swings that a displaced traveler might feel even in a beloved place; it begins with him enjoying the sights and by song’s end he’s dodging painful memories and fearing the next Paul Sanchez morning. It may well be the darkest I’m a Song, I’m a Story, I’m a Ghost song in Sanchez’s catalogue. Also (Independent) uncharacteristic is the anger that’s After a prolific few years, Paul aired in “Walking Away”—the Sanchez is rather suddenly saying album’s only real rocker, about goodbye. He’s announced that this is his last album—he’s not the being on the receiving end of first artist to make that decision in unkindness. The joyful side is in a mid-album the download age—and has since stretch of Cajun-influenced hinted that he may be retiring numbers, including the Mouth altogether. As a result, his latest remake “Mary Don’t Two-Step” album comes across with more (which changes the heroine’s name gravitas than usual. Many of the from Maggie) and “Claudine’s songs stemmed from a recent Waltz,” a lovely French-sung string of writing collaborations, but in this context they become a number written with Michael summing-up statement; taking in all Doucet.The Cajun flavor also underlines “Bayou Road” and the music he’s absorbed over the decades (including two songs from “Louisiana Rain,” lending hope to lyrics about the end of a Cowboy Mouth days).There’s significant relationship.The album’s definite sadness hanging over the album, particularly since he was still emotional heart is in “Everyday’s recovering his singing voice after a Never the Same,” a song that debilitating illness. But what comes acknowledges some deep despair (there’s a striking image of the through strongest is Sanchez’s singer dropping a key into a river, trademark generosity. because it no longer unlocks That’s clear in the opener, “A anything) but finds reasons to Thousand Songs,” which lays carry on. It’s graced with a suitably out a songwriter’s mission in life anthemic chorus. After that it’s left (“When I die, they’ll know I was to the solo Sanchez to deliver a alive.”) Though personal, it has a lonesome coda in the title track. universal “This Land is Your Land” Anyone who admires Sanchez is quality; it’s something that can be bound to come away with a lump sung at hoots and campfires for

in the throat; if this is a farewell, he’s made a moving one. But if he does wind up reconsidering his decision, I doubt there would be much complaining. —Brett Milano

T’Monde Lights in the Harbor (Valcour Records)

On the third album in its eight-year existence, Cajun trio T’Monde continues to distinguish itself from its fuller band contemporaries.Vocals are its most salient attribute, especially given the angelic harmonies of Kelli Jones (fiddle) and Megan Brown Constantin (guitar). But unlike previous recordings, this time Jones and Constantin gang-tackle age-old a cappella ballads “La Belle S’en Va” and “Goodbye Ma Chére Amie” for a lasting, haunting effect that’s worth the price of admission alone. Drew Simon (accordion) is similarly impressive on “My Wedding Ring For a Souvenir,” where he sings with the utmost sincerity and tenderness to portray the sensitive storyline. The varied song selection

shows how T’Monde sidesteps omnipresent standards in favor of those not often recorded, such as Paul Daigle’s bouncy “Chѐre Aline” and Vin Bruce’s lovely “Teala’s Waltz.” A fan of both Bob Wills and Merle Haggard, Simon sings bilingual versions of Wills’ “Time Changes Everything” and Haggard’s “I’m Looking for My Mind” that work well in a Cajun format. “The Bean” is perhaps the disc’s biggest surprise—a forgotten tune Jo-El Sonnier recorded over 40 years ago for Goldband’s Eddie Shuler in a futile attempt to ignite a rock ’n’ roll dance. Of T’Monde’s two originals, “Manuel Bar Two-Step” was inspired by “Manuel Bar Waltz” and sounds like something heard at a house dance 70 years ago. Constantin’s dreamy, poppy “Forever Blue” is enhanced by the exquisite interplay between Simon’s accordion playing and Jones’ sublime fiddling. Once again,T’Monde has raised the bar when it was high enough already. —Dan Willging

Katy Hobgood Ray featuring Dave Ray I Dream of Water (Out of the Past Music)

So much American roots music is folk balladry when you get right down to it, or at least it started that way, which is why it’s disturbing how completely mainstream blues and country have turned into a sort of sonic tourism, a lifestyle music for fetishists. Now that the planet’s turning against us, however, it can get back to facing tragedy, which is where albums like this come in.

When submitting CDs for consideration, please send two copies to OffBeat Reviews, 421 Frenchmen Street, Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70116

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Katy Hobgood Ray is best known for her Confetti Park compilations, children’s music named after the play area in her old Algiers Point neighborhood. This solo song cycle, however, is about the next generation’s future,

not its present: 10 simple tunes about facing the horrors of not only Katrina but the new normal it ushered in.The mission statement is “Washed Away,” with its poetic gospel hosannas (“The clouds rolled in and filled this town with

A Perfect Fit for Porter’s Sexy Lyrics Harry Connick, Jr. True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter (Verve)

I’m a big fan of the multifaceted Connick, and have nearly all of his recordings. Harry is 52; I first heard him at age 17, around the time he left New Orleans and started attending classes in New York City. He’d come back home every three months or so for a gig: you could hear he’d added a layer to his playing—Erroll Garner one visit, Thelonious Monk the next. It was dazzling. By 22 he was a star, having conquered the New York City cabaret scene and then capturing a wide audience with his work on the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack. Two dozen albums later we get, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter. Harry is now a hugely gifted big band arranger, allegedly able to write out an album’s worth of sophisticated arrangements in a week. He’s synthesized his piano heroes, Booker, Garner and Monk, into his own unique sound (but he’s weirdly overlooked when some people talk of “The New Orleans Piano Tradition”). And he’s a TV and movie eminence on top of all this. My only complaint (ever) about Harry is he still retains too much Sinatra in his singing. After all these years I still flinch just a bit when I hear a Sinatra mannerism in these productions. But yeah, I know, borrow from the best. And yes, it’s cool that he’s exposing (some) younger folks to the Great American Songbook. If a few thousand people hear Cole Porter for the first time with this disc, that’s great, because it’s harder and harder to sell jazz, even if you’re a multimedia star. Harry is a perfect fit for Porter’s sexy and witty lyrics. The modern big band format is ripe for bombast, but Harry undercuts it with humor. The quirky counterpoint on “I Love Paris” reminded me a bit of the klezmer jazz of Raymond Scott. “Begin the Beguine” opens with a wonderful bit of virtuosity: James Booker in Harry’s left hand, Erroll Garner in the right; a mind-bending sample of separation-of-hands agility. Best of all is “Why Can’t You Behave.” Harry breaks it down in the middle to just vocals, his updated stride piano and Lucien Barbarin’s muted trombone. For a couple seconds he drops the Sinatra vocal veneer and goes more New Orleans on us. It’s a fantastic track, showing all sides of one incredibly talented New Orleans musician. —Tom McDermott

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tears”), but there’s also an attempt to exorcise the industry demons on “Oh Devil” (“Oh mother, what have we done to you / Stripped you down right in public view”) and a pointed recontextualization of Leadbelly’s “Little Children’s Blues.” There’s also a good bit of soul: “Dirty Water” has the feel of Van Morrison’s R&B period, “Des Allemands” is a pure sweet swamp-pop memory, and “Lollie Bottoms” is what you’d get if Dusty Springfield prayed to a levee. And while Katy takes on the caustic political climate on “House Divided” and tries to find an upbeat ending in the jazzy “Kings, Queens, and Jesters,” it’s husband (and fellow songwriter) Dave who sums everything up best in the disarmingly offhand blues “That Really Matters,” suggesting it’s your integrity in each single moment that counts most.Too bad we don’t even agree on our hindsight anymore. —Robert Fontenot

tional jazz chestnuts, spirituals, a couple of classic New Orleans rhythm and blues numbers and, perhaps surprisingly, hits from the Beatles songbook on New Orleans Trumpet. As the title suggests, Hagans’ horn is out front on the album that includes the strong rhythmic pairing of drummer Shannon Powell and sousaphonist Kirk Joseph, plus British-born, New Orleans resident keyboardist John Richardson. Stepping in for five of the 11 selections is the noted clarinetist Sammy Rimington who also hails from the United Kingdom. The most spirited cuts are those that pair the trumpet and clarinet that gives the group a fuller sound.The lively “Ice Cream (You Scream),” a novelty number from 1927 that made its way into the traditional jazz repertoire, takes advantage of having the always solid Powell and Joseph lay down the beat.The trumpet and clarinet each take credible solos before the two horns “dance” together.Towards the end Powell lets loose on the drums. The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” receives a classic New Orleans rhythmic sway as Hagans’ trumpet “sings” the lyrics and Rimington’s clarinet weaves between his notes. New Orleans Trumpet stands as a sampler of sorts that demonstrates Hagans’ diversity, though in doing so doesn’t really break new ground or find a common theme. —Geraldine Wyckoff

Kenneth Hagans New Orleans Trumpet (Independent)

Trumpeter Kenneth Hagans combines New Orleans tradi-

Blato Zlato In The Wake (Independent) One thing that has not gone unnoticed in the age of streaming is the dearth of information about any given recording. For some forms of music (and for some listeners), this isn’t much of an issue. But for more esoteric or less accessible styles, information can greatly enhance the experience of listening to the music.The O F F B E AT. C O M


members of the local Balkan music-inspired, folk-rock ensemble, Blato Zlato, understand this

implicitly. Their sophomore release, In the Wake, comes complete with extensive liner notes translating the lyrics from the original Bulgarian, Megrelian and Macedonian tongues. Without the English lyrics, the songs—though frequently fascinating—complete with threepart vocal harmonies that evoke an off-kilter (to Western ears) celestial choir, wouldn’t have as much of an impact. The tunes, especially the originals, explore the relationship

Informative and Incisive Bryan Wagner The Wild Tchoupitoulas

(Bloomsbury Academic – 33 1/3 Series)

BOOKMARK

Bloomsbury Academic has been publishing short books that analyze classic albums from different perspectives. The subjects of these books range from Rolling Stones to Bob Mould to Prince to Celine Dion. Most are pop or “alternative” records but recently Bryan Wagner, an English and American Studies professor at Berkeley, completed this one that has great relevance both to New Orleans and its current state of affairs. Wagner’s story of the making, life, and legacy of the Wild Tchoupitoulas record is informative and incisive. There is a lot going on with this record, and Wagner explains it well for the person who has never heard it and the person who goes to two Indian practices each week while following around George Porter Jr. He details the personalities behind the record, the recording of it, and the songs it contains. His analysis of the songs especially shows the different rhythmic and cultural aspects of “Brother John” and “Meet De Boys on the Battlefront,” among others. He delves into the history of the Mardi Gras Indians and how 1970s Indian culture influenced and was influenced by this record. He also shows how the record affected much of what came after, including the Neville Brothers. However, where this book goes beyond musical analysis is how he ties the recording into the ideas of cultural commercialization and the growth of the tourism industry and the branding of “New Orleans Music.” He traces this development and comments on it. In his view, the Wild Tchoupitoulas is both a harbinger of that future and a symbol of the past that is long gone now. For a long essay/short book, he does a great job, and he never forgets that the music and personalities that made it are what makes it the classic that it is. —David Kunian

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between the natural environment in the age of climate change and the fragility of human existence. The first cut, “Vodata Teche” lays it out explicitly. “The water runs under the streets/ The water runs under the town squares/ Where do you live?/ Where do you sleep?/ The water waits for you all.” Elsewhere, the traditional Megrelian song, “Asho Chela,” which the liner notes explain is sung to oxen, reaches out to the animal world by empathizing with the life of a beast of burden. All the songs on the album are arranged by the band and bring modern energy and a bit of New Orleans to an ancient genre, essen-

tially creating a progressive take on the eastern European tradition. With fiddle, accordion, upright bass and the bass drum-like tapan, plus those swirling female voices, Blato Zlato has created an evocative album that taps into the zeitgeist. It is a welcome addition to their catalog as well as another layer in the burgeoning world music scene in New Orleans. —Jay Mazza

Bipolaroid Paint It, Blacker (Independent)

The Troggs of “Wild Thing” fame were supposedly named after a British fad that saw kids moving

Saxafunk James Martin Keep Movin’ (Independent)

Saxophonist James Martin’s first album, Something’s Gotta Give was a fairly straightforward New Orleans funk album, but there were hints he had something more original up his sleeve—particularly on a track called “Another You,” which crossed the local sound with some vintage singer-songwriter roots. Martin makes good on that promise with his follow-up, which expands on the singing and writing while keeping the saxafunk as his ace in the hole. As a singer he sounds suave and confident; the last album’s slightly hesitant vocals are long gone (no cover tunes here, either). There’s a definite ’70s vibe to a lot of this, recalling a time when grooves were organic and singers had style. On “French Connection” he sounds comfortable in the leading-man role, and the tune has some interesting changes. “Leaf in a Hurricane” is the kind of ballad that George Benson would’ve been glad to call his own. Another clear influence, Stevie Wonder, comes out in “Ephemeral Affair” and “Rectify,” with both sporting the melodic turns of the Talking Book-era. And how often does one see words like ephemeral and rectify in the titles of a funk album? The three straight-up funk instrumentals are less surprising but they’re all satisfying; the title track is no less melodic than the vocal tunes. The other members of the band are unknown to me but get some good licks in; particularly tasty is Beck Burger’s freeflowing keyboard solo on “Exit Signs,” and Cesar Bacaro’s congas throughout. Even the funkier tunes keep a fairly romantic feel and a lot of this works well as make-out music—not a bad thing in the ’70s—or now. —Brett Milano

Sabrina Stone International Date Line (Independent)

New York City-born Sabrina Stone, like any good singer, is in love with her voice. And why not? That’s some good ASMR right there; blissful yet knowing, yearning

into Blighty’s famous caves to live like “troglodytes,” so it makes perfect sense that local psych-pop quartet Bipolaroid leads off their latest with “In My Cave.”Take that, Brian Wilson! Bipolaroid perfectly describe an arc that begins roughly in Wilson’s late-period sandbox and lands in Roky Erickson’s madhouse: there’s even a song here called “Roky Mtn Hi.” But between those two demented geniuses you can also hear quite a bit of the Kinks’ Ray Davies in full-on snark, which makes lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist Ben Glover sound less like a burnout than a loving curator of psychedelia’s full flowering. All those bad acid vibes are here—the Davie Allen biker-surf riffs, the feedback hangovers, the dinky organ noodlings, and the weird canned strings of what could only be a real honest-to-Buddha mellotron.There’s also a strong Syd Barrett influence in the twisted, childlike “Sacred Geometry” and “5D Printing.” You don’t have to be an acid casualty to enjoy this frozen moment in pop history, either: anyone can go-go to “Back to the Old Black” or enjoy the band backing up into near-Monkees pop on “(I’m Not) Your Puppet” and “Fake Pretend” or bliss out to the jangleless but still somehow Byrdslike majesty of “Hummingbird.” But advanced heads can take flight with the epic “Triple Rainbow,” eight solid minutes of Amboy Dukes/ Iron Butterfly sprawl. (‘shrooms not included.) —Robert Fontenot

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yet casual, strong yet warm.You have to adore your instrument if you dare to swoop up and catch the piano glissandos of Debussy’s “Arabesque No. 1” on billowy backing clouds of yourself.The single “Capsized (The Things You Miss)” and “Waves on Sand” play off the natural gorgeousness of her vocal frissons; not for nothing are this EP’s lyrical touchstones all nature-oriented (sea, sand, surf, etc). “Waves” even gets a good deal of emotional mileage with little else than a heartbeat for a backup. Stone wrote and arranged every instrument on the album and is playing many of the guitars. It’s all agreeably wistful and non-threatening, yet the few deep cuts at the center of this release point the way to even greater heights: “Archipelago,” “Holy Water” and “Float” keep building and building to full-band near-climaxes, stopping to catch their breath, then (sometimes) jumping back in: proof that Stone has the potential to transcend mere ear candy.There’s an operatic blissstravaganza just beyond the parameters of these tunes; if she can make a parallel emotional breakthrough, she has a pure orchestral pop-rock classic within her reach. —Robert Fontenot

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Misled Chemical Reaction

(Dixie Dawg Records)

KISS Army alert: If you’ve seen the latest farewell tour and you’re distraught over never getting the best again, check out this EP from local rockers Misled. Chemical Reaction absolutely nails that pre-Destroyer vibe better than anything since Urge Overkill, not as smart as Urge but crunchier than either group. With some exceptions, these guys spend most of the rest of their time

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adrift somewhere in that Clutch / Monster Magnet ozone, and they have the right sound to make it pay off, all tribal drum flourishes and thick-ass, low-end riffs awash in wah.They’re also smart enough to know when to shut up, which is why “Mental Breakdown” gets the job done in under two minutes, a testament to the punk side that gives their snottiness extra cred. Who can’t relate to the ennui of lyrics like “Bored as fuck / Lonely as hell / Depression, Anxiety, PTSD”? Somewhere, embattled Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew kicks back in his El Camino, pops this on, and decides to just keep livin’. —Robert Fontenot

Korgy & Bass Remote (CavitySearch)

Looks like we’re gonna need a new Best of the Beat category for Wittiest Band Name.The

moniker of Portland duo Korgy & Bass suggests some intriguingly meta high-concept mishmash, like Gershwin’s “Summertime” fed through Depeche Mode’s Violator album.The reality is better: nine short atmospheric vignettes, clocking in at under half an hour total, all featuring local trumpeter Cyrus Nabipoor’s trumpet melodies chopped up and redistributed among K&B’s beats: rhythm tracks which do indeed feature vintage synths and big booming bottom ends. (Though

it’s worth mentioning that there’s definitely a trap kit here, crisp funk layered with dnb fills and looped to create that perfect mix of pulse and flow.) A fellow Portlandian who came to Loyola to get serious about some trumpet, Cyrus kept in touch with his former neighbors (in between Marigny Opera House stints and all manner of NOLA side projects) and then collaborated on these mood pieces online, crossing the country via WiFi and thus refining their ideas. It works fantastically as long as you keep your expectations down a little—this is about atmosphere, not technical prowess—and despite the somber packaging, the best cuts here are enigmatic in an upbeat, frenetic way, a not-so-distantfuturistic landscape that celebrates energy over decay. It all makes perfect sense on the best tracks, such as the clockwork beauty

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of “Psyclops,” a push-and-pull as natural as breathing, and the sad yet wondrous “Noboru,” which sounds like a steam-powered machine pulling reggae inside out. It’s like emo industrial jazz where the editing software is the lead soloist; if that last part bothers you, well, you just haven’t been paying attention. —Robert Fontenot

Shanin Novrasli From Baku to New York City (Jazz Village)

The name Shanin Novrasli might not ring a bell, though his associates on his latest album, From Baku to New York, certainly give the pianist and composer impressive creds. The native of Azerbaijan and now a New York resident became a protégé of the legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal who produced this release. In a way, Jamal also “lent” Novrasli his

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longtime rhythm section of bassist James Commack and Herlin Riley to complete the trio. Novrasli, an accomplished classical pianist with a love of jazz, begins the album very much in America with a jazz take on Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” The pianist opens by playing the familiar melody straight-up until the bass and drums enter to become tonally one.The simplicity of the song lends itself well to the complexity of the arrangement and the inventiveness of these

talented musicians. Few pianists can resist diving into the unique compositions of Thelonious Monk. The group goes with his “52nd Street Theme” in high-flying fashion. Novrasli’s fingers fly over the upper piano keys while Riley’s cymbals splash and Commack is in there fastwalking his bass. Novrasli keeps the tempo way up on his original tune, “Shanin Day,” on which he startles with his precision. The pianist displays his strong romantic side with two lovely ballads, “Night Song” and “She’s Out of My Life,” a heartbreaking melody made famous by Michael Jackson. His musically amorous tendencies continue on “Melodies,” a tune on which he performs solo.This, along with the closer, the rather dark “Cry of Gulchura,” was written by composers from Azerbaijan and harken back to Novrasli’s classical

and cultural roots. From Baku to New York City, stands as just a small, rather unusual slice of Shanin Novrasli’s musical autobiography. Despite backing by this strong, jazz-wise rhythm section, Novrasli’s classical background sometimes obscures the desired jazz sensibilities. —Geraldine Wyckoff

Elizabeth Joan Kelly Farewell, Doomed Planet! (Independent)

Elizabeth Joan Kelly has specialized for the better part of a decade now in creating ambient “background” music designed to create a low-key uncomfortable restlessness—she titled one such collection “Music for the DMV”— but that’s not the only reason to avoid playing her latest at your next family gathering. On this disc, the climate apocalypse is not just closed to debate but has in fact

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Creating Fantasy Scenarios Evan Christopher, Fapy Lafertin, Dave Kelbie and Sebastien Girardot A Summit in Paris (Camille Productions)

On A Summit in Paris clarinetist Evan Christopher joins his contemporary, early jazz stylings with the Djangoworthy technique of guitarist Fapy Laftertin to honor both Reinhardt and several pioneers of early New Orleans jazz. Both musicians are masters of their craft and deftly move through 13 songs chosen specifically to blend the influences of New Orleans’ early jazz legends with Django’s gypsy style. These include Louis Armstrong’s “Wild Man Blues” and “Swing That Music”; Sidney Bechet’s “Bechet’s Fantasy” and “Little Creole Lullaby”; the standards “In a Sentimental Mood” and “After You’ve Gone”; and Django’s own “Clair de Lune” and “Sweet Chorus.” They’ve also slipped in four original tunes: Christopher’s “Old Sober March” and “A Summit in Paris” as well as Lafertin’s “Cinzano” and “Plachterida.” Solidly backing the formidable duo are Sebastien Girardot on bass and Dave Kelbie on guitar. Christopher and Lafertin have dedicated themselves to their respective stylistic influences and to great effect. On this album they impressively channel these legends of the past, creating for us the fantasy scenarios we can only dream of: Bechet with the manouches, Django in the Big Easy. —Stacey Leigh Bridewell

creeping into our collective backyard. The found-sound samples –and there are tons, all cleared for fair use and most made by nature—are expertly layered along with Kelly’s own modulated vocals and waveform manipulations into one giant yawning chasm. Whether ambient like the perfectly descriptive “Whaliens” or darkwave like “Trinity Quadrant already occurred, leaving a Water- Cantata” or industrial like “Baleen world-like planet that’s really just Executioner” or recalling vintage one big junk-filled swimming pool. ’80s synth-pop like “Departure,” Well, except for the advanced sea nearly backing up into dubstep creatures. And the mutated wolves. on “Unusual Capsule” or some Thanks, Chernobyl! mixture of all of the above as Much like Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” with the closing “Beau Travail,” this which swapped space-rock for soundtrack for humans leaving one whale sounds without batting desolate expanse for another is an eye, Kelly excels at blurring disquieting yet oddly peaceful, in a the line between the vast gulf way only nature can be. of space and the actual oceans —Robert Fontenot OF F B E AT.C OM

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express These listings are abbreviated. For complete daily listings, go to offbeat.com. These listings were verified at the time of publication, but are of course subject to change. To get your event listed, go to offbeat.com/add-newlistings or send an email to listings@offbeat.com. AF African AM Americana BL Blues BU Bluegrass BO Bounce BB Brass Band BQ Burlesque KJ Cajun CL Classical CR Classic Rock CO Comedy CW Country CB Cover Band DN Dance DX Dixieland DB Dubstep EL Electro FO Folk

FK Funk GS Gospel GY Gypsy HH Hip-Hop HS House IN Indian Classical ID Indie Rock IL Industrial IR Irish JB Jam Band MJ Jazz Contemporary TJ Jazz Traditional JV Jazz Variety KR Karaoke KZ Klezmer LT Latin MG Mardi Gras Indian ME Metal

TUESDAY DECEMBER 31 30/90: Mem Shannon and the Membership Band (BL) 2p, Hotline (PO) 5p, DJ Dot Dunnie (VR) 9p, Gene’s Music Machine (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): 20/20 Vision with Lee Fields and the Expressions,Aaron Abernathy Trio (VR 9:30p; 1 Social presents: New Year, New Me with Felice Gee and Legatron Prime (VR) 11:30p Buffa’s:Yoshitaka “Z2” Tsuji and friends (JV) 5p, Leslie Cooper and Harry Mayronne (JV) 7p, Marina Orchestra (VR) 10p Café Negril: Dimondick Gorilla and the Swingin’ Vines (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Carnaval New Year’s Eve Extravaganza (VR) 7p Civic Theatre: DJ Soul Sister’s New Year’s Eve Soul Train (FK) 10p d.b.a.: Dinosaurchestra (JV) 7p,Treme Brass Band, Cha Wa (MG) 10p Dmac’s:Walter “Wolfman” Washington (BL) 9p Fillmore: the Revivalists (ID) 9p House of Blues (Foundation Room): the Quickening (RR) 7p House of Blues: Foundation of Funk feat. John Medeski and Eric Krasno (FK) 6:30p Howlin’ Wolf: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 11p Jazz Playhouse: Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (JV) 9p Joy Theater:A New Year’s Eve Freak Show feat. Big Freedia, Boyfriend, Sweet Crude (VR) 10p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Big 6 Brass Band (BB) 7p, Stuart Coles’ Straight Ahead Jam Session (VR) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 5p,Will Dickerson Band (FO) 9p One Eyed Jacks: DJ Dance Party (VR) 10p, Official Revivalists After Party with George Gekas’ Pocket Protection (VR) 1a Orpheum Theater: Frogs Gone Fishin (VR) 10p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: New Years Eve Gala feat. Lars Edegran, Kevin Louis, Joe Goldberg, Fred Lonzo, Richard Moten, Benny Amon (TJ) 8:30p Preservation Hall: Preservation All-Stars feat. Charlie Gabriel (TJ) 4p Rock ‘n’ Bowl:Tab Benoit (BL) 9:30p

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RB Modern R&B PO Pop PK Punk RE Reggae RC Rockabilly RK Rock RR Roots Rock SS Singer/Songwriter SK Ska PI Solo Piano SO Soul SW Spoken Word SP Swamp Pop SI Swing VR Variety ZY Zydeco

Snug Harbor:Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony (JV) 8 & 10p Starlight: Chris Craig (VR) 4p, NYE Ball with Kuwaisiana (VR) 11p Three Muses: Monty Banks (JV) 5p, Sam Cammarata Trio (VR) 9p Tipitina’s: Galactic,Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, Southern Avenue (VR) 10p Vaughan’s Lounge: DJ Khris Royal Dance Party (FK) 9p

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 1 30/90: Justin Donovan (SO) 5p, Big Mike and the R&B Kings (RB) 9p Buffa’s: Jazz Brunch with Some Like It Hot (JV) 11a, Open Mic Night with Nattie Sanchez (SS) 7p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 6p, the Catahoulas (VR) 10p d.b.a.:Tin Men (BL) 7p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge:Angie’s Karaoke (KR) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Beth Patterson (FO) 8:30p Preservation Hall: Preservation Legacy Band feat. Mark Braud (TJ) 5p, Preservation All-Stars feat. Charlie Gabriel (TJ) 8p Snug Harbor: Uptown Jazz Orchestra (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Chris Christy (JV) 2p, Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 6p,Antoine Diel and the New Orleans Power Misfits (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p, Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 7p THURSDAY JANUARY 2 30/90:Andy J. Forest (BL) 5p, Smoke N Bones (FK) 9p, DJ Trill Skill (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Harlequeen presents Honor Thy Mother (VR) 9p Buffa’s: Rebecca Leigh and Harry Mayronne (JV) 5p,Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p Café Negril: Claude Bryant and the All-Stars (VR) 6p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Conor Donohue (AM) 6p d.b.a.: Omari Neville and the Fuel (VR) 11p

Find complete listings at offbeat.com—when you’re out, use offbeat.com/mobile for full listings on any cell phone. Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8:30p Howlin’ Wolf: Swamp Ritual feat. DRRTYWULVZ, Space Geisha, Navigatorz, Sepia,Thought Process, pheel, Squalpat, Kripa, Gill_Yum (EL) 9p Kajun’s Pub: Karaoke (KR) 5p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Mario Abney (JV) 9p Kerry Irish Pub:Vincent Marini (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe:Tim Laughlin with Crescent City Joymakers (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Storyville Stompers (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Sal Geloso Band (JV) 2p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses:Tom McDermott (PI) 5p, Mia Borders (BL) 8p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Hot 8 Brass Band (FK) 8p

FRIDAY JANUARY 3 30/90: Kettle Black (SS) 2p, Kennedy and the M.O.T.H. (RK) 5p, Luscious Duchess (SO) 8p, DJ Dot Dunnie (VR) 10p, Gene’s Music Machine (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Slugger (VR) 8:30p; (Lobby): Cue’d Up feat. G-Cue, B2B (VR) 10:30p Buffa’s: Carmela Rappazzo (JV) 6p,Tiffany Pollack and John Fohl (BL) 9p Café Negril: Shawn Williams (VR) 2p, Dana Abbott Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Dirty Rain Revelers (FO) 6p, DJ YRSTRLY (VR) 9p d.b.a.: Russell Welch’s Wood Floor Trio (JV) 4p, Swinging Gypsies (JV) 6p, Dave Jordan and the NIA (RR) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Inferno Burlesque (BQ) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p Kerry Irish Pub: Beth Patterson (FO) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (FO) 9p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Kevin Louis and Craig Klein with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation All-Stars with Rickie Monie (TJ) 1p, Preservation Legacy Band feat.Wendell Brunious (TJ) 5p, Preservation AllStars feat. Shannon Powell (TJ) 8p Snug Harbor: Jason Marsalis (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 6p, Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 10p Three Muses: Royal Roses (JV) 5:30p, Esther Rose (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: Morgan Heritage (VR) 10p SATURDAY JANUARY 4 30/90: Jonathan Bauer Project (MJ) 11a, Josh Benitez Band (RK) 2p, Noah Young Band (JV) 5p, Sam Price and the True Believers (RK) 8p, DJ Torch (VR) 10p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Khris Royal and Dark Matter (FK) 8:30p; (Lobby):Archive with Felice Gee (VR) 10p Buffa’s: Debbie Davis Birthday Bash (VR) 6p, B Side Beatniks with Larry Scala (JV) 9p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 2p, Jamey St. Pierre Band (VR) 6p, Soul Project NOLA

(VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Champagne Girl, the Noise Complaints, Strawberry Sticker (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 4p, Little Freddie King (BL) 11p House of Blues: Holiday Hangover with Departure: the Journey Tribute Band (RK) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Slim KuttaR (HH) 10p Jazz Playhouse: Nayo Jones Experience (JV) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Keva Holiday (VR) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 5p, Beth Patterson (FO) 9p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Greg Stafford and Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Quiana Lynell (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Antoine Diel and Arsene DeLay (JV) 2p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, the Catahoulas (JV) 10p Starlight:Tiffany Pollack (JV) 5p,Anais St. John (JV) 8p, Mercy Bell (FO) 11p Three Muses: Leo Forde (JV) 5p, Davis Rogan (VR) 6p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 9p Treme Art and Music Lounge:Tra$h Magnolia (VR) 9p

SUNDAY JANUARY 5 30/90: Natalie Cris (RB) 11a,Truman Holland and the Back Porch Review (SS) 2p, Carolyn Broussard (FO) 5p,T’Canaille (KJ) 9p Buffa’s: Some Like It Hot! (TJ) 10:30a, the Pfister Sisters (JV) 4p, Steve Pistorius Jazz Quartet (JV) 7p Café Negril: Ecirb Muller’s Twisted Dixie (JV) 6p, Vegas Cola Band (JV) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Jamie Lynn Vessels (RK) 6p, Gina Leslie Sundays (RR) 9p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bugs Stompers (JV) 6p Fillmore: Drag Diva Brunch (VR) 10:30a Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 11p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p,TBC Brass Band (BB) 8p Kerry Irish Pub:Will Dickerson (FO) 8p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Mark Braud and Ronell Johnson with Sunday Night Swingsters (TJ) 7p Spotted Cat: Giselle Anguizola and the New Orleans Swinging Gypsies (JV) 2p, Robin Barnes and the FiyaBirds (JV) 7p, Pat Casey and the New Sound (JV) 10p Three Muses: Raphael et Pascale (JV) 5p, the Clementines (JV) 8p MONDAY JANUARY 6 30/90: Dapper Dandies (JV) 5p, New Orleans Super Jam presented by Gene Harding (VR) 9p Buffa’s:Al “Carnival Time” Johnson with Davis Rogan (VR) 5p,Arsene DeLay and Charlie Wooton (VR) 7p Café Negril: Noggin (VR) 6p, Soul Project NOLA (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Societe des Champs Elysees 12th Night Celebration (VR) 5p d.b.a.: Swamp Donkeys (JV) 10p Jazz Playhouse: Gerald French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: James Williams (VR) 6p, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Irvin Mayfield (JV) 8p O F F B E AT. C O M


express Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 8:30p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: NOLA Swing Dance Connection with DJ Twiggs (SI) 7p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Royal Street Winding Boys (JV) 2p, Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen St.All-Stars (JV) 6p, New Orleans Swing Consensus (JV) 10p Three Muses: Monty Banks (VR) 5p, Meschiya Lake (JV) 8p

TUESDAY JANUARY 7 30/90: Set Up Kings (RB) 5p, Soul Project (FK) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): NoFUN Meetup (VR) 7p; (Lobby):Tech Tuesdays: Hack Night (VR) 7p Buffa’s:Tacos,Tequila and Tiaras with Vanessa Carr (VR) 7p Café Negril: Marla Dixon Band (VR) 7p, Dimondick Gorilla and the Swingin’ Vines (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Misti Gaither (JV) 6p, Mighty Brother and friends (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Dinosaurchestra (JV) 7p,Treme Brass Band (BB) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Beast (CO) 8:30p Jazz Playhouse: James Rivers Movement (JV) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Stuart Coles’ Straight Ahead Jam Session (VR) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Hugh Morrison (FO) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Rick Margitza’s New Orleans AllStars (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 10p Three Muses: Sam Cammarata (VR) 5p, Salvatore Geloso (JV) 8p WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8 30/90: Justin Donovan (BL) 5p, Colin Davis and Night People (SO) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):Think Less Hear More: The Last Dragon (VR) 8:30p Buffa’s: Open Mic Night with Nattie Sanchez (SS) 7p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 6p, the Catahoulas (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Live Jazz Group (JV) 6p, Nic Leo, Sole Gaze, Beta Wave (ID) 9p d.b.a.:Tin Men (RK) 7p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge:Angie’s Karaoke (KR) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Lars Edegran and Topsy Chapman with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Uptown Jazz Orchestra with Terrance Taplin (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Chris Christy (JV) 2p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 6p,Antoine Diel and the New Orleans Power Misfits (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p, Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 8p THURSDAY JANUARY 9 30/90:Andy J. Forest (FO) 5p, Raw Deal (FK) 9p, DJ Fresh (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Helen Gillet + 1 with Doug Garrison (MJ) 9:30p Buffa’s: Saudade on Esplanade:An International Celebration of Brazilian Choro (LT) 5p,Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p

Café Negril: Claude Bryant and the All-Stars (VR) 6p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Margie Perez (LT) 6p, Rebel Roadside, Retrofit (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Charlie Wooton Project (VR) 10p Fillmore: Morgan Wallen, Jon Langston,Ashland Craft (VR) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Mario Abney (JV) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe:Tim Laughlin and Crescent City Joymakers (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Chubby Carrier and Bayou Swamp Band (ZY) 8p Snug Harbor: Bria Skonberg (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Sal Geloso Band (JV) 2p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses:Tom McDermott (PI) 5p, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue (CW) 8p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Hot 8 Brass Band (FK) 8p Vaughan’s Lounge: Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet (FK) 10:30p

FRIDAY JANUARY 10 30/90: Jonathan Bauer Project (MJ) 2p, Jon Roniger and the Good For Nothin’ Band (JV) 5p, Smoke N Bones (FK) 8p, DJ Torch (VR) 10p, Big Easy Brawlers (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): 1Social presents the Living Room Experience (SO) 9:30p Buffa’s: Davis Rogan (VR) 6p, Charlie Wooton Project (VR) 9p Café Negril: Shawn Williams (VR) 2p, Dana Abbott Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Lynn Drury (RK) 6p, Big Shot Burlesque (BQ) 9p d.b.a.: Russell Welch’s Wood Floor Trio (JV) 4p, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses (JV) 7p, Alvin Youngblood Hart (BL) 10p Fillmore:Ari Shaffir (VR) 7p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p Kerry Irish Pub: Hugh Morrison CD-release show (FO) 5p, One Tailed Three (FO) 9p One Eyed Jacks: Dirty Rotten Snake in the Grass (VR) 9p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Kevin Louis and Craig Klein with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Contraflow (RK) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Jason Marsalis (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p,Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (JV) 6p, Rhythm Stompers (JV) 10p Three Muses: Matt Johnson (JV) 5:30p, Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s:Tribal Gold New Orleans Suspects (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Clarkgang (BL) 9p SATURDAY JANUARY 11 30/90: Sleazeball Orchestra (JV) 11a, Old Man River Band (RB) 2p,Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires (SS) 5p, Mofongo (LT) 8p, DJ Dot Dunnie (VR) 10p, Hotline (PO) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Big Easy Brawlers (BB) 8:30p; (Lobby): Hustle! With DJ Soul Sister (FK) 11:30p Buffa’s: Freddie Blue and the Friendship Circle (VR) 6p, Jamie Burnstein and Dave Easley (VR) 9p


express Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (FK) 2p, Jamey St. Pierre Band (RK) 6p,Another Day In Paradise (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge:Alex Bosworth (ID) 6p, Jesse Ethorin (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 4p,Tuba Skinny (JV) 7p, Pine Leaf Boys (KJ) 11p House of Blues: the Sweet Spot (BQ) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Keva Holiday (VR) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Crescent and Clover Celtic Band (FO) 5p, Rites of Passage (FO) 9p Mahalia Jackson Theater: Bill Burr (CO) 7:30p New Orleans Creole Cookery: the Ed Barrett Trio (JV) 6p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Duke Heitger and Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Dave Liebman (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 2p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, James Martin Band (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leo Forde (JV) 5p, Debbie Davis (JV) 6p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: Rebirth Brass Band (BB) 10p

SUNDAY JANUARY 12 30/90: Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (FK) 11a, Set Up Kings (RB) 2p,Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires (FK) 5p,T’Canaille (BL) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):Teaser Festival Daytime Panel; Closing Party Buffa’s: Some Like It Hot! (TJ) 10:30a, Larry Scala feat. Meryl Zimmerman (JV) 4p, Steve Pistorius Jazz Quartet (JV) 7p Café Negril: CobraSoul (JV) 6p,Vegas Cola Band (JV) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Monty Banks and John Ewart (JV) 6p, Gina Leslie Sundays (RR) 9p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bugs Stompers (JV) 6p Fillmore: Drag Diva Brunch (VR) 10:30a Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 11p Jazz Playhouse: Germaine Bazzle Jazz Quartet (JV) 8p Kajun’s Pub: Karaoke (KR) 5p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p,TBC Brass Band (BB) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 8p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Mark Braud and Sunday Night Swingsters (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition (SP) 4p Snug Harbor:Tom McDermott (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Aurora Neland and the Reed Minders (JV) 2p, Robin Barnes and the FiyaBirds (JV) 7p, Pat Casey and the New Sound (JV) 10p Starlight:Anna Laura Quinn (JV) 5p, Gabrielle Cavassa (JV) 8p, Starlight Sessions (JV) 10p Three Muses: Raphael et Pascale (JV) 5p, the Clementines (JV) 8p Tipitina’s: Super Fais Do Do with Bruce Daigrepont (KJ) 5:30p MONDAY JANUARY 13 30/90: Margie Perez (SO) 5p, New Orleans Super Jam presented by Gene Harding (VR) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):Too Trill Trivia with Eric and Terri (VR) 6p Buffa’s:Arsene DeLay and Charlie Wooton (VR) 5p, Sam Price and friends (VR) 8p Café Negril: Noggin (VR) 6p, Soul Project NOLA (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: the Whyos (IR) 6p, Comic Strip

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(CO) 9p d.b.a.: Swamp Donkeys (JV) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): the Van Allen Belt, Dang Bruh Y,Valerie Sassyfras (PO) 9p Kajun’s Pub: Karaoke (KR) 5p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: James Williams (VR) 6p, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Irvin Mayfield (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: BCS Football on the Big Screen (VR) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation Jazz Masters feat. Leroy Jones (TJ) 5p, Preservation All-Stars feat. Charlie Gabriel (TJ) 8p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: NOLA Swing Dance Connection with DJ Twiggs (SI) 7p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Royal Street Winding Boys (JV) 2p, Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen St.All-Stars (JV) 6p, New Orleans Swing Consensus (JV) 10p Three Muses: Bart Ramsey (JV) 5p

TUESDAY JANUARY 14 30/90: Mem Shannon and the Membership Band (BL) 5p, Ed Wills and Blues4Sale (BL) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):Tech Tuesdays: NOLASec Meetup (VR) 7p; (Lobby):Tech Tuesdays: Hack Night and NOLASec Meetup (VR) 7p Buffa’s: Josh Paxton Chilling with Chili (VR) 7p Café Negril: Marla Dixon Band (VR) 7p, Dimondick Gorilla and the Swingin’ Vines (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Geovane Santos’ Jazz Brasileiro (LT) 6p,Transiberian Nightmare Drag (VR) 9p d.b.a.: Dinosaurchestra (JV) 7p,Treme Brass Band (BB) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Beast (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Stuart Coles’ Straight Ahead Jam Session (VR) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Hugh Morrison (FO) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Neal Caine (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 10p Three Muses:Arsene DeLay (VR) 5p,April Mae (VR) 8p WEDNESDAY JANUARY 15 30/90:Andy J. Forest (BL) 5p, Big Mike and the R&B Kings (RB) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): SONO presents Shape of Jazz to Come (JV) 9p Buffa’s: Open Mic Night with Nattie Sanchez (SS) 7p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 6p, the Catahoulas (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: KatieCat and Cain Bossa Nova Love (LT) 6p, Misti Gaither’s Spotlight Project (VR) 9p d.b.a.:Tin Men (RK) 7p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Jazz Playhouse: Big Sam’s Crescent City Connection (FK) 8:30p Kajun’s Pub: Karaoke (KR) 5p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Z2SOLO (VR) 5p,Angie’s Karaoke (KR) 7p Kerry Irish Pub:Will Dickerson (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Lars Edegran and Topsy Chapman with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Uptown Jazz Orchestra (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Chris Christy (JV) 2p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 6p,Antoine Diel and the New Orleans Power Misfits (JV) 10p

Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p, Schatzy (JV) 8p

THURSDAY JANUARY 16 30/90:Tony Lee Thomas (FO) 5p, Soul Project (FK) 9p, DJ Fresh (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Four Five Times Swing Night (VR) 9p Buffa’s:Yvette Voelker and Amasa Miller (JV) 5p, Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p Café Negril: Claude Bryant and the All-Stars (VR) 6p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge:Aden Paul (RK) 6p, Shawn Williams and Dana Abbott (RK) 9p d.b.a.: Kevin O’Day Band (VR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8:30p Howlin’ Wolf: Blackalicious (HH) 10p Jazz Playhouse: Brass-A-Holics (BB) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Mario Abney (JV) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Beth Patterson (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Duke Heitger and Tim Laughlin with Crescent City Joymakers (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie (ZY) 8p Snug Harbor: Danny Barker Birthday Tribute Band (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Sal Geloso Band (JV) 2p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses:Tom McDermott (PI) 5p, Mia Borders (JV) 8p Tipitina’s: the Raditators (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Hot 8 Brass Band (FK) 8p Vaughan’s Lounge: Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet (FK) 10:30p FRIDAY JANUARY 17 30/90: Organami (JV) 2p, Jonathan Bauer Project (MJ) 5p, Smoke N Bones (FK) 8p, DJ Trill Skill (VR) 10p, Hotline (PO) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):AfroXotica with Andrea Peoples (AF) 11:59p Buffa’s: Leslie Cooper and Harry Mayronne (JV) 6p Café Negril: Shawn Williams (VR) 2p, Dana Abbott Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Lilli Lewis Project (BL) 6p, the Junior League, Peter Searcy (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Russell Welch’s Wood Floor Trio (JV) 4p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Robin Shaw (CO) 9p Howlin’ Wolf: Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival (BL) 3p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (FO) 5p,Van Hudson and friends (FO) 9p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Kevin Louis with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation All-Stars with Rickie Monie (TJ) 1p, Preservation Legacy Band feat.Wendell Brunious (TJ) 5p, Preservation AllStars feat. Shannon Powell (TJ) 8p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings (JV) 6p, Shake ‘Em Up Jazz Band (JV) 10p Starlight: Michael Watson and the Alchemy (JV) 8p, Late Night Roadhouse with Shawn Williams (CW) 11p Three Muses: Royal Roses (JV) 5:30p, Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 9p

Tipitina’s: the Raditators (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Gwen and Mad City (RK) 9p

SATURDAY JANUARY 18 30/90: Jonathan Bauer Project (MJ) 11a,Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires (SS) 2p, Sleazeball Orchestra (JV) 5p, Big Mike and the R&B Kings (RB) 8p, DJ Torch (VR) 10p, Big Easy Brawlers (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys):Teaser Fest: Classes with the Brightest Burlesque Stars (VR) 11a; La Noche Caliente with Muevelo and Mambo Orleans (LT) 9p Buffa’s: Greg Schatz (VR) 6p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Steve DeTroy (BL) 9p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (FK) 2p, Jamey St. Pierre Band (RK) 6p, MainLine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Flambeaux Freddie and friends (VR) 6p, Miss Mojo, Eyope (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 4p,Tuba Skinny (JV) 7p, Soul Creole, Michot’s Melody Makers (KJ) 11p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Dirty Fuss, Green Gasoline (RK) 10p Howlin’ Wolf: Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival (BL) 3p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Keva Holiday (VR) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Mike Kerwin and Geoff Coats (FO) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (FO) 9p New Orleans Creole Cookery: the Ed Barrett Trio (JV) 6p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 9:30p Snug Harbor: Maria Muldaur (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Russell Welch’s Band (JV) 2p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leo Forde (JV) 5p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: the Raditators (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: the RetroSpex (BL) 9p SUNDAY JANUARY 19 30/90:Tiffany Pollack (JV) 11a,Truman Holland and the Back Porch Review (SS) 2p, Carolyn Broussard (FO) 5p, Chris Klein and the Boulevards (BL) 9p Ace Hotel (Alto):Teaser Fest: Pool Party (VR) 11a; (Three Keys):Teaser Fest: Locals Only, for Everyone (VR) 6p; (Lobby):Teaser Fest: Cocktail Hour with DJ Chinua (DJ) 9p; (Three Keys):Teaser Fest: Fetish (VR) 9:30p Buffa’s: Some Like It Hot! (TJ) 10:30a, Molly Reeves and Nahum Zdybel (JV) 4p, Steve Pistorius Jazz Quartet (JV) 7p Café Negril: Ecirb Muller’s Twisted Dixie (JV) 6p, Vegas Cola Band (JV) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Pfister Sisters (JV) 6p, Gina Leslie Sundays (RR) 9p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bugs Stompers (JV) 4p House of Blues: Spafford, the Iceman Special (FK) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 11p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p,TBC Brass Band (BB) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Beth Patterson (FO) 8p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Mark Braud and Sunday Night Swingsters (TJ) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Josh Paxton (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Monty Banks Band (JV) 2p, Robin O F F B E AT. C O M


express Barnes and the FiyaBirds (JV) 7p, Pat Casey and the New Sound (JV) 10p Three Muses: Raphael et Pascale (JV) 5p, the Clementines (JV) 8p Tipitina’s: Raw Oyster Cult (VR) 8p

MONDAY JANUARY 20 30/90: Dapper Dandies (JV) 5p, New Orleans Super Jam presented by Gene Harding (VR) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Movement Mondays with WHIV and Chinua (VR) 5p Buffa’s:Arsene DeLay and Charlie Wooton (VR) 5p,Antoine Diel (VR) 8p Café Negril: Noggin (VR) 6p, Soul Project NOLA (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Coliseum Street (RK) 6p, Comic Strip (CO) 9p d.b.a.: Swamp Donkeys (JV) 10p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: James Williams (VR) 6p, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Irvin Mayfield (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 8:30p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: NOLA Swing Dance Connection with DJ Twiggs (SI) 7p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Royal Street Winding Boys (JV) 2p, Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen St.All-Stars (JV) 6p, Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 10p Three Muses: Monty Banks (JV) 5p TUESDAY JANUARY 21 30/90: Set Up Kings (RB) 5p, Kennedy and the M.O.T.H. (RK) 9p

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Ace Hotel (Lobby):Tech Tuesdays: Hack Night (VR) 7p; (Three Keys): GDG New Orleans Meetup (VR) 7p Buffa’s: Louisiana Red Hot Folk Alliance Celebration (VR) 6p Café Negril: Marla Dixon Band (VR) 7p, Dimondick Gorilla and the Swingin’ Vines (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Frankie Boots, Juno Dunes, Quattlebaum, the Sam Chase (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Dinosaurchestra (JV) 7p,Treme Brass Band (BB) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Dirty Honey (RK) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Beast (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Stuart Coles’ Straight Ahead Jam Session (VR) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Hugh Morrison (FO) 8:30p Preservation Hall: Preservation Legacy Band feat. Wendell Brunious (TJ) 5p, Preservation All-Stars feat. Charlie Gabriel (TJ) 8p Snug Harbor: Stanton Moore Trio (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 10p Starlight: Nahum Zdybel (JV) 5p, the Living Street, Amanda Walker (FO) 8p, Birch Pereira and the Gin Joints, Blue Moon Marque (JV) 10p Three Muses: Sam Cammarata (VR) 5p

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 22 30/90: Bywater Skanks (BL) 5p, Colin Davis and Night People (SO) 9p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Psychedelic Society of New Orleans (VR) 7p

Buffa’s: Open Mic Night with Nattie Sanchez (SS) 7p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 6p, the Catahoulas (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge:Tiffany Pollack and Co. (JV) 6p, Renshaw Davies, Rachel Toups (ID) 9p d.b.a.:Tin Men (RK) 7p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Hawthorne Heights, Emery (RK) 6p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Z2SOLO (VR) 5p,Angie’s Karaoke (KR) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Bob Ray (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Lars Edegran and Topsy Chapman with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Uptown Jazz Orchestra (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Chris Christy (JV) 2p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 6p,Antoine Diel and the New Orleans Power Misfits (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p, Joy Patterson and Matt Bell (JV) 8p

THURSDAY JANUARY 23 30/90:Tony Lee Thomas (FO) 5p, Smoke N Bones (FK) 9p, DJ Dot Dunnie (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. Birthday Bash with the Wild Magnolias (MI) 8p Buffa’s: Dayna Kurtz (VR) 5p,Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p Café Negril: Claude Bryant and the All-Stars (VR) 6p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Dick Johnson and the Big Willies (BL) 6p, New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars (KZ) 9p d.b.a.: Little Freddie King (BL) 10p

House of Blues: Jonny Lang (BL) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Mario Abney (JV) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Beth Patterson (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Leroy Jones and Crescent City Joymakers (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Rusty Metoyer and Zydeco Krush (ZY) 8p Snug Harbor: Ryan Hanseler and Crescent By Choice (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Sal Geloso Band (JV) 2p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses:Tom McDermott (PI) 5p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Hot 8 Brass Band (FK) 8p Vaughan’s Lounge: Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet (FK) 10:30p

FRIDAY JANUARY 24 30/90: Old Man River Band (RB) 2p, Jon Roniger and the Good For Nothin’ Band (JV) 5p, Simple Sound Retreat (PO) 8p, DJ Fresh (VR) 10p, Big Easy Brawlers (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Lobby): Brass and Beats: King of Brass and Raj Smoove (BB) 10:30a; (Three Keys): Brass and Beats: Kings of Brass and Raj Smoove (BB) 8:30p Buffa’s:Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires (VR) 6p, Hannah KB Band (VR) 9p Café Negril: Shawn Williams (VR) 2p, Dana Abbott Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge:Arsene DeLay (RK) 6p, Butte,

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express Cool Moon, Slickback Jacques (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Russell Welch’s Wood Floor Trio (JV) 4p House of Blues: Bustout Burlesque (BQ) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den):WTUL Showcase feat. Hydra Plane, Quarx, Hazel, Smilin’ Eyes (RK) 10p Kerry Irish Pub: Patrick Cooper (FO) 5p, Paintbox with Dave James and Tim Robertson (FO) 9p One Eyed Jacks: DJ Soul Sister presents Soulful Takeover (VR) 10p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Kevin Louis with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p,Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (JV) 6p, Soul Brass Band (JV) 10p Three Muses: Matt Johnson (JV) 5:30p, Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: Billy Strings (VR) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: the Jeff D Comedy Show (CO) 9p

SATURDAY JANUARY 25 30/90: Sleazeball Orchestra (JV) 11a, Bywater Skanks (VR) 2p, Organami (JV) 5p, Mofongo (LT) 8p, DJ Torch (VR) 10p, Big Mike and the R&B Kings (RB) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Sierra Green (RB) 8:30; (Lobby): DJ RQ Away presents Happy Feelins (VR) 11:30p Buffa’s:Tchopsley (VR) 6p, Marina Orchestra (VR) 9p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (FK) 2p, Jamey St. Pierre Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Fundraiser for the Pearl (VR) 7p d.b.a.: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 4p,Tuba Skinny (JV) 7p, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys (KJ) 11p Dmac’s: Sam Price and the True Believers (RK) 9p Fillmore:WFC 121 Mixed Martial Arts Championship (VR) 7p House of Blues:Wale (HH) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Sweet Lillies (FO) 9p Jazz Playhouse: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Keva Holiday (VR) 8p Kerry Irish Pub: Dave Hickey (FO) 5p, Lynn Drury (FO) 9p One Eyed Jacks: Night of 1,000 Stevies (VR) 9p Palm Court Jazz Cafe:Will Smith and Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Preservation Hall: Preservation All-Stars with Will Smith (TJ) 1p, Preservation Brass Band feat. Mark Braud (TJ) 5p, Preservation All-Stars with Mark Braud (TJ) 8p Snug Harbor: Jacqui Naylor (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Jazz Band Ballers (JV) 2p, Panorama Jazz Band (JV) 6p, Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen St.All-Stars (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leo Forde (JV) 5p, Debbie Davis (JV) 6p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: Mandolin Orange (VR) 9p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Carroll, Rappazzo and Cooper (BL) 9p SUNDAY JANUARY 26 30/90: Swamp Blossoms (KJ) 11a, Set Up Kings (RB) 2p,Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires (FK) 5p, T’Canaille (KJ) 9p Buffa’s: Some Like It Hot! (TJ) 10:30a, Little Coquette Jazz Band (JV) 4p, Steve Pistorius Jazz Quartet (JV) 7p Café Negril: Ecirb Muller’s Twisted Dixie (JV) 6p, Vegas Cola Band (JV) 10p

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Carnaval Lounge: Leslie Cooper (JV) 6p,AC Sapphire, Casey Jane, Julie Odell (ID) 9p d.b.a.: Palmetto Bugs Stompers (SI) 6p Fillmore: Drag Diva Brunch (VR) 10:30a Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Hot 8 Brass Band (BB) 11p Jazz Playhouse: Germaine Bazzle Jazz Quartet (JV) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p,TBC Brass Band (BB) 8p Kerry Irish Pub:Traditional Irish Session (FO) 5p, Patrick Cooper (FO) 8p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Mark Braud and Sunday Night Swingsters (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Zachary Richard with special guests (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: John Lisi and Delta Funk (JV) 2p, Robin Barnes and the FiyaBirds (JV) 7p, Pat Casey and the New Sound (JV) 10p Three Muses: Raphael et Pascale (JV) 5p, Luke Winslow King (BL) 8p

MONDAY JANUARY 27 30/90: Margie Perez (SO) 5p, New Orleans Super Jam presented by Gene Harding (VR) 9p Ace Hotel (Lobby): Simple Play Networking Happy Hour (VR) 5p Buffa’s:Arsene DeLay and Charlie Wooton (VR) 5p, Antoine Diel (VR) 8p Café Negril: Noggin (VR) 6p, Soul Project NOLA (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Comic Strip (CO) 9p d.b.a.: Swamp Donkeys (JV) 10p Jazz Playhouse: Gerald French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (JV) 8p Kajun’s Pub: Karaoke (KR) 5p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: James Williams (VR) 6p, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Irvin Mayfield (JV) 8p Kerry Irish Pub:Will Dickerson (FO) 8:30p Little Tropical Isle: Mark Parsons (RK) 5p, Reed Lightfoot (RK) 9p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: NOLA Swing Dance Connection with DJ Twiggs (SI) 7p Snug Harbor: Charmaine Neville Band (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Royal Street Winding Boys (JV) 2p, Dominick Grillo and the Frenchmen St.All-Stars (JV) 6p, New Orleans Swing Consensus (JV) 10p Three Muses: Bart Ramsey (JV) 5p,Washboard Rodeo (JV) 8p TUESDAY JANUARY 28 30/90: Mem Shannon and the Membership Band (BL) 5p, Ed Wills and Blues4Sale (BL) 9p Ace Hotel (Lobby):Tech Tuesdays: Hack Night (VR) 7p; (Three Keys) #Front End Party Meetup (VR) 7p Buffa’s:Treme Tuesday with Debbie Davis and Josh Paxton (VR) 7p Café Negril: Marla Dixon Band (VR) 7p, Dimondick Gorilla and the Swingin’ Vines (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge:Transiberian Nightmare Drag (VR) 9p d.b.a.: Dinosaurchestra (JV) 7p,Treme Brass Band, Cha Wa (MG) 10p House of Blues: Raphael Saadiq (SO) 8p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Beast (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Stuart Coles’ Straight Ahead Jam Session (VR) 9p Kerry Irish Pub: Hugh Morrison (FO) 8:30p Snug Harbor: Stanton Moore Trio (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat:Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 10p

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 29 30/90:Andy J. Forest (BL) 5p, Big Mike and the R&B Kings (RB) 9p Buffa’s: Open Mic Night with Nattie Sanchez (SS) 7p Café Negril: John Lisi and Delta Funk (VR) 6p, the Catahoulas (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Greg Speck and Don Williams (LT) 6p,Anne Elise Hastings and her Revolving Cast of Characters (FO) 9p d.b.a.:Tin Men (RK) 7p,Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters (BL) 10p Fillmore:Armin Van Buuren (VR) 7p Howlin’ Wolf (the Porch): Judah Friedlander (CO) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Z2SOLO (VR) 5p,Angie’s Karaoke (KR) 7p Kerry Irish Pub: Chip Wilson (FO) 8:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra (TJ) 7p Snug Harbor: Uptown Jazz Orchestra (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Chris Christy (JV) 2p, Shotgun Jazz Band (JV) 6p,Antoine Diel and the New Orleans Power Misfits (JV) 10p Three Muses: Leslie Martin (JV) 5p THURSDAY JANUARY 30 30/90:Tony Lee Thomas (FO) 5p, Soul Project (F) 9p, DJ Trill Skill (VR) 10p Ace Hotel (Lobby):The Finest in Funk with AJ Hall (FK) 7p Buffa’s:Andre Bohren (CL) 5p,Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (JV) 8p Café Negril: Claude Bryant and the All-Stars (VR) 6p, Sierra Green and the Soul Machine (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Swamp Blossoms (KJ) 6p,Thee Agitator, Bug Lord (RK) 9p d.b.a.: Slugger (VR) 10p Howlin’ Wolf (the Den): Comedy Gumbeaux (CO) 8:30p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers (JV) 7p, Mario Abney (JV) 9p Kerry Irish Pub:Van Hudson (FO) 8:30p New Orleans Jazz Market: OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards feat. Charlie Wooton Project feat. Arsene DeLay, Members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Preservation Hall Tribute to Charlie Gabriel, Soul Rebels, J. and the Causeways (VR) 5:30p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Duke Heitger with Crescent City Joymakers (TJ) 7p Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas (ZY) 8p Snug Harbor: Scott Kirby (JV) 8 & 10p Spotted Cat: Sal Geloso Band (JV) 2p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p Three Muses:Tom McDermott (PI) 5p,Arsene DeLay (JV) 8p Tipitina’s: In Business (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Hot 8 Brass Band (FK) 8p Vaughan’s Lounge: Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet (FK) 10:30p FRIDAY JANUARY 31 30/90: Rebel Roadside (BL) 2p, Sleazeball Orchestra (JV) 5p, Smoke N Bones (FK) 8p, DJ Dot Dunnie (VR) 10p, the Grid (FK) 11p Ace Hotel (Three Keys): Kettle Black (VR) 8:30p; (Lobby) DJ G (DJ) 10:30a Buffa’s: Michael Doussan (VR) 6p, Lynn Drury (VR) 9p

Café Negril: Shawn Williams (VR) 2p, Dana Abbott Band (VR) 6p, Higher Heights (VR) 10p Carnaval Lounge: Davis Rogan (VR) 6p, Resonant Rouges, Backyard Balkan Brass, Salvatore Geloso (ID) 9p Civic Theatre:Trey Anastasio (VR) 9p d.b.a.: Russell Welch’s Wood Floor Trio (JV) 4p, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses (JV) 7p, Dash Rip Rock (RK) 10p House of Blues (the Parish): Inferno Burlesque (BQ) 8p Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge: DJ Sugar Ray (VR) 4:20p Kerry Irish Pub:Tim Robertson (FO) 5p,Will Dickerson and friends (FO) 9p New Orleans Jazz Museum (Old U.S. Mint): the Iguanas (RR) 7p Palm Court Jazz Cafe: Kevin Louis and Craig Klein with Palm Court Jazz Band (TJ) 7p Spotted Cat: Andy J. Forest (JV) 2p,Washboard Chaz Blues Trio (JV) 6p, Dr. Brice Miller’s BukuNOLA (JV) 10p Three Muses: Doro Wat Jazz Band (JV) 9p Tipitina’s: Perpetual Groove, Funk You (FK) 10p Treme Art and Music Lounge: Bad Sandies (RC) 9p

FESTIVALS January 15-19 The Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival includes music clinics, panel discussions and live performances at a variety of New Orleans venues. DannyBarkerFestival.com January 15-18 The Samantha Fish Cigar Box Festival celebrates the art, music and cultural history of homemade stringed instruments, featuring performances at the Howlin’ Wolf and Chickie Wah Wah. SamanthaFishCigarBoxGuitarFestival.com SPECIAL EVENTS Through December French Quarter Festivals presents Christmas New Orleans Style, a month of reveillon dinners, holiday home tours, family fun and other holiday events. FQFI.org December 31 The annual New Year’s Eve celebration includes a fleur de lis drop at Jax Brewery, with live music in Jackson Square and fireworks along the riverfront. NewOrleans.com January 7-10 The Jazz Education Network presents its annual conference featuring workshops, panels, performances and music clinics at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. JazzEdNet.org/ Conference January 22-26 The Folk Alliance International Music Conference takes place at the Sheraton New Orleans. FolkConference.org/Nola January 30 OffBeat Magazine presents its annual Best of the Beat Awards at the New Orleans Jazz Market featuring local cuisine and performances by Charlie Wooton Project feat. Arsene DeLay, Preservation Hall Tribute to Charlie Gabriel, Soul Rebels, J. and the Causeways and the Members of New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. OffBeat.com Ongoing The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint presents “Noel Rockmore & Emilie Rhys: New Orleans Jazz Painting Retrospective.” Opens January 30. O F F B E AT. C O M


backtalk

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n 2007, Rhiannon Giddens performed at the Folk Alliance International conference with the aspiring black string band Carolina Chocolate Drops. On January 25, 2020, following one Grammy Award, six Grammy nominations and her MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, Giddens is delivering the keynote speech at the FAI conference in New Orleans. A singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Greensboro, North Carolina, Giddens frequently injects social consciousness into her music. That dovetails with the social justice themes at this year’s FAI conference. And the songs on her latest album, there is no Other, champion inclusion. One of them, “I’m On My Way,” has a Grammy nomination for best American roots performance. Sonically, there is no Other links Africa and the Middle East to Europe and America. Giddens, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, sings in her classically trained voice and plays minstrel banjo, octave violin and viola. Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi plays Arabic frame drums, lute and its long-necked cousin, the colascione, tamburello (an Italian tambourine), cello banjo (tuned an octave below standard banjo) accordion and piano. Prior to there is no Other, Giddens and Turrisi collaborated in 2019 for Lucy Negro Redux, a ballet staged in Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee by OffBeat publisher Jan Ramsey’s brother Paul Vasterling. Also in 2019, Giddens also released Songs of Our Native Daughters, her acclaimed collaboration with Amythyst Kiah, Allison Russell and the New Orleans-based former Carolina Chocolate Drop, Leyla McCalla. Giddens and there is no Other producer Joe Henry previously worked together for the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Grammy-winning Genuine Negro Jig album and Allen Toussaint’s final studio recording, American Tunes. T Bone Burnett (O Brother, Where Are Thou?, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand) produced Giddens’ 2015 solo album debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn. She co-produced booking agent. We were doing it ourselves, but long relationships her follow-up solo album, Freedom Highway, as well as Songs of started there at the conference. Our Native Daughters with multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell at his You and Mavis Staples are FAI conference keynote studio in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. speakers this year. Do you mind sharing the spotlight with Following a world tour with Turrisi, Giddens’ expanding horizons her? in 2020 include the May premiere of her opera, Omar, at the That’s a great person to share it with. And I like what they (Folk Spoleto Festival USA, and her November performances as Bess Alliance International) are doing. I sat with Aengus (Finnan, FAI in George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess at the Greensboro executive director) for a good long time and he told me all the Opera. social justice stuff that they’re doing. That’s what folk music should You’re giving a keynote speech at the Folk Alliance be about. That’s what it is for, really. I like to support that. International conference this year, but years ago, with the You have a big New Orleans connection through Leyla Carolina Chocolate Drops, you were an aspiring showcase McCalla. performer. I can’t champion her enough. What she’s doing with the connecWe didn’t know what we were doing. I remember going to tions between Haiti and New Orleans, and putting it out there in Kinko’s that morning and making flyers. It was pretty intense, such beautiful packages of songs, is so fabulous. because nobody was there at the conference with us. No manager, And Leyla joined you for the Our Native nothing. I collected a stack of business cards and Daughters album. Will that project continue? by John Wirt transcribed all of them and sent them to my

Rhiannon Giddens

Photo BY EBRU YIDIZ

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backtalk The original idea was it’s a one-off, but everybody had such a great connection and a great time. It has an energy that turned into something else. There’s talk about a second album. Speaking of New Orleans, you also made a guest appearance for Allen Toussaint’s American Tunes album. I’d never met Allen, but Joe Henry asked me to do it. It was one of those impossible things because I was on tour in the Midwest. But I flew to California and then back to the Midwest on the same day. It was worth it. We did it all together, all live in the studio. That was a special day. You’ve also worked multiple times with producer Dirk Powell at his studio in southwest Louisiana. If you leave out that little T Bone Burnett record, Dirk Powell and Joe Henry are pretty much who I’ve done my most important work with. They’re the folks I keep coming back to. The support they provide in the studio allows people to do their best. During your European touring with Francesco Turrisi you visited the world’s oldest banjo at Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum. Made sometime before 1777, it’s a Creole bania from Suriname, a former Dutch colony on the northern coast of South America. But you couldn’t actually play it? It’s kept as an artifact. It’s not playable, unlike some things in the Smithsonian that are playable. But it’s an amazing piece of history. I got as close as I could get to it, in front of the case, and played that old, old piece of music (a transcription of Afro-Caribbean music from 1700s Jamaica credited to “Mr. Baptiste.”) Isn’t your fretless banjo special too? It’s a replica from 1858. That’s what I compose on, that’s what I play. The banjo has been your gateway to so much of what you do. When did you discover it? I discovered it after college, back home in North Carolina. I started doing a lot of folk dancing, contra dancing. Old-time bands were playing banjos. I was like, “Ooh. What is that? I love the sound of that banjo.” I’d heard a lot of bluegrass growing up, but I hadn’t heard the clawhammer, old-style banjo. I was drawn to it. And then I started learning the history and I realized that there had been a mass coverup. The banjo has been oversimplified, overlooked, but it is one of the most important pieces of American culture. And then I met Joe Thompson (her black string band and banjo mentor) and realized that there was a mission to be had. And I keep finding more and more that needs to be said. So, it’s probably never ending. Was your goal to reclaim the banjo’s African-American heritage? That seems to be one of the things I’m here to do. It’s more about starting the conversation about the complexity that surrounds the banjo, and how the narrative that has been given to us about the banjo reflects American history and us as Americans.

It’s never just music. Popular songs say a lot about what’s going on in the culture. Minstrelsy was the popular music of its day. Those “coon” songs were popular music. They say a lot about what went on in America. If you know that history, what’s going on now is less surprising. History is important to you, but many Americans are smugly disinterested in their nation’s history. We’re continuously distracted by pop culture things, TV shows. Not to say that those things can’t be forces for good, but there’s so much terrible content and shallowness in pop culture now. People are becoming accustomed to not thinking any deeper. That’s got to have dangerous consequences. When we’re in a culture in which people aren’t going to read the book, if a song can inspire them to them to dig a little bit, that’s what I try to do with music. Was your MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant a big help in helping you complete your ballet, Lucy Negro Redux, and other projects? I had things in transit anyway, but I was starting to panic. I wondered how I was going to do them and still make a living? When the MacArthur grant came into my life, I went, “Okay, I can stop panicking. I don’t have to worry about how it’s going to pay for itself.”The timing couldn’t have been better. During the Q&As for the ballet, Lucy Negro Redux, the number of black women who came to the mike was so amazing to see. Three black women are at the heart of it—myself, the lead black ballerina and the poet. It was a beautiful experience that brought people who’ve never seen a ballet, which was the whole point. Have you begun preparing for the role of Bess in Gershwin’s self-described “folk” opera, Porgy and Bess. I had my first voice lesson for it today. My teacher happened to be Germany, so I started on “I Love You Porgy.” It’s the perfect role for my voice. I’ve been dipping into that part of my voice every once in a while, but now I can really get it back up on its feet. And how is your composing for your opera, Omar, progressing? I’m almost done. The Spoleto USA Festival commissioned an opera about Omar Ibn Said. He is a Senegalese scholar who was captured and enslaved in North Carolina for 50 years. He wrote his autobiography in Arabic. I’m writing it with the banjo and the fiddle and using my voice. Michael Abels, the composer of the Get Out soundtrack, is orchestrating it. Being a keynote speaker at the FAI conference is bringing you back to New Orleans, but aren’t you more familiar with southwest Louisiana? I’ve spent more time in Lafayette, recording with Dirk Powell. I love the Creole-Cajun country and I connect to that music because it’s fiddle- and danced-based. New Orleans is special, too. There’s room for it all in my heart. O Rhiannon Giddens will deliver the keynote speech at Folk Alliance International conference on January 25 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

When we’re in a culture in which people aren’t going to read the book, if a song can inspire them to them to dig a little bit, that’s what I try to do with music.

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