This eveningâ€™s strut along the Frenchmen Street corridor offers a plethora of musical choices.Â Here are some picks.Â Sasha Masakowski, the daughter of the guitarist, Steve, performs an early set every Friday with her band at the BMC on the corner of Esplanade and Decatur Streets.Â Her act is jazzy with lots of Brazilian overtones.Â She actually sings in Portuguese- a feat New Orleans music lovers havenâ€™t seen since Phillip Manuel learned the language as part of Terence Blanchardâ€™s Ivan Lins project, The Heart Speaks.
Rayâ€™s Boom Boom Room is now called, La Maison de Musique (donâ€™t ask).Â They have a great lineup tonight with Lionel Ferbos, the oldest jazz musician still playing in New Orleans (he was 11 when Louis Armstrong took that fateful train to Chicago to join King Oliverâ€™s band in 1923), performs at 7:30 PM.Â Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra follow him at 9:30 PM and the hottest young brass band in town; the TBC closes out the evening at 11:30 PM.
The printed schedule in todayâ€™s Times- Picayune has an error.Â Good Enough For Good Times, the offshoot project of Galacticâ€™s Jeff Raines and Robert Mercurio, is actually playing at D.B.A. not the Apple Barrel.
New Orleans lost numerous landmarks due to the destruction caused by the federal flood in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.Â The historic Carver Theater on Orleans Avenue was not one of those structures.Â It has already suffered the ravages of neglect and most recently was the site of a medical clinic.
The 59-year-old Carver Theater was at one time one of the premier entertainment destinations for the black population of New Orleans.Â On Sept. 29, 1950, the Carver Theater opened to great fanfare. It was hailed as “America’s first theater for colored patrons” and boasted a “spacious powder room and lounge with a maid in attendance at all times for the comfort of ladies.”
A $7 million renovation, funded by private investment and a combination of federal and state tax credits, is expected to begin in September and be completed by May.
When it reopens, the 16,000-square-foot theater will seat up to 1,000 people and serve as a multi-purpose entertainment facility featuring music, theater, film and special events.Â A 10,000-square-foot building that will serve as a storage facility and include dressing rooms for performers will be built on an adjacent lot in addition to parking areas.
“This project will be one of the best examples of reuse through tax credits in the city, and it will improve the streetscape and general character of the community,” said Eric Cager, director of the Carver Theater Foundation.
Johnny Vidacovich’s ever-morphing trio gig on Thursday nights at the Maple Leaf Bar should prove to be some serious scintillating listening this evening, July 30, 2009, when the veteran drummer is joined by his former partner in Astral Project, the keyboardist David Torkanowsky and the percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon.
The group, which was founded by New Orleans trumpeter Leroy Jones and Finnish trombonist Katja Toivola, will perform sets at 8 and 10 PM.Â The group also includes vocalist Yolanda Windsay, guitarist Todd Duke, pianist Paul Longstreth, bassist Mitchell Player, and drummer Doug Belote.
Tonight, July 29, 2009, John Mooney will bring his delta blues style guitar playing and his hoodoo vocals to the friendliest club on Oak Street.Â OK, it’s the only club on Oak, but it is friendly.Â The show begins at 10:30 PM and Mooney will be performing solo.
This Friday, July 31, 2009, the clubs of Frenchmen Street will be percolating with a different energy than on a regular Friday in the summer.Â The Jazz Centennial Celebrationâ€™s 9th annual Club Strut fills all of the clubs and several of less-used balconies with jazz to kick off the annual celebration of the life of Louis Armstrong.
From 6:00 PM until 2 AM, the cream of the crop of New Orleans musical talent including Ellis Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Kermit Ruffins, Lionel Ferbos, Leah Chase, Shamar Allen, Charmaine Neville, and Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra.Â The participating venues include Snug Harbor, Blue Nile, DBA, La Maison de Musique (formerly Ray’s), Apple Barrel, Bicycle Michaels, Marigny Brasserie, Checkpoint Charlie’s, Cafe Rose Nicaud, R Bar, The John, and Tomatillo’s.
The Club Strut serves as both a fundraiser for our non-profit jazz outreach programs and a promotional vehicle for our music community’s rebuilding efforts. There are two levels of admission, general ($25) and VIP ($75). General admission gets you access to all the clubs on Frenchmen St (except Snug Harbor) all night, with a multitude of outstanding New Orleans musicians playing in the spirit of Louis Armstrong. VIP admission gives you all that as well as access to our VIP balcony parties, featuring New Orleans’ top musicians in an intimate setting along with fantastic food and beverages from notable New Orleans eateries. VIP admission also gets you access to New Orleans’ premier jazz club, the legendary Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, which is a limited seating venue.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is looking for bands to perform at next spring’s festival.Â The organizers will accept press kit submissions from bands through Oct. 1.
The festival, which seeks to preserve, promote, perpetuate and encourage the culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, presents more than 500 performances during the seven day event. Approximately 90 percent of the bands chosen to perform are Louisiana-based attractions. Competition for the remaining slots is highly competitive.
Those wishing to perform should submit a press kit, which includes a recording, biography, photo, press clippings, contact information and a current e-mail address. All bands that are chosen for the 2010 Jazz Fest will be contacted after the October 1st deadline. Once all bands are selected and booked, the festival will send email notification to all groups that were not selected for 2010.
Beginning at 10 PM, upstairs at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street some really cool, improvised music will be presented by a new ensemble consisting of Justin Peake on drums and stuff, Will Thompson on keys, Chris Alford on guitar, and Robin Boudreaux on saxes and maybe other stuff.Â These shows last until midnight or shortly thereafter. There is no cover charge. There is an encouraged donation. Whatever you can contribute is appreciated.
Beginning tonight, July 28, 2009 and continuing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings through August 6, trumpeter Shamarr Allen and other musicians will be conducting free music clinics for young, aspiring musicians aged 5-15.Â The clinics are held at the Sound CafÃ©- 2700 Chartres Street from 5:30- 7:30 PM. No musical experience is required, and no prior registration is necessary.
Each music session includes an instruction period, an informal jam session, during which clinic participants have the opportunity to perform with the professionals.Â Experienced musicians teach fundamental techniques on a range of instruments.Â In addition, participants have the opportunity to take one subsidized private lesson per week with one of our professional music coaches.
To donate or for more information call 504-722-0908 or 621-3853
Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins
Thâ€™ Legendary Shack*Shakers southern gothic epic has its latest chapter. With â€œSwampblood,â€ released in 2007 on Yep Roc, the Colonel JD Wilkes takes the muddled influence of his new home in western Kentucky, pours it through the funnel of eerie south Louisiana bayou culture, and shakes it up â€˜til it explodes with the thick swamp blues of Slim Harpo.
Though treading new ground, â€œSwampbloodâ€ holds true to the Shack*Shakersâ€™ signature aesthetic, resting on the dark fringes of American culture more interested in the sinister nuances behind a frequently Rockwellian faÃ§ade. Musically, straight swamp blues swirls with rockabilly, minor key polkas, and industrial rock all draped over Bo Diddlyâ€™s primal thumping heartbeat.