Edwin Hampton, Legendary Leader of the Marching 100 Passes Away

The Purple Knights during Mardi Gras

The Purple Knights during Mardi Gras

Edwin Hampton, the longtime, highly acclaimed, band director for St. Augustine High School passed away yesterday (July 20, 2009) after a long illness.  Mr. Hampton mentored thousands of musicians over the course of his 50+-year career leading the legendary “Marching 100.”  Some of the musicians who matriculated through the ranks of his institution include Russell Batiste, of the Funky Meters, PBS and other bands and Ajay Mallory, a former member of the Rebirth Brass Band.  In 2002, he took the Purple Knights, as the band is known, the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.  It was the first time a New Orleans high school band appeared in the parade associated with the Rose Bowl.



This evening, Monday, July 20, 2009, the many musical friends of bass flautist and baritone saxophonist Hart McNeee will gather at DBA on Frenchmen Street to pay tribute to the deceased elder statesmen of the tight knit downtown scene.  The tribute is scheduled from 5-9 PM.  Benjamin Lyons, the president of Valid Records made the following statement, “Most of what I know about really listening to music I learned from Hart, and I suspect he had an equally profound effect on the lives of all the musicians coming together this afternoon to honor him. Please come join us.”

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars To Play the Blue Nile

Near the turn of the 21st century, rebel forces attacked Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, forcing a panicked mass exodus to neighboring countries. Among the thousands who fled were musicians and future band mates Reuben Koroma and Francis Lamgba (Franco) who connected in a refugee camp in Guinea, West Africa. Along with  Reuben’s wife Grace they began making music for their fellow refugees, providing a welcome distraction to life in the camps. When the camp was attacked by the Guinean army and citizenry, they were evacuated and relocated to a camp set deep in the remote Guinean countryside. It was there that the developing band was able to acquire the rusted-out sound system and beat up electric guitars that helped officially launch the group.

In 2006 the band released their debut album “Living Like A Refugee” (Anti Records), one of the most acclaimed world music releases of the past few years. Now the group tours the world (having performed on 5continents for hundreds of thousands of people) including performances at the Hollywood Bowl, NYC Central Park Summerstage, Bonnaroo, Fuji Rock in Japan, East Coast Blues & Roots Festival in Australia and much  more.

They are in New Orleans  recording at Piety Street studios and will be performing Saturday, July 18, 2009 at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen Street.  The show begins at 10 PM.

Free In Store Performances at the Louisiana Music Factory


This afternoon, July 19, 2009, the free in store performances at the Louisiana Music Factory continue with sets by trumpeter Andrew Duhon, R&B legend Ernie Vincent and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.  The performances are on the hour beginning at 2 PM.  Discounted Abita Beer is available during the in-stores from Attiki Bar and Grill.  Tell the bartender Kelly hello from nolamusicnews.com!

Joe Piscopo to Headline Harrah’s Tonight (July 18, 2009)

Joe Piscopo got his start in show business performing on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”  But since then he has used his talents to entertain with a 75-minute show that includes a mix of music, comedy, impressions and candid audience interaction, including a tribute to his idol, Frank Sinatra.  Sinatra was so impressed with his talents that he nicknamed the star, “the vice chairman of the board.  The performances are at 7 and 10 in Harrah’s Theater.

Mike Dillon’s Go Go Jungle at DBA- JULY 25, 2009

rock star bench press cd

New Orleans resident and nationally acclaimed vibraphonist  and percussionist Mike Dillon leads his band, the Go-Go Jungle, to New Orleans for a hometown show on Saturday, July 25 at DBA in support of his recently released album, Rock Star Bench Press. The new long-player is a lucky 13 megaton tracks. The three piece unit, led by Dillon along with JJ Jungle on bass and Go-Go Ray on drums, delivers a frenetic blast of manic energy, careening between his love affairs with Chuck Brown, The Butthole Surfers, Milt Jackson, William Burroughs and The Minutemen.

Big Chief Monk CD Release Party Tonight (July 17, 2009)


Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indian tribe will celebrate the release of his latest CD tonight at 10 PM at D.B.A. on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans.

Hot Club of New Orleans at D.B.A. For Happy Hour


This evening (July 17, 2009), from 6-9 PM, the Hot Club of New Orleans will be holding court on Frenchmen Street.  The band has been on fire lately as clarinetist and leader, Christopher Kohl, has recently teamed up with the French guitarists, Pierre and Raphael, in a new group playing gypsy jazz.

Corey Henry’s Magic Act


Tonight (July 17, 2009), Corey Henry, the trombonist for the Rebirth Brass Band will attempt an only-in-New Orleans feat of musical in-two-places-at-once.  He is scheduled to be the special guest at Groovesect’s free show at Tipitina’s beginning at around 12 Midnight.  Jealous Monk opens the show.  He is also scheduled to appear with the Rebirth at the Howlin’ Wolf’s Northshore location.  Can he do it?  It’s only 45 minutes across the Causeway.

First Ponderosa Stomp Show in NY Tonight (July 16, 2009)

Classic William Bell Stax Records cover

Classic William Bell Stax Records cover

The first show, dubbed “The Get Down” will be at Damrosch Park at 175 West 62nd Street.  The Soul and R&B showcase will feature William Bell, Harvey Scales, and the Bobettes, with The Bo-Keys.  It begins at 6:30 PM.