Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival Today and Tomorrow


The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the fine folks who present the Jazz Fest every Spring brings back the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival again this year. The festival takes place from 11 AM until 5:30 PM at the Jazz & Heritage Center, which is located at 1225 N. Rampart St. on the edge of Tremé. Here’s the schedule and lineup.

Saturday, Dec. 12

11:00 AM Heritage School of Music – Dillard Campus

12:00 PM Gumbo Cooking Demonstration w/ Wayne Baquet, Li’l Dizzy’s Café

12:30 PM Bleu Orleans

1:45 PM Joe Krown Organ Trio featuring Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste

2:45 PM Gumbo Cooking Demonstration w/ Linda Green, Miss Linda’s Catering

3:15 PM Shamarr Allen

4:20 PM Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers

Sunday, Dec. 13

11:00 AM Heritage School of Music – Lusher Campus

12:00 PM Gumbo Cooking Demonstration w/ Cherie Brocato, TCA Brocato

12:30 PM The Imperial Quintet of New Orleans’ Tribute to Danny Barker

1:45 PM James Andrews & the Crescent City All-stars

2:45 PM Gumbo Cooking Demonstration w/ Drexel Carter, The Praline Connection

3:15 PM Glen David Andrews

4:30 PM Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue

Ace Guitarist Eric McFadden To Perform Tonight at the Maple Leaf


West Coast-based six-stringer Eric McFadden returns to New Orleans for the first time since Jazz Fest to perform with four of New Orleans best known musicians. McFadden, who is known for his work with Parliament will feature Kirk Joseph on sousaphone, CR Gruver on keyboard, Corey Henry on trombone and Doug Belote on drums.

Hip Hop Artist Cage to Perform at the House of Blues Tonight


Cage penned one of the landmark records of the golden era of NYC underground/independent rap music in the late 90s on Fondle ’em records. The record was called “Agent Orange.” It propelled Cage into cult star status (check out for his discography). His solo debut Movies for the Blind (Eastern Conference records) was the realization of the very character he became through his tortured early years. The record struck a chord and his legion of dedicated fans grew ever bigger, attracted to his visceral and dangerous persona and music. He traveled the world several times over in support of the record and became a major draw in the independent show circuit. In 2004 he signed with Definitive Jux records releasing his second solo album Hell’s Winter. The album features production from El-P,DJ Shadow and collaborations with Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) and Daryl Palumbo (GlassJaw/Head Automatica). The record received critical acclaim and in 2006 the video for “Shoot Frank” was nominated for an MTVu Woodie award for best video. Cage is currently working with Shia Labeouf on a feature film based on the rapper’s life. The new album Depart From Me dropped July 7th and the Shia Labeouf-directed video for “I Never Knew You” is out now as well as the Free “I Never Knew You” EP.

Camile Baudoin of the Radiators Goes Solo Tonight

Baudoin performing with the Radiators

Baudoin performing with the Radiators

The Radiators’ Camile Baudoin sets out to capture the relaxed music from his early years on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Snug Harbor. Camile will be accompanied by guitarist John Rankin, violinist Harry Hardin and Michael Skinkus on percussion. The set list reflects the songs sung around the family’s living room as well as tunes he played with his uncles’ band, The Dufrene Brothers, in clubs along Bayou Lafourche.

The show will be recorded for Camile’s upcoming solo album. The show is dedicated to his paran Alton Dufrene, who taught Camile how to “play what you feel,” and who turns 89 on December 18. The set list includes hit standards from the era, an original or two, and the rare “Old Bayou Blues,” penned by Baudoin’s cousin Rosalie Toups. The recording project is supported in part by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

Baudoin as a child

Baudoin as a child

Kermit Ruffins to Play Happy Hour at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse


Ruffins used to be a late night musician. Many of his gigs back in the day didn’t start until near midnight. Now he has added another early gig to his weekly schedule. He will open for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Jam session on Wednesdays at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. The gig is from 5-8 PM.  I expect he will play some of the great tunes on his new Christmas CD, which was recently released on Basin Street Records.  I also expect some good-natured ribbing and possibly some trumpet pyrotechnics when Irvin Mayfield arrives for the NOJO Jam.

Traditional Jazz Clarinetist Ralph Johnson Passes at 71

photo courtesy of Preservation Hall

photo courtesy of Preservation Hall

Ralph Johnson was born on August 24, 1938 and passed away yesterday, December 7, 2009. He spent the last twenty years of his illustrious career playing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He also performed with Jerry Butler, the Impressions, Dr. John, Wallace Davenport, Johnny Adams, Chuck Carbo and many others. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Hot Show at Blue Nile Tonight


The guitarist Will Bernard has a strong connection with New Orleans musicians having appeared on Stanton Moore’s solo recordings as well as regular appearances around town during Jazz Fest. But he rarely makes it to New Orleans outside of the festival season. Tonight he will perform with two of our greatest young talents, the keyboardist Brian Coogan and the drummer Simon Lott. This is going to be one incredible show. See you there!

New Orleans Artists Get Grammy Nominations

Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint, Irvin Mayfield, Terence Blanchard, and Harry Connick, Jr. are all under consideration for Grammy Awards. Toussaint, who is best known for his work in R&B, is nominated for best jazz instrumental album for his latest effort, “The Bright Mississippi.” Mayfield’s nomination is in the large jazz ensemble category for “Book One,” his first release with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Connick, Jr. gets a nod for “Your Songs,” in the best traditional pop vocal category and Blanchard is under consideration for best improvised jazz solo for a song that appears on Jeff “Tain” Watts’ release, “Watts.” Incidentally, Kentwood, Louisiana native Britney Spears is also nominated for “Womanizer” in the best dance recording category.

New Brazilian-Inspired Band at BMC Tonight

Chegadão is New Orleans’ newest addition to the Brazilian-influenced music scene and its first Samba-Funk project. Conceived by Marcio Pereira and Scott Myers after many long conversations about the similarities between many types of American and Brazilian music, Chegadão blurs the boundaries of genre and nationality.  They perform this evening, December 3, 2009, at the BMC on the corner of Decatur and Esplanade.  The band features Scott Myers on electric guitar and percussion, Marcio Pereira on nylon guitar and percussion, Brent Rose on saxophone and reeds, Tommy Sciple on bass, and Nick Solnick on drums and percussion.

Great Improvised Jazz Tonight at Zeitgeist

James Singleton photo credit: Skip Bolen

James Singleton photo credit: Skip Bolen

This evening, Wednesday, December 2, 2009, three of New Orleans’ best improvising jazz musicians will be playing at Zeitgeist. James Singleton will play bass, trumpet and electronics, Rick Trolsen will play trombone and Tim Green will play tenor saxophone. I expect that this will be one top-notch affair. The show begins at 8 PM. Zeitgeist is located at 1618 O.C. Haley Blvd.