Jazz For the Gulf at One Eyed Jack’s

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The benefits continue even as some experts question the reports of visible oil and fishing areas are re-opened.  This evening, the wonderful New York-based songstress Karrin Allyson headlines a killer lineup that also includes Ellis Marsalis, Leah Chase, Charmaine Neville, Cindy Scott and the NONY Trio, Holley Bendtsen and Amasa Miller, Brian Seeger and the Wee Trio.  I am particularly excited to hear the Wee Trio.  Though many readers may not be familiar with the group, they feature the great young vibraphonist James Westfall.  He plays with Sasha and Steve Masakowski’s Brazilian-inspired band Nova Nola.

Another Free Friday at Tips

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The summer continues to smolder on the corner of Tchopitoulas and Napoleon.  Tonight Papa Grows Funk headlines and the opening act is a hot upcoming band called the Revivalists.  The band, pictured, features a pedal steel guitarist, an instrument more regularly heard in country music.  They rock and jam on some compelling original songs and should be a great complement to the greasy funk of the headliners.

Will Bernard Trio at D.B.A.


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Two months almost to the day after his last appearance in New Orleans, the hot guitar slinger returns to the fabulous room on Frenchmen Street.  As with his last appearance, the rhythm section will be the keyboardist Brian Coogan and drummer Simon Lott.  This band was on fire back at the end of May and I expect more of the same tonight.  If you like soulful, groove-oriented jazz, don’t miss this show.

Matt Lemmler Quartet at Snug Harbor

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Every musician from New Orleans has a story to tell about their Katrina experience.  Some left town, never to return.  Others returned as soon as it was possible.  Some are still desperately trying to return. Pianist Matt Lemmler is in a  fourth category.  He just got back.  Tonight he headlines at Snug Harbor with a great band featuring the guitarist Shane Theriot, the bassist Peter Harris and the drummer Herlin Riley.  Lemmler has made a name for himself with creative jazz arrangements of pop songs including the tunes of Stevie Wonder, which he featured on his last album.  It should be a great night and a wonderful homecoming.  Sets are at 8 and 10 PM.

Frenchmen Street Jazz Band to Debut This Evening

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The Candlelight Lounge on N. Robertson Street in the Tremé neighborhood is the place to be at 7 PM tonight, July 25th, for the first ever appearance of a new group that features three familiar faces on the vibrant music scene of New Orleans.  Kenneth Terry, a trumpeter who has played with numerous groups over the years and was the first trumpeter to replace Kermit Ruffins in the Rebirth Brass Band, fronts the band along with trombonist Revert “Peanut” Andrews.  “Peanut” is a current member of the Rebirth and he hails from the legendary Andrews musical family that has been producing talent for generations.  The bassist is Julius “Jap” McKee, the longtime sousaphonist with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  The Frenchmen Street Jazz Band’s repertoire draws from the deep well of traditional New Orleans jazz.  They will play several re-worked arrangements of brass band standards, but with a trap drum set and piano rounding out the group, they are clearly not a brass band despite the pedigrees of the three principals.  However, they do promise to have the crowd up and dancing.  The Candlelight Lounge is one of the last surviving live music venues in a part of the city that has been the primary incubator of musicians since the 1800s.

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Island Aid Concert with LeAnn Rimes and Others Set for Rain or Shine

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With Tropical Storm Bonnie now downgraded to a depression, music fans that will be flocking to Grand Isle for a benefit concert will be spared the winds associated with tropical disturbances, but I can’t say the same for the rain.  But no matter, the show will go on.  Besides the country music superstar expect to see Three Dog Night, the Little River Band along with locals Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, the Hurricane Levee Band, The Wise Guys, The Topcats and Doug Kershaw.  Tickets are $10 and benefit the Grand Isle Alive Promotion Fund.  The music kicks off at 12:15 PM.

Free Fridays Continue at Tips

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This evening, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes are the headliner.  They need no introduction to readers of this blog, but suffice it to say that the boys have been on fire lately.  The opening act is an up and coming talent named Mia Borders (pictured- photo credit- Kim Welsh).  She plays guitar and sings great songs that will stick in your head for days after first hearing them.  Despite opening the Jazz Fest in the pouring rain, she put on a great set including the blues classic, “Crossroads.”

The Trio to Feature Steve Masakowski on… wait for it… Bass!

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Known across the land as one of the deans of New Orleans guitar players (pictured), the seven-string virtuoso will be stepping down in tone and number of strings this evening as he joins Johnny Vidacovich and June Yamagishi at the Maple Leaf in the latest scintillating version of the Trio.  George Porter, Jr., the regular bassist, is on the road with his revamped version of the Runnin’ Pardners.

Benefit for Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp

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Of the many incubators of talent in the city of New Orleans, the summer camp for jazz students that is named for the greatest player to ever emerge from the Crescent City may be the one that best reflects the inclusive nature of the musical form.  Every summer, the organizers bring in a nationally known artist in residence and the talents that have participated represent the breadth of the jazz idiom.  This year is no exception with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (pictured) joining the local teaching staff led by Edward “Kidd” Jordan.  Gordon is best known for his tenure with Wynton Marsalis, but he is a formidable musician and teacher himself.  Tonight at the Republic you can come out and support this very important teaching institution.  The benefit is from 7-10 PM and features performances by the staff as well as food and libations.

Steve Turre at Snug Harbor

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There’s a lot going on tonight for a Saturday in the middle of the summer, but for my money the best show of the evening will be the 61-year old trombone master interacting with our own Herlin Riley on drums.  I recently saw Riley substituting for Johnny Vidacovich with Astral Project and he was mind blowing even though he didn’t know their music.   Shows are at 8 and 10 PM