The Radiators Return to the Maple Leaf

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Tonight, the longest running rock band from New Orleans performs two sets at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street.  Back in their infancy, students and other denizens of uptown descended on the tiny bar to hear that fishhead music.  There was an added perk to seeing the band back in the day.  They charged two dollars at Tipitina’s, but it was a mere single bill to see them at the Leaf.  Needless to say, the cover will be considerably larger tonight, but then again, so is the band.

Tommy Malone to Join the Trio Tonight

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The subdudes guitarist and singer recently moved back to New Orleans and has quickly jumped back into the musical pond.  Tonight he will join George Porter, Jr. and Johnny Vidacovich at the Maple Leaf Bar as the special third of the Trio.

Wednesdays at the Point with Flow Tribe

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The band just released their second release, the aptly named Sloppy Seconds.  They perform at 6 PM this evening at Louie’s Corner Bar in Algiers Point.  They are also scheduled to play Friday night at Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl.  Saturday night they appear at Bogie’s in Baton Rouge and next weekend they have a two night stand at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta.

Aaron Fletcher at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse

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After eight years living in Los Angeles, the saxophonist from New Orleans who matriculated through the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) and first made waves on the national scene with the Terence Blanchard Group has returned home.  He’s only been back for two weeks, and his first major gig in town is tonight at the fabulous club in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Second Line Dance Contest and Benefit at Tips

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Can you buck jump?  Have you always thought you had the best moves on the street or when grooving to brass bands in local clubs?  Then come out to Tipitina’s this evening, plop down 10 bucks and strut your stuff.  You have a chance to win $300 and the money goes to a good cause.  Arian Macklin (pictured), the sousaphonist for the Stooges Brass Band, has major medical problems and the show is to help him out.  So whose music will you be dancing to?  The lineup includes the cream of the crop of the next generation of brass bands including the Stooges, the Hot 8, the TBC, the Free Agents, We Are One, and the Kin Folks Brass Bands.

Jamie Cullum at the House of Blues

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The English singer/songwriter is touring in support of his latest effort, “The Pursuit.”  Cullum’s roots are in jazz, he is a multi-instrumentalist whose primary instrument is the piano, but his mainstream success has allowed him to branch out into other styles as he attempts to expand his fan base.  “The Pursuit” has a wide range of sounds going from a Cole Porter cover, “Just One of Those Things” to a Sondheim show tune from the musical Sweeney Todd, “Not While I’m Around” before ending with a song with a decidedly dance music orientation.  Despite his pop sensibilities, Cullum approaches a live set like a jazz man- feeling the vibe and the crowd before picking his tunes.

Free Agents Brass Band to Sub for Soul Rebels

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With the Soul Rebels on the road, the band recently played the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival and they are playing in Boston this evening, they  have decided to keep their weekly dance party at Le Bon Temp Roule rolling by inviting the Free Agents (don’t they look spiffy in their black and white traditional uniforms?) to perform in their place.  The Free Agents are a brass band super group of sorts that formed following Hurricane Katrina.  With the members of most of the brass bands in the city separated from each other by geographic circumstances, the multi-generational group formed to fill the void.  In the ensuing years, they have become an in-demand commodity around town.  The show starts at 11 PM.

Wednesdays at the Point Continue with Fredy Omar

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Barring the bad weather that canceled last week’s evening, Fredy Omar con su Banda will be performing this evening outside the Rosetree Glass Studio, which is located at 446 Vallette Street in Algiers Point.  The concert, which is being promoted by the Algiers Economic Development organization, runs from 6- 9 PM and is free and open to the public.

Essence Festival Picks- Day Three

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Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers begin their Superlounge set at 8:15 PM.  I would get there early.  His star is rising with appearances in the HBO series Tremé and I expect a large crowd for his set of good time New Orleans jazz.  Lalah Hathaway (pictured) does two sets beginning at 9:30 PM.  Some may argue that she is riding the coattails of her legendary father, Donny, but she has found her own way as a soulful vocalist.  Politics, which has been a standard feature of big time festivals, finally comes into play at the Essence Festival and demonstrates that the “party with a purpose” has definitely in the big leagues.  That is the only explanation for why Frankie Beverly and Maze have been replaced as the closing act by Earth, Wind and Fire.  However, they will still put on a great set as they did at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival when they rescued the day after Aretha Franklin bailed at the last minute.

Essence Festival Picks- Day Two

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Exactly which organizational genius scheduled The Rebirth Brass Band to overlap with the Soul Rebels ought to be sent back to working small festivals.  Luckily for fans of the quintessential New Orleans street beat, there is a chance to hear both bands since Rebirth plays until a little later.  De La Soul is playing two sets beginning at 8:30 PM.  They set the standard for conscious hip hop back in the day and I expect a great performance.  Alicia Keys (pictured) is pregnant.  But that didn’t stop her from climbing up on her piano during a tribute to Prince at the recent BET Awards.  There’s no stopping this super star.