Voodoo Picks- Day Two

You could literally spend the entire day at the Preservation Hall stage and hear a wide range of New Orleans music.  But why not roam?  Check out Mia Borders at 1 PM on the main stage.  She writes compelling songs and has a great band.  Her act is greatly enhanced when the saxophonist Khris Royal joins her.  The Rebirth Brass Band has entered a new era since signing with Basin Street Records.  They are prepping to record a new album and have a batch of new songs.  Check them out at 3:30 PM on the Soco/WWOZ stage.  I have mostly been recommending New Orleans acts, but you can’t go wrong the Miami-based Latin groovers, Locos por Juana (pictured).  They tore the roof off of Chickie Wah Wah last night and are guaranteed to keep the crowd dancing until it’s time to head over to the Voodoo stage for Ozzy Osborne.  They hit at 7:30 PM on the Preservation Hall stage.

Voodoo Picks- Day One

The Voodoo Music Experience kicks off this morning with a huge range of musical styles being presented on six stages.  Steve Rehage, the impresario behind the festival also announced that he has inked a new deal, which keeps the event in City Park through 2019.  Here are my choices for acts to check out today.  Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes have been on fire lately performing regularly at the Blue Nile and the Maple Leaf.  Their funky rock sound is tailor made for big festival stages.  They play on the Sony Make.Believe stage at 1:30 PM.  Another musician who has been on fire lately is the guitarist and singer Anders Osborne (pictured).  When he teams up with Galactic’s drummer Stanton Moore, as he will on the Preservation Hall stage at 2:15 PM, they create a muscular sound that is almost heavy metal.  Robert Walter of the Greyboy Allstars lays down the organ grooves with the trio.  Galactic has taken their music to the next level with the addition of the trombonist Corey Henry.  He literally elevates their sound.  Cyril Neville on vocals and percussion is a nice addition as well.  They hit at 8:30 PM on the Soco/WWOZ stage.

Tony Bennett at the Mahalia Jackson Theater

Thursday- October 28, 2010- This evening one of the greatest crooners of our time returns to New Orleans to perform with his jazz combo.  I saw part of his set at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was amazed at how little his voice has aged.  Some hard core people consider him to be a light weight and he does calls his music “jazz-pop”, but he knows his way around a musical phrase.  He’s in his eighties, so who knows how long he’s going to be around.  Catch him while you can.

Bayou Country Superfest Lineup Announced


Wednesday- October 27, 2010 – The talent lineup for the 2nd annual Bayou Country Superfest was announced today as superstar Kenny Chesney (pictured) returns to the 2011 event, along with a Louisiana homecoming for Tim McGraw and Trace Adkins, plus Sugarland, Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington, Luke Bryan, Jason Michael Carroll, Josh Thompson and Lee Brice.  Scheduled over Memorial Day Weekend 2011 (Saturday, May 28 & Sunday, May 29), Bayou Country Superfest brings together the biggest names in country music on the campus of Louisiana State University for the huge two-day celebration.  The 2010 event drew over 87,000 people from all across the country to Tiger Stadium, making Bayou Country Superfest a new Memorial Day Weekend destination and tradition.

“Happy Talk” by Kermit Ruffins Released Today

Tuesday- October 26, 2010- today’s the day- the latest recording by the trumpeter and vocalist hits the streets nationwide on Basin Street Records.  “Happy Talk” has Ruffins returning to an earlier part of his career when he had a big band.  Several of the cuts feature a full horn section with arrangements by Matt Lemmler.  Standout songs include “Shine,” which has been a staple of his live set for years, and “More Today Than Yesterday,” a classic song from the 1970s that had everyone at his recent gig at Lafayette Square singing along.  The album also features compelling originals that mine his good-time persona.

Red Bull Street Kings Brass Band Showdown

Saturday- October 23, 2010- this should be a no-brainer for brass band lovers.  Four of New Orleans’ finest will be competing for something tangible- a chance to record in Los Angeles.  The bands are the Free Agents, the Stooges, the To Be Continued and the Soul Rebels (pictured).  They will march and then battle it out under the Claiborne Bridge in the heart of Tremé.  Glen David Andrews will host the battle.  This is legit because check out who the judges are- Benny Jones of the Tremé Brass Band; Gary Holzenthal of Odyssey Records; Allison Reinhardt of the Roots of Music educational program; Gregory Davis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band; DJ Mannie Fresh and Fred Johnson of the Black Men of Labor Social Aid and Pleasure Club.  It begins at 2:30 PM.

Burton Greene Solo at the Sound Café and Snug Harbor

Friday- October 22, 2010- Those of you with deep record collections will know Burton Greene as one of the founders of “Free Jazz” from way back in the day, when it was an aspiration, not a genre. In the mid-sixties, he was an integral part of the New York scene, where he performed and recorded with Marion Brown, Patty Waters, Alan Silva, Henry Grimes and other luminaries. By 1969, “the landlords got greedy” in New York, so he and some others split to Paris. Eventually he settled in Amsterdam, where he has been living on a houseboat–composing and performing across Europe and making rare returns to the United States. His music embraces jazz, world music, electronics, free improvisation, and composition.  The gig tonight is solo and it lasts for just one hour from 7-8 PM.  Sunday night he plays at Snug Harbor with Tim Green on tenor sax, Jonathan Freilich on guitar and James Singleton on bass.  Thanks to Benjamin Lyons of Valid Records for the above verbiage.

The Trio Becomes a Quartet with Tab Benoit and Members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band


Thursday- October 21, 2010- this evening at the Maple Leaf the blues guitarist and wetlands activist returns to join Johnny Vidacovich along with Kirk Joseph (pictured) and Roger Lewis, the sousaphonist and saxophonist of the Dirty Dozen.  This should make for a very interesting night of hybrid sounds.  Can every one say, “Brass Tab?”  Thanks Deborah Vidacovich for coining the new musical genre.

New Orleans Nightcrawlers at Chickie Wah Wah

Tuesday- October 19,2010- they were the best brass band that never played a proper second line.  They recorded two albums for Rounder Records in the late 1990s.  A piano player, Tom McDermott, who didn’t play in the band, founded them.  They feature the cream of the crop of local horn players- guys who have lots of gigs with lots of different bands.  So they don’t play that often.  They played last Tuesday night at the Canal Street club and will be playing again tonight.  The show starts at 8 PM.

Jazz Fest Opens Craft Submissions

Artists interesting in participating in the 2011 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival are welcome to submit applications to the crafts department.  Prospective local and regional vendors are invited to view a webinar to guide them through their online application process. For more information, contact craftsadmin@nojazzfest.com.  There are three unique craft areas- the Congo Square African Marketplace, which features unique, handcrafted artwork that reflects cultural influences seen throughout the African Diaspora.  Presentations by artists and vendors resonate with the rich African-Caribbean cultural legacy in Congo Square.  Contemporary Crafts presents work by some of the most talented contemporary artists in Louisiana and the Nation.  It features original, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind designs and accepts applicants from all crafts media and disciplines.  The Louisiana Marketplace introduces Festival-goers to a variety of works by only Louisiana artisans and craftspeople.  The Marketplace showcases works that express various aspects of the state’s unique cultural heritage.