Kermit Ruffins to Appear on Jimmy Fallon

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Tuesday- December 7, 2010- late this evening, beginning at 11:35 central time, New Orleans’ own good time trumpeter and Basin Street Records recording artist will be a special guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  If previous guest appearances are any guide, Ruffins will sit in with the house band for the entire broadcast.  Since the house band is the acclaimed hip hop group, the Roots, led by the amazing drummer ?uestlove, I suspect that they will have plenty of musical common ground to jam on.

Ellis Marsalis at St. Louis Cathedral

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Monday- December 6, 2010- this evening the patriarch of the New Orleans jazz family will take the altar at the church in Jackson Square for the latest installment of the Christmas  New Orleans Style concert series.  The performance starts at 6 PM and I expect tasteful renditions of some of the holiday standards.

Aaron Fletcher at the BMC

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Saturday- December 4, 2010- this evening one of the hottest saxophonists to emerge from the Crescent City in the past 15 years headlines at the French Quarter club on the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Decatur Street.  Fletcher first made a name for himself playing with the trumpeter Terence Blanchard after his studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.  He was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Sax competition and has recorded with Anita Baker, Teena Marie, Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan among others.  Fletcher is currently a member of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra led by Irvin Mayfield.  Tonight his band features stalwarts of the local scene including Terrence Higgins on drums, Donald Ramsey on bass, Kendrick Marshall on keys and Jake Larson on guitar.

Free Fridays Continue at Tipitina’s

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This past summer’s no-cover concert series on Friday nights was such a success for the uptown club that they have decided to continue it on selected weekends throughout the regular year.  Tonight’s featured acts are Supagroup, Brah and the Happy Talk Band.  Brah is the only band on the lineup I am not familiar with but considering their name, I suspect we will be in for some tongue-in-cheek music.  Supagroup is New Orleans hard rock heroes who have been on hiatus having babies- so I suspect that the Lee brothers, who lead the band, will be looking forward to rocking the stage.  The Happy Talk Band has been tearing it up lately.  Alex McMurray channels his inner Jimmy Page turning the country-rock ditties of leader Luke Allen (pictured)  into rave-ups.

Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, Tremé soundtrack and Wynton Get Grammy Nods

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The nominations for the Grammy awards were announced last night and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews leads the New Orleans nominees with his “Backatown” album, which appears in the Contemporary Jazz category.  It’s was produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman.  For a full list, check grammy.com

Music from the HBO series “Tremé” is nominated in two categories – best compilation soundtrack, and best song written for motion picture or television, for “This City.”  The song, which was composed by roots musician and activist Steve Earle, closed out the first season of the HBO production.

Trumpeter and artistic director for Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis is nominated for best improvised jazz solo, for “Van Gogh,” which appears on “Portrait in Seven Shades.”  Marsalis has won nine Grammys in the past.

Artists connected to New Orleans were also nominated.  Bluesman Buddy Guy, who was born in Louisiana, is up against Dr. John in the best contemporary blues album category. D.L. Menard, The Pine Leaf Boys, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Feufollet and Cedric Watson et Bijou were nominated in the zydeco/Cajun category.

Randy Newman, the songwriter who spent time in New Orleans as a youngster and often references the city in his work, is nominated for his original song, “Down in New Orleans,” which appears in the animated film, “The Princess and the Frog.”  Newman is also nominated as artistic director in the soundtrack category for “Toy Story 3.” (photo by Matthew Hinton)

Jenn Howard Begins Residency at the Maple Leaf

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Wednesday- December 1, 2010- beginning this evening and continuing through the month of December the powerhouse vocalist will be performing at the uptown club.  Jenn’s voice can go from a whisper to a scream and she is as comfortable playing jazz standards as she is belting the blues.  Tonight Dave Pomerleau of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes joins her on bass along with other musicians who have yet to identify themselves.  Suffice it to say, they will rock.

“Interesting” Music Tonight in Two Locations

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Tuesday- November 30, 2010- this evening you can catch the cream of the crop of local musicians who are busy bending genres while you are listening to the same ole thing.  At 10 PM, WATIV Mashup appears at the Open Ears series upstairs at the Blue Nile.  This band features Will Thompson IV on keyboards, Chris Alford on guitar, James Singleton on bass and Simon Lott on drums.  They are expecting special guests including Rob Cambre on guitar, David Polk on saxophones, and Bruce Golden on percussion.  I have no idea what they will be playing, but I promise it will be interesting.  A little later, Crimes Against Jazz appear at the Circle Bar  (pictured) at 11 PM.  This band features Josh Wexler on keyboards and melodica, Jonathan Freilich on guitar, Jesse Morrow on bass and Justin Peake on assorted percussion, loops and other interesting stuff.  Josh promises, “Post-pop, avant-punk, pre-camp, neo-minimalist, quasi-continental, thoroughly Freudian, secular humanist free improv for uptown residents with a downtown soul.”  Since when is the Circle Bar uptown?