Eric Traub and Peter Harris to Join the Trio

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Thursday- November 2, 2010- this evening at the Maple Leaf, the saxophonist Eric Traub (pictured) and the bassist Peter Harris join the drummer Johnny Vidacovich.  Traub is best known for his work with Dr. John, but he is a be-bopper at heart.  A soulful player with one foot in the blues, his sound is powerful.  Harris is a versatile first-call jazz bassist who plays with finesse.  Trivia question- when Traub was working with Galactic on their first album, “Coolin’ Off,” what funk band was Harris playing in?  Leave your answers on my facebook page.

Rex Gregory Quintet at the Blue Nile

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Tonight’s Open Ears music series will feature the up and coming saxophonist with a band featuring Ashlin Parker, Austin Johnson, Peter Harris, and Simon Lott.  Gregory has a new CD, “An End to Oblivion,” and the music I heard on WWOZ yesterday afternoon sounds very compelling.  Parker, a trumpeter and Johnson, a pianist, are two new faces around town that have gotten people talking.  Harris, the bassist, is the veteran of the group.  Lott, regular readers know, is a wonderfully expressive drummer.  It should be a great show.  If you can’t make it to the Blue Nile, tonight, which is free, but tip the band, it will be broadcast live at 90. 7 FM.

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.

Bebop Night at Dos Jefes

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This evening, Support Be and Hard Bop music and the Society to Prevent the Extinction of The Great North American Sideman (Eric Traub-president) presents a great lineup of unsung sidemen getting it done. Loren Pickford (pictured) will play alto sax, Wendell Brunious will play trumpet, Steve Blailock will play guitar, Chuck Chaplin will play piano, Peter Harris will play bass and Charlie Kohlmeyer will play drums.

John Boutte To Perform This Evening at St. Louis Cathedral

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The Christmas concert series at St. Louis Cathedral continues this evening with the vocalist John Boutte. What the schedule doesn’t tell you is the names of the musicians who will be accompanying the singer. Expect to see cellist Helen Gillet, bassist Peter Harris, violinists Harry Hardin and Matt Rhody, and Boutte’s longtime sideman, Todd Duke on guitar. This should be one great concert!  The show is from 6-7 PM.

Loren Pickford Returns to NOLA For Gig at Dos Jefes Tonight

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For a long stretch, the saxophonist Loren Pickford lived in New Orleans. He tended to play with much younger musicians including a great run with the New World Funk Ensemble back in the 1990s. Though I never really spoke with him much, he always struck me as a be-bopper with serious Bohemian credibility. Just check out his composition, “20th Century Fox” and you’ll get the idea.

Tonight, November 12, 2009, he returns to New Orleans for a gig at Dos Jefes. Supporting musicians include Todd Duke, one of the founders of the New World Funk Ensemble who now provides musical support for John Boutte and numerous other local players. Peter Harris, another musician who was undoubtedly mentored by Pickford, will be playing bass.

New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Jam Session Tonight

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With trumpeter and musical entrepreneur Irvin Mayfield’s name in the news again, perhaps it’s time to make a visit to the Royal Sonesta Hotel for the NOJO jam session. Mayfield has been linked with the developer Stewart Juneau and his plans to convert the shuttered-since- Katrina Municipal Auditorium into a multi-use entertainment complex. Today’s Times-Picayune reports that the new Inspector General’s office is looking into the seemly cozy deal that the developer and the musician have arranged with the Nagin administration.

Luckily, Mayfield still plays music. The lineup for this evening’s performance is a good one. Pianist David Torkanowsky will be appearing with a newcomer on the scene, the trombonist Michael Watson. The rhythm section spans generations with Peter Harris handling the bass duties and the legendary, but severely undersung, drummer “Gentleman” June Gardner. Mayfield will perform as well as several other invited guests. The jam session occurs every Wednesday at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta Hotel located at 300 Bourbon Street. There is no cover charge.