A little piece of Nashville is moving to New Orleans. On the weekend of December 5 and 6, the Songfest Foundation, Inc. and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will sponsor the first New Orleans Songwriters Festival. The event is designed to promote original New Orleans compositions that may help to advance the careers of local writers/musicians by providing performance opportunities for the participants in front of music industry and publishing veterans.
“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” says festival organizer, Bud Tower. “I’ve never done this type of thing before. But everyone who hears about (this event) thinks it’s a really cool idea for the city.”
Recording artists and songwriters Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson, Zachary Richard, Mary Gauthier, Susan Cowsill, Jim McCormick, and Murphy will all be in New Orleans to both perform and offer advice about the songwriting process at different times throughout the weekend. The festival will also bring the legendary Jimmy Webb to New Orleans to headline a Saturday night show at the House of Blues. Webb, best known for “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “MacArthur Park,” is a board member of ASCAP.
“It was important to have somebody like Jimmy Webb,” Tower said. “He’s one of the finest songwriters the city has seen.”
So, will this festival make New Orleans the new songwriter’s mecca like Tin Pan Alley all those years ago? Only time will tell.
“At one point, we really had an important group of songwriters here (in New Orleans) like Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint,” Tower says. “Anything is possible.”
For a complete schedule and details of events, go to NOSongFest.com.