“Everything centers around music in my life. I’ve been blessed to work in this industry, to make a good living at it, and to love what I do. Every day is different. I’ve been working at Essence [Fest] for the past three years. My job is to take it from the point of contract with an artist, to take the rider and advance it with management and make it all run smoothly and happily. I was working the Superlounges, which is in my groove because it’s local bands, upandcoming bands. My son, in one of those right place, right time situations, was able to come in and do his DJ GQ in one of the Superlounges for a few thousand people. This past year, they offered me the main stage, so I was able to do five stages in the Superdome. It was fun.
I’m production manager for Bowery Presents—been with them ever since they first started doing shows at the Civic [Theatre] in fall 2012. What a great gig, man, to have all these worldclass musicians come to my house to play. I’m the music producer for the New Orleans Live TV show; I’ve been doing that dating back to its Louisiana Jukebox days. We won three CableACE Awards and came back last September and did 43 bands in seven days. We have some surprises we’re working on now that we’re really excited about.
Jazz is one of the things that drove me to New Orleans. My mom and I came here after leaving home in Honduras and visited my aunt, who lived at Octavia and St. Charles. She took us to Preservation Hall. Fast forward 40 years and I’m working as a tour manager for Preservation Hall.
Mitchell Player is my partner in the Ella and Louie Tribute Band project. He approached me a year ago and asked if I was interested in managing it because he wanted to take the band to the next level. The names Ella [Fitzgerald] and Louis [Armstrong] are names that command attention. This is music that appeals to a lot of people, and it’s very compelling to get them out there. One of our goals was to record an album, which we did [Timeless, recorded February/March this year at the Ellis Marsalis Center]. Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown plays trumpet and sings Louis, and Eileina Dennis sings Ella. Eileina has such a remarkable voice, powerful. I was drawn in to this whole concept by how exceptional her voice is. We’re playing this year at Satchmo Fest on the Red Beans and Ricely Yours Stage.
I’m so busy doing music production that I never perform out. We have huge networks of friends and family that gets together on weekends, holidays, to play and that’s great. But really, the last thing we need in New Orleans is another band.”