Author Archives: Eli Gay

Voodoo Experience Highlight: Red Baraat

When Sunny Jain found inspiration to create Red Baraat, a funky bhangra brass band led by his dhol’s high-energy Punjab rhythms, he did not realize he was designing a band tailor-made for a blowout in New Orleans. Growing up, Jain split his time between New York and India, exposing himself to the wonders of jazz [...]

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Better Than Ezra and The Ezra Open

In the ’90s, Better Than Ezra produced Billboard hits such as “Good” and “The King of New Orleans,” but in the 2000s, the band dedicated much of its time to becoming philanthropic leaders within the New Orleans community. Today, the platinum-selling rock band has its own foundation—the BTE Foundation—and is preparing for the 10th annual [...]

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Trevor Hall Gets it Right at the House of Blues

Trevor Hall, smiling and slightly embarrassed, brought his song to a screeching halt before the first verse was finished. “Wait, wait, those weren’t the right lyrics,” he admitted, grinning toward the crowd. “Sorry, let’s try that again.” Clad in a blue wife-beater and strapped to an acoustic guitar, Hall started the same introduction a second [...]

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Louisiana’s Film History on Display

Louisiana is now third amongst states in film production behind California and New York, but the state has more of a film industry history than most people realize. According to Ed Poole, film accessory researcher and co-author of the reference book Hollywood on the Bayou with his wife Susan, the variety of looks Louisiana offers [...]

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On Saturday night, while hoards in white linen flock to Julia Street for White Linen Night, those who venture to Off White Linen Night will enjoy the festivities at artist Will Smith’s home and studio at 1061 Camp St. Starting at 6:00 p.m., Smith will host a night of local art, fashion, and music with [...]

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The Armstrong Aria

The sounds of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet and signature voice will ring throughout the French Quarter this weekend at the Satchmo SummerFest, but some renditions might not sound so familiar. Tonight, Opera on Tap, the barhopping opera group, is taking Armstrong’s music where it has never been before – into the world of opera. The question [...]

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Billy Iuso, Trippin’ (Independent)

In an era of music when imitation is as important as innovation, Billy Iuso shows his ability to do both while maintaining a sound that has developed a solid identity within New Orleans music. The title track—“Trippin’ Over Dragons”—may induce a few ’60s acid flashbacks with its psychedelic introduction featuring Iuso’s electric guitar arpeggios and [...]

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Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame: Feathers in Their Caps

The Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame Crystal Feather Awards Ceremony honors Mardi Gras Indians and community members alike are honored for their dedication to preserving the traditions and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians. One of the top honors is The Chiefs’ Choice, which this year is Big Chief Romeo Bougere, son of “the [...]

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Ben Sollee: Man of Many Cellos

For a cellist, traveling isn’t easy. Large, delicate objects aren’t made with baggage handlers in mind, so Kentucky’s Ben Sollee has a specially-made case to carry his. “It’s built like a tank,” he says. “There’s videos of us sledding on the case.” Sollee plays the Parish at House of Blues tonight, and it will be [...]

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YouTube du Jour: Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Last night, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, joined by the Del McCoury Band for a rousing version of “I’ll Fly Away.” On Saturday, the Hall Band will be the focus of Louisiana Fairytale, a documentary by Danny Clinch that will show at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. [...]

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