Chaka Khan, photo, Joshua Brasted, OffBeat Magazine, May 2014

Back Talk: Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan has always had a lot going on in both her life and remarkable career. The Chicago native, who grew up in a musical family, formed her first singing group at age 11. By the time she was 22, in 1974, she had won a Grammy for her performance with the group Rufus, whose [...]

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Stanton-Moore-by-Jerry-Moran

Back Talk: Conversing With Stanton Moore

Say the name Stanton Moore and most music fans, especially those outside of New Orleans, would probably respond something like “hard-funkin’ drummer with Galactic.” And that, of course, is right on. However, jazz has long been at the core of Moore’s life and playing. Early on, the drummer—who celebrates the release of his modern-jazz album, [...]

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Matt Perrine, photo, Golden Richard III, OffBeat Magazine, March 2014

BackTalk: Getting Around with Sousaphone and Bassist Matt Perrine

With Carnival season in high gear and French Quarter Fest, then Jazz Fest, just around the corner, New Orleans musicians become marathoners. Matt Perrine, whose sousaphone and bass has been a mainstay of the city’s sound for 23 years, is particularly busy, having rejoined Bonerama after a family-obligations hiatus. Perrine may miss a gig or [...]

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Jon Batiste, press photo, OffBeat Magazine, February 2014

BackTalk: Jon Batiste, Living in the Moment (Interview)

At 27, Jon Batiste is already something of a visionary. Since leaving New Orleans 10 years ago to study at Juilliard, the pianist has cultivated a holistic approach to his creative output, which currently includes a tour in support of Social Music, his Stay Human band’s latest release, and the development of new education-focused programs [...]

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Sherman Bernard, photo, Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine, January 2014

BackTalk: Sherman Bernard, Lifetime Achievement in Music Business Award Honoree

Sherman Bernard’s decades in the New Orleans music business have garnered him a multitude of experiences and stories. He established Bernard Productions in 1983 and, starting in the mid-’70s, was the head piano tuner at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Early in his career, Bernard provided technical expertise at such legendary spots as [...]

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Bonnie Raitt, press photo, OffBeat Magazine, December 2013

BackTalk: Bonnie Raitt, Coming Around the Bend (Interview)

After losing both parents and her best friend in a short period of time, Bonnie Raitt took some unprecedented time off from touring and recording to tend to personal matters. A rejuvenated Raitt returned in 2012 with the critically-acclaimed Slipstream, that won the 10th Grammy of her career. The album also represented a number of [...]

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Maple Leaf Bar, Hank Staples, photo, Elsa Hahne, Golden Richard III, OffBeat Magazine, November 2013

BackTalk: Passing a Good Time with the Maple Leaf’s Hank Staples (Interview)

Hank Staples is old-school—a raconteur of no mean talent, able to regale listeners with 30 years of wild and sordid tales of the renowned and notorious Maple Leaf Bar and the denizens of that great tavern. He’s seen the changes in Carrollton (“the Montmartre of New Orleans” according to poet and Maple Leaf barfly Everette [...]

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Shemekia Copeland, press photo, OffBeat Magazine, October 2013

BackTalk: Shemekia Copeland,
In the Groove

Shemekia Copeland has a voice like a force of nature. Now a blues belter in the style of Koko Taylor or Etta James, a shy Shemekia first took the stage at the age of eight, under the guidance of her Louisiana-born father, Johnny Copeland. With his encouragement, she found her confidence and began performing only [...]

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Tom McDermott, press photo

Van Dyke Parks & Tom McDermott’s Fascinating Unconventionalisms

Tom McDermott is that rare musician who is not about technique or virtuosity but ideas. McDermott’s crowd-pleasing manner and the extraordinary empathy that makes him such a good accompanist occlude his multifarious musical identities. Van Dyke Parks, a master conceptualist himself whose imaginative arrangements and Cabinet of Curiosity approach to curating has decorated some of [...]

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Merry Clayton, press photo, Alan Mercer

BackTalk: Merry Clayton,
Carrying the Chorus (Interview)

Merry Clayton is living proof that you can have a glorious career without becoming a household name. In fact, her name wasn’t even spelled right on her biggest moment of mainstream glory, the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”: Though pregnant and bedridden when the Stones called her into an overnight session, she sang the verse that [...]

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