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Sarah McCoy, Spotted Cat, Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

Sarah McCoy Storms Frenchmen Street

You don’t necessarily have to walk into the Spotted Cat to fall under Sarah McCoy’s spell. On a clear day, her voice carries clear down the street. It’s a hard voice to miss, a deep contralto soaked in blues and likely to break into unearthly wails. Walk into the club and you probably won’t see [...]

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Evan Christopher, Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

Evan Christopher Brings a Modern Edge to the Creole Clarinet

Thunder rumbles off the bayou and wind-whipped palm fronds rattle outside Evan Christopher’s Mid-City home. It’s a gray afternoon in June and through the sounds of a brewing storm, the bright wail of a clarinet glissando pours out of Christopher’s shotgun double, gliding between thunder cracks like an organic melody for the rhythm of New [...]

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Don Bartolomew, Elsa Hahne, cover story, OffBeat Magazine, July 2014

Protecting Dave Bartholomew’s Legacy

The modest, wood-frame house at 1616 N. Galvez St. looks pretty much like all its neighbors, but the front door leads to a dynastic kingdom inside. Walk through the sparsely furnished living room and you come to the office of Bang-N-Records and the Bartholomew Boyz, where the sons and grandsons of New Orleans music pioneer [...]

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Erica Falls, Cover Story, photo, Elsa Hahne, OffBeat Magazine, June 2014

20 Feet From Stardom: Erica Falls Steps Up

It’s a question that Erica Falls hears often enough: “If you’re this good, how come I never heard of you before?” As a soloist, she’s been performing for the better part of two decades; as a backup singer, she’s appeared or recorded with heavyweights from John Fogerty to Irma Thomas to Sting. But when she [...]

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Rebirth, photo, Jeff Dupuis, OffBeat Magazine, May 2014

The Life of Rebirth Brass Band

The Rebirth Brass Band is one of the great musical institutions in New Orleans history; the group best defines the transition between traditional and contemporary brass bands. Rebirth is about to release a new album, Move Your Body, its first since the Grammy-winning Rebirth of New Orleans in 2011. Rebirth’s creative depth, versatility and personal [...]

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The DUKES of Dixieland: A New Take on a New Orleans Institution

On any given night, a festive crowd will find its way to the Mississippi River and aboard the Steamboat Natchez, where the DUKES of Dixieland play an early-evening cruise, seven nights a week. Maybe they’ve come to witness a living piece of New Orleans music history, or maybe they just want to tell their grandkids [...]

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louis armstrong offbeat

The Dukes of Dixieland: The Assuntos Start a Musical Legacy

Anniversaries aren’t always happy affairs and this one has more than its share of melancholy. Forty years ago, on February 25, 1974, Frank Assunto, New Orleans trumpet player and leader of the Dukes of Dixieland, died of a heart attack at the untimely age of 42. Frank’s older brother, trombone player Freddie Assunto, died a [...]

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Donald Harrison, tail feathers, photo, Elsa Hahne, Golden Richard III, OffBeat Magazine, March 2014

Two-Way-Pocky-Way: Big Chief Donald Harrison, Jr.

Two things have surrounded saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. throughout his life—jazz and the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. The son of the Guardians of the Flames’ Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr., who was also a knowledgeable jazz fan, he grew up with jazz music and Black Indian rhythms in the air. Harrison reigns supreme in both [...]

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Hurray for the Riff Raff, photo, Joshua Shoemaker, OffBeat Magazine, February 2014

Radio Zeitgeist: Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra

They call themselves travelers. Teenagers on the run from a dead-end life in Orwellian America, they hop freight trains searching for the only freedom left to them, taking off for anywhere-but-here and building new communities on the road. They are this generation’s version of Woody Guthrie’s Depression-scattered hoboes, of Bob Dylan’s antiwar dropouts. They congregate [...]

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Cyril Neville, profile, photo, Elsa Hahne, Golden Richard III

Cyril Neville: Lifetime Achievement in Music Award Honoree

Cyril Neville was born in 1948, the youngest brother in what has long been considered the first family of New Orleans music, the Nevilles. For many years his genius was occluded by the extremely large shadow of his older brothers Art, Charles and Aaron, but in the long run Cyril’s role as little brother gave [...]

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