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Sasha Masakowski, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

Soundcheck: Sasha Masakowski Takes 5

As we speak, you are currently in Europe, where you just performed with your father and brother at the Ascona Jazz Festival in Switzerland. How did you initially get involved with Ascona? Playing Ascona was such a great experience. It’s so cool to have this tiny village in Switzerland completely taken over by New Orleans [...]

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CR GRuver, Frank Etheridge, OffBeat Magazine, September 2014

My Music: CR Gruver

We had an upright piano in my house growing up, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I took classical lessons from time I was nine until about 14. At 14, I discovered rock ’n’ roll and left my lessons and from that point forward have been self-taught. Once I started listening to rock and roll, the classical [...]

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Hurricane Hit Parade

Hurricane season is at its peak once again, and it’s going to require a soundtrack. Assuming you charged your mp3 player before losing power, we present this mix of songs to get you through the storm. We’ve stuck with songs that are Louisiana- or at least Southern-based—but if you want to cheat and include Scorpions’ [...]

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Kevin O’Day and Live Animals Return September 26

There was a time, in the years before and after the turn of the century, when drummer Kevin O’Day was everywhere. He was touring with Anders Osborne. There were funk gigs at Café Brasil with Iris May Tango and the twistedly fun shows with Royal Fingerbowl at Dragon’s Den. He’d don the sequin space robes [...]

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Satchmo, Pot, Gage, Viper

Satchmo on his Life as a Pot Loving “Viper”

In the 1971 Louis Armstrong biography Louis: The Louis Armstrong Story, 1900-1971 by Max Jones and John Chilton, Satchmo expounds at length about his life as a “viper,” a term for anyone who smoked marijuana, or gage, as he called it. “We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and [...]

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James Burton, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

James Burton International Guitar Festival Celebrates the “Master of the Telecaster”

Living in Louisiana, it’s easy to be spoiled by the world-class live music that wafts from juke joints and local clubs across the state. It’s easy to take for granted the living legends that grace barrooms, porch swings or neighborhood streets. Even by that standard, however, the 2014 James Burton International Guitar Festival promises to [...]

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John Michael Bradford, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

Soundcheck: John Michael Bradford Takes 5

So you have won the “Seeking Satchmo” contest at Satchmo SummerFest twice—once in middle school and again in the high school category. How has this affected you as a musician? It was actually a great learning experience because it made me realize how important Louis Armstrong is to traditional New Orleans jazz, and how important [...]

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Blake Amos, Frank Etheridge, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

My Music: Blake Amos

Saudade means longing, melancholy. Like, I have saudade for those old days on Frenchmen Street, back when it was this mixed, easy scene with this bohemian vibe. Or, I have saudade for an old girlfriend. Which I think fits New Orleans, too. New Orleans is a kind of happy-sad feeling. I’m very much that way [...]

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What a Wonderful World, Album, OffBeat Magazine, August 2014

Top 10 Versions of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”

  Love it or not, “What a Wonderful World” is fated to be Louis Armstrong’s best-known recording, and there’s bound to be a handful of versions performed at Satchmo SummerFest this year. The recent Dr. John version is only the latest in a long line of recorded covers. Here (in reverse chronological order) are a [...]

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Philadelphia Gets a Dose of Zydeco Through the “Zydeco Crossroads” Program

Philadelphia, a city known for ’70s soul and other classic sounds, is now welcoming a groove from where crawfish got soul—zydeco. In June, Philadelphia public-radio station WXPN announced “Zydeco Crossroads”—a 15-month project presenting south Louisiana’s accordion dance music through a series of concerts, educational events and a new documentary film by producer Robert Mugge, whose [...]

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