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CAC Prepares for Art for Arts’ Sake 2014

The Contemporary Arts Center will be hosting their annual fall fundraiser Art for Arts’ Sake on Saturday, October 5.

CAC, Art for Arts' Sake 2014The day will begin with the unveiling of the PARK(ing) Day art installations. PARK(ing) Day is a worldwide event where artists, designers, and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.

The newly transformed parks will line the 300-600 blocks of Julia Street and will remain open to the public from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m, the CAC will host an art walk consisting of 20 museums and galleries through the New Orleans Arts District.

Throughout the evening, downtown restaurants will offer drink and dinner specials, with proceeds to benefit the CAC.

The exhibition’s closing reception will take place at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m, at the CAC. Hosted by Bombay Sapphire, the reception will offer free cocktails and cuisine, as well as specialty Bombay Sapphire cocktails, available for purchase.

The exhibits on display in the CAC Galleries will include: Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series: New Orleans Semi-Finalist Exhibition, International Sculpture Center: Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards, and Mark of the Feminine, curated by Regine Basha.

For more information about the events, visit http://cacno.org/afas or call the CAC at 504.528.3805.

For more information on PARK(ing) Day in New Orleans, visit www.parkingdaynola.com

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MACCNO Action Alert Calls To Save French Quarter Music in Restaurants

MACCNO has requested an action alert for all persons who want to be sure that music continues to be heard in the French Quarter:

The city of New Orleans proposed new zoning ordinance singles out French Quarter restaurants for live music restrictions.

The new, and final, draft of New Orleans Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance is out, and it makes a number of changes that impact cultural activities in the city (you can see a full list here, and read the full ordinance here).  One of these changes is that it now allows restaurants to have non-amplified musical accompaniment for patrons as a matter of right.  For instance, restaurants would be able to host jazz brunches or hire a piano player without gaining a ‘conditional use’ or applying for a permit.  While we believe that limiting amplification is unnecessary—restaurants would still have to abide by the noise ordinance regardless—this is still a good step forward for the city, and could provide steady employment for a number of musicians.

However, there is one problem:  restaurants would be allowed to have live music throughout the City EXCEPT IN THE FRENCH QUARTER, where this would be limited to Bourbon (between Iberville and St Ann), and Decatur (only the two blocks surrounding House of Blues).  This creates a situation where Saints and Sinners on Bourbon Street could have music, but a block away Court of Two Sisters on Royal could not.  This would also mean that Rampart Street, once home to a number of clubs and across the street from Congo Square, could not have live music of any kind.

(Not surprisingly, this restriction on live music in the French Quarter is the work of VCPORA, who sent out an e-mail blast [see page 24] asking members, in part, to contact the council in opposition to allowing live music in restaurants, disingenuously stating that they could ‘become live entertainment venues’, and also commented that they if restaurants were to offer live music, they should no longer be permitted in much of the French Quarter [see page 12]).

We are asking you to please contact the City Planning Commission and, in addition to what other comments you may have, tell them that restaurants should be able to have live music throughout the French Quarter.  Feel free to use this sample language, or create your own:

“I am writing to ask that restaurants throughout the French Quarter be allowed to have musical accompaniment, just as it they would be able to in the rest of the City.  Allowing only certain restaurants to provide music for their patrons puts many businesses at an unfair disadvantage and denies musicians a substantial economic opportunity.  Visitors come to the French Quarter specifically looking for food and music, and it makes no sense for it to be the only neighborhood where it is difficult to find them together.”

You can e-mail your comments to cpcinfo@nola.gov, and they must be received by 5PM this Tuesday, September 2nd. You can also attend public hearings on the Zoning Ordinance at 6PM on the 2nd, and on September 9th, also at 6PM.  Both meetings are in City Council Chambers.


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Earphunk CD Release Party at Tipitina’s Sept 27

Earphunk will be playing live at Tipitina’s on Saturday, September 27 in celebration of the band’s third LP, Sweet Nasty.

Sweet Nasty, Earphunk

Sweet Nasty which released on August 18, reached over 500,000 downloads within one week and over 65,000 downloads in 24 hours. In support of the album, the local progressive-funk quintet is currently on a national tour, which wraps up with their show here in New Orleans.

The young group is quickly making a name for themselves by repeatedly pleasing their fans from the stages of various music festivals and live shows around town.

As George Clinton mentioned in a quote from the band’s press release: “Y’all ain’t your average white band!”

Tickets are on sale now through Tipitina’s, $12.00 presale and $14.00 the day of the show.

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JJ Grey and Mofro Headline Bougalusa Blues and Heritage Festival

JJ Grey and his band Mofro will be headlining the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival in Bogalusa on Saturday, September 27 in support of their new album, This River.

JJ Grey, Bob Adamek, OffBeat Magazine

JJ Grey with the Southern Soul Assembly. Photo by Bob Adamek

It’s been a long road for JJ Grey, who got his start playing covers behind chicken wire at a Jacksonville juke joint. Since then, he’s played some of the largest music festivals in the world, toured throughout Europe, and continues to play more than 125 shows each year.

“Many of the new songs,” Grey said in a press release, “are about being your own worst enemy, and about normal folks pushing themselves over the edge.”

This River continues the lyrical tradition of Grey’s previous work, exposing portraits of emotionally complex people through strong concrete detail.

While the Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival is one of Louisiana’s newest music festivals, it has developed into one of its most culturally notable.

Originally created to pay tribute to local community members for their contributions to the arts, BBHF has played an important role in preserving the rich musical heritage of Louisiana.

This year, the festival will be expanding to a 2-day event with camping, following a tripling in attendance at the 2013 event. Other acts performing include Ruthie Foster, Devon Allman, Mike Zito, and Johnny Sansone, among many others.

The Bogalusa Blues & Heritage Festival will be held at 129 Ben Miller Drive, Bogalusa, LA. Tickets will range from $10 to $20.
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Fan Funding: Michaela Harrison

New Orleans based vocalist Michaela Harrison has launched a GoFundMe campaign seeking support to fund a new jazz album and a trip to record and perform in Brazil with guitarist Marcio Pereira.

Michaela Harrison, by Jessi Arnold

Photo by Jessi Arnold

Harrison refers to her campaign as “The Creation Fund” because the new financial freedom it could provide would allow her to spend her time working on her several projects.

On her campaign page, Harrison posted ”I am basically seeking support to see me through this year as a working artist who has the time to create new work, do project-based travel, record, AND take care of sundry luxuries like dental work and health care without having to be stressed out about money.”

Harrison hopes to raise $25,000 to help her finish her premier album Love’s Divine, fund her trip to Brazil, create some high-quality music videos, and pay for the completion of her first album of all original music.

Supporters can donate anywhere between $1 and the full $25,000, and will receive regular updates on Harrison’ projects.

Harrison is not currently detailing rewards for different donation amounts but her campaign page explains that information on the rewards will be revealed in time.

Click here to pledge your support for the project

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Saxophonist Tim Green Passes Away

New Orleans musicians have expressed an outpouring of condolences and expressions of loss over the sudden death of saxophone great and longtime sideman Tim Green.

Green’s years as a prodigious live and session performer were profiled in an April 2000 OffBeat article by Jonathan Tabak.

Tim Green

After a slow start to his musical training, Green was fortunate enough to be in the right place (Central Park in New York) at the right time (during a two-day jazz festival) to get the kickoff that he needed, as he explained in the article:

“It sounds like a fairy tale or a fiction, but it’s absolutely true. I was sitting in the grass under some trees eating lunch. I had the book Chasin’ the Trane with me. This little beat-up red Toyota comes driving up the sidewalk and stops in front of me. It’s Hank Crawford and Grover Washington, Jr., and Grover asks where the stage is. They must have assumed that I was on staff. I said, ‘Let me get in the car with you and I’ll direct you to the stage.’ And I just kind of, in a nice way, worked my way into hanging out with those guys for the next two days. Grover was so gracious and such a beautiful person. I told him I was thinking about studying music and playing sax, and asked if he gave lessons. He said, ‘No, I don’t give lessons, but if you get a horn, I’ll help you the best way I can. I’ll write you and tell you some things you need to do.’”

Green moved to New Orleans in 1978, and he quickly found himself playing with Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Cyril Neville, Tommy Ridgley, Mem Shannon, Terrance Simien, Gatemouth Brown, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Hornsby, The Indigo Girls, Maceo Parker, and many, many others before settling in with James Singleton for various band formations over the years.

OffBeat publisher Jan Ramsey remembers Green fondly as one of the nicest musicians she has ever met.

“He was truly one of the nicest men on the planet, so dedicated to whatever he was doing,” Ramsey said. “I think he was the first musician who ever wrote me a sincere thank you note when we wrote about him in OffBeat, and every time he won a Best of The Beat Award, which he did, several times.”

As a fitting tribute to Tim Green’s life and his sound, here’s a video of Green laying down a hauntingly beautiful solo while performing with Singleton and Mike Dillon in 2011.

Rest in peace, Tim Green.

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HNOC Concerts in the Courtyard Kick Off September 19

The Historic New Orleans Collection will be kicking off their 2014 Concerts in the Courtyard series with a live performance from Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers on Friday, September 19, at 6 p.m.

Debbie Davis, Kim Welsh, OffBeat Magazine

Photo by Kim Welsh

The Mesmerizers are the new project from Debbie Davis, a veteran performer whose familiar to local audiences as a vocalist with the Pfister Sisters and New Orleans Nightingales. Rounding out the band is Alex McMurray on guitar, Josh Paxton on piano, and Matt Perrine on sousaphone.

Davis has been singing professionally since the age of two and has recorded with artists such as John Boutté, Soul Asylum, the Misfits, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Dukes of Dixieland, Lil’ Band of Gold, Marc Stone, Harry Shearer, and many others.

Now in its Seventh year, The HNOC’s Concerts in the Courtyard shines a spotlight on local Louisiana musicians and offers a fun, casual way to start off the weekend. This season’s lineup will also include The Original Pinettes Brass Band on Friday, Oct. 17, and Luke Winslow-King on Friday, Nov. 21.

Concerts will be hosted outdoors at 533 Royal St., in the French Quarter. Admission to each show is $10 (free for HNOC members) and includes three complimentary beverages.

For more information, call (504) 523-4662 or visit www.hnoc.org.

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Ticket Giveaway: Bourbon Street Extravaganza VIP Experience

We’re giving away five VIP passes to the Bourbon Street Extravaganza on September 30 at Napoleon’s Itch on the corner of Bourbon Street and St. Ann.

Dolly Parton tribute artist Sandy Anderson, singer Inaya Day, country singer and actor Waylon Payne, and 2012 Southern Decadence Queen Jeanie Tracy will all perform at the Extravaganza.

Enter now for your chance to win!

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New Orleans Concert Picks of the Week: August 28 – September 3, 2014

Hungry for live music… Look no further! Here’s OffBeat’s look at New Orleans’ top concerts for the week of August 28, – September 3, 2014 featuring: Sarah McCoy and the Oopsie Daisies, Chubby Carrier, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Raphael Bas and Norbert Slama, Groovesect, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, Hot Club of New Orleans, and more!

Full ScheduleLouisiana Music on TourAdd a New Listing

 

August 28August 29August 30August 31September 1September 2September 3

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28

  • Maison: Jon Roniger, Shotgun Jazz Band, Dysfunktional Bone (JV) 5p
  • Snug Harbor: Otra CD-release party (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Spotted Cat: Sarah McCoy and the Oopsie Daisies (JV) 4p, Miss Sophie Lee (JV) 6p, Jumbo Shrimp (JV) 10p
  • Three Muses: Tom McDermott (PI) 5p

Sarah McCoy and the Oopsie Daisies at Spotted Cat

YouTube Preview Image

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29

  • d.b.a.: Chubby Carrier (ZY) 10p
  • Kerry Irish Pub: Greg Schatz (FO) 5p, Hurricane Refugees (FO) 9p
  • Maple Leaf: Chris Mule and the Perpetrators (FK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Herlin Riley Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Showarama Hot Trio (JV) 9p
  • Tipitina’s: Foundation Free Fridays presents Gravity A performing a Tribute to the Talking Heads (FK) 10p

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30

  • Carrollton Station: Mid-Summer Mardi Gras Party feat. Vox and the Hound, Caddywhompus (ID) 10p
  • d.b.a.: Alvin Youngblood Hart (BL) 11p
  • Howlin’ Wolf: George Porter Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners, Bonerama, Tab Benoit, Dave Ferrato and Tchoupazine, Funk Monkey, the Boogie Men, Tom Fitzpatrick Band, Pink Magnolias, Don Vappie, Dave Jordan Band (FK) 6p
  • Maple Leaf: Jon Cleary and the Monster Gentlemen (FK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Germaine Bazzle Germaine Bazzle with Larry Sieberth Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31

  • Snug Harbor: Cindy Scott Quartet (MJ) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Raphael Bas and Norbert Slama (JV) 5:30p, Linnzi Zaorski (JV) 8p
  • UNO Lakefront Arena: Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Patti Labelle, Ruben Studdard (SO) 7p

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

  • Maison: Chicken and Waffles, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses, Musicians’ Jam feat. Ashton Hines and the Big Easy Brawlers (JV) 5p
  • Maple Leaf: Labor Day Cookout feat. Groovesect (FK) 8:30p

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

  • Maison: Gregory Agid, Bon Bon Vivant (JV) 6p
  • Maple Leaf: Rebirth Brass Band (RK) 10:30p
  • Snug Harbor: Stanton Moore Trio (JV) 8 & 10p
  • Spotted Cat: Andy J. Forest (JV) 4p, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (JV) 6p, Smoking Time Jazz Club (JV) 10p

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

  • Chickie Wah Wah: Meschiya Lake and Tom McDermott (JV) 8p
  • Rock ‘n’ Bowl: Johnny J. and the Hitmen feat. Derek Huston (RC) 8p
  • Snug Harbor: Delfeayo Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra (JV) 8 & 10p
  • Three Muses: Hot Club of New Orleans (JV) 7p

Cajun Roosters Capture CFMA Award

European zydeco band the Cajun Roosters earned a 2014 Prix d’Hors award from the Cajun French Music Association for their 2013 album Hell Yeah!, marking the first time a non-American band has won in that category.

Michael Bentele, Cajun Roosters, CFMA Award

Michael Bentele accepts the CFMA award.

Each member of the five-piece band hails from a different country – accordion player Chris Hall is from the UK, fiddle player David Buyle is from Belgium, guitar player Hazel Scott is from Scotland, bass player Michael Bentele is German, and drummer Antoine Fève is from France – but the love of Cajun and zydeco music brings them all together.

“The CFMA always gives one award, the Prix d’Hors, to a band not from Louisiana or East Texas,” he said. “We’ve been nominated almost every year with our previous CDs as first runner up, but now finally with our latest album Hell Yeah!, we’ve won the award, which is for us a great, great honor.”

For Bentele, earning recognition from the CFMA has been a high point for the band, and it shows that their dedication to Cajun music and culture transcends all borders.

“We listen to Cajun zydeco daily, but there is no club around where there is always a band playing, like there is in the Lafayette area,” he said. “We’re sort of missionaries trying to get the music we love to Europe.”

Bentele, who also manages the Cajun Roosters, travelled from Germany to Lafayette to accept the award in person and to visit with fellow Cajun and zydeco performers he has made friends with over the years.

The Cajun Roosters host a traveling festival called the American Cajun Blues and Zydeco Festival featuring Louisiana musicians, which is in its 14 year.

With 17 stops across Germany, this year’s festival will help spread the gospel of Cajun music more than ever before, with a dose of blues to help attract crowds unfamiliar with zydeco music.

“For this year, we got an artist called Buddy Flett from Shreveport,” Bentele said. “This year’s he’s the Louisiana blues part for our festival.”

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