More than two dozen New Orleans women will perform, teach and parade this weekend during four days of events celebrating women in the arts for the 2013 LadyFest New Orleans. Taking place Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10, LadyFest hosts five concerts and other women-centric activities at seven venues around the city, including a collaboration with the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival on Sunday.
The festival opens Thursday with a concert at the Maison on Frenchmen featuring Gaynielle Neville‘s “Ladies Get The Blues” revue with vocalists Keiko Komaki, Dorise Blackmon, Jazmine Butler, Madame Butterfly, Yadonna Wise and more from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. Friday evening, three showcases at Buffa’s Lounge highlight New Orleans women jazz, poetry and comedy, while a female jazz musicians show led by Sharon Martin caps off the night at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club from 7 p.m. until Midnight.
Part of the LadyFest organization’s mission is to provide economic and health care support for women artists in New Orleans, and on Saturday, the group hosts an all-day women’s health seminar and community fair from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the New Orleans Healing Center, just a few hours before cellist Monica McIntyre and special guests headline Saturday night’s concert at the Allways Lounge just up the street on St. Claude Ave.
Sunday culminates with the YeMaYa Parade as part of Gumbo Fest in Louis Armstrong Park. The YeMaYa-Yas dance troupe and all-women parade will take the stage with the Pinettes Brass Band at 3 p.m. (recently crowned Red Bull Street Queens) and at 4 p.m. will roll to the French Quarter with over 20 women’s musical and parading groups, including the YeMaYa-Yas, Mo’Lasses Brass Band, the Organ Grinders, Tap Dat, and many more.
The parade will make a loop through the French Quarter and then disband back at Gumbo Fest. LadyFest is a certified non-profit organization designed to celebrate and support women’s roles in the city’s cultural economy and creative marketplace. The organization has worked with several other local charity groups, including Women with a Vision and more. It is an inclusive organization comprised of participating YeMaYa members from some of the most notable women’s parade groups from both the carnival and the second line traditions, including the Pussyfooters, the Camel Toe Lady Steppers, the Lady Buckjumpers SAPC, the Lady Rollers SAPC, the Organ Grinders, the NOLA Cherry Bombs, Skinz n Bonez, Jazzy Ladies SAPC, the Lady Jammers SAPC, the Baby Dolls, Mardi Gras Indian Queens, the Muff-a-lottas, Roux La-La and more.