Marigny Studios and Julian Mutter are partnering to host “An Intimate Evening at Luthjen’s,” a tribute to the former historic Luthjen’s Dance Hall where jazz lovers danced, drank and convened in the Faubourg Marigny for much of the 20th century.
The monthly recording sessions feature current New Orleans jazz musicians performing and recording for a live, intimate audience. Performances began September 13 and will continue on the second Friday of the month through March.
Luthjens Dance Hall was one of many beer parlor/dance halls throughout New Orleans in the mid-1900’s that featured local jazz. The original Luthjens, owned by Clementine Luthjens and her son Jules, was located at 1200 Franklin Avenue, corner Marais, and innumerable legendary musicians of the mid-20th century played there. Swing dancing was not allowed, as Luthjen’s was known as a place to bring the whole family to listen and dance to authentic New Orleans jazz.
In 1961 a fire destroyed that building, and tragically took the lives of both Clementine and Jules. But Clementine’s nephew Jerome Luthjens re-opened the dance hall at the corner of Marigny and Chartres Street. The business closed in 1981 and now operates as Marigny Studios.
“I am very excited to have live jazz performances returning to Luthjen’s Dance Hall,” said Julian Mutter, property owner and supporter of local culture. We are working with extraordinary local musicians to ensure that everyone who attends the performance will have a memorable experience, and since it’s a studio, everyone will get a CD.
John Boutté was the first artist to perform on September 13, and he explained “I’ve known Julian, he’s a friend; he comes to my shows. Julian said to me ‘There are so many great live shows; we should do something where the artist performs live music, and it gets recorded, leaving that performance in the hands of the artist.’ I liked the concept of playing in an intimate setting and having a recording of it.” Boutté performed with his band, Oscar Rossignoli, Nobu Osaka, Don Vappie and more.
Rick Nelson, owner of Marigny Studios says, “It was Julian’s idea to have an intimate performance with a small audience to capture the local greats of in New Orleans. We’ve lost so many recently that he thought it was a good idea to document the ones still performing. The studio, which opened in 2011, is a full multi-room recording studio facility within the historically re-purposed Luthjen’s Dance Hall.”
Grand Krewe Fine Wine and Spirits, a neighboring business, is a supporting partner of the event. The shop offers a wide range of wine and spirits, a grand piano, along with Deuce and Pearl, the wine store dogs.
The cost of admission to the intimate evening includes wine, small bites and the music.
Upcoming confirmed performances are Tom McDermott and Aurora Nealand (October 11); and pending confirmation are Wendell Brunious (December 13); David Torkanowski (January 10).