A Busy New Year, Musically
By the time this issue of OffBeat hits the street, it’ll be past Christmas and in that weird time of year during the holidays that’s between Christmas and the New Year.
For years, January was one of those “dead” times—between the holidays and Mardi Gras season when craziness runs rampant. This is one of the reasons we’ve always scheduled the “Best of The Beat Awards” during January.
This year, by the way, the Best of The Beat Music Awards will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. on Thursday, January 30, 2020 (see the ad in this issue for more details and bands). We’re excited to be able to move the event to the Jazz Market in cooperation with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and their staff, as it’s a great space for an event like the Awards—although our experiences at Generations Hall have always been wonderful. You can purchase tickets here.
With the expansion of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, we’ll feature the Music Business and Lifetime Achievement Awards at that venue on January 16.
This January, the city will welcome the JEN (Jazz Education Network) conference to New Orleans at the Hyatt from January 7 through 11. JEN has been in New Orleans before, four years ago. It’s about everything “jazz,” and is particularly important to have the event in New Orleans because of our important ties with this all-American art form. Personally, I am convinced that music education is crucial to improving overall education in this country; the more musicians and students, who can connect, learn and flourish within jazz, the better off we’ll all be. And it’s jazz, for goodness’ sake… we invented it here. There are workshops, mentoring sessions, performances beaucoup that include a wide swath of New Orleans’ talented jazz musicians, students and educators, in addition to national and international artists, students and teachers. The highlight of the event is JEN’s “Scholarship” event on January 10 (which raises money for their stellar scholarship program) featuring the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, led by Adonis Rose; Tia Fuller; Mark Whitfield and Chucho Valdés.
And last, but not least, from January 22 through 26, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is coming to the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans. I’ve heard about this event for years, and it’s truly going to be a huge event, bringing in musicians, talent bookers, music businesses, festival promoters and a lot more from all over the world. The FAI showcases musicians—after a long and strenuous evaluation process—who will perform on stages throughout the larger meeting rooms at the Sheraton. They include many Louisiana musicians, and skilled musicians in the folk tradition (which is pretty wide) who’ll perform in individual showcases in rooms at the Sheraton. It’s virtually an orgy of fantastic music.
Anyone who loves music should try to attend the open-to-the-public events at both of these conferences. You can get information on both at the organizations’ respective websites: jazzednet.org and folk.org.
Happy Musical 2020!