This week on Inside the Arts, an explosion of musical genres! We visit with Tara O'Grady, an Irish American chanteuse who mixes Celtic sounds with blues, folk, swing and jazz into her unique style. She makes her New Orleans debut this St. Patrick's weekend.
Then, internationally acclaimed Russian concert pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine returns to town for a classical music performance at the Marigny Opera House. And we round out with S.O.U.L. — Singers of United Lands — for a cultural music exchange with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans.
The excesses of the Carnival season are over. So this week, we're playing sacred music with a foothold in Louisiana. Some songs are religious. Some are not. But they're guaranteed to help you get ready for Easter, or Passover, or whatever day you have circled on the calendar.
Mahalia Jackson, John Boutté, Branford Marsalis, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint and Davell Crawford are in the mix. And so is the brass band that wants to know, "Whatcha gonna do for the rest of your life? Whatcha gonna do to make it right?"
Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson performs with New Orleans All-Star R&B Revue hosted by Deacon John at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 26, 2009 in New Orleans. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
On this Fat Tuesday, the music of Mardi Gras will ring through the streets of New Orleans — during parades, at bars and from residents’ homes.
Producer and DJ George Ingmire of WWOZ in New Orleans tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson two quintessential Mardi Gras songs are “Mardi Gras Mambo” by the Hawketts and “Carnival Time” by Al “Carnival Time” Johnson.
Record-breaking crowds have flocked to New Orleans for this year's Mardi Gras celebration. It's an all-consuming holiday that wouldn't be quite complete without returning from a parade with a neck draped in beads. However, many people say it's the bands that march in the parades that they enjoy most.
Professor Longhair's house has been saved. Now, last year we brought you a story about the piano legend and the nationwide effort to rebuild his home following Hurricane Katrina. Henry Roeland Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, is widely considered to be the father of modern New Orleans music. He died in 1980, but at carnival time especially, it's evident that Professor Longhair's influence endures. Now, his house will too. Gwen Thompkins brings us this story of music and more.
Samba isn't just for the musicians who work the scene in Rio. Singer Maria Rita is from São Paulo in southern Brazil; she recorded a samba album several years ago and will release a second this spring.
Credit Tribo Productions
Samba singer Julio Estrela performs with his band at the Carioca da Gema club in Rio de Janeiro.
The descendants of New Orleans’ renowned rhythm and blues pianist Professor Longhair will soon be back in their Central City house again. A major renovation has made it possible for his family and fans to have a permanent home.
The Stooges Brass Band welcomed dozens of people attending the unveiling of Professor Longhair’s house.
The one and only home ever purchased by the music legend has been renovated. His daughter, Pat Byrd, and grandson Ardell, are moving back in this week.