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5:50 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Essence Festival Hits Record Attendance At 550,000

The Essence Festival 2014 set attendance records for the event.
Corey Seemen Flickr

The Essence Festival marked its 20th anniversary by setting a record for annual attendance with more than 550,000 participants celebrating four days of R&B music, community and black culture at the Superdome and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.

That's about 10,000 more people than attended the 2013 festival, which included a sold-out performance by Beyoncé. Organizers say the 2014 festival has earned the distinction of being the largest gathering in its history.

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Music
1:53 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

The Kentucky Sisters And Old-Time Tunes As Doorways To History

The Kentucky Sisters.
Jason Rhein Elephant Quilty Productions

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 1:46 pm

Did you know that John F. Kennedy was a Republican? Neither did I. But that's what one of my college students guessed in a course on news writing. I asked another kid what period followed the Industrial Age and she said, "The Golden Age?" We moved on.

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Continuum
6:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Continuum And The Celtic Viol

This week on Continuum, Milton Scheuermann features music from the CD The Celtic Viol II  by Jordi Savall (Alia Vox AVSA 9878).

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Music
4:05 am
Fri July 4, 2014

20th Essence Music Festival Opens In New Orleans

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 6:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. I'm fine with that theme you just heard. It begins this segment every morning. But this morning, how about this?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL NIGHT LONG")

LIONEL RICHIE: (Singing) All night long, all night, all night long.

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Inside the Arts
1:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Inside The Arts: Essence Festival Kicks Off Independence Weekend, Elisa Fiorello Dease, Jason Mott

This week on Inside the Arts, the 20th Essence Festival kicks off Independence weekend. We catch up with Prince protégé, singer Elisa Fiorillo Dease, who will perform with the pop icon in the Superdome.

The party with a purpose, Essence, continues with activities in the Morial Convention Center. We talk with author Jason Mott. His bestseller, The Returned, is the basis for the hit ABC TV series, Resurrection.

And, we round out with a song that takes a look at the World Cup through the eyes of the players.

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Arts & Culture
8:36 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Pop Culture Podcast: The 2014 Essence Festival

Prince, one of the headliners at the 20th annual Essence Festival.
Credit Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

Longtime NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune music writer Keith Spera has been at all 20 Essence Festivals. WWNO's Jason Saul hasn't been to any.

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Essence Festival
6:51 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Let's Go Crazy: Prince Fans Wild With Excitement Over His Return To Essence Fest

DJ Soul Sister saluting Prince with a dedicated set. The artist plays the 2014 Essence Festival on July 4.
Credit Lindsey Patton

Dearly beloved, we will gather at Essence Music Festival on July 4th to get down with this man named Prince. Electric word “Prince” — it means “genius” and that’s a mighty big title, but I’m here to tell you: nothing compares to the Purple One.

“I don’t have a favorite era. It’s like saying ‘Which is your favorite child.’ Different eras, different songs fit different parts of your life, so I can’t say I have a favorite.”

That’s Lisa Heisser, a true Prince superfan.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
2:00 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

David Egan: Unabashedly Experienced

Credit Denny Culbert / John Sellards Design via MusicInsideOut.org

Songwriters talk about a song being “honest.” And according to David Egan, that’s all about telling the truth about our battles and our triumphs — our loves and losses.

“We write music for grownup people,” he says. “Grownup music for grown-ass people.”

They’re the people you might see at the gas station, or in the grocery store. Or in the mirror.

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Inside the Arts
11:52 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Inside The Arts: Jazzy Divas Rock Central City Cabaret; Aladdin In Rivertown; And Harps Swing

This week on Inside the Arts, we stroll down memory lane as the American Theater Project of New Orleans presents Dryades Street Divas Review: A Cabaret, with a cast representing  artists who worked the "chitlin' circuit" back in the day. Those artists include the likes of Etta James, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson and "Moms" Mabley.

Then, in Kenner, the Rivertown Theater's Patchwork Players open with Aladdin.

And, in the city where jazz was born, harpists gear up for a concert that will make their heavenly instruments swing.

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Microphone Check
11:36 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Mannie Fresh DJ Set: 'We Bounced Everything'

Mannie Fresh behind the decks at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Becky Harlan for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:56 pm

In the middle of our live interview with Mannie Fresh at NPR's headquarters in D.C., Ali asked Mannie how he approaches DJing — does he play what he wants to hear? Or does he feed the crowd? "When I want you to understand something, I remix it," Mannie said. "If it's Earth Wind and Fire, and you not getting it, I'ma make you get it."

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