Music

Jazz Fest Minutes
3:26 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Johnette Downing's Call To Perform

Singer-songwriter Johnette Downing.

Johnette Downing is an award-winning singer and songwriter of music for kids. A New Orleans native, and the daughter of musical parents, Downing felt the call to perform since she was in kindergarten.

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Shannon Powell & His Drums

Credit Ron Weinstock / Flickr

The only thing more fun than talking to Shannon Powell is listening to him play. Powell is one of the most charismatic drummers to ever grace a stage. His secret? "I'm happy," Powell tells Music Inside Out. "I was a happy child. I'm a happy spirit."

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Jazz Fest Minutes
11:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: A Musical Journey With George Duke

George Duke, one of the most sought-after and accomplished players and producers in music.
Credit georgeduke.com

George Duke is one of the most sought-after and accomplished players and producers in music. He grew up in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
4:18 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Topsy Chapman And Solid Harmony

Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony
Credit topsychapman.com

Topsy Chapman is one of New Orleans’ most engaging and soulful singers. Her mix of gospel, blues, traditional jazz and swing proves both captivating and uplifting. And, when Topsy Chapman blends her fine voice with those of her daughters Jolynda Phillips and Yolanda Windsay in the vocal trio Solid Harmony, it’s magic.

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Jazz Fest Minutes
1:10 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: Wayne Shorter — Connecting With The Beat

Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter.
Credit Robert Ascroft

Wayne Shorter is one of the top saxophonists and composers in jazz. It was, strangely enough, getting caught at 15 years old playing hooky from school that put him on a path into music. His punishment: enrollment in the music theory course at his Newark, NJ arts high school.

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French Quarter Festival
1:43 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

PHOTOS: Friday At The French Quarter Festival

Alex McMurray playing the Abita Beer stage.
Jason Saul WWNO

Tens of thousands of people packed the streets of the French Quarter yesterday for the second day of the 2013 French Quarter Festival.

It was a beautiful day, with cool breezes and a high that reached 73 degrees in the afternoon — in contrast to the heavy rain showers that came down for much of the day Thursday.

French Quarter Festival
1:27 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

FQF Playlist: The French Quarter in Song

All kinds of music float through the French Quarter this weekend. The neighborhood is central to New Orleans music history and the lifeblood of performers today.

Musicians spend so much time here, it’s no wonder French Quarter streets, sites and people gets celebrated in song.

Here’s a list of famous, and infamous, songs that mention “Da Quarters.”

“Salee Dame” tells the tale of a woman who lives by La Rue Dauphine. You can just see her hips shaking when you listen to this version by the Creole Jazz Serenaders. (Thanks American Routes and Nick Spitzer.)

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Music Features
12:57 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Between The Stages: Music History Sites To Visit During French Quarter Fest

J&M Recording Studio, on the corner of Rampart and Dumaine Streets.
Credit Wally Gobetz / Flickr

The French Quarter is alive with music this weekend as the 30th annual French Quarter Festival kicks into high gear.

Music has been central to the identity of New Orleans from the earliest years of the city's founding, and a casual stroll through the streets of the French Quarter will bring you past centuries of tangible music history.

While you're down in the Quarter for the Festival, or any time at all, make sure you don't miss these landmarks.

J&M Recording Studio
840 North Rampart St. (corner of Dumaine)

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Jazz Fest Minutes
8:30 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Jazz Fest Minutes: The Legendary Del McCoury

Del McCoury and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will play Saturday, Jazz Fest May 5.

Bluegrass Hall of Famer Del McCoury’s folks came from the mountains of western North Carolina, but he grew up on a farm in York County, Pennsylvania, less than an hour’s drive from Baltimore.

“My dad and my older brother listened to the Grand Ol’ Opry every Saturday night,” McCoury said. It was before television, in the middle- to late-1940s.

“At a young age I heard Earl Scruggs, and that’s what got me into music.”

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Music Inside Out with Gwen Thompkins
1:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Welcome to Alex McMurray's Strange World

Alex McMurray at the Bitter End in NYC, 2011
Credit Dino Perrucci

Listen to the conversation with Alex McMurray

As noggins in New Orleans go, there is no noggin like that of singer-songwriter Alex McMurray. He's got more original characters in his head than a Hollywood film library. 

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