Music

In Memoriam
11:35 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Musicians to honor Tremé Brass Band singer

Many of New Orleans' best known musicians are planning to gather for a musical tribute to Lionel Batiste, the 81-year-old vocalist and bass drummer with the Tremé Brass Band who died last Sunday.

Kermit Ruffins, Deacon John, Michael Ward and Rockin' Dopsie are among the musicians expected to attend the tribute at Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club on Friday at 7 p.m.

The organizers of the memorial say proceeds will pay Batiste's outstanding medical bills and funeral costs.

Music Interviews
11:03 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Fresh Air Celebrates Woody Guthrie At 100

Woody Guthrie
Smithsonian Folkways

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 11:52 am

Lots of people know Woody Guthrie's classic 1940 ballad "This Land Is Your Land," but the story behind the tune may not be as familiar.

Guthrie, who would have turned 100 this week, wrote "This Land" as a response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," a song he felt was overly patriotic and not directed at ordinary Americans like himself.

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Music Interviews
3:42 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

At 100, Woody Guthrie Still Resonates

July 14, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth.
Al Aumuller Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:16 am

Woody Guthrie would have been 100 years old on Saturday. The singer and songwriter wrote "This Land Is Your Land," among thousands of other songs.

Even though Guthrie died almost 45 years ago, his lyrics and message continue to appeal to new generations of Americans.

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The Record
4:03 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Essence In New Orleans: A Festival That Knows Its Audience

Mary J. Blige performs during the 2012 Essence Music Festival at Louisiana Superdome on July 7.
Erika Goldring Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 1:23 pm

For the last 18 years, the Essence Music Festival has been the go-to event for African-Americans, especially African-American women. For three days in New Orleans, hundreds of thousands show up for R&B and gospel concerts and panels on politics, financial planning and parenting.

If it's a party, as creator George Wein describes it, it's a party with a purpose.

"New Orleans is a party city and they party," Wein says. "People party here. If you go to the hotels — 40-floor hotels — [there's] like 40 floors of parties."

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Music Interviews
11:04 am
Mon July 9, 2012

'Brownout,' From Music Experiment To Fan Favorite

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 12:59 pm

The Latin funk group began as a side band by some members of the Grammy-winning Latin ensemble Grupo Fantasma. They wanted to test new sounds but quickly learned they had something bigger to offer. Now, Brownout is getting lots of fans and glowing reviews. Their newest album is Oozy. Member Greg Gonzales talks with guest host Maria Hinojosa.

Essence Fest
1:49 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Alex Boyd brings 'blue-eyed' soul to Essence

He has danced with Debbie Allen, acted alongside Bruce Willis, blended his voice with Patti Labelle's and even dabbled with opera.

But Alex Boyd's true calling has always been classic, old-school soul — despite being one of only a handful of white performers in the genre.

Boyd says he was "over the moon" about his closing night debut performance on Sunday at the Essence Music Festival.

In Memoriam
1:42 pm
Sun July 8, 2012

Tremé Brass Band's Lionel Batiste dead at 81

Lionel Batiste, the vocalist, bass drummer and assistant band leader of the Tremé Brass Band, has died. He was 81.

Band leader Benny Jones Sr. says Batiste died Sunday. He says funeral arrangements are incomplete for Batiste, who was known as "Uncle Lionel."

He says Batiste had been ill for about a month.

Jones says Batiste had been with the Tremé Brass Band since it was formed in 1995, but he had been a musician nearly all his life.

Music-Essence Fest-Celebrities
11:01 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Celebrities Head to New Orleans for Essence Fest

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former Cosby kid Tempestt Bledsoe and singer Vanessa Williams are among the celebrities in New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival. Essence Fest is one of the premier music festivals celebrating black culture and music.

Barbershop
10:34 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Will Same-Sex Romance Sink R&B's Ocean?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barber Shop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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Music Inside Out
6:05 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Music Inside Out: Three Degrees of David Torkanowsky

David Torkanowsky.
Jipes flickr

Forget "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." In New Orleans, it's more fun to play three degrees of David Torkanowsky.

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