Video: [Paris] El Wah !

It has been almost a year since  El Wah ! has taken form, garnering more attention from the Parisian scene with each new release.

The dynamic duo, composed of Samuel Charles and Thomas Larabi, digs into deep soul and pop influences to fuel a warm and honest  sound of their own.

Watch the two partners record their latest material at the Studio Guillaume Tell in Suresne, France.

Video by Noé Cugny & Mickael Lepers

Video: Noah Young Band

“The seamless blend of inspired jazz and instrumental funk on “Memory Lane” will be familiar to fans of Naughty Professor, yet distinct enough to warrant its own categorization. The tune keeps things cool as cucumber until the final minute, when the mood switches gears for a swirling crescendo.”

— Sam D’arcangelo, OffBeat Magazine


Interview: Fred Hersch In Paris

How is it for you to come play in Paris?

I love playing in Paris I wish this time I had more time. The last time I was playing at La Villette, Cité de la Musique, big concert. Playing at the Duc des Lombards is nice but it’s not a 9-foot Steinway in a beautiful concert hall,  it’s a different experience. I’ve been coming to Paris for years, since I was a teenager. My very first European tour, we spent a lot of time in Paris in 1979. So I’ve been trying to make Paris a place to play. It’s interesting,  I’ve gotten a lot of awards, Grand Prix du disque etc. But there are so many French pianists that it’s very hard to get in to France. But I think I have some big festivals coming up, Coutance [Jazz sous les Pommiers], and maybe Nice and some other ones that will come next week. So I think my visibility is starting to go up a little bit, so that’s good.

Do you prepare your sets?

No. I just get up there and play.

Do you remember a specific jazz record that was the first one to click for you ?

Yeah, I heard some jazz in high school. I mean I was a piano player so I had a Dave Brubeck album and a Ramsey Lewis album, some albums I picked at yard sales for 25c. But once I started playing I thought ‘ok this is something maybe I can do’ and started inching my way into being a jazz pianist. The records that really sold me, there were three of them : one was Miles Davis’ Friday and Saturday night at the Blackhawk.  Wynton [Kelly]’s playing is so great, the way he plays with Miles… And I love the sound of the album, you feel like you’re in the club and it’s very nice. Then there was a Mingus album, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus, with orchestrations and everything that is just so remarkable. And then an album by Ellington called Ellington Uptown. But particularly the Miles record really made me wanna say ‘okay, I can do this. I know I can do this. I’m gonna commit myself.’ I dropped out of school, started playing in clubs and really went for it. After I heard that.

Continue reading Interview: Fred Hersch In Paris

Hot 8 Brass Band Performs with Youth Music Program in Paris

As part of their tour in France, the Hot 8 Brass Band joined forces with a local New Orleans-themed brass band and members of a youth music program for a performance at the Festival Villes des Musiques du Monde in Aubervilliers, outside of Paris on Sunday, November 6.

In 2013, the documentary The Whole Gritty City shed some light on the positive effects that youth music programs and brass band culture have had in various communities around New Orleans. With the film traveling internationally, and New Orleans brass band music exploding in popularity abroad in recent years, community leaders have been inspired to replicate the phenomenon at home.

Wilbert Rawlins, Jr. directs French music students during Hot 8 Brass Band performance in Aubervilliers. Photo by Noé Cugny

Continue reading Hot 8 Brass Band Performs with Youth Music Program in Paris

Paris: Jam De La Casserole

The second edition of the 2016 Jam de la Casserole, a biweekly event in La Villette in Paris, took place on Wednesday, October 5.

For the fourth year of this installation, Parisian musicians of all backgrounds gathered in the relaxed atmosphere of La Petite Halle in the  for another funk-infused jam session. The diverse crowd enjoyed a well-crafted collaboration in music, dancing to the sounds of eclectic formations made up of regulars as well as new faces.

The Casserole stage also welcomed the coming of Malian keyboardist and afro-beat veteran Cheick Tidiane Seck, who took charge for an explosive ending to an all-around successful night in music.

Photos: We Breathe. They Shoot.

The Port art space in New Orleans opened its doors on Wednesday, July 13 for We Breathe. They Shoot., an event described by the organizers as a night of poetry, song & arts, with proceeds benefiting Alton Sterling’s family in Baton Rouge.

Throughout the night, guests enjoyed freshly-cut fruit, drinks, spoken word, music performances, but also gathered around opinion leaders such as Kalamu Ya Salaam and Angela Kinlaw who raised questions on organized activism and  current social issues of race inequality, police brutality and more.

An array of local poets including Kataalyst Alcindor opened the event, music acts were provided by Max Moran & Neospectric, Quess, Baron Amato, Stefan Henry, A Lovely Triangle and many more.

Baron Amato performs at Port for the “We Breathe. They Shoot.” event.

Henry Lipkis Completes Second Line Mural

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Artist Henry Lipkis’ second line mural, located at Saint Claude Avenue and Franklin Avenue,  is now complete after nearly a year of work.

Henry Lipkis puts finishing touches on the mural. Photo by Noé Cugny.

The massive art piece, titled “Third Line,” covers a 150-foot-long, 35-foot-tall wall. It depicts members of the community who all play different roles in a traditional New Orleans second line.

Continue reading Henry Lipkis Completes Second Line Mural

Photos: Bayou Boogaloo 2016

The 11th annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo took place on New Orleans’ Bayou St. John over the weekend of May 20 through 22.

Among the countless inventive floating devices across the bayou waters and the abundance of food, the festival kicked off on Friday with a notable performance by The Wailers. Festivities were carried on by Anders Osborne, George Porter Jr., The Nolatet, Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, ROAR! and so many more.

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►Day 1  ►Day 2  ►Day 3


Video: The Kala Bazaar Swing Society

The Kala Bazaar Swing Society appeared in New Orleans over the spring of 2016, emerging out of street busking and jam sessions.

Led by guitarist and vocalist Kaladeva Chandra, the new quartet is currently finding its voice around the city, drawing from the swing repertory of the 1920’s and 1930’s.

On this session, recorded in a backyard on a warm Monday night, Kala, Marty Peters, Keenan Clayton-Hall and Barry Bremer laid down their chops on four compositions: “China Boy,” “I’ve Found a New Baby,” “Pennies From Heaven” and “Joseph Joseph.”


Jazz Fest 2016: First Weekend Reviews

Jason Marsalis, Christian Scott Put The Jazz In Jazz Fest Opening Day

Photo by Kim Welsh
Photo by Kim Welsh

Every now and again you hear a grumpy jazz-head complain about the Jazz Fest not really being about jazz anymore; and with main headliners including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole and Flo Rida, there’s a case to be made there. Yet on its big opening day, the festival has proven again that it is still a prime event for jazz listeners.




Mo’ Jazz At The Fest

Photo by Willow Haley.
Photo by Willow Haley.

The 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has reached its middle-point. And on its third day of music, the Jazz Tent turned out to be a highlight of the festival.

Festival goers gave a warm welcome to New Orleans’ own Herlin Riley, who brought home to the Crescent City a group of young cats particularly well-versed in the post-bop groovy style that New York city was crawling with in the 1960s.


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Boz Scaggs Rocks The Blues Tent

Photo by Kim Welsh.
Photo by Kim Welsh.

Guitarist, singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs has been recording and performing steadily since his debuts with the Steve Miller Band in the 1960s. And judging from his set under the Blues Tent on the second day of Jazz Fest, he doesn’t plan on slowing down.

Scaggs charmed the crowd early on with his mellow rendition of Willy Deville’s “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl,” only to switch gears and introduce a heavy road blues.


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