Jazz Fest: Catching Up with Joe Dyson

Since Joe Dyson was a teenager at NOCCA, he has been one of The Drummers Most Likely To …. He, Conun Pappas, and Max Moran made an impact right away as The Bridge Trio, and became players to watch when they performed an impromptu tribute to the NOCCA teacher and mentor Alvin Batiste at Jazz Fest on the day he died in 2007. They furthered their musical education playing with Donald Harrison Jr. during their stint in the Tipitina’s Intern Program, a program for which Harrison is artistic director.

Jazz Fest: Terrace Martin Was Just Getting Loose

Terrace Martin’s set felt like it was just getting started when he brought it to a close Thursday at Jazz Fest. He was finding his groove, and guests Nicholas Payton and Maurice Mo Betta Brown began playing with each other and briefly teased what could happen in the show’s second hour. Unfortunately, Martin was slated for a one hour show, leaving us to speculate about what could have been. 

Herbie Hits Home

Jazz, like light, changes every time you look at it. No one embodies this constant flux better than Herbie Hancock, who is still alive, well, and making moves at 77. Hancock graced the Orpheum with his superhuman stylings on Sunday, and the New Orleans jazz world looked on in awe.

Nicholas Payton Traces the Birth of Pop Culture Back to Satchmo

[Updated] Nicholas Payton has made himself an Internet creation. He certainly had an acclaimed career without the Interwebs, but he has adapted himself and his art well to its modes, preferences, and bricolage-like habits. He has become a brand, so that everything he says or does is an extension of #BlackAmericanMusic or #BAM.

Schedules and Highlights for the Second Weekend of Jazz Fest 2017

One of the pieces of news last Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell was how well the grounds held up to the morning rain. It’s hard to imagine we’ll be as lucky on Thursday after the overnight storm. If you’re not a Widespread Panic fan, it’s hard to see many reasons to face the soggy grounds on most Locals-Only Thursday lineup I can remember. We can hope that Herb Alpert will be more "Tijuana Taxi" than “Rise,” but I know where I’d bet my money.

Is Pete Fountain a Pop Culture Icon?

If you’re like me, Pete Fountain was someone you got the impression was a big deal, but it wasn’t clear why. He was a part of Bourbon Street’s heyday, but so were other less revered musicians. It didn’t help that he played traditional jazz, which is the New Orleans sound people under 50 had the least exposure to, so what made him special wasn’t immediately apparent.

Payton's Starting a Thunderclap

I don't get usually involved in genre-definition conversations, partly because when asked what they make, most musicians will say "music" instead of identifying a genre. Ultimately, it becomes a question of values as people decide what characteristics are crucial to a genre. When I was at OffBeat and Gambit, genre decisions got heated when it came time to decide what artist belongs in what category. What's Bonerama? Where does Anders belong?

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