Mark Hughes Brought Community Into Music Education at Lusher

On May 20, 2019 students, parents, and what seemed like every adult who’s known Mark Hughes in the past 20 years piled into the back lot of Pine Street and Willow Street for his last morning meeting, which was a tribute to his time at . The elementary school students excitedly buzzed in their homeroom lines, while adults crammed into any extra space around the perimeter.

Shorty, Nevilles Belatedly Pass the Torch at Jazz Fest

Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis introduced the festival-closing set by saying that three acts had closed the fest on what is now the Acura Stage—Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers, and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue—and that two of the three were coming up. There were a few other acts between Longhair’s death in 1980 and 1986 when the Neville Brothers took up residency in that spot, but the time slot has been associated with the Neville Brothers and Shorty for more than 30 years.

What's the Forecast for Tank and the Bangas' "Green Balloon"?

The NPR Tiny Desk Contest win has paid off for Tank and the Bangas. It’s a platform that doesn’t guarantee success, but it says something that the YouTube video of their Tiny Desk Concert/victory lap is easily the most viewed of those by the winners of NPR Music’s national unsigned artist talent search.

Jazz Fest: Shorty Honors the Nevilles

Trombone Shorty’s fest-closing set deserves to be the ritual that the Neville Brothers’ set used to be. The shows have been impressive, funky, and a lot of fun as he worked to justify occupying the slot, and each one has shown meaningful growth. He concluded this year’s Jazz Fest by using his songs as starting points for more expansive musical experiences.

Jazz Fest: Thursday's Best at the Fest and Clubs

The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell starts today with Locals Thursday. For the first time, locals actually get a discount on tickets—$50 down from $80 at the gate with no fees. Festgoers can get up to two locals tickets at ticket booths at the Fair Grounds with a Louisiana driver’s license, a Louisiana ID card, or college ID from a Louisiana institution if it has a photo on it.

Jazz Fest: Saturday's Best at the Fest and the Clubs

Saturday at Jazz Fest, Rod Stewart tags in for Aretha Franklin. I give Stewart credit for aging into the Great American Songbook--even if I don't want to hear him sing those songs--but when he last played Jazz Fest in 2007, he closed with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." That might be a question that the then-62 Stewart wondered in his heart of hearts, but making it his final statement/question to the audience made him seem desperate and shallow.

History's a Part of The Meters, Shorty's Jazz Fest Finales

The annual nature of Jazz Fest makes it a perfect time to reflect on how things have changed--not just how the festival or the grounds have changed, or which musicians are no longer with us, but how the acts themselves are different. The Meters’ set Sunday exists in relation to all the other Meters and permutations of Meters members’ shows that I’ve seen—jammy ones, pop ones, metal ones, blues ones, and always funky ones.

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