*Editor’s Note: Katie Sikora is GoNOLA’s music expert, covering both emerging and established musicians in New Orleans.
August in New Orleans – it’s still very much summertime, but things are slowing down before fall festival season kicks into high gear come October. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of live music shows to keep you occupied until then. Our roundup features off-the-radar performances, ones that you’d only know about from checking our lineup. If you’re looking for something fresh in a city rooted three centuries deep in music, do yourself a favor and check out one of these acts during the month of August. You won’t regret it.
New Orleans Live Music Roundup: August
Gillet is a Belgian cellist, improviser, composer, and singer who has graced New Orleans since moving here. The last time I walked into her show, there was a man walking out with a giant smile on his face, shaking his head and saying “What did I just watch?”
August 3: Jon Bauer Project at 30/90 on Frenchmen Street at 5 p.m.
Taking a quick break from his role in the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, trumpeter Jonathan Bauer presents his new side project featuring fellow cats from around the city.
August 3: Sweet Crude at Gasa Gasa at 9 p.m.
You haven’t seen Sweet Crude yet? What are you doing? The self-described drum pop Louisianais group kicks off their August tour for all of us right here at home.
They call themselves the greatest yacht rock band on the planet and I cannot disagree. But what is yacht rock, you ask? A derivative of soft rock associated with the sounds of California, Where Y’acht brings the beach party to New Orleans all year round.
Summer Serenade, a monthly femme-focused songwriter series will be featuring Dominique LeJeune of The Chevrettes, Dusky Waters, and Kathryn Rose Wood.
Made up of Tulane graduates, Miss Mojo brings the funk to their pop-soul infused shows. If this show doesn’t make you want to dance like there is no one watching, there is something wrong.
August 10: Cole Williams Band at Buffa’s at 6 p.m.
Williams has proclaimed herself the punk-empress of African Rock and is a force to be reckoned with. One email correspondence I had wither a few years back left me in a dust that only made me want to work with her even more.
Since I know you have attended all of the shows I have listed so far, if you liked what you saw when the Jon Bauer Project blew your mind, drop what you’re doing and go see an even larger portion of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra bring down the house with the NOJO 7.
August 12: Aurora Nealand // Kristina Morales // Pat Casey at the Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street at 2 p.m. // 6 p.m. // 10 p.m.
If you’re feeling lazy on a Sunday afternoon, you’re in luck. Just crawl yourself and your hangover down to the Spotted Cat and post up for an epic triple-header.
Loose Willis’ “jazz but not” features notes of pop, hip-hop, and occasionally a televised synchronized drummer via a VHS tape. And that’s just the opener. Maggie Belle Band, headed by—you guessed it—vocalist and musician Maggie Belle combines R&B, funk, soul, and blues into a sound like no other.
August 16: Deltaphonic at dba on Frenchmen Street at 10 p.m.
Deltaphonic, a three-piece turned duo, represents “all the music that floats together down the Mississippi River and ends up in New Orleans” and are gaining traction. The band played their first French Quarter Fest this year.
August 17: Kathryn Rose Wood at NOMA at 5:30 p.m.
Formerly of New Orleans bands Social Set and Gravy Flavored Kisses, Wood has been called one of “New Orleans most prominent young singer/songwriters” by The Vinyl District and was named American Songwriter Magazine’s pick as a songwriting “Daily Discovery.”
August 18: Midriff at Gasa Gasa at 10 p.m.
I met these guys when they were still known at Next Level Midriff. And although they have dropped the first two descriptors from their name, they are only delivering more and more of their incomparable psych folk rock.
August 19: Marina Orchestra at One Eyed Jacks at 9 p.m.
If you liked the Where Y’acht show on August 4, you absolutely cannot miss Marina Orchestra and their rock n’ roll soaked in tropical sunny vibes. Besides that, they have shared stages with Rusted Root, Future Islands, and Peelander Z and have even played at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
August 20: King James and the Specialmen at Saturn Bar at 10 p.m.
Anytime a friend comes to visit me, I have to take them to King James at the Saturn Bar on Monday nights. The first time I saw the Specialmen was at BJ’s before their move to Sidney’s…before their move to Saturn Bar. But no matter how many venue changes we have seen and may see in the future, the party show no signs of slowing down.
August 22: James Singleton and Aurora Nealand at Sidebar at 9 p.m.
While both Singleton and Nealand have backgrounds (and can blow your mind) in classical jazz, their side projects like Nealand’s Royal Roses are where it’s at. Now the two of them are combining forces for a one of a kind duo at Sidebar.
Tipitina’s has solved the common ailment of Friday night boredom with free shows all throughout the summer. Naughty Professor contributes to your recovery before they head out on tour this fall.
August 25: Pink Room Project at Hi-Ho Lounge at 11 p.m.
You have probably begun to hear rumblings of The Pink Room Project and their musical innovation within the last year. A DIY music collective featuring musicians, visual artists, videographers, DJs, and producers, my first introduction to them was at this year’s BUKU Music + Art Project where they took over the Front Yard for hours.
August 26: Anuraag Pendyal at Dragon’s Den at 7 p.m.
He’s weird, he’s high energy, and he knows his stuff. Pendyal’s music, while holding onto its early jazz and swing influences, will have you grooving all night long.
Underneath their “genre” heading on Facebook are the words, “we literally play everything.” Only now they are literally playing everything every Wednesday night at the New Orleans Jazz Market.