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GoNOLA Guide to Live Music in New Orleans in June

Aaron Benjamin
Aaron Benjamin performs at Tipitina's. (Photo: Katie Sikora)

It’s summertime in New Orleans, and that means things slow down for us. It also means there’s more time to do the things you love, like listening to live music. Start the month off with none other than The Crooked Vines, whose original high-energy compositions will you have dancing all night long. Get a taste of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with the NOJO 7, attend Aaron Benjamin’s rock show, and experience what happens when Arabic and English come together to create music not often heard, even in New Orleans.

June 1: The Crooked Vines at the Maple Leaf at 11 p.m.

The Crooked Vines is a funk-pop collective that brings exciting funk-fueled jams to the stage. Their heavy-hitting energy sustains and tastefully dips into spacey pleasure throughout their shows bringing a new sound to life.

Aaron Benjamin performs at Tipitina’s. (Photo: Katie Sikora)

June 7: Aaron Benjamin at Tipitina’s Free Fridays at 10 p.m.

Aaron Benjamin’s original music is a brilliant melding of the young musician’s tastes and musical memories. Prince and Elton John as well as locals like Tank and The Bangas are at the top of his list, but Benjamin’s distinctive voice is entirely his own. With an ability to craft his stories through song, he invites his audience to feel what he has felt while rocking out at the shows he puts on.

June 8: NOJO 7 at Three Keys at 9:30 p.m.

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s NOJO 7 is a small ensemble that focuses on brassy contemporary compositions and progressive, cross-genre collaborations. Get the talent and musicianship that is the jazz orchestra in the intimate setting of a small, dark jazz club.

Alexis and the Samurai perform at d.b.a. (Photo: Katie Sikora)

June 13: Alexis and the Samurai at d.b.a. at 7 p.m.

Started by Sam Craft and Alexis Marceaux in 2011, Alexis and the Samurai is the haunting yet percussive duo that led to local musical favorite Sweet Crude. Both musicians sing and play drums and percussion–but look away for a moment and suddenly Craft is playing violin or a piano (or both) and Marceaux has taken up her guitar. While they both appreciate genre descriptors of their music like pop and Americana, their ongoing goal is to push the envelope with their music in order to show the world just how diverse the music of New Orleans can be.

June 21: Kuwaisiana at Gasa Gasa at 10 p.m.

I had been seeing posters and stickers for Kuwaisiana around the city for some time now, but it wasn’t until recently while working at Festival International de Louisiane in Lafayette that I got the chance to see them live. With songs in Arabic and English, KUWAISIANA is an indie rock band based in New Orleans. The six-piece is led by Kuwaiti songwriter +Aziz who works with the group to produce a danceable big band sound with a world music influence.

June 27: Andrew Duhon at d.b.a. at 7 p.m.

Andrew Duhon is a songwriter from New Orleans, a storyteller with an undeniable voice that is both weighted and soulful. Duhon has released three recordings, the latest of which, ‘The Moorings’, was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for ‘Best Engineered Album.’  He has toured solo for much of his career, and that troubadour element is certainly present with an usher of modern day folklore.

Julie Odell performs at Siberia. (Photo: Katie Sikora)

June 28: Biglemoi with Julie Odell at One Eyed Jacks at 10 p.m.

Biglemoi’s name comes from a fantastical dance which, if performed properly, creates an atmosphere of flowing energy that causes your limbs to grow and encourages others to join in dance. The band members’ diverse birthplaces adds a welcome variety of both personal and cultural influences to their music. Biglemoi feels like a healthy mix of all the best rock and roll ingredients.

Katie Sikora graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Visual Journalism and worked as Photo Editor at The Peninsula Pulse in Door County, Wis., Media Strategist for Levy Restaurants in Chicago, Ill., and an Archivist at The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, La. before pursuing her namesake photography business shooting everything from shark tagging research to vodou ceremonies and—you guessed it—weddings! Her photographs have been published by The Chicago Sun-Times, Gambit, The Times-Picayune, RedEye Chicago, The New Orleans Advocate, Houseshow Magazine, Antigravity Magazine, In The Bite Magazine, Thrillist, CBS Chicago, NBC Chicago, and the World Wildlife Fund amongst others. She is the creator and director of The Sexism Project, an ongoing portrait and interview series featuring the stories of real women in real industries experiencing real sexism.

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