*Editor’s Note: While there are no travel restrictions to New Orleans due to the Covid-19, out of an abundance of caution and consideration for staff, vendors, performers, and guests, some of the events below have decided to postpone or cancel. Please check the event website for details and updated information.
March is such an interesting time of year in New Orleans. The winter holidays (each and every one of them) have passed but the spring hasn’t quite sprung yet. This year for New Orleanians, March will offer a much needed intermission between Carnival and festival season. Using our precious down time wisely, we plan on cozying up with a glass of wine at Bacchanal and listening to the free-flowing sounds of Nutria, or letting Miss Mojo jolt us into party mode with their soulful dance music, visiting the Jazz and Heritage Center for their Chanteuse series, or all of the above! No matter how you choose to spend your March (celebrating Women’s History Month like me), there is a show calling your name.
*Editor’s Note: The concerts scheduled for March 12-14 have been postponed.
The Jazz and Heritage Center is celebrating Women’s History Month by throwing a series of impeccably-casted shows beginning with New Orleans jazz legend Germaine Bazzle. The series, Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music, focuses on femme-identifying people at this critical time when “the lack of women in roles throughout the music industry has come to the forefront” like never before. Other performers will include the Lilli Lewis Project, Meschiya Lake, and Cyrille Aimée amongst others.
Keith Burnstein’s Kettle Black is a “double percussion discussion” that fans out the African and Cuban influences found in New Orleans music to create an entirely new pocket for the music. The group features Luke Quaranta from Toubab Krewe on percussion, Raja Kassis from Antibalas on guitar, and master drummer Michael Skinkus, who has worked extensively with the late Dr. John and The Radiators.
After features in two Spike Lee documentaries, one in HBO’s Treme, and a Grammy nomination, Hot 8 Brass Band is indelibly linked to the New Orleans’ brass band sound. The band, formed over 20 years ago, is a ten-piece funk-style brass band whose individual interests have weaved elements of contemporary R&B, rap, and bounce to create a wonderfully distinct and relevant catalogue of music.
Anytime a friend comes to visit, I have to take them to King James at the Saturn Bar on a Monday night. The first time I saw the Special Men was at BJ’s before their move to Saturn Bar. But no matter how many times the venue changes, the down and dirty Louisiana funk turned punk shows no signs of stopping.
Catch Cyrille Aimée not once but twice this month when she is the featured artist for the Petit Fleur sneak peek hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Improvisational and free jazz vocalist Aimée began her career busking on street corners in Europe and now she is a Grammy nominated artist named “one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation” by The Wall Street Journal.
After meeting while in school at Tulane University, the members of Miss Mojo took a few years to solidify and carve out their current R&B-influenced soul and dance music. The crooning and the belting delivered time after time by lead singers Jenna Winston and Piper Browne is supported with increasingly tight instrumentals. If you somehow manage not to dance at all (are you ill?), their music will energize you just simply listening to it.
*Editor’s Note: This concert has been cancelled.
Although she is the daughter of the acclaimed and beloved Neville Brothers, Charmaine Neville is a legend all on her own. Neville and her band – who play semi-regularly at Snug Harbor on Frenchmen Street – take the very best of New Orleans Blues, Jazz, and R&B and mix it together to create a musical legacy that is entirely hers. Join her for a very intimate performance and discussion at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. (But don’t rely on New Orleans time for this one – this engagement is only an hour long).
Named after the infamous swamp rat, Nutria performs their genre-bending instrumental music with an emphasis on collective improvisation. Their music explores jazz, chamber music, and traditional music of the African diaspora and Eastern Europe while working within the groove traditions of New Orleans jazz.
Low End Theory Players are a Hip-Hop tribute band featuring Derrick Smoker, Matt Peoples, Drew Meez, Khris Royal, Jermaine Quiz, James Martin, and likely many more guests throughout the night. This group only plays but a few times a year and when they do, they bring the house down. This time around, the group is covering songs by Outkast.
Rebirth is a New Orleans institution and has evolved from playing in the streets of the French Quarter into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their Grammy award winning signature sound. They still somehow always make it home for their Tuesday night gig at the Maple Leaf.