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Defender Picks



No Strings Attached — Giant Puppet Festival Returns For 5th Year

This week, musicians and cinemaphiles won't be the only folks celebrating their art in New Orleans on the stage. The annual Giant Puppet Festival will return for its fifth year to delight and amuse patrons of all ages. This year, instead of occurring on two consecutive weekends, the fest will run continuously from Wednesday (4.19) to Sunday (4.23). 2017 brings even more action as the festivities have been extended to two fabulous venues in the Marigny. The Mudlark Theatre, owned by the fest's founder Pandora Gasteulm, will play home base to the program. Joining in on this year's fun is The Fortress of Lushington, a boutique performance space in the same neighborhood.  

Naughty Professor Announces New Album Release and Tour Dates

After teasing fans with the release of a single last fall, New Orleans-based band Naughty Professor announced their long-anticipated new album Identity, to be released on June 23. Listen to their lead singles “Stray” and “Darker Daze,” and check out tour dates below. 

Outlaw Music Festival to Kick Off in New Orleans

For its second annual outing, the Outlaw Music Festival will swing by New Orleans this summer on the first stop of a six-date tour across the country. The New Orleans show will take place July 1 at Shrine On Airline, the Metairie home to the New Orleans Baby Cakes. 


NOLA Photographer a Pulitzer Prize Finalist

On Monday (4.10), local photographer Jonathan Bachman was announced as a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. Bachman was nominated in the category of Breaking News Photography for an image he took during the July 2016 protests in Baton Rouge. 

AIA Kicks Off First Ever Architecture Week New Orleans

Ask any New Orleanian, and they will tell you countless of facts or tales about this city's iconic architecture, influenced by the many distinct cultures that built and shaped its landscape. From the French & Spanish flourishes in the Quarter to the postmodern designs of the CBD. From the mansion row of St. Charles Ave to the creole cottages and shotgun houses of the residential neighborhoods all over town. On the near-300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans, The American Institute of Architects local chapter kicks off the inaugural Architecture Week New Orleans. Running April 10-13, the four-day fest is programmed to feature a variety of lectures, design-focused tours, panels, and arts competitions. 

Cinema File

French Quarter Fest's Film Lineup

This week, the four-day French Quarter Fest takes over the Vieux Carré to share the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world. New to the FQF family this year is Cinema on the Bayou, a film organization working in tandem with the fest's organizers to present the Whitney Bank Film Festival, a curated selection of music-driven movies.


Renée Zellweger & Others to Be Honored at LIFF

Global filmmakers and Hollywood stars will attend the Louisiana International Film Festival & Mentorship Program occuring April 20-23. The LIFF team announced Thursday (4.6) that movie star Renée Zellweger, legendary musician Clarence Fountain, and Academy Award-nominated producer/writer/director Leslie Iwerks will be among those honored at the fifth annual festival. 

Tank and the Bangas Announce NPR Tour Dates

Tank and the Bangas announced on Wednesday (4.5) the cities they'll drop by on their NPR Tiny Desk tour, presented by Lagunitas Brewing Company. Last month, National Public Radio (NPR) announced the local NOLA band to be the winner of their annual Tiny Desk Contest, which sources artists from across the country to select the top talent in the current music scene. 

Time Is On Her Side

Irma Thomas Returns to French Quarter Fest

New Orleans continues to hail royalty long after Mardi Gras is over. Irma Thomas, the New Orleans Queen of Soul, will once again grace the stage of the French Quarter Fest presented by Chevron. Thomas' set will be one more jewel in a crown that she has worn with dignity for decades. 

Wynton Marsalis and Jon Batiste Talk Arts in Trump's America

Wynton Marsalis, scion of the legendary New Orleans music dynasty, went on CBS This Morning on Tuesday (4.4) to discuss efforts to celebrate jazz music and arts education in an uncertain political climate in America. Marsalis was joined by Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste to discuss their collaborative new album "The Music of John Lewis," a tribute album to the legendary jazz pianist and composer who also acted as Marsalis's mentor. 

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