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Defender Picks


Today in New Orleans 7.7.13

Though many will be waiting with baited breaths for Beyonce to grace the ESSENCE mainstage, the rest of us will need something to do. From getting your church on at the ESSENCE Empowerment All Star Gospel Tribute to Tramaine Hawkins and Donnie McClurkin, or later tonight with CHURCH at the Dragon’s Den. On this day in 1912, the Grabow ‘Lumber War’ shootout left 37 wounded and 3 dead. Now, more to do this Sunday.

NOLA Native Luke James to Tour with Beyonce

Many feared the Super Bowl blackout would sully New Orleans’ national reputation, but it appears Beyoncé still trusts the locals to put on a good show. The Queen has chosen St. Aug alumn Luke James to join her on her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in Europe, set to kick off Wednesday, April 24, in Paris, France.

Audubon Zoo Welcomes Luke James to 10th Soul Fest

Get ready to slide into the soulful culture of New Orleans’ rich heritage at the Audubon Zoo this weekend at the 10th Annual Soul Fest. In this celebration of African American culture, attendees will enjoy two days of live performances by local jazz, R&B, and gospel artists, Greek Stomp shows, and some of the best soul food in the city. Of course, Audubon's incredible animal exhibits will stay open throughout the fest. 

NoDef Nods: Music

New Orleans Sounds of 2012 and A Look Ahead to 2013

The year in New Orleans music was full of Grammys, viral videos and unfortunate losses. It all adds up to a historically insular music scene on the verge of getting the national recognition it's always deserved. We look back at 2012 and look ahead to 2013:

NOLA Native Luke James Stars on NBC's Real Music Live

Another New Orleans-born star is on the rise, but you won’t find Luke James with a trumpet or a trombone. The pop and R&B singer has already opened for Beyonce, and he’s written songs for the likes of Justin Bieber and good old Britney Spears. Now, he’s featured on NBC’s new show Real Music Live. Here’s the video, his performance begins about three minutes into the thirty minute episode.

Music Made to Love

Audio Filé: An Interview with Luke James

Today, we return to the headphones once again. Aura Fedora of local podcast Backstage on the Bayou catches up with a New Orleans R&B singer you may not have heard yet. But, you will. Mercury Records artist Luke James talks about coming up in the Crescent City, guesting on a Beyonce video and touring with Robin Thicke.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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Michael Weber, B.A.


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Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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