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Anders Osborne Kicks off Wed. at the Square 2013

Tonight, enjoy the brisk March evening at the first Wednesday at the Square of the year. Anders Osborne and the Colin Lake band are kicking off the annual Lafayette Square concert series, and proceeds from the free show's food and beverage sales go towards the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans.


YLC took over the event seven years ago, and Director Curry Smith said Wednesdays at the Square continues to be the nonprofit’s “biggest single source of revenue years after year.”


They’re adding an extra half hour this year, so guests can hang out until 8pm.


“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone out there,” said Smith.


Skip dinner and spend some tickets on grub from dozens of local vendors and Abita beer. Proceeds fund eight different community service projects, some dealing with recreation, some with career planning.


“We have one [program] called Power Ties. It’s a New Orleans outreach partnership focused on eighth grade students,” said Smith. “Different professionals from different backgrounds, lawyers, doctors, nonprofit directors come talk to the kids,” said Smith. “[We want them] to get a little better handle on, ‘you say you want to be a doctor, not only do you have to do well in high school, you have to do well in college. It’s a long process,’” Smith explained.


YLC also has partnerships with NORD,  a program called “Where Ya Rack,” that fosters bike use in the city, and more initiatives around the city. 


YLC also partnered with Warren Easton and the International High School in a program geared towards getting New Orleans kids into college.


“Volunteers are very committed,” said Smith. “Almost 100 percent of [kids in the program] are going to be first generation college attendees.”


Not only does the event support the greater New Orleans community, it gives local artists a chance to showcase and sell their work. Lafayette Square is the perfect setting, whether you’re looking to dance or just park yourself on a blanket.  Every Wednesday until May 22, enjoy the lineup featuring Marcia Ball, Irvin Mayfield, The Revivalists, The Meters, Dumpstaphunk, and many more. 


Here's the full schedule of performers:


March 6 Anders Osborne, Colin Lake Band

March 13 Bucktown All-Stars, Park Row

March 20 Col. Bruce Hampton, Andrew Duhon
March 27 Marcia Ball, Jenn Howard
April 3 Irvin Mayfield and the Jazz Playhouse Revue with Special Guest Kermit Ruffins, The New Orleans Jazz Institute's Saturday Music School
April 10 Mother Hips, Jon Roniger
April 17 The Revivalists, Disco Demolition Knights
April 24 Eric McFadden with Bernie Worrell, Luther Dickinson, Eric Bolivar and Robert Mercurio; Dave Jordan Band
May 1 The Meters Experience f. Leo Nocentelli, Chris Mule & The Perpetrators
May 8 Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Mahayla
May 15 Billy Iuso's Restless Natives, N'awlins Johnnys
May 22 Season Finale (TBA), Westbank Mike


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