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NOMA (5 p.m.)
Michael Marshall Lectures
The Allways Lounge, (10 p.m.)
Local musician Thomas Johnson’s new project, Killer Whale, experiments with synthesizers, digital machines and electronic instruments
Blue Nile, (11 p.m.)
Renowned trombonist Winston Turner performs with his eight-member band on the Nile stage.
Siberia, (9 p.m.)
Georgia based band Jucifer, pioneers of sludge/doom metal
Gasa Gasa (9 p.m.)
With Freedom Speaks and Royal Bandits
House of Blues (8 p.m.)
Outlaw country superstar
Maple Leaf Bar (10:30 p.m.)
Trombonist Sammie Williams and friends
Oak Wine Bar (9 p.m.)
Soulful songstress performs in the Riverbend
Twelve Mile Limit (10 p.m.)
One Eyed Jacks, 9 p.m.
Paul Janeway leads the sextet from Alabama. Cover is $12.
Circle Bar, 10 p.m.
Indie rock quartet Yellow just released their latest album Cosmos in February
Casa Borrega (8 p.m.)
Local songwriters join forces on O.C. Haley
Saturn Bar (10 p.m.)
Makers of "snack rock" since 2011
Gasa Gasa (8 p.m.)
With the Belle Game and Starlight Girls
"Your Hood" (All Day)
NOLA Trash Mob asks litter abaters to spend a few minutes cleaning, and send before & after photos
House of Blues (9 p.m.)
Plus The Movement and Natural Vibrations
Congo Square (2 p.m.)
Every week in one of New Orleans’ most historic spots
Hot 8 Brass Band
Howlin’ Wolf Den (10pm)
Weekly gig from some of the city’s best in brass
Sunday Youth Music Workshop
All ages workshop with Johnny Vidacovich. Bring your instruments!
Cajun Fais Do Do
Bruce Daigrepont is playing the washboard and getting you to bed early
Krewe du Guza
Le Bon Temps Roule (10pm)
Sunday Funday weekly gig from the husband and wife duo
Joe Krown feat. Russell Batiste and Walter "Wolfman" Washington
Maple Leaf (10pm)
Weekly gig on Oak with Krown on the organ, Washington firing up the guitar strings, and Batiste on the drums.
Birdfoot Festival Brings Chamber Music to New Orleans
A chamber music festival has begun in New Orleans, but you should probably leave your tuxedos and evening gowns at home.
Between May 19 and May 25, the second annual Birdfoot Festival will be bringing to New Orleans live performances of some of the most celebrated chamber music ever written and presenting innovative programming in unexpected and easily accessible locales. Venues include Snug Harbor, the recently opened Little Gem Saloon, and Tulane University’s Dixon Hall. Featuring works ranging from Bach to Brahms, Mozart to Messiaen, and Ravel to Reich, this festival has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike.
There was once a time when classical concerts weren’t the formal, staid affairs many have come to expect today, with reticent patrons only applauding in accordance with some outdated rules of etiquette.
Take, for example, the premiere of Mozart’s “Paris” Symphony in 1778. In an ensuing letter to his father, the gifted composer spoke enthusiastically of the boisterous crowd in attendance: “Right in the middle of the First Allegro came a Passage that I knew would please, and the entire audience was sent into raptures...” The emphatic response was so affirmative that Mozart treated himself to some ice cream on his way home.
For Jenna Sherry, artistic director and contributing violinist for the Birdfoot Festival, her retelling of Mozart’s experience highlights the intimate bond between musician and audience and the problem with formality surrounding classical music performances.
“Does that sound like a classical music concert? If I applaud during concerts, I get glared at,” Sherry said with a laugh. “The term ‘classical music’ makes it sound like it belongs in a museum. And it doesn’t. It’s live. And never the same twice.”
“I want the performance experience to be a living thing.”
Though now a resident of the UK, New Orleans-born Sherry understands the power of live music in the city and the openness of local audiences to new and eclectic music. This is one of several reasons, Sherry explained, that she was so eager to establish a festival in her hometown. It also explains why Birdfoot will be offering its concerts in relaxed, atmospheric spaces typically occupied by jazz or blues bands. With crowds physically closer to the stage, and by presenting chamber music in a setting that may challenge listener expectations, Sherry hopes that audiences will be so engaged as to start asking questions about their relationship with the music and how the space and presentation of the music shapes their experience.
“In order for art to be alive and thriving in this age, it has to keep asking these questions,’ she said.
With less than two weeks of joint rehearsals, sixteen highly regarded musicians from across the globe will be presenting the evocative chamber works. Included in this company is acclaimed British pianist Danny Driver, who performed just last March with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and has a long association with New Orleans. Also featured is Borromeo String Quartet violinist Kristopher Tong and Israeli clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.
On Sunday, May 19 at 5:30 pm Birdfoot will be granting access to an open rehearsal at Madewood Plantation House in Napoleonville, followed by a big-ticket dinner with the musicians featuring the cuisine of Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon, 2011 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: South award.
Back in New Orleans on Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 pm is “Birdfoot Backstage with WWNO 89.9 and Gwen Thompkins” at the Jewish Community Center in Uptown. This event will feature the host of Music Inside Out engaging in a discussion with performers about their craft and insights about their relationship with music. This will be taped live for a later broadcast on WWNO. Admission is free, though reservations are highly recommended.
For additional information on this and upcoming events in New Orleans, visit the Birdfoot website or call 504-451-6578. Also stick with the NOLA Defender for previews of upcoming Birdfoot events.
Sunday, May 19: A Musical Feast, Madewood Plantation House, 5:30pm-9pm
Tuesday, May 21: Birdfoot Backstage with WWNO 89.9FM, Jewish Community Center, 7:30pm
Thursday, May 23: Night Train at Snug Harbor, 8pm & 10pm
Friday, May 24: Salon at the Little Gem, 8pm
Saturday, May 25: Final Gala Concert, Tulane's Dixon Hall, 8pm
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Mary Kilpatrick, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
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