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Civic Theatre, 5PM
Fashion shows for the gulf region's top designers
Spanish Plaza, 5:30PM
40 chefs compete for top taco prize
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Bob Malone
Local artists celebrate each other in their work
The Courtyard Brewery, 6PM
To benefit the Friends of New Orleans Public Library
Blue Nile, 7PM
Folksy local singer-songwriter
Big Easy 'Bucha, 7PM
Worship and yoga in one
The Orpheum Theater, 7:30PM
Music of the Beatles
Hi-Ho Lounge, 8PM
A night of angelic sounds
Bar Redux, 8PM
NOLA funk, trad and electric blues
Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
Red Bean hosted stand-up show
Chickie Wah Wah, 8PM
Papa grows funk and so much more
Saturn Bar, 9PM
Café Negril, 9:30PM
All genres of NOLA music fused
Le Bon Temps, 11PM
6th Ward brass mixes funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop
LIFE Yoga, 7AM
An intro course from Zen teacher Thich Thien Tri
Adler's New Orleans, 11AM
Hollywood legend signs copies of 'I Loved Her in the Movies'
Marriot Convention Center, 6:30PM
Day one of the inaugural Bourbon Fest
The Broad Theater, 7PM
Short film showcase
Blue Nile 7:30PM
Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen
House of Blues, 8PM
Hebrew hip hop
Cafe Istanbul, 8PM
Preview of Merman's new show "Bad Heroine!"
Joy Theater, 8:30PM
Celtic punk, feat. Skinny Lister
One Eyed Jacks, 9PM
Artist mixer before Saturday's Edwardian Ball
Maple Leaf Bar, 10PM
Chapter Soul hosts a Kanye West dance party
Bar Redux, 10PM
All-British dance party
Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM
Party like it's 1999
Crescent Park, 10AM
Eat to benefit LA/SPCA
Fair Grounds, 12PM
Family day at the grounds
The Yum Yum, 6PM
NPR faves come home from tour
St. Mark's Church, 6PM
Caravan Cinema screens this Natasha Lyonne comedy
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
Feat. Fantasia and Johnny Gill
The Saenger Theatre, 7PM
Comedy superstar brings his "Total Blackout" tour to NOLA
House of Blues, 7PM
80s vs. 90s - decades collide
One Eyed Jack's, 8PM
FdT stages "Alice in Wonderland"
The Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
NOLA's underground art show, plus free pancakes
The Willow, 9PM
Masquerade ball with live music
The Circle Bar, 10PM
Sweat to the oldies with DJ Matty
Le Bon Temps Roule, 11PM
Free show to move and groove
Howlin' Wolf, 12PM
Over a dozen NOLA spots offer their best bloodies, plus food
Magnolia Yoga Studio, 1PM
Free female-led discussion and open house
Playmakers Theater, 2PM
Final staging of drama about painter Mark Rothko
Maple Leaf Bar, 3PM
5th annual boil commemorating the life of the beloved chef and musician
Woonderland Production Studios, 3PM
Live music, drinks, water slides, more
Audubon Park, 5PM
LPO Woodwind Quintet performs
Local trad jazz masters
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 6PM
Bring games, or join one at the store
Howlin’ Wolf Den, 10PM
Mix of brass standards and funky covers
Spotted Cat, 10PM
Boundary pushing fusion jazz
Maple Leaf, 10PM
Krown on the B3 with Russell Batiste and Walter “Wolfman” Washington
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
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz