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French Quarter Fest Insider

The forecast calls for scattered showers today, but the show must go on. The French Quarter Fest will proceed rain or shine. However, for those not looking for the full-on Woodstock ’69 experience, there are also plenty of indoor activities including films and talks, and of course, lots of music. A listing follows.


Pres Hall

12:00-12:45 - NOLA Jazzz featuring Mari Watabnabe

1:00-1:45 - Maynard Chatters

2:00-2:45 - Calvin Johnson

3:00 - Jeffrey Hills and Survivor Brass Band


Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse

2:30-4:30 - Joe Past Tribute Band featuring Davy Mooney

5:00-7:30 - Colin Lake Band


Palm Court Jazz Cafe

12:00 - 12:45 - Michaela Harrison

1:00- 1:45 - Norbert Slama

2:00 - 2:45 - Joe Cabral Trio

3:00-4:00 - Barbera Shorts and Legends


St. Mary’s at the Ursulines Convenant

11:0012:15 - Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras

12:30-1:45 - Crescent City Brass Quintet

2:00-3:15 - Harpist Rachel Van Voorhees

3:30-4:45 - St. Louis Cathedral Young Organist in Residence Karoll Mossakowski


TimeCode: NOLA

Film Fest at Le Petit Theatre

11 a.m. This Cat Can Play Anything - a portrayal of the life and musical career of New Orleans banjo and guitar jazzman Emanuel 'Manny' Sayles. 


12 p.m. Louisiana Music Video Showcase - various music videos from such artists as Preservation Hall Band, the Bingo Show, Timothea and more. 


1:30 p.m. A Tribute to Toussaint - a concert documentary film celebrating the musical career of Allen Toussaint. 


3:00 p.m. Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans - a riveting tale of hope, heartbreak and resiliency set in New Orleans' most fascinating neighborhood. 


Let Them Talk

Lectures at the Old U.S. Mint

11:30 a.m. - The Multi-faceted Musical World of Carl LeBlanc - Guitarist and banjoist Carl LeBlanc has covered a lot of musical territory in his career - including significant tenures with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sun Ra Arkestra - and quality stops with Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, the Dirty Dozen, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, among others.  He's also led his own groups for many years - and made major contributions to music education in New Orleans and Louisiana. He'll talk about those various experiences with interviewer Fred Kasten


12:30 pm - The Magic of Cosimo Matassa - Roy Brown's "Good Rockin' Tonight," Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," Little Richard's "Tutti-Frutti," Shirley and Lee's "Let the Good Times Roll," Fats Domino's "Walkin' to New Orleans," Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise," Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-In-Law," and Robert Parker's "Barefootin'" are just a few of the classics recorded by engineer Cosimo Matassa in his several New Orleans studios over a 20 year run from the late 40s to late 60s - one of the great stretches in the history of  pop music.  Hall of Fame songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint; guitarist, vocalist and session man extraordinaire Deacon John; singer Gerri Hall of Huey Smith and the Clowns and Raelettes fame; and music historian and researcher John Broven explore what made Cosimo Matassa, who passed away last September at age 88, so great.


1:30 pm - Leaving Las Vegas - Singer Lena Prima was born in Las Vegas, grew up there and in New Orleans, two cities that were important to her father, the great Louis Prima. Lena established her performing career in Las Vegas, eventually creating a very popular show that paid tribute to her dad.  Then, in 2011, she decided to move back to New Orleans to work on finding her own voice, and creating some repertoire to express it.  The result: her widely acclaimed cd "Starting Something" - most of which she co-wrote with husband Tim Fahey and New Orleans singer/songwriter Ingrid Lucia.  She'll talk about her dad's legacy, and coming home to New Orleans, with music writer Keith Spera.


2:30 p.m. - They Called Him "Coach" - "Coach" was the nickname fondly conferred on great New Orleans saxophonist and bandleader Al Belletto by his musical colleagues for his wisdom and warmth in music, and life.  Al Belletto, who passed away last December at age 86, was a stalwart of modern jazz in New Orleans who led top-notch bands, including a benchmark sextet in the 1950s that toured nationally and made three acclaimed recordings for Capitol.  He also brought modern jazz to the French Quarter as music director for the Playboy Club in New Orleans - and played key roles in the creation of Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Festival. Four musical colleagues - Steve Giarratano, Rhodes Spedale, Rick Trolsen and John Vidacovich will discuss the life and legacy of Al Belletto with moderator Fred Kasten.


3:30 p.m. - A Duke and a Squirrel Nut Zipper - Trumpeter Duke Heitger tours the world playing classic jazz and swing with some of the best musicians on the planet.  He also has gold and platinum records for his studio work on the Squirrel Nut Zippers' 1996 recording Hot. A native of Toledo, Ohio - and son of a jazz clarinetist and bandleader - Duke Heitger has been based in New Orleans since the early 1990s.  When in town, he leads his Steamboat Stompers on the paddlewheeler Natchez and plays regularly at the Palm Court Jazz Café. He'll talk about his love of New Orleans and life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.


4:30 p.m. - Jo-El Sonnier and The Legacy - The Legacy is the title of accordion master and songwriter Jo-El Sonnier's 2014 recording that just won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album - and the legacy of Sonnier's Cajun culture and heritage is something he's returned to in his music time after time in a career that's also seen him have success in country music. A native of Rayne, Louisiana and accordion prodigy who first recorded when he was 11, Jo-El Sonnier will talk about his more than 50 year career in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

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Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


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Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

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