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THE

Defender Picks

 

LUNDI

August 21st

Solar Eclipse Paddle

Canoe and Trail Adventures, 10:30AM

Explore the swamps and bayou during the eclipse

 

Energy Clearing Class

Swan River Yoga Mandir, 7:30PM

Solar eclipse reiki course to clear your self

 

Monday Night Massacre

Rare Form, 8PM

Feat. Phantom of Paradise and Cannibal The Musical

 

Betty Who

Republic NOLA, 9PM

90's tinged Aussie artist, feat. Geographer

 

Knockout

The New Movement, 9:30PM

Battle of the funniest 

 

Instant Opus

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM

Feat. Eric Bloom, Russell Batiste, David Torkanowsky, Chris Severin

MARDI

August 22nd

Murder Ballads

Euclid Records, 5PM

Book signing with Dan Auerbach and Gabe Soria

 

DIY Fermented Foods

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Fermented dairies, like kefire, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, and more

 

Stanton Moore Trio

Snug Harbor, 8PM

Galactic drummer's side project

 

Water Seed

Blue Nile, 9PM

Future funk stars

 

Treme Brass Band

d.b.a., 9PM

See the legendary band on their home turf

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Maple Leaf, 10PM

2 sets by the Grammy-winning brass band

 

Smoking Time Jazz Club

Spotted Cat, 10PM

Trad jazz masters

 
 

MERCREDI

August 23rd

Wine Down Wednesdays

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6:30PM

Free yogalates at the Mint

 

The Heart of Herbalism

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Syrups and immune health

 

Trapper Keeper

Side Bar, 8:30PM

Local improv music duo, feat. Dr. Jeff Albert

 

Trainspotting

Bar Redux, 9PM

Free screening of junkie masterpiece

 

Chris & Tami

The New Movement, 9:30PM

TNM's founders perform weekly free show

 

Vixens & Vinyl

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

Burlesque dance party

JEUDI

August 24th

Summertime Blues

Shops at Canal Place, 5:30PM

Young professionals meet-up with blues, brews, and BBQ

 

Architecture & Design Film Festival Kick-Off

Contemporary Arts Center, 5:30PM

Opening night party and film

 

Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Sweet Olive String Band

 

Ambush Reggae Band

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Local roots reggae group

 

Royal Teeth

Tipitina's, 9PM

Feat. Merci Raines and No True Scotsman

VENDREDI

August 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5PM

Feat. The Pfister Sisters

 

Exotic Races

Fair Grounds, 5PM

Races feat. ostriches and camels

 

More Lovely and More Temperate

Valiant Theatre and Lounge, 6PM

Performance of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets

 

Lil' WeezyAna Fest

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Gucci Man, Rich the Kid, Kodie Shane, YoungBoy NBA, and Lil Wayne

 

Little Maker & Mr. Universe

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Feat. special tribute to The Band

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Prytania Theatre, 12AM

Feat. NOLA's foremost shadow cast The Well-Hung Speakers

SAMEDI

August 26th

It's About TIME

Studio Be, 6PM

Artist conversation about oppression via symbols like the monuments

 

New Pride Pageant

Cafe Istanbul, 6PM

Honoring Mr & Miss New Orleans Pride 2017

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

SuperDome, 7PM

The Saints and Texans go head to head

 

Rick & Morty Marathon

Bar Redux, 9PM

Outdoor binge session for Dan Harmon's animated series

 

Swamp Motel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Album release party for Louisiana rockers

 

Vox & The Hound

One Eyed Jacks, 10PM

Pop group, feat. psych band Midriff and Naughty Palace


NoDef Nods: Classical Arts

10 Best New Orleans Orchestral and Chamber Performances of 2013



2013 was a tremendous year for the New Orleans classical arts scene, accentuated by outstanding achievements from individuals and smaller groups. Here are the top 10 performances from 2013:

 

1. Copland’s Clarinet Concerto – On February 21, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra found themselves in quite a pinch. On their Thursday night program was Aaron Copland’s 17-minute concerto requiring skills of a clarinet virtuoso, and the LPO’s guest soloist had fallen suddenly and violently ill. During their emergency intermission, the orchestra’s own 21-year clarinetist Chris Pell courageously stepped forward and volunteered to perform the piece without having practiced a single note. Violist Matt Carrington summed it up best: “It’s every orchestral musician’s dream to sort of step up and save the day and be in the limelight—and music-making captures the feeling of music when it can be so spontaneous and impromptu.” The hall filled with nervous energy, the LPO and audience connected in a way not seen before or since. Pell performed the piece flawlessly and brought the house down. With leaping ovations, ecstatic hollering, and conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto thrusting his fists in the air, the last-minute concerto was akin to a sporting event, and high point of classical arts concerts this year.

 

2. Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time – On May 24, Birdfoot Festival had already wowed audiences at the Little Gem Saloon with chamber works by György Kurtág and Fauré before presenting the centerpiece of the festival and finest classical performance of the year: Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time.” Featuring former New Orleans resident and piano virtuoso Danny Driver and showcasing clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, the quartet’s interpretation of the masterwork had an obvious affect on audiences. Rarely have classical listeners been seen more quiet and attentive, and their reactions ran the gamut from teary-eyed to solemn to blissful. The performance generated one of the longest-running standing ovations of the year, and it continues to be one of the most talked about Birdfoot pieces of 2013.

 

3. Britten Violin Concerto – It was a good year to be living in New Orleans for fans of Benjamin Britten. While there were centennial celebrations around the world, the LPO made New Orleans one of a handful of American cities that offered a complete program of the British composer’s music on his birthday. The highlight of the November 22 concert was a performance of “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra,” featuring Karen Gomyo soloing on the demanding work. Conducted by Maestro Prieto, the LPO offered a sturdy foundation for Gomyo’s impressive playing. Once concluded, a smiling Prieto offered Gomyo a bouquet of flowers and she was called back onto the stage three times. During intermission, concertgoers were abuzz, many having heard the piece for the first time that evening, and reveling in newfound interest in the composer.

 

4. Noah’s Flood – A week prior to Britten’s birthday, the New Orleans Opera Association offered their take on the worldwide centennial, presenting the composer’s short opera Noye’s Fludde to packed houses at Trinity Episcopal Church. Using both expert and amateur performers, operagoers got to experience something sincere and unique—an expertly performed work that brought together musicians and singers of all ages from throughout the community. In addition to demonstrating the brilliance of Britten and showcasing the expressive bass of Arthur Woodley and mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood, the opera was fun and made for an enchanting evening.

 

5. Vespers of 1610 – The sleeper hit that ended the year was Marigny Opera House’s mid-December production of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. Combining the talents of the intrepid New Resonance Orchestra (conducted by Francis Scully), 13 singers (led by gifted soprano Mattea Musso), and nine dancers (choreographed and directed by Diogo de Lima), the masterwork of early music came to life in the Marigny to sold-out crowds. If the performance proved anything, it was that the classical arts aren’t just for the time-honored organizations in the city. New Orleans has much to look forward to as the Church of the Arts continues its ambitious programming into the next year with multiple dance performances and New Resonance’s spring premiere of a song cycle by local composer Tucker Fuller.

 

6. Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 – November 12 marked an awkward moment in the classical arts community, when two world famous string quartets performed shows at the same time in different venues. The CAC presented Kronos Quartet while Friends of Music hosted Pacifica Quartet at Dixon Hall at Tulane University. Concertgoers who chose the latter program were fortunate to hear one of the best Crescent City performances of the year as Pacifica offered a flawless rendition of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor. The Russian composer’s oeuvre, especially the exacting chamber pieces, are not easy to pull off, and Pacifica progressed confidently from one movement to another with great fluidity and expertise.

 

7. Frank Bridge’s Lament for Two Violas – In October, Musaica Chamber Ensemble’s first program of their eighth season began with a magnificent execution of Frank Bridge’s Lament for Two Violas, featuring local musicians Bruce Owen and Ila Rondeau. Bridge was a British composer who was perhaps most famous for mentoring Benjamin Britten. His work for two violas showcases how much he would influence young Britten. The duet soared under the capable hands of Owen and Rondeau, showing just how moving the viola can be.

 

8. Britten's Phantasy Quartet – The final concert of this year’s Birdfoot Festival was slightly different from the first two nights, being presented with a little more formality and more distance between the performers and audience. This did not affect the performances, however, with two works marking some of the best of the festival and 2013. Their rendition of “Phantasy Quartet,” was one of the first Britten pieces performed this year, highlighting the composer’s range but also local oboist Jaren Philleo’s virtuosic abilities.

 

9. Ravel’s Piano Trio – Featuring Danny Driver again on piano, Birdfoot artistic director and violinist Jenna Sherry, and cellist Calab van der Swaagh, the performance of the impressionistic work by French master Maurice Ravel, left many in their seats silently swaying with their eyes shut. Passionately moving as they performed, it appeared that all three musicians became one with the music. When they finished, an older woman sitting in the back could barely contain her enthusiasm, screaming “Bravo!” which kicked off the standing ovation from the rest of the audience. If Birdfoot is able to generate the same enthusiasm in 2014 as they did this year, chamber music lovers will have much to look forward to.

 

10. Barber’s Violin Concerto – Opening their current 2013-14 season, the LPO was joined by master violinist Gil Shaham for an expert performance of Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. The performance was a fine example of what audiences could expect from the new season: the LPO in fine form, presenting a version of a work that audiences may not be too familiar with, and doing so with grace and élan. Attendees were so moved after each movement, they burst into applause, despite tradition prohibiting such action. A standing ovation ended the performance, and Maestro Prieto insisted that the soloist do an encore, starting a tradition of his own for the next several concerts.

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Contributors

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

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily