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THE

Defender Picks

 

Vendredi

June 23rd

Silk Screening Workshop

NOPL Youth Services, 2PM

Learn the ins and outs, ages 12-17

 

¡Que Calor!

Parleaux Beer Lab, 4PM

BBQ + Beer

 

Marvel Universe LIVE!

Smoothie King Center, 7PM

Defending the universe against evil, of course

 

Redemption Family

Vintage Arts Center, 7PM
Celebrating the release of their newest album

 

Summer Solstice 2017

New Orleans Ballet Theatre, 8PM

The Dancers of NOLA in new light

 

Nick Name & The Valmonts

Banks St. Bar, 9:30PM

Plus Swingin Doors and Trash Night

 

Naughty Professor 

Tipitina's, 10PM

Album release party with a free concert at Tip's


Sam Price & The True Believers

Blue Nile, 10PM

With special guest, Robin Clabby

 

The Horrorist

Poor Boys Bar, 10PM

Plus Caffetine + DJ Mange

 

SPEKTRUM

Techno Club, 10PM

A special edition of Disco Devils

 

Samedi

June 24th

Arts Market

Palmer Park, 10AM

June edition of the monthly market

 

Maw Maw’s Brew Release

Brieux Carre, 11AM

Proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association

 

Cajun Zydeco Festival

Louis Armstrong Park, 1130AM

An ever growing collection of great artists

 

Veggie Growing Basics

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Learn to grow veggies for cheap

 

Art & Flea Showcase

Sidney’s Saloon, 4PM

Art and goods for show and sale

 

NOLA Caribbean Festival

Central City BBQ, 5PM

Admiring the deep roots of the city

 

Island Vibes

14 Parishes, 11PM

Official Caribbean Fest after party

 

Mike Dillion Band

d.b.a., 11PM

Some vibraphone, some rants

DIMANCHE

June 25th

THINK DEEP

The Drifter, 12PM

Ft. Javier Drada, Tristan Dufrene, Otto

 

The Tangiers Combo

Bacchanal, 12PM

A mid-afternoon match made in heaven

 

Gentilly Stompers

Bamboulas, 1PM

Get jazzy with it

 

Book Signing

Garden District Book Shop, 2PM

Tanisha Jones, Mark of The Fallen

 

Moonshine Taste

Three Keys, 7PM

A POC Cabaret Series

 

Guy Fieri’s Rockin Road Show

Tips, 8PM

Feat. Cowboy Mouth

 

Sam Price & The True Believers

Chickie Wah Wah, 8PM

The final show

 

Unfortunate Side Effect

Banks St. Bar, 8PM

Plus Voodoo Wagon and Bad Mimosas

 

Girls Night Out

Rare Form NOLA, 9PM

A rare male revue show


Rice as Nice

Jazzmen Rice Shares Insights into American Agriculture, Global Markets, and Louis Armstrong



Crescent City foodies and locavores might recognize the name 'Jazzmen Rice' from the many restaurants around town that namedrop the local white and brown grain varieties on their menus. Indeed, in just seven years this distinctly flavorful rice has gained a reputation for supplying “music for your mouth” to New Orleanians and global consumers alike, successfully wedding sustainability and health consciousness with a bit of Louisiana's cultural heritage. 

 

Founded in 2010 by two childhood friends, George Chin and Andrew Wong, the Louisiana-born company has quickly become a go-to staple for the top culinary talents in New Orleans, including James Beard Award winners John Besh and Emeril Lagasse. Chin acknowledged that their grain’s appearance in such fine dining dishes has lent Jazzmen a lot of credibility in the Big Easy. “For the average person they might not know how to differentiate one rice from another. But with Besh restaurants and Emeril’s recommending the rice, it educates the consumer.” 

 

Further supporting the Jazzmen brand: years of agricultural research that provide scientific insight into the health benefits, environmental sustainability, and top notch flavor of the grains. Upon founding the company, Chin and Wong teamed up with the LSU AgCenter, which had over a decade worth of research to their credit specifically targeted toward stimulating rice production in Louisiana. With 500,000 acres of rice agriculture in the state and even more acreage to build on, there are few limits in terms of production for the Jazzmen team. 

 

Chin and Wong are confident that reforms to United States trade deficits and international tariffs will further expand opportunities for agricultural production and global markets. “I’m not going to get into politics,” laughed Wong, “but the one good thing about Donald Trump is that he’s trying to narrow the trade deficit. The U.S. has been running a trade deficit for nearly 40 years.” This, said Chin, is dangerous for economic and entrepreneurial viability in America.

 

“The income of any country is the export, and the expenditure of any country is the import,” explained Chin. Trade deficits — the economic measure wherein a country’s imports outweigh its exports — endanger a country’s ability to stimulate job growth, economic growth, and general improved quality of life. 

 

The United States is in a precarious position as its low tariffs for imports come against many countries that apply significant costs to America-grown products. During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump advocated for a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports — though significantly higher than what America typically charges for foreign goods, it was on par with the tariff percentages China applies to the U.S. Census reports state that the U.S. is engaged in a long-standing tradition of trade deficits with China, with a $347 billion gap reported in 2016. As of June 2017 alone, there is a trade deficit of over $100 billion. Simply raising the tariff costs in retaliation, Wong explained, will only hurt the American consumer, causing the public to pay more for products and leave them with less purchasing power. The solution he advocates is for more bilateral trade instead of big trade agreements, which he believes do not favor the United States. 

 

The strength for America in its agricultural offerings moving forward, the duo behind Jazzmen Rice believes, is the relative purity of its environment. “The United States is getting to the point where there is not much to export except for the agriculture and seafood,” said Wong. While foreign countries either have the advantage or do not see the economic viability of importing consumer goods and manufactured products, Chin explained, “the United States still has the cleanest air, the most pure land, clean water — and other countries value that a great deal.” 

 

Jazzmen Rice can currently be found in 48 states across the country, as well as in international markets like China, Vietnam, and the Philippines — with plans for further global expansion well underway. The iconography of the brand, however, is intrinsically linked to New Orleans. The patron saint of the Big Easy, Louis Armstrong, is displayed prominently on their packaging — a lovingly playful wink to New Orleans' most famous jazz man as well as a way to show support the city’s next generation of artists, via financial aid for the Louis Armstrong Education Foundation.

 

Simply put, there are few other companies that do well and do good. “It’s heart healthy and it’s versatile,” said Dawn Vachon, National Sales and Marketing Director for Jazzmen Rice. “More than that, there’s real sustainability built into our product. There's a strong synergy between this grain and our community.” Jazzmen cares as deeply for the culture of New Orleans as it does the landscape of Louisiana. The grain is gluten-free and is free of any genetic modifications, and together with the LSU AgCenter the Jazzmen team makes large strides to protect the acreage that they work on. 

 

It's also the go-to grain of choice for Wong and Chin, who each possess lifelong experience with rice dishes. "We come from Asian families, where rice is served with almost every meal," said Chin. "And I can say with absolute honesty that this is the best I've ever tasted." Life in Louisiana — a land of gumbos, rice and beans, etoufees, and more — further proves how essential the grain is to a diet. It's no surprise that Jazzmen, with it's health benefits and sustainable initiatives, has become a favorite of the city's top chefs, but the team does not only highlight culinary professionals. The Jazzmen Rice website features a public call for people to submit their favorite recipes featuring the aromatic grain. Of course, Louis Armstrong — the man who famously signed his letters “red beans and ricely yours” and the veritable mascot for the company —is also represented, with his signature Creole Red Beans dish listed on the site. 

 

For anyone interested in picking up the grain for themselves, Jazzmen Rice can be purchased at markets such as Rouse's, Piggly Wiggly, and Winn Dixie. Full list of retailers here

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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