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Baton Rouge Concert Band to play spring concert

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Sheily Bell will direct the Baton Rouge Concert Band's 'Scenes and Landscapes' concert.

The Baton Rouge Concert Band will welcome spring with its annual spring concert, titled “Scenes and Landscapes,” at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, 529 Convention St. The band, under the direction of Sheily Bell, will perform a lineup of songs that paint pictures of landscapes throughout the world.… Continue reading →

Review: Reba shines on ‘Love Somebody’

“Love Somebody” is Reba McEntire’s best album of the 21st century because it draws on her strengths: That is, subtly and powerfully interpreting substantial story songs about adult relationships set to contemporary country music. At 60, the performer — she bills herself by her first name these days… Continue reading →

Hilary Duff admits to playing catch up in fast-paced music biz

Invision/AP photo by AMY SUSSMAN -- Hilary Duff

Though Hilary Duff is 27, when it comes to the music industry, she’s first to admit she’s trying to make up for lost time in the seven years since she last released an album. “When I first started it was all about selling records and I was lucky to sell… Continue reading →

Essence Festival sets performance schedule

Usher will perform July 4 at Essence Festival in New Orleans.

The Essence Festival, taking place July 2-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, has announced its nightly music schedule. The festival will open Thursday, July 2, with the “What Now? Tour,” featuring actor-comedian Kevin Hart and music acts Trey Songz and Lecrae. Friday’s main stage performers will include Charlie Wilson, India.Arie, Kem and a to-be-announced… Continue reading →

Ponderosa Stomp reveals 2015 lineup

Photo by JOE A. ROSEN -- Roy Head

The Ponderosa Stomp, a New Orleans music festivals that presents the “unsung heroes of rock ’n’ roll,” has announced the lineup for the roots-music festival’s 12th edition. Running Oct. 1-3 at Rock ’n’ Bowl, this year’s extensive Ponderosa Stomp lineup includes four singers billed as the “sisters of soul” — Motown recording artist Brenda… Continue reading →

Country trio Maybe April to perform at SLU

NEW COUNTRY TRIO TO PERFORM AT COLUMBIA - Southeastern Louisiana Universitys Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is presenting a new country music trio straight from Nashville called Maybe April. Scheduled on April 14, the all-female trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the downtown Hammond theatre. Tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office, located at 220 E. Thomas Street, at columbiatheatre.org <http://columbiatheatre.org>, or at 985-543-4371.

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is presenting Maybe April, a new country music trio from Nashville, Tennessee. Scheduled on April 14, the all-female trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the downtown Hammond theater. Columbia Theatre/Fanfare Interim Director Roy Blackwood said he is excited about the show.… Continue reading →

Second Billy Idol show added at House of Blues

Photo by Michael Muller -- Billy Idol

By popular demand, House of Blues has added a second Billy Idol show to the club’s fall schedule. Idol, the British singer known for such hits of the ’80s as “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself,” will perform at the French Quarter music venue September 28 and September 29. Tickets for the second show… Continue reading →

Blues Festival returns to downtown BR

Photo by BRIAN BAIAMONTE -- The crowd gathered in North Boulevard Town Square listens to music at last year's Baton Rouge Blues Festival.

The Baton Rouge Blues Festival returns to downtown Saturday for an eclectic, full day of music, including blues, soul, hip-hop, zydeco, gospel and indie-rock. Due to inclement weather forecasted for Saturday, the normally outdoor festival is moving from the Repentance Park and Galvez Plaza areas to inside the Baton Rouge River Center. Performances will take… Continue reading →

Runnels student returns to showcase

Photo submitted -- Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans.

Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy will transform into her performance pseudonym “Silence is Noise” Tuesday for a performance at the teen showcase Bringin’ Down The House — New Orleans. Peneguy snagged first place in a competitive portion of the series in December 2013 and was selected to perform this year. “I was by myself… Continue reading →

Brian Wilson releases album, plans summer tour

Photo by BRIAN BOWEN SMITH -- Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind the Beach Boys’ classics, released his 11th solo album, “No Pier Pressure,” this week. Wilson’s golden back pages include the album-length 1966 Beach Boys’ masterpiece, “Pet Sounds,” and the hit songs “California Girls,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows.” True to his legacy,… Continue reading →

Age doesn’t matter anymore, Def Leppard frontman says

Associated Press photo by JOHN CARUCCI -- Joe Elliott

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott understands that the working life of a rock band no longer comes with an expiration date. All that’s required is to make great music and stay healthy to endure the rigors of the road. Elliott said it was important to tweak the mantra of sex, drugs… Continue reading →

Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is worth the time

Plucked strings and pulsing keyboards dominate the distinctive arrangements on Sufjan Stevens’ latest album, and in the absence of a rhythm section, they serve to keep time. But time’s not for keeping, and that’s the message. “We’re all going to die,” Stevens sings, putting perhaps too fine a point… Continue reading →

B.B. King, ‘King of the Blues,’ is hospitalized

Legendary blues musician B.B. King has been hospitalized, his representatives confirmed to the Los Angeles Times. No information about his condition or location was released. Born Riley B. King, the 89-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was diagnosed with Type II diabetes more than two decades ago. His hits include the 1950s… Continue reading →

Learn more about Baton Rouge’s Ninfa Gianfala, who just released new CD titled ‘The Little Girl from Magazine Street’

Advocate staff photo by ROBIN MILLER -- Ninfa Gianfala's retrospective CD, 'The Little Girl from Magazine Street,' follows her career from her opera performances to her Broadway concerts.

The ghostlike image of the little girl from New Orleans’ Magazine Street hovers in the background, but she’s not an apparition. “That’s me,” Ninfa Gianfala says, pointing to the image. “I was the little girl from Magazine Street.” Inside, she’s still that little girl, the one who loved to perform, the one who was teaching neighborhood… Continue reading →

Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John Lennon, dies of cancer

File- In this Sept 26, 2005 file photo, Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of Beatle's band member John Lennon, sits behind copies of her newly released book entitled 'John' during a book signing at Foyle's bookshop in central London. Cynthia Lennon passed away on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at her home in Mallorca, Spain, following a short but brave battle with cancer. (AP Photo/ Jane Mingay, File)

LONDON — Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of former Beatles guitarist John Lennon, died of cancer Wednesday at her home in Spain. She was 75. Her death was announced on the website and Twitter account of her son, Julian Lennon and confirmed by his representative. Julian Lennon posted a moving video tribute to his late… Continue reading →

David Byrne joins his tribute concert

Associated Press file photo -- David Byrne

David Byrne crashed his own tribute concert Monday, leading a marching band down the aisle at Carnegie Hall and, eventually, to an onstage dance party to the tune of “Uptown Funk.” He showed up at the end of an annual tribute that benefits music education, an unusual sight since past musicians… Continue reading →

Preservation Hall Jazz Band recording added to the National Recording Registry

Photo by DAN LEYRER -- Sweet Emma and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band

“New Orleans’ Sweet Emma Barrett and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band,” a 1964 recording made by singer-pianist Barrett and charter members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, is among the 25 sound recordings selected for induction into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. The album was recorded in-concert at the Guthrie Theater in… Continue reading →

‘Songs in the Key of Life’: ‘Love is king and queen,’ Wonder says

Photo by EDDIE WOLFL -- Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder’s resumption of his “Songs in the Key of Life Performance” tour this month follows February’s star-packed tribute, “Songs in the Key of Life — An All-Star GRAMMY Salute.” The “Songs in the Key of Life Performance,” an adaptation of Wonder’s classic “Songs in the Key of Life” album, arrives at the Smoothie King Center… Continue reading →

Our Tribe: 2015 Congo Square New Owrld Rhythms Festival

Photo provided by Blind Ambition Management -- Irving 'Honey' Bannister

This weekend’s eighth annual Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival will feature chanting, dancing, fantastically costumed Mardi Gras Indians, funky brass bands plus more soulful sights and sounds from Cuba, Africa and New Orleans. Presented by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, the free event takes place Saturday and Sunday in New… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for March 20-26, 2015

Photo by DEREK BLANKS -- Gladys Knight -- Four-time Grammy winner Gladys Knight, also known as the Empress of Soul, will perform with the Pips Saturday night at L'Auberge Casino. The show starts at 8 p.m.

THE BAND OF HEATHENS/MINGO FISHTRAP: Varsity Theatre PAUL RAMIREZ: Big Heads SHIP OF FOOLS/DELLA: Spanish Moon TRIBAL SEEDS/THE MOVEMENT/LEILANI WOLFGRAMM: Varsity Theatre (9 p.m.) JASON MARTIN AND HITCHHIKER:… Continue reading →

Review: Lamar returns with impressive sophomore album

Rapper Kendrick Lamar went three years without releasing an album, taking his time to craft an impressive sophomore effort in “To Pimp a Butterfly.” This new album was certainly worth the wait following Lamar’s classic studio debut “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” which helped boost his stature… Continue reading →

At Saenger Tuesday: John Mellencamp ‘trying to write for people my age’

Photo by CHRIS PIZZELLO/Invision/AP -- John Mellencamp

Heartland singer-songwriter John Mellencamp launched his 80-date “Plain Spoken” tour Jan. 21 in his home state of Indiana. The tour, featuring opening act Carlene Carter, reaches the Saenger Theatre on Tuesday. Mellencamp’s 2015 North American sojourn follows the September release of his new album, “Plain Spoken.” The New York Times praised “Plain… Continue reading →