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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 →

Counterculture icon John Sinclair brings his poetry, music back to local listening room

Photo provided by Carlo Ditta -- Poet and radio personality John Sinclair, left, on stage with Carlo Ditta. They will perform Thursday at Henry Turner Jr.'s Listening Room in Baton Rouge.

John Sinclair — poet, recording artist, radio personality, former New Orleans resident and the inspiration for John Lennon’s 1971 protest song “John Sinclair” — returns to Henry Turner Jr.’s Listening Room on Thursday. He’ll perform with his frequent musical partner, guitarist Carlo Ditta. The show, which starts a 9 p.m., will also feature The Rakers and Henry Turner… Continue reading →

Lafayette native wows judges, joins Team Pharrell on ‘The Voice’

Travis Ewing

Lafayette native Travis Ewing got three chairs to turn when he hit the stage on NBC’s “The Voice” Monday night, wowing judges with his own version of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name.” The 23-year-old LSU graduate chose to work with producer Pharrell Williams over Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, who tried to woo Ewing with a shout… Continue reading →

Weekend shows to benefit Red Dragon Listening Room

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Chris and Liz Maxwell are the founders of the Red Dragon Listening Room.

Music lover Chris Maxwell opened the original Red Dragon Listening Room location in 2003. He wanted to fill the void left by the closing of Marian Pickett’s M’s Fine and Mellow Café in 2002. Pickett’s Third Street music venue and restaurant was a listening room. If patrons were too loud during performances, Pickett shushed them herself.… Continue reading →

Bonerama covers Led Zeppelin

Photo by Chuck Cook -- Bonerama

The trombone-led rock/funk band Bonerama first made its mark with a 2001 cover of the Edgar Winter Group’s instrumental, “Frankenstein,” and it has rearranged other greatest hits of rock, by Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and The Allman Brothers, to name a few. On Friday at the House of Blues, Bonerama will double down on its classic… Continue reading →

Drake’s album lays down promising ground work

Invision/AP file photo -- Drake

Drake IF YOU’RE READING THIS IT’S TOO LATE For as long as Drake’s been around, almost everything about him — his Mr. Sensitive image, his sweater collection, his cheesy photos with various professional athletes — has been the subject of a never-ending stream of Internet memes. Still, Drake and his talent are no joke, and… Continue reading →

Eddie Murphy looks to get back into groove with music

/Invision/AP file photo -- Eddie Murphy addresses the audience at the close of 'Eddie Murphy: One Night Only,' a celebration of Murphy's career, in 2012.

Eddie Murphy biggest success in music came on his first try, with the 1985 smash “Party All the Time.” After that, not much was heard from the entertainer on the musical front — but he kept on plugging away at it out of the spotlight. “When I’m not acting and being funny,… Continue reading →

Kenny G wants in on traditional jazz radio, Hollywood

Invision/AP file photo -- Kenny G

Kenny G still has something to prove. The biggest-selling instrumental artist of the modern era is recognized worldwide — particularly in China — for his smooth saxophone skills and trademark mop of curly hair. Sure, he’s long been a punch line for “South Park” and musical purists, but generally laughs off… Continue reading →

Essence Festival in New Orleans to feature Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu

Mary J. Blige performs at the BET Honors 2015 at Warner Theater on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015in Washington. (Photo by Kevin Wolf/Invision/AP) ORG XMIT: DCKW130

The Essence Festival announced its first round of 2015 talent Wednesday. The musical component of the 21st Essence Festival, taking place July 2-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, will include rap star Kendrick Lamar, in his Essence debut, and returning Essence favorite Mary J. Blige. Other artists will include rapper-actor Common, whose collaboration with singer… Continue reading →

‘Fifty Shades’ soundtrack is a sexy romp

Prepare to get crazy in love, in lust and everything in between. Anticipated sex romp ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ may or may not get you wound up, but its soundtrack is bound to do just that. The 16-track album finds itself mired in an intoxicating sound… Continue reading →

All about the sax: SLU Music faculty produce CD

SLU Public Information Office photo by RANDY BERGERON -- Several current and former members of the Southeastern Louisiana University music faculty produced the new CD, 'Embers.' Seated is pianist and Interim Head of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts Kenneth Boulton; and  standing, from left, Philip Schuessler, pianist; Stephen Suber, composer; and Kari Besharse, composer and overall coordinator of the project.

Kari Besharse, lecturer of music, composed the title piece for the new album, “Embers.” Besharse and several other current and former members of the Southeastern Louisiana University music program produced “Embers,” a CD of original music for saxophone with piano and electronic sound. “The work combines facets of contemporary music with new technological resources, traditional… Continue reading →