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British singer Joe Cocker dies at age 70

Associated Press file photoBritish Rock and Blues legend Joe Cocker performs on stage of the Stravinski hall during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, in July 2002. Cocker, best known for the songs, 'You Are So Beautiful,' and the 1980s duet 'Up Where We Belong,' with Jennifer Warnes, died Monday of lung cancer in Colorado. He was 70.

LONDON -- British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70.

His London-based agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker died early Monday of lung cancer in Colorado, where he has lived for the past two decades.

Cocker was known for a memorable Woodstock performance and cover of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends."

The ballad "You Are So Beautiful," with Cocker's… Continue reading →

Pride of Acadiana band heads to N.O.

Photo by Brad Kemp/ -- The Pride of Acadiana Marching Band leads the second line parade down Canal Street and through the French Quarter for last year's New Orleans Bowl.

The French Quarter’s Thursday night special was a mix of Christmas cheer and Pride of Acadiana. This seems to have become a holiday tradition as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns prepare to play their fourth New Orleans Bowl on Saturday. And the UL-Lafayette Pride of Acadiana Marching Band kicked off the festivities Thursday… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 19-25, 2014

Photo provided by DAVE MONIC -- The Longneck Society -- Local band the Longneck Society performs at 10 p.m. Friday at Lava Cantina.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Dec. 19-25, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Preservation Hall Jazz Band tours, stars and keeps on playing

Photo provided by Frank Bombaci -- Allen Toussaint, at the piano, performs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

2014 was a banner year for New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The traditional jazz band spent the fall on a coast-to-coast tour with pianist, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Allen Toussaint. In March, “CBS Sunday Morning” profiled Preservation Hall, the 53-year-old music venue on St. Peter Street.… Continue reading →

Musical friends help NO’s WWOZ celebrate its birthday at Tip’s

Photo by RYAN HODGSEON-RIGSBEE -- Lauren Del Rio, left and Bill De Turk work on the air during WWOZ's 2014 fall pledge drive.

WWOZ, 90.7 FM, the radio station that’s heard by a vast community of listeners in the New Orleans metro area and beyond, marks its 34th birthday Friday at Tipitina’s. The station has about 20,000 online listeners in Louisiana who live outside of the New Orleans area, 4,000 of which are in Baton Rouge. WWOZ picked a… Continue reading →

Minaj’s ‘Pinkprint’ delivers grown-up complexity

Invision/AP photo by CHARLES SYKES -- Nicki Minaj

Maybe we knew — even in 2010 — when Nicki Minaj released her debut set, that beneath the fluorescent wigs and zany accents, there resided a real-life grown-up. On some level, we surely understood that the now 32-year-old rapper had complex emotions and a past, and all the things that make stars… Continue reading →

From new music to reissued classics, there are holiday tunes for us all

Despite complaints by grinches who claim Christmas music drives them up the wall, recording artists and record companies keep delivering new holiday music and reissues every year. The 2014 holiday season releases include the first holiday album by Idina Menzel, the Tony-winning singer-actress and star of Disney’s animated hit “Frozen.” The Christmas… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra plans two holiday brass performances

Photo provided by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra -- The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Brass program will be performed at Houmas House, as well as St. Joseph's Cathedral.

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra continues its Lamar Family Chamber Series with two performances of its “Holiday Brass” at 7:30 p.m. Friday in St. Joseph Cathedral, 412 North St., and 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Houmas House, 40136 La. 942, Darrow. Join the orchestra’s associate conductor, David Torns, and the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players for selections… Continue reading →

Kids’ Orchestra presents Winter Concert

The Kids’ Orchestra will present its “Honors Orchestra Winter Concert” at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Christian Life Fellowship Sanctuary, 2037 Quail Drive. Admission is free. The orchestra’s fourth annual winter concert highlights the skills acquired by participants of the Kids’ Orchestra after-school program, which begins each September. Due to the rapid and exponential growth of… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 12-18, 2014

Photo provided by Captain Green -- Captain Green -- Baton Rouge band Captain Green is staging its third annual Christmas Carnival Friday at Chelsea's Cafe. Attendees who make donations to the Baton Rouge Food Bank will receive free gumbo and red beans and rice. Captain Green will play soul music covers featuring guest vocalists and musicians. The group will also perform Frank Zappa songs and new material from its upcoming album 'Protect Each Other Together.'

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Dec. 12-18, 2014. It covers plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

Trans-Siberian Orchestra back with rock-classical fireworks

Photo by JASON MCEACHERN -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian Orchestra began as a progressive rock-meets-classical music studio project in 1995. It wasn’t until 1999, following the release TSO’s albums “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” and “The Christmas Attic,” that TSO founder, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neill put the show on the road. TSO’s 1999 tour of a handful of U.S. cities whet the appetite… Continue reading →

Felix Cavaliere fulfills his Christmas wish with album

Photo provided by Melissa Kucirek -- Felix Cavaliere

Singer and organist Felix Cavaliere and the three other members of New York’s Rascals created some of the 1960s’ most soulful pop hits. Signed to the mighty Atlantic Records, the label that issued so much great soul and rhythm-and-blues music, the Rascals reached No. 1 with “Good Lovin’,” “Groovin’ ” and “People Got to Be… Continue reading →

Ada M. Babineaux’s documentary set for another free screening Tuesday

Photo provided by Ada M. Babineaux -- Photo of Geraldine Babineaux and children

“I Don’ Been Through the Snake’s Skin & Come Out Clean,” a documentary film by Ada M. Babineaux, will show at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Historic Delta Grand Theatre, 120 S. Market St. The film chronicles Babineaux’s African-American family’s history and faith through several Louisiana generations. Admission is free and open… Continue reading →

Elvis Costello to play solo show in New Orleans

AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber -- Elvis Costello performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Thursday, April 29, 2010. He will perform a solo show at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans March 12, 2015.

Elvis Costello will perform a solo concert at the Civic Theatre in New Orleans on March 12. Tickets are $50 plus service fees and available from Dubbed the “Detour” tour, Costello announced 13 U.S. solo dates, starting March 1 in Boulder, Colo. A New York Times review… Continue reading →

Halestorm: Rocking hard, making history and planning third album

Photo provided by Atlantic Records -- Halestorm

Singer-guitarist Lzzy Hale and her drummer brother, Arejay, founded Halestorm in 1997. She was 13, he was 10. Their parents gave them permission. Halestorm played in bars when the Hale siblings were still underage. In 2005, they signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The group’s album debut, released in 2009, sold 300,000… Continue reading →

Band will cheer on Jaguars in Houston

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The Southern University band performs during halftime of the Bayou Classic Nov. 29 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If juggling were a collegiate sport, members of Southern University’s Human Jukebox Marching Band would be the national champs. As it is, their juggling of finals and nighttime rehearsals are dedicated to support of a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship for the Jaguars. Add to that the fact that many marching band members also… Continue reading →

Usher’s ‘UR Experience’ comes to Smoothie King Center

Photo provided by RCA Records -- Usher

Overachiever — the word definitely describes pop and rhythm-and-blues star Usher. During his 20-year career, Usher has sold 50 million albums, released nine No. 1 pop hits and 18 Top 10 pop hits and won eight Grammy awards. His extracurricular activities include coaching for TV’s “The Voice” and acting. He recently filmed… Continue reading →

Documentary combines memories and music in ‘Tribute to Toussaint’

Photo by NIJME RINALDI NUN -- Allen Toussaint performs at  'A Tribute to Toussaint.'

On April 30, 2013, an all-star cast of singers and musicians came together to pay tribute to one of the stars and masters of New Orleans music. Staged at Harrah’s New Orleans, the occasion was a belated 75th birthday celebration of Allen Toussaint. A parade of mostly local talent sampled Toussaint’s huge catalog of songs… Continue reading →

Children’s Chorus presents ‘Blues in the Night’

The Greater Baton Rouge Children’s Chorus will perform a free concert, “Blues in the Night,” at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Brown-Holt Auditorium on the Dunham School campus, 111 Roy Emerson Drive. Under the direction of founder Jennifer Ellis and assistant director Eleanor Bach, the auditioned chorus of 40 community singers will perform such traditional blues, bluegrass… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Dec. 5-11, 2014

Photo by Shannon Brinkman -- New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band -- New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform 'A Creole Christmas' Monday at the Manship Theatre and Tuesday and Wednesday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayettte. The PHJB recently appeared in the Foo Fighters' HBO series 'Sonic Highways.' The group has also been touring the country with New Orleans pianist, songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Dec. 5-11, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Lafayette Concert Band presents holiday show with visit from Santa

Photo provided by the Lafayette Concert Band --  Billy Hochkeppel will be the guest conductor for the Lafayette Concert Band's concert on Sunday.

The Lafayette Concert Band, under the direction of Gerald Guilbeaux, will present its annual “Christmas Traditions” Concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at The Bayou Church, 2234 Kaliste Saloom Road in Lafayette. Doors open at 3 p.m. This holiday concert features French horn soloist Mark Melancon performing “Three Contrasts for Horn and Wind Ensemble” by Claude T. Smith,… Continue reading →

She & Him returns with classic fifth album

Photo provided by -- Zooey Deschanel, left, and M. Ward, aka She & Him

She & Him — the duo featuring “The New Girl” actress-singer Zooey Deschanel and folk-country-pop singer-guitarist M. Ward — released its fifth album this week. Deschanel proved herself a fine songwriter by composing most of the material on the duo’s “Volume One,” “Volume Two” and “Volume 3” albums.… Continue reading →

‘Frozen’ star Idina Menzel to perform at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre in July

Photo by ROBIN WONG -- Idina Menzel

Singer and actress Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa in the animated Disney hit “Frozen,” will perform at the Saenger Theatre on July 30. Menzel’s recording of “Let It Go,” the Oscar-winning song from “Frozen,” was a Top 10 hit and a million-seller. “Frozen” has also become the highest-grossing animated movie in history.… Continue reading →

Professor Longhair film reaches halfway mark

File photo -- Professor Longhair

“Tipitina,” “Big Chief,” “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” Those and other songs by Professor Longhair, not to mention his brilliantly original piano playing, are part of the New Orleans soundtrack. The Bach of rock, as Allen Toussaint calls the late Henry Roeland Byrd, is now the subject of a documentary film.… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014

Photo provided by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge -- Delfeayo Marsalis -- Delfeayo Marsalis, the trombone-playing member of New Orleans' musical Marsalis family, leads the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Manship Theatre's Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Making music is a family affair for Parmalee

Photo by BBR Music Group -- Parmalee

After grinding hard in the music business for a decade, country-rock band Parmalee’s efforts paid big rewards this year. Two of the North Carolina group’s songs went Top 10. “Carolina” became the band’s first No. 1 hit and “Close Your Eyes” recently became the group’s second Top 10 hit. Both songs are from… Continue reading →

LSU brings ‘Dido and Aeneas’ opera to stage for two performances

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --   Aeneas, played by Jame Turcotte, lifts up Dido, played by Chelsey Geeting, in a scene from LSU Opera's 'Dido and Aeneas.'

Aeneas is the perfect guy — strong yet gentle, protective and attentive, not to mention good-looking. He’s also a Trojan hero. Maybe he’s too perfect, which is reason enough for Dido’s mistrust. For when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, and Aeneas will deceive her before all is said and done, thereby… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters’ documentary brings them back to N.O.

Photo by ANDREW STUART -- Dave Grohl joins Preservation Hall Jazz Band players Ben Jaffe, Clint Maedgen, Rickie Monie, Mark Braud, Ronell Johnson and Freddie Lonzo in New Orleans in May.

London’s massive Wembley Stadium and New Orleans’ tiny Preservation Hall. The Foo Fighters, the American rock band led by singer, guitarist and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, performed in the vastly different concert spaces with equal delight. In May, the Foo Fighters turned Preservation Hall into their recording studio. The traditional jazz venue at 726 St.… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Photo by SHELBY DUNCAN -- A.J. Croce --A.J. Croce, the singer, songwriter and recording artist son of Jim Croce, performs Friday at the Red Dragon Listening Room, 2401 Florida St. Patrick Sylvest opens the show at 8 p.m. Croce recorded his latest album, 'Twelve Tales,' in various cities throughout the country. Those cities include New Orleans, where Croce worked with local musicians and songwriter, producer and pianist Allen Toussaint.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 21-27, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

One Direction’s ‘Four’ teen dream in song

One Direction has done the almost impossible for a boy band: The English-Irish quintet has held the fickle attentions of teenage girls the world over for three years — the equivalent of 30 in tween years — and the band’s new album, “Four,” isn’t likely to diminish the group’s stronghold.… Continue reading →

One-day Highlander Music Fest to celebrate coffee house’s lease renewal

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Highland Coffees owner Clarke Cadzow reported that its lease has been extended

Eight musical acts will perform Friday at the Highlander Music Fest. The one-day festival marks this week’s announcement of the renewal of the Highland Coffees’ lease. The multi-genre music festival follows online and in-person movements to keep Highland Coffees open. An online petition in support of the 25-year-old Chimes Street business drew more… Continue reading →

Darrell Scott wraps up 2014 dates with final show in Baton Rouge

Photo provided by Michael J Media -- Darrell Scott

Singer-songwriter Darrell Scott didn’t live in rural Kentucky long. His parents moved north, like so many other Southerners, in search of a better life. But Scott, whose Kentucky roots run for generations, never lost his mountain soul. It’s easy to hear his ancestral home in the poignancy of one of Scott’s best-known songs,… Continue reading →

Todd O’Neill Band set to play St. Aloysius Parish Fair

Advocate file photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Todd O'Neill performs with the Todd O'Neill Band during Bayou Country Superfest Fan Fest at LSU in May.

Todd O’Neill grew up in Hammond with parents and older siblings who all liked different kinds of music. Under one roof, O’Neill heard contemporary country music, classic country, classic rock, pop and doo-wop. And at the future singer’s grandparents’ house, his grandmother played classic country albums by Marty Robbins and Jim Reeves… Continue reading →

Jimmy Vaughan will perform at LA Vets Fest in St. Francisville

Photo by Todd V. Wolfson -- Jimmie Vaughan

When Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters took his traveling HBO music series, “Sonic Highways,” to Austin, the Texas music people he interviewed included Willie Nelson, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and, naturally, Jimmie Vaughan. Blues-rocker Vaughan — who’s performing Saturday at the LA Vets Fest in St. Francisville — formed the Fabulous Thunderbirds in… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 14-20, 2014

Photo provided by the Agency Group -- John Michael Montgomery -- Country star John Michael Montgomery performs Friday at the Texas Club.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 14-20, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

John Sinclair returns to N.O. for series of shows

Photo provided by Carlo Ditta -- Poet and radio personality John Sinclair, left, on stage with Carlo Ditta.

John Sinclair — poet, recording artist, radio personality and inspiration for John Lennon’s 1971 protest song, “John Sinclair” — returns to New Orleans this week. A native of Flint, Michigan, and longtime Detroit resident, Sinclair lived in New Orleans from 1991 until his move to Amsterdam in 2003. While in New Orleans, he’ll perform several gigs… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters’ latest a worthwhile trip

'Sonic Highways' album cover

Twenty years into their career as one of the leading rock bands in the world, Foo Fighters continue to find ways to challenge both themselves and their listeners. On “Sonic Highways,” a companion to the similarly named HBO television series, the Dave Grohl-fronted band, with assistance from… Continue reading →

LSU bands combine for annual Tigerama performance

Photo by Rachel Saltzberg -- The LSU Colorguard will be featured in the Tiger Marching Band's performance at Tigerama on Wednesday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Editor’s note: Click here to see a video from Tigerama. by LSU Tiger Marching Band Videographer Moe Athmann and editor Tyler Robinson. Be on the lookout for a patriotic halftime surprise at the LSU-Alabama football game Saturday night. Then, prepare yourself for the biggest concert on campus. Well, Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 7-13, 2014

File photo -- Black Joe Lewis -- Austin-based rock, funk soul band Black Joe Lewis will perform Friday at Chelsea’s Café.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 7-13, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Black 47 honors Irish history

Photo provided by Crossover Touring -- Black 47

It’s a match made in history. Black 47 is the Irish rock band formed 25 years ago in New York. Saturday night, the band performs for the International Irish Famine Commemoration Gala in New Orleans. The Irish government established the annual famine commemoration in 2009 to memorialize the 1 million… Continue reading →

‘I was an amazing talent scout,’ founder of pop band New Pornographers says

Photo by CHRIS BUCK -- The New Pornographers are, from top left, Neko Case, A.C. Newman, Kathryn Calder, (next step, left) Blaine Thurier, Kurt Dahle, John Collins and Todd Fancey.

Sixteen years into their existence, the New Pornographers achieved the highest sales chart debut of their career in August. “Brill Bruisers” — an album of shiny power-pop songs inspired by tuneful late ’60s vocal groups and the synthesizer-decorated, 1970s- and ’80s-era of the Electric Light Orchestra — entered the Billboard 200 albums chart at… Continue reading →

Neil Young breaks out orchestra

Attention rock stars: No matter how much you want to, resist at all costs orchestrating your songs. Almost without fail, it is the wrong call. Case in point: Neil Young’s latest effort, “Storytone.” Thankfully, Young has done listeners the favor of presenting the songs both with full orchestration and solo… Continue reading →

Keb’ Mo’ marks 20th anniversary of album debut

Photo provided by Aristo Media -- Keb' Mo'

Keb’ Mo’ just naturally blends his many musical experiences into his modern-day blues. “All those things are part of me,” he said recently. “That’s why they blend. That’s the blend of me. So it’s honest.” Marking the 20th anniversary of his album debut this year, Keb’ Mo’, aka Kevin Moore, sounds completely… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters, Outkast, Arctic Monkeys headline N.O. Voodoo Experience

Photo by  STEVE GULLICK Foo Fighters perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience returns to New Orleans’ City Park this weekend for its 16th annual Halloween event. Star attractions among the 79 acts include Ritual Stage headliners Foo Fighters, the Dave Grohl-led rock band featured in the HBO music-documentary series “Sonic Highways” ; British rock band Arctic… Continue reading →

Rise Against brings its message to Voodoo stage

Photo by LEANN MUELER -- Rise Against

Chicago rock band Rise Against makes its Voodoo Experience debut Friday on the festival’s biggest stage. The foursome’s latest album, “The Black Market,” entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 3 in July. Singer-guitarist Tim McIlrath regrets that Rise Against can’t see more of Voodoo Experience’s three days of music… Continue reading →