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Taylor Swift dazzles fans in Baton Rouge with first stadium concert on her ‘1989’ world tour

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Taylor Swift performs as part of her 1989 World Tour, Friday, May 22, 2015, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Friday night in Baton Rouge, superstar Taylor Swift returned for her second appearance in LSU’s Tiger Stadium. “Well, hi, my name is Taylor, and I love the sight of a 50,000-person stadium in Baton Rouge,” Swift said after the first two songs of the evening. Opening songs — “Welcome to New York,” a pop empowerment… Continue reading →

QA: Miranda Lambert expects thrilling party at Bayou Country Superfest

The Advocate caught up with Miranda Lambert who detailed her expectations of the Bayou Country Superfest and her experiences in Louisiana: 1. What excites you most about playing Bayou Country Superfest? Last year I was about to release my latest album, Platinum, and I missed out on the festival entirely, so I'm really excited to see everyone down there! 2. Whats your favorite… Continue reading →

Quick QA with Brantley Gilbert, Cassadee Pope: Two artists performing at Bayou Country Superfest rank their favorite Louisiana dishes; offer reflections on LSU Tiger football

Cassadee Pope; Brantley Gilbert

The Advocate caught up with country music artists Brantley Gilbert and Cassadee Pope for their impressions and reactions to Louisiana culture and living. Here are their answers: Brantley Gilbert 1) What excites you most about playing Bayou Country Superfest? What excites me the most about playing the Bayou Country Superfest is everything that’s leading up… Continue reading →

Lafayette Concert Band plans memorial show

The Lafayette Concert Band will honor America’s military heroes who died in defense of their country with its annual “Songs of Remembrance” concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bayou Church, 2234 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette. The 70-member, all volunteer adult community band, under the direction of Gerald Guilbeaux, will perform marches and patriotic selections in this… Continue reading →

Rush rules: Art-rock band wins hearts, minds, air guitar followers

Photo by RANDY JOHNSON -- Rush

When Foo Fighter Dave Grohl inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, he said, “They did it from the ground up. No hype, no bulls***, without any help from the mainstream press — cough — Rolling Stone!” Early on, the Canadian art-rock band Rush was dismissed as another Led Zeppelin, inspired… Continue reading →

Nick Jonas talks hit singles, JoBros, Timberlake, acting

Invision/AP photo by CHRIS PIZZELLO -- Nick Jonas performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Nick Jonas may have become a sex symbol to female fans in the last year, but the singer says his new tour won’t cater just to the ladies. He’s thinking about his male fans, too. “I don’t think I’ll cater physically to the women so that it’s not polarizing to my… Continue reading →

Duchovny cuts new record, tears up about ‘X-Files’

Invision/AP photo by Evan Agostini -- David Duchovny is joined by actress Gillian Anderson for a surprise performance of Neil Young's 'Helpless' at The Cutting Room on May 12 in New York.

Whether you remember him as FBI agent Mulder from “The X-Files” or the womanizing novelist Hank Moody on “Californication,” David Duchovny wants you to know him as something else: The 54-year old actor recently released his first album, “Hell or Highwater.” The actor-director claims he’s never set out to pursue a… Continue reading →

Superstar Taylor Swift encores in Tiger Stadium


Taylor Swift returns Friday to Tiger Stadium. It will be her second performance in the venerable football fortress. In 2010, the then 20-year-old Swift topped day one of the first Bayou Country Superfest. Her appearance was a mutual love fest between the young singer and her even younger fans. Shortly into that Superfest show,… Continue reading →

Season 3 ‘The Voice’ winner, ascending country music star Cassadee Pope proud of debut album

Photo by MEGAN THOMPSON -- Cassadee Pope

Cassadee Pope, the 25-year-old singer from West Palm Beach, Florida, who won season three of “The Voice,” lives in the heart of Nashville. She’s one of country music’s ascending stars. Last month, Pope made her debut at Stagecoach, the country music festival in Indio, California. She earned great reviews. “That was incredible, really fun,”… Continue reading →

Bette Midler: Still ‘divine’ at 69

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- Bette Midler brought her ‘Divine Intervention’ tour to the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

Bette Midler named her current 22-city North American tour the “Divine Intervention” tour. The singing star and actress has used the word “divine” throughout her career. As every fan knows, her 1972 debut album was titled “The Divine Miss M.” Tours called “Divine Madness,” “Experience the Divine,” “The Divine Miss Millennium Tour” and more followed.… Continue reading →

'King of the Blues' legend B.B. King, who played New Orleans Jazz Fest and in Baton Rouge in 2013, dead in Las Vegas

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2007 file photo, B.B. King performs at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, in Salisbury, Md.  King died Thursday, May 14, 2015, peacefully in his sleep at his Las Vegas home at age 89, his lawyer said. (Matthew S. Gunby/The Daily Times via AP) NO SALES

LAS VEGAS (AP) — B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89. His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his… Continue reading →

Bette Midler in New Orleans, thanks to ‘Divine Intervention’

Photo provided -- Bette Midler

Bette Midler, the Divine Miss M, launched her first U.S. tour in a decade last week in Hollywood, Florida. The Smoothie King Center in New Orleans will be stop No. 4 on Midler’s “Divine Intervention” tour. Following shows through June in 24 North American cities, the Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated singer-actress goes to the United Kingdom for six… Continue reading →

Unitarian Church will present ‘Rocka My Soul’

Photo provided by BARBARA SIMS-- HeartVoice Trio

The HeartVoice Trio leads the line-up for “Rocka My Soul: A Gospel Celebration” at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd. Other local musicians joining the trio will be trumpeter John Gray, sousaphonist and upright bassist Michael Foster, drummer Chris Lee, and pianist Jerrell Gray. The event will feature a… Continue reading →

Diddy talks ‘tasteful’ sex clip, new fragrance and Baltimore

Invision/AP photo by CHARLES SYKES --  Cassie, left, and Sean 'Diddy' Combs arrive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala in New York May 4.

Sean “Diddy” Combs will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t launch brands, he launches lifestyles. So when it came time to promote his latest fragrance, he put himself on the line and starred in a racy video with girlfriend Cassie that many have deemed too risque for television.… Continue reading →

Bayou Country Superfest serves up a star-studded weekend of music in Baton Rouge; here's everything you need to know

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Baton Rouge native Sarah Ainsworth (right) dances with Bayou Louis, La. native Buffy Ackman (left) on Sunday, May 25, 2014, during Bayou Country Superfest Fan Fest outside of Tiger Stadium at LSU.

FRIDAY What: Superstar Taylor Swift encores in Tiger Stadium with Vance Joy, Shawn Mendes. It will be her second performance in the venerable football fortress. In 2010, the then 20-year-old Swift topped day one of the first Bayou Country Superfest. Her appearance was a mutual love fest between the young singer and… Continue reading →

Orchestra to play free concert of movie music on last day of film festival

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- David Torns leads the Louisiana Film Festival Orchestra in a rehearsal, Monday at the LSU School of Music.

Maybe one day the Louisiana International Film Festival Orchestra will play a movie score recorded by local musicians in Baton Rouge. It’s possible, and David Torns hopes one day that possibility will become a reality. Which is why he and Chelsey Heymsfield developed the idea for the Louisiana International Film Festival Orchestra. Torns is the… Continue reading →

Second-weekend highlights of Jazz Fest

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Festivalgoers dance at the New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last year.

The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell runs through Sunday at the Fair Grounds. The final round of 2015 Jazz Fest performances includes Friday appearances by No Doubt, the ska-pop outfit featuring Gwen Stefani, a former coach for “The Voice” and a solo star when she’s not… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for May 1-7, 2015

Photo provided the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation -- Kenny Cornett & Killin Time will perform Friday at Live After Five in North Boulevard Town Square.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from May 1-7, 2015. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Marcia Ball plans intimate club set before hitting Jazz Fest stage

Photo by MARY KEATING BRUTON -- Marcia Ball

Marcia Ball flavors her Gulf Coast musical gumbo with New Orleans rhythm-and-blues, swamp blues, soul balladry, zydeco music from southwest Louisiana and much groove. A singer, pianist and songwriter steeped in Louisiana music, Ball was born in southeast Texas and raised near Lake Charles. Austin, however, has been Ball’s base of operations since 1970, the… Continue reading →

The Who create maximum moments to close out Saturday’s Jazz Fest

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Pete Townshend, right, and Roger Daltrey perform with The Who on the Acura Stage on the second day of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, La. Saturday, April 25, 2015.

The sun evaded the Fair Grounds on Saturday until late in the day, when the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and The Who launched into a lengthy suite from their rock opera “Tommy.” The British rock survivors steered their 50th anniversary tour toward New Orleans to headline the Acura Stage at the New Orleans… Continue reading →

Rain cuts the music short on Day 1 of Jazz Fest in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--MaryAnn Russell dances with  Doug Dirt by the Fais Do-Do Stage on the first day of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, La. Friday, April 24, 2015.

Not long into Keith Urban’s set Friday at the Acura Stage, he paused and sang, without accompaniment, the Creedence Clearwater Revival chestnut “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.” Then everybody saw it. Forty-five minutes into his headlining set at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, a thunderstorm ended the music for the… Continue reading →

Jazz Fest’s first weekend boasts blockbuster lineup

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- An unusually large crowd covers both the horse track and Fair Grounds infield as Eric Clapton plays at the main Acura Stage at Jazz Fest in 2014.

Blockbuster lineups featuring major music stars have become the norm for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The 2015 edition of the festival follows the trend and then some. This year’s eclectic headlining acts include classic rock acts The Who and Elton John; the super-duo of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga; country music… Continue reading →

Trio to close out River City Jazz Masters Series

Photo provided by Marcus Roberts Enterprises, Inc. -- From left, Marcus Roberts, Jason Marsalis and Rodney Jordan form the Marcus Roberts Trio.

Next week virtuoso jazz pianist, composer, recording artist and educator Marcus Roberts will make his first appearance in Baton Rouge since 2000. The Marcus Roberts Trio, featuring New Orleans drummer Jason Marsalis and one of the pianist’s music professor colleagues at Florida State University in Tallahassee, bassist Rodney Jordan, will perform Wednesday at the Manship Theatre.… Continue reading →

Finland, Australia, Japan on the Helsinki bandstand

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Trombonist Katja Toivola, vocalist Tricia Boutte and trumpeter Leroy Jones will present the New Orleans Helsinki Connection band. (featuring Finnish and New Orleans musician friends) at two gigs during April.

In 2002, musicians from Finland and New Orleans, united by the universal language of jazz, formed New Orleans Helsinki Connection. As often happens with jazz bands, though, players on the bandstand can vary. That’s true whether New Orleans Helsinki Connection is playing in Finland, Norway, New Orleans, Moscow or São Paulo. Planned… Continue reading →

Tedeschi Trucks blends musical styles, takes powerhouse on the road

Photo by VIKAS NAMBIAR -- Derek Trucks, left, and Susan Tedeschi lead the Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Tedeschi Trucks Band — featuring Derek Trucks’ slide-guitar virtuosity, Susan Tedeschi’s soulful singing and blues guitar, two drummers and three-piece horn section punch — is a roots-music powerhouse ripe for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Trucks, who shares the band’s name with his wife, Susan Tedeschi, said the group performs a… Continue reading →

Percy Sledge remembered as a singer who lit up concert stages with his smile: ‘A genuinely good guy’

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Sanricca Sledge Lawrence sings during the funeral services for singer Percy Sledge at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker, La..

Percy Sledge, singer of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” the 1966 No. 1 hit that became a soul-music classic, was remembered Tuesday as a kind and charismatic man who lit up rooms and concert stages with his unmistakable smile. The three-hour-plus funeral service for Sledge at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baker was streamed live… Continue reading →

Live video: Watch Percy Sledge's funeral services from Baker church

Advocate staff photo by Bill Feig -- Mourners stop to pay respects to singer Percy Sledge before funeral services Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge.

Tuesday’s funeral services for singer Percy Sledge, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and longtime Baton Rouge resident whose recording, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” was an international hit in 1966, will be streamed on the internet at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Sledge died Tuesday, April 14, in Baton Rouge at the… Continue reading →

Joan Jett emotional at Rock Hall induction

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts perform at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Joan Jett couldn’t keep her rough rocker edge for long. Once she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jett was overcome by the moment and moved to tears. “I tried not to cry and be tough,” she said, her black mascara starting to run. Jett and other music… Continue reading →

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 →