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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 www.percysledge.org. 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 →

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 →