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‘Sea of Common Catastrophe’: Theater, dance, sound and a big question

Photo by Michel Varisco -- Lisa Shattuck in 'Sea of Common Catastrophe'

When artist Jeff Becker talks about his newest performance piece, “Sea of Common Catastrophe,” it takes a while before he gets to the subject of Hurricane Katrina. He talks about the construction of China’s Three Gorges Dam, which submerged hundreds of small villages and displaced over a million people. He touches on personal… Continue reading →

Keith Spera’s Sound Check: Shows you need to know about in New Orleans from May5-11, 2016

Photo provided -- British rock band The Cure will headline the UNO Lakefront Arena on Tuesday-Wednesday, May 10-11, 2016.

The Cure 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday UNO Lakefront Arena, 6801 Franklin Ave. Tickets: $38 to $68 plus service charges Goth-pop didn’t get much more melodic than that of The Cure. Singer-songwriter Robert Smith, a poster boy for the permanently pale, and his collaborators churned out a long string of irresistible tragic/romantic singles in their 1980s… Continue reading →

Vendors, patrons dance and slosh through final Sunday of New Orleans Jazz Fest

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Festival-goers walk through mud by the Acura Stage during the second Sunday of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds, Sunday May 1, 2016.

The final day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell was marked by heavy thunderstorms, threats of hail and bits of lightning, none of which stopped festivalgoers and vendors from trudging on anyway. “We are here through thick and thin,” said Pamela Goldfarv Oren, a social worker who came in… Continue reading →

Don't let rain get you down: Saturday Jazz Fest tickets valid Sunday

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Die hard fans of Hurray for the Riff Raff stuck it out during the downpour at the Gentilly Stage on day 6 of Jazz Fest at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Tickets for Saturday’s washed-out New Orleans Jazz Festival, which ended early amid storms, will be honored on Sunday, festival organizers announced. The festival will open as scheduled Sunday at 11 a.m. After a day cut short by thunderstorms, canceling several headliners, the fest announced that any purchased ticket that was used for entry on Saturday will also… Continue reading →

At 76, Mavis Staples still collaborating with the best of them

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples last graced the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2012, drawing an overflow crowd to the Gospel Tent. This year, the gospel and soul singer plays the festival’s Blues Tent, a slightly larger room, certainly all the better to accommodate the draw of a legend. It’s also a more appropriate setting for… Continue reading →

Calling all shutterbugs for City Park photo contest

'Oak in Meadow' by Frank Coco won first place in a nature category in the 2014 City Park photo contest.

With its lush greenery, sparkling waterways, family-oriented recreation areas and historic architecture, New Orleans City Park might just be a photographer’s paradise. Park officials are sponsoring a photo contest this summer, encouraging shutterbugs to capture that beauty. Categories are: art and architecture; flowers, plants and trees; animals; people in the park; and recreation and sports.… Continue reading →

As rain pours, Indians conjure memories of Bo Dollis Sr.

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Legendary Wild Magnolias Big Chief Bo Dollis.

As sheets of rain poured down around him, Big Chief Gerard “Bo Jr.” Dollis stood at the edge of the Jazz & Heritage Stage and pointed at the yellow-feathered image of his famous father that stands at the peak of that stage. “Rain, rain, go away,” sang Dollis. Then he jumped into the deluge, singing… Continue reading →

“One Big Holiday”: My Morning Jacket rock Gentilly Stage

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Jim James with My Morning Jacket performs on the Gentilly Stage during the second Friday of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds, Friday April 29, 2016.

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James arrived at the New Orleans Jazz Fest’s Gentilly Stage on Friday with a sampler around his neck, so he could manipulate his vocals; a black vest with neon pinks, greens and yellows; and bug-eyed sunglasses. It was a look only he could pull off. The band’s sound is… Continue reading →

Paul Simon fared better with old favorites in uneven 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest show

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Paul Simon performs on the Acura Stage on the second Friday of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, La. Friday, April 29, 2016.

Paul Simon should have removed his sunglasses sooner at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Late Friday afternoon, he strode onto the main Acura Stage in shades, a hat and a long-sleeved, light-blue shirt adorned with a button depicting his late friend Allen Toussaint — the same kind of button worn… Continue reading →

Ms. Lauryn Hill is right on (New Orleans) time

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Ms. Lauryn Hill performs on the Congo Square stage on the second Friday of Jazz Fest in New Orleans, La. Friday, April 29, 2016.

During her last New Orleans appearance, at the 2014 Voodoo Experience, Ms. Lauryn Hill had a hard time making it on stage. She arrived 40 minutes late and was, again, 40 minutes late for a second, make-up set. Some wondered when she’d show up for her 5:40 p.m. Friday set at the New Orleans Jazz and… Continue reading →

Elvis Costello remembers late Allen Toussaint, shares fond memories at Jazz Fest

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Elvis Costello, wearing a cap with a button depicting his late friend and collaborator Allen Toussaint, fronted The Imposters on the Gentilly Stage at the Fairgrounds during the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

Allen Toussaint was on Elvis Costello’s brain Thursday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival — literally. Costello closed the Gentilly Stage wearing a purple Kangol-style cap decorated with a button that bore the likeness of a beaming Toussaint. The Toussaint emblem prominently adorned Costello’s forehead for the entirety of the set, much of… Continue reading →

New Orleans, Jewish traditions meet at New Orleans Jazz Fest Shabbat

FILE PHOTO -- Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen are the featured entertainers at Friday night's Jazz Fest Shabbat at Touro Synagogue, the 25th annual celebration.

As cantor at Touro Synagogue on St. Charles Avenue, David Mintz is in charge of all things musical, enhancing worship through sacred sound. But he says it wasn’t until he organized and led his first Jazz Fest Shabbat last spring that he truly understood what it meant to be cantor of this particular synagogue in… Continue reading →

Headliners and highlights at Jazz Fest’s weekend 2

The second weekend of the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell opens with “Locals Thursday.” Crowds are typically smaller on Thursdays, which don’t feature the sort of mass-appeal headliners that draw huge crowds on weekends. Thursday’s closer on the main Acura Stage is the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the multigenre band… Continue reading →

Look for spirits of Prince, Toussaint, B.B. King to charge Fair Grounds

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Nancy Lemon and Blaine Devine dance by the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage during the second day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds, Saturday April 23, 2016.

As exhausting and extensive as it was, the first weekend of the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell was only an appetizer for the longer Weekend 2. From Thursday through Sunday, the Fair Grounds will teem with fans of the vast variety of music and food the festival serves up. The question… Continue reading →

At “BreakFest,” musical brunch en route to Jazz Fest on Sundays

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Musicians (from left) Myles Weeks, Andrew Duhon and Aurora Nealand perform for a morning crowd at the Bayou Beer Garden during BreakFest. The breakfast time event returns May 1.

If you have friends who live near the Fair Grounds, this is the week you hope to get that annual email inviting you over for a bloody Mary and some breakfast en route to Jazz Fest. Morning parties before the festival are as much a tradition as crawfish boils after it. A new event at the Continue reading →

New Orleans Events Calendar, April 28-May 1, 2016

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- Tomatoes, like this luscious batch of Creoles, are the main feature in the Our Lady of Prompt Succor Tomato Festival this weekend in Chalmette.

JEFFERSON PRAYER BREAKFAST: 7 a.m., Landmark Hotel, 2601 Severn Ave., Metairie. LIFE Resources sponsors, Chris Reis of the Saints speaks. $25. (985) 626-9582. liferesources.net. BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS TALK: 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. daily, Chalmette Battlefield of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 8606 W. St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette. (504) 281-0510. nps.gov/jela. COLLEGE… Continue reading →

New Orleans Arts Calendar, April 28-May 1, 2016

Photo provided -- Jon Langford's 'Jack a Diamonds' is mixed media on panel. Langford will be at a special Jazz Fest reception at Lemieux Galleries, 332 Julia St., New Orleans, Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibit is up through May 28.

CALLAN CONTEMPORARY: Opening Tuesday, artist reception 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7. “A Basque Review” exhibit by painter and sculptor José-María Cundín of oil and pastel paintings. Through May 30. 518 Julia St., New Orleans. (504) 525-0518. callancontemporary.com. CHERRY ESPRESSO BAR: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. “Vibrational Art” opening exhibit by Tony Martin using fragments of light, paired with… Continue reading →

New Orleans Stages Calendar, April 28-May 1, 2016

Photo provided -- Liz Lowry plays 'The Little Mermaid' in the Cutting Edge Theater's production. Based on the Disney movie of the same name, Ariel trades her vocal abilities for a chance to walk on dry land and pursue her true love. Tickets start at $22. The production runs through May 7. Cutting Edge Theater, 767 Robert Blvd., Slidell.  (985) 649-3727. cuttingedgetheater.com.

“DON QUIXOTE”: 7 p.m. Wednesday through May 22; Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, New Orleans. The NOLA Project mounts a new production of the tale of the Spanish knight and his practical sidekick Sancho Panza and their hilarious adventures through life. $24, $18 Backstage… Continue reading →

Classical, sacred music, April 28-May 1, 2016

JUNIOR PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY CONCERT: 2 p.m., Dixon Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers perform. jrphilnola.org. TRINITY ARTIST SERIES: 5 p.m. Sunday, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave. JazzFest at Trinity, with Rich Look on piano, Tim Paco on bass, Ronel Johnson on trombone and Michael Skinkus on percussion, playing New Orleans jazz.… Continue reading →

Don’t Miss events in New Orleans, April 28-May 4, 2016

Advocate staff file photo -- Crawfish and football will be the theme for the day Saturday when the Saints organization hosts the annual Saints Draft Super Boil, a chance for fans to mingle with past and present players and watch the results of the NFL draft. (504) 731-1700. neworleanssaintscom/fan-zone.

our lady of prompt succor tomato festival Friday through Sunday Luscious, ripe and red — it’s tomatoes in the parish when Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church and School holds the annual Tomato Festival. Live entertainment, festival royalty and delicious cuisine are all in store. 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday,… Continue reading →

New Orleans music calendar, April 28-May 4, 2016

KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE: 10 a.m., The Howlin Wolf, 907 S. Peters St. (504) 529-5844. NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL: 11 a.m., Fair Grounds. JAZZ IN THE PARK: 4 p.m., Armstrong Park, 835 N. Rampart St. HANSEN’S GARDEN DISTRICT BAND: 6:45 p.m., Houston’s Restaurant, 1755 St. Charles Ave. (504) 524-1578.… Continue reading →

DIY Delicious: For a different take on Jazz Fest food, make your own mash-ups with cracklin’, boudin, champagne and more

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -- A cochon de lait po-boy topped with cracklin', a customized creation from the food booths at the New Orleans Jazz Fest.

The food at the New Orleans Jazz Fest doesn’t change much from year to year, and there’s a good reason why. People have made certain dishes part of their Jazz Fest tradition, and they expect and anticipate their favorites on each visit. For 2016 there are only two new dishes (get the skinny on them… Continue reading →

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016 at night: Keith Spera’s guide to music after dark for the fest’s second weekend

Photo by Todd V. Wolfson -- Growing up in San Antonio, Alejandro Escovedo soaked in everything from Cuban jazz and Mexican ballads to rock 'n' roll.

Your guide to music after dark during the second weekend of the 2016 New Orleans Jazz Fest: THURSDAY, APRIL 28 At the House of Blues, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews hosts his annual “Shorty Fest” benefit concert for his educational foundation. He’ll perform with his band Orleans Avenue and special guest Ivan Neville on keyboards. The bill also… Continue reading →

‘Don Quixote’ takes aim at sculpture garden

Photo by Jeremy Blum -- The NOLA Project opens 'Don Quixote' Wednesday in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park. From left are Leslie Claverie, Ian Hoch, Mike Spara (kneeling), AshleyRose Bailey and Joshua Sienkiewicz. The production runs through May 22.

The backdrop will be starlight when the NOLA Project stages a world premiere of “Don Quixote,” opening Wednesday at the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Pete McElligott, a member of the local acting troupe, has fashioned a script based on Miguel de Cervantes’ story of the idealistic knight and his practical companion, which is… Continue reading →