Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns

  • 1:45pm / April, 9th 2016
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    Omni Royal Orleans Hotel Stage

Meschiya began her singing career at the age of nine, earning a regular gig and winning $500 upon winning an adults only singing contest in a South Dakota Steakhouse. In 2000 as a young woman, she met and began traveling with the Know Nothing Family Zirkus Zideshow and End of the World Circus – a troupe blending traditional circus arts with modern sideshow varieties where Meschiya honed her performance skills with such thrilling acts as glass and insect eating and fire dancing (dangerously twirling around on stage with flame-doused nunchucks). It was while touring with this troupe that she fell in love with and felt immediately embraced by the culturally rich and one of a kind city of New Orleans, her home base for the last decade and counting.

Now 33, Lake has long since ditched the circus gimmicks and instead focuses entirely on her voice, which she uses as a powerful instrument most nights a week in gigs throughout the city. In 2007 she began singing with the Loose Marbles, a traditional jazz outfit on Royal Street; a year later she formed the Magnolia Beacon with Erika Lewis; in the Spring of 2009 she went on to create The Little Big Horns Jazz Band.

The latter affiliation has taken her around the globe with stops at such venerable stages as Lincoln Center and major international festivals in the United States, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands, Russia, and the U.K. Along the way Lake and the Little Big Horns have garnered such praise as “one of the most entertaining bands on the planet,” from the venerable British rock magazine R2. Back home in New Orleans, Lake has been recognized as Female Performer of the Year three years running by the Big Easy Awards.

Their first CD, Lucky Devil, features a top-of-her-game Lake using the full range of vocal and songwriting skills she’s developed through lessons, experience, and hard work since first hitting that South Dakota stage. On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2010, Lucky Devil was honored by David Kunian on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered as one of his four favorite albums of the year.

As U.K. reviewer Allan Wilkinson wrote of the album, “a couple of self-penned numbers from Lake…just go to prove, along with the rest of this gem of a record, that no flood nor new century can subdue the spirit of New Orleans.”

Her sophomore effort with the Little Big Horns, Foolers Gold was released in September of 2013. It mixes the extraordinary traditional jazz mastery she demonstrated on Lucky Devil with a bold, contemporary sensibility all her own.