All the happenings

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music

Saturday, April 9, 2016
11:30 amRonnie Kole: Reflections on a Vintage Life – Piano-man extraordinaire, bandleader, and wine connoisseur Ronnie Kole has – in his nearly 70 years as a professional musician – performed for the Pope, six U.S. Presidents, at major festivals around the world, and for select audiences of oenophiles at some of the most elegant chateaux in France. Ronnie Kole also helped get Jazz Fest and French Quarter Festival started and has worked tirelessly for numerous civic and charitable organizations throughout his career. For Let Them Talk he’ll discuss this storied life with interviewer Fred Kasten.

12:30 pmBourbon Street Blues: Mason Ruffner and the Blues Rockers – Guitar-slinger Mason Ruffner rolled into New Orleans from his native Fort Worth in the late 70s. He set up shop on Bourbon Street at Club 544 where his band the Blues Rockers did hundreds of shows, backing such blues legends as John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Memphis Slim and winning praise from visiting musical superstars like Jimmy Page, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Carlos Santana. Mason Ruffner talks about a life of rockin’ the blues with interviewer Fred Kasten.

1:30 pmThe New Orleans Helsinki Connection: Katja Toivola – Trombonist Katja Toivola – a native of Helsinki, Finland – first visited New Orleans in 1995 and now splits time between her two “hometowns”. She leads bands in both cities, The Spirit of New Orleans in Helsinki, and the New Orleans Helsinki Connection in the Crescent City. Toivola also plays in husband Leroy Jones’ New Orleans’ Finest band, handles bass drum duties for the Hurricane Brass Band, and does acclaimed work as a graphic designer and photographer. She’ll talk about her multi-faceted career with interviewer Fred Kasten.

2:30 pmNEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis – When the Dizzy Gillespie’s Big Band played New Orleans back in the late 1940s Ellis Marsalis, then a fledgling tenor saxophonist, was there and decided, “that’s what I want to do.” He went on to put the tenor sax away and concentrate on piano. He became one of the cornerstones of modern jazz in New Orleans as a pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator. Four of his and wife Delores’ six sons: Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason, also became innovative and accomplished contributors to modern music. For Let Them Talk, Ellis Marsalis will look back on his life in music and education – and ahead to his remaining musical ambitions – with interviewer Fred Kasten.

3:30 pmFrom Radiators to Living Rumors: Camile Baudoin – For over 33 years powerhouse guitarist Camile Baudoin teamed with fellow guitar-slinger Dave Malone to deliver the legendary Radiators band’s trademark twin-guitar excursions. Since the Radiators essentially disbanded in 2011 (they still do a few reunion performances each year) Camile Baudoin has continued to work with Malone in Raw Oyster Cult and lead his own band, The Living Rumors. For Let Them Talk, Camile Baudoin looks back on nearly four decades on the New Orleans music scene with New Orleans Advocate music writer Keith Spera.

4:30 pmSong for My Fathers and Beyond: Tommy Sancton – Novelist, journalist, memoirist, and clarinetist Tommy Sancton’s acclaimed 2006 memoir Song for My Fathers documented his apprenticeship with clarinet great George Lewis and other New Orleans jazz pioneers. Sancton returned to New Orleans in 2007 after many years abroad – mostly in Paris – and reestablished himself as a top-notch clarinetist and bandleader on the New Orleans scene. For Let Them Talk, Tommy Sancton discusses his parallel careers in writing and music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

Sunday, April 10, 2016
11:30 amMiss River: Sarah Quintana – New Orleans singer, songwriter, and guitarist Sarah Quintana has a background rich in jazz, folk, and popular music. She studied jazz at NOCCA with Kidd Jordan, Davey Mooney and Hank Mackie. In 2008 she began making trips to France (she also studied French at NOCCA) where she now spends considerable time working with saxophonist Raphael Imbert and his band. Quintana’s widely acclaimed 2015 release Miss River pays homage to the strength – and fragility – of Louisiana’s traditions and environment. For Let Them Talk she’ll discuss her twin careers in New Orleans and France with interviewer Fred Kasten.

12:30 pmThe Long and Winding Road: Bennie Pete and the Hot 8 Brass Band – In 1996 sousaphonist Bennie Pete brought together players from two former Fortier High School student bands – the High Steppers and Looney Tunes Brass Bands – to form the Hot 8 Brass Band. Over their 20 years together the Hot 8 has been hammered by tragedy, blessed by triumphs, and sustained by talent, resilience, and hard work. For Let Them Talk, Bennie Pete discusses the difficulties and rewards of leading a 21st Century brass band in New Orleans with author and Tulane University Associate Professor of Music Matt Sakakeeny.

1:30 pmSaxophones of Ascension– Louisiana’s Ascension Parish has provided the world with at least two outstanding jazz saxophonists: Donaldsonville’s Plas Johnson (who created that irresistible tenor solo on Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme) and Gonzales’ Grammy-winning Derek Douget. Douget is a long-standing member of the Ellis Marsalis Quartet, leader of his own bands, and current program coordinator for the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music programs operated by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. For Let Them Talk he’ll discuss growing up in the “Jambalaya Capital of the World” (Gonzales) and his two decades plus on the jazz scene in New Orleans with interviewer Fred Kasten.

2:30From Southern Nights to Hall-of-Fame Heights: Remembering Allen Toussaint – When Allen Toussaint passed away in November 2015 while on tour in Spain, he left behind a Hall-of-Fame (Rock and Roll and Songwriters among others) legacy as a songwriter, producer, arranger, performer – and especially since Katrina – stalwart and effective advocate for New Orleans,as well as a man of infinite grace and style. For Let Them Talk, Grammy-winning record producer Scott Billington and an all-star panel – including another Grammy-winner – the great Irma Thomas; award-winning music journalist and biographer Ben Sandmel; and bassist Roland Guerin – a long-time member of Allen Toussaint’s band – will share Allen Toussaint stories and memories.

3:30 pmTighten Up: From Archie Bell to Astral Project – New Orleans Sax Ace Tony Dagradi – Saxophonist, composer and educator Tony Dagradi grew up in New Jersey, studied music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, then hit the road with Archie Bell and the Drells. That tour came through New Orleans and ended in Houston. Dagradi doubled back to New Orleans and has been here ever since. He founded Astral Project in 1978, and 38 years later they are still performing at a very high level. For Let Them Talk Tony Dagradi talks about a wide range of his musical interests and pursuits with interviewer Fred Kasten.

4:30Big Time Talent, Big Time Voice: The Steady Rise of Erica Falls – New Orleans vocalist Erica Falls is comfortable performing a wide range of genres – including rhythm and blues, soul, funk and jazz. She’s invested the last 20 years in demonstrating that talent by performing with such great artists as Joe Sample, Dr. John, Sting, Irma Thomas, Joss Stone and Gatemouth Brown – and increasingly in recent years fronting her own band – as she’ll do on the Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage at FQF. For Let Them Talk Erica Falls discusses her life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

Special Events on Thursday, April 7, 2016

French Quarter Festival Second-Line Kickoff Parade – 100 block of Bourbon Street to Jackson Square – 10AM

Opera at the Upper Pontalba presented by the French Market; operatic performances with musical accompaniment sponsored by the French Market. Upper Pontalba building on Jackson Square, at Chartres St. near St. Peter. 7PM

2016 Gala at Antoine’s Restaurant – For information and to purchase tickets click here. – Patron Party 7PM; Gala 8PM

Special Events on Friday, April 18, 2016

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode: NOLA – Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public. Schedule coming soon!

Special Events on Saturday, April 10, 2016

Pirates Alley Juried Art Show – presented by the New Orleans Art Association; over 100 artists displaying original fine art in Pirates Alley, Pere Antoine Alley, Cabildo Alley, and Royal Street – 8AM-6PM

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music – Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor. Free and open to the public.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode: NOLA – Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public. Schedule coming soon!

Chevron Children’s Headquarters on the Riverfront at the Natchez Wharf featuring the Chevron “STEAM” Zone (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with interactive, fascinating fun for families. Community partners include the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Also featuring the Children’s Performance Tent. More details coming soon! 11AM-5PM

Children’s Museum Activities & Fun at the Hermann-Grima House, sponsored by Chevron Enjoy music, entertainment, crafts, and educational projects for children of all ages hosted by the Hermann-Grima House. Community partners include the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Young Audiences Louisiana, The Green Project, Beauregard-Keyes House, New Orleans Public Library, RicRACK, Inc., and Louisiana State Museum. The Hermann-Grima House is located at 820 St. Louis Street – Noon-5PM.

La Belle Galerie presents Opera at Dusk – operatic performances by tenor Marshall Richards with musical accompaniment; sponsored by La Belle Galerie. Lower Pontalba Building – 7PM

Battle of the Bands – traditional jazz bands compete in a rousing playoff – 400 block of Royal – 5:30-7PM

Special Events on Sunday April 10, 2016

Pirates Alley Juried Art Show – presented by the New Orleans Art Association; over 100 artists displaying original fine art in Pirates Alley, Pere Antoine Alley, Cabildo Alley, and Royal Street – 8AM-6PM

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music – Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor. Free and open to the public.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode:NOLA – Le Petit Theater du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public. Schedule coming soon!

Chevron Children’s Headquarters on the Riverfront at the Natchez Wharf featuring the Chevron “STEAM” Zone (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with interactive, fascinating fun for families. Community partners include the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Also featuring the Children’s Performance Tent. More details coming soon! 11AM-5PM

Children’s Museum Activities & Fun at the Hermann-Grima House, sponsored by Chevron Enjoy music, entertainment, crafts, and educational projects for children of all ages hosted by the Hermann-Grima House. Community partners include the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Young Audiences Louisiana, The Green Project, Beauregard-Keyes House, New Orleans Public Library, RicRACK, Inc., and Louisiana State Museum. The Hermann-Grima House is located at 820 St. Louis Street – Noon-5PM.

St. Louis Cathedral Annual Spring Concert – Admission is free and open to the general public. 7PM

Dancing at Dusk – You’ll be ‘In the Mood’ for a ‘Sentimental Journey’ with the sounds of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and other favorites from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Come dance and swing at this festival favorite with The Tomcats. 400 block of Royal Street – 6:00-7:15PM

Gala

Antoine’s Restaurant
713 St. Louis Street

Thursday, April 7th, 2016
Patron Party 7:00 – 8:00pm
Gala 8:00 -10:30pm
Cocktail Attire – Dinner, drinks, and dancing!

Established in 1840, Antoine’s is the country’s oldest family-run restaurant, a favorite of locals, and a beloved New Orleans institution.

In 2015, Antoine’s Restaurant turned 175 years old! Obviously they have been doing something right throughout the years to have lasted long enough to be considered the oldest continuously operated family-run restaurant in the country. Throughout the years Antoine’s remained iconic and famous for great service, atmosphere, culinary delights and New Orleans originals – like Oyster Rockefeller, Eggs Sardou, and the famous puffed soufflé potatoes -that were all born here. Guests have included famous movie stars, musicians, presidents, popes, generals, and New Orleans’ most prominent families.

The names of each of the dining rooms at Antoine’s Restaurant are steeped in history. During the French Quarter Festival Opening Night Gala, enjoy the original Main Dining Room, the Mardi-Gras themed Rex, Proteus, and 12th Night Revelers rooms, the Mystery Room, 1840 Room, the Last Room (or Tabasco Room) and the Wine Cellar, which holds approximately 25,000 bottles when fully stocked. French Quarter Festival is the only time of the year when Antoine’s allows a non-profit community organization to ‘take over’ – celebrating the opening of French Quarter Festival at this grand Gala event.

Guests will enjoy tastings by Antoine’s and other festival favorites, and open bar courtesy of Abita Brewing Company and Republic Beverages.

Click here to order tickets online or call to make your reservations – (504) 522-5730


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