In Memoriam

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Will Smith second line postponed to Friday, April 15

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Will Smith in 2012. - JEFFREY BEAL
  • JEFFREY BEAL
  • Will Smith in 2012.
Heavy rains postponed a second line led by James Andrews to honor former New Orleans Saint Will Smith, who was killed late Saturday. The second line — originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 — is rescheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, April 15.

Andrews tells Gambit the second line is not only a memorial to Smith but a message of nonviolence. Andrews says performers include his Crescent City All Stars and many musical members of the Andrews family.

The 2.7-mile route begins outside the Half Moon (1125 St. Mary St.) and continues north on Camp Street, left on Canal Street, and right on Basin Street to Orleans Avenue. It ends at the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar at 1931 Orleans Ave. Andrews also will perform at the bar.

Organizers encourage people to bring anti-violence signs and "pictures to commemorate all lost to violence in New Orleans."

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Saints announce official visitation for Will Smith

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 3:20 PM

Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints, in 2012. - JEFFREY BEALL
  • JEFFREY BEALL
  • Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints, in 2012.
The New Orleans Saints organization will hold a visitation Friday for fans wanting to pay respects to the late Will Smith. The visitation will be held at the team's practice facility in Metairie.

Smith, who played for the team from 2006 to 2012, was shot Saturday night in the Lower Garden District in an altercation following a fender bender. 

There also will be a memorial second line Wednesday night in the Lower Garden District near the scene of the shooting. It begins at 6 p.m. Update: Due to weather, the second line is postponed to Friday, April 15. Full route information here.

Information on the visitation is under the cut.

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Second line planned for Will Smith

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Will Smith. - MICHAEL C. HEBERT
  • Michael C. Hebert
  • Will Smith.
Update: Due to weather, the second line is postponed to Friday, April 15. Full route information here.

James Andrews and other New Orleans musicians plan to lead a second line memorial for former New Orleans Saint Will Smith, who was killed late Saturday night. The second line meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 outside the Half Moon Bar (1125 St Mary St.) and parades up the block to the intersection of Sophie B. Wright Place and Felicity Street, where mourners and fans have built a memorial for Smith.

An event description on Facebook calls on "all NOLA musicians and Saints fans" to participate: "We are mouring not only the loss of retired Saints player Will Smith but the loss of RESPECT FOR LIFE. STOP THE KILLING!!!"

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and others to "bring your dancing shoes."

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Arcade Fire shares footage of the band's David Bowie parade

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 12:05 PM

Members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Pinettes Brass Band and Arcade Fire paraded through the French Quarter to pay tribute to Davie Bowie last month. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Pinettes Brass Band and Arcade Fire paraded through the French Quarter to pay tribute to Davie Bowie last month.

Following the death of David Bowie last month, new New Orleanians Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire memorialized the artist with a parade through the French Quarter, attracting thousands of fans parading alongside members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Pinettes Brass Band, and dancing strangers, confused tourists and painted faces masking as their favorite Bowie.

Arcade Fire filmed the whole thing — a short video set to the band's take on "Oh! You Pretty Things" as the dirge-like kickoff transforms into a traditionally buoyant, New Orleans brass take on "Heroes." The long afternoon began outside Pres Hall, trekked to the Mississippi River and ended at One Eyed Jacks, where Butler played a Bowie and Bowie-inspired DJ set as Toulouse Street filled with fans and fireworks. Watch below:

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Brass band musicians weigh in on monuments controversy with new Mardi Gras song

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2016 at 2:45 PM

TBC Brass Band featuring Glen David Andrews perform at Gumbo Fest 2015
  • Shalanda Adams
  • TBC Brass Band featuring Glen David Andrews perform at Gumbo Fest 2015

It seems that everyone who lives in New Orleans whether born and raised or just landed here last week has an opinion on the controversy swirling around what should be done (if anything) with the city’s confederate monuments. In the last six months, the city has become racially charged on subject of whether or not several monuments to the confederacy should be removed. Named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lee Circle had long been a thorn in the sides of black New Orleanians and Mayor Mitch Landrieu seized the opportunity during the #BlackLivesMatter campaign sweeping the country to recommend that it and the others be removed.

Around the same time the issue began fomenting in City Hall meetings and on talk radio shows, the local brass band scene began bumping a catchy tune after famed New Orleans trombonist Glen David Andrews dropped in on TBC Brass Band’s regular Wednesday night gig at Celebration Hall. The band had been toying with the groove for some months when Andrews jumped up, grabbed the mic and began improvising lyrics, luring the crowd to join in on call and response:

Wild Magnolia! Wild Magnolia!
Big Chief Bo Dollis! Big Chief Bo Dollis!

The club went wild for the song, buckjumping and singing this new ode to one of the city’s most beloved Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs. TBC knew immediately they had another hit on their hands. They began playing the song at second lines with a plan to formally release it Mardi Gras week. But along the way, the song picked up another lyric that took it deeper from cultural to political waters. Last November at the 2015 Gumbo Fest in Armstrong Park, Andrews joined TBC on stage to sing the song and was inspired to add another line (7:55 minute mark):

“We gonna name Lee Circle… after Allen Toussaint!”

(read the rest below the jump!)

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Musee Conti to close for good Jan. 31

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:45 AM

Andrew Jackson leads the Battle of New Orleans in this exhibit at Musee Conti. The wax museum closes Jan. 31 after 52 years. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Andrew Jackson leads the Battle of New Orleans in this exhibit at Musee Conti. The wax museum closes Jan. 31 after 52 years.

New Orleans' own quirky wax museum, Musee Conti, is set to close Sunday after 52 years of entertaining visitors and schoolchildren with wax dioramas of scenes like the Louisiana Purchase and the Battle of New Orleans.

Read our November cover story about Musee Conti's unusual history here.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: Oh! You pretty things

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM


A David Bowie memorial parade and several streets-sized block party made the French Quarter on Saturday night look like the bottom of the box where you keep your glittery Christmas ornaments. Also: Everyone turns into a Powerball goblin, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans Baton Rouge, and Gov. John Bel Edwards is pope of Louisiana.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Watch a parade of Bowies lead a second line with Arcade Fire

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Preservation Hall's Clint Maedgen on saxophone performing "Heroes" in a second line from the Mississippi River into the French Quarter honoring the late David Bowie.
  • Preservation Hall's Clint Maedgen on saxophone performing "Heroes" in a second line from the Mississippi River into the French Quarter honoring the late David Bowie.

A seemingly infinite sea of lightning bolt-painted faces, elaborate wigs and glittery contour makeup filled the French Quarter for a second line tribute to David Bowie, who died Sunday, Jan. 10. Members of Arcade Fire and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band led the second line from the hallowed hall to the Mississippi River and ended at One Eyed Jacks, all to the strains of Bowie hits, from "Oh! You Pretty Things" as the dirge to a bombastic, brassy "Suffragette City."

Watch the band and a fraction of the colorful, Bowie-fied crowd below.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Arcade Fire and Pres Hall hosting second line for David Bowie

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 3:30 PM

JIMMY KING
  • JIMMY KING
Two days after his 69th birthday and the release of his acclaimed 26th album Blackstar, David Bowie died Sunday, Jan. 10.

In New Orleans, Arcade Fire joins the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a second line honoring the beloved, immensely influential musician and artist. The bands request dressing in your best Bowie at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at Preservation Hall (726 St. Peter St.).

Bowie performed several times in New Orleans. On Nov. 22, 1972, several months after his landmark The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Bowie and his band performed at the Warehouse on Tchoupitoulas for more than 1,500 people. (Tickets were $4.) He also appeared at the Superdome in 1987 during his "Glass Spider" tour and at the Saenger Theatre in 2004 following 2003's Reality.

In 2005, Bowie praised the then-rising band from Montreal to Rolling Stone: "I bought a huge stack of the Funeral CD last September and gave them to all my friends. I made so many converts."

Bowie and Arcade Fire performed together at Fashion Rocks that year — money raised from the EP benefited Hurricane Katrina relief organizations. Together they performed Bowie's "Life on Mars?" and "Five Years" and Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" from its debut studio LP Funeral. Bowie also appeared briefly on the band's 2013 album Reflektor, adding his vocals to the album's title track. Following Bowie's death, Arcade Fire's Win Butler wrote, "Goodbye friend. So many tears, and so lucky to have passed in the same solar system."

In a band statement, Arcade Fire said Bowie "not only created the world that made it possible for our band to exist, he welcomed us into it with grace and warmth. We will take to the grave the moments we shared; talking, playing music and collaborating as some of the most profound and memorable moments of our lives." See the second line route below:

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Jan. 14 declared Allen Toussaint Day

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Allen Toussaint Day is Jan. 14, his birthday. - MICHAEL WILSON
  • MICHAEL WILSON
  • Allen Toussaint Day is Jan. 14, his birthday.

The New Orleans City Council today declared Jan. 14 Allen Toussaint Day, honoring the late songwriter and producer's birthday.

Toussaint — born Jan. 14, 1938 — died in November following a performance in Spain. He was 77. Hundreds of fans and fellow musicians gathered at the Orpheum Theater to pay their respects to the artist, the architect of New Orleans funk and a prolific, humble and stylish visionary in rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll.

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