Jazz Fest

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Robert Plant performs with the Sensational Space Shifters.
  • Robert Plant performs with the Sensational Space Shifters.

Half-way through Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters' set at Jazz Fest, Plant shared that he initially was skeptical about making the trip from England to play the event, because the band didn't have other U.S. gigs lined up. Plant said that New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival producer Quint Davis told him, "Just come."

The band obviously did that, and if recent trips to New Orleans or performances with Alison Krauss at the festival didn't influence his decision, other memories may have. Plant said Led Zeppelin had a great time in New Orleans in the 1970s and had parties in which Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Snooks Eaglin played for them. The band also traveled to Clarksdale, Miss., where members tried to connect with some of the bluesmen who influenced them and a wave of British musicians. That was a segue way into playing "Fixing to Die" by Booker White (aka Bukka White). And the Space Shifters played a few old blues tunes in-between Zeppelin tunes, notably "Whole Lotta Love." There once was controversy over whether that song was similar to a Muddy Waters song. On stage Saturday, however, Plant seemed to make another connection, as It seems "Whole Lotta Love" shares a lyric from one of the blues tunes the Space Shifters covered.

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Where to eat after Jazz Fest — Part 6: Freret Street

Posted By on Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM

High Hat Cafe. - CHERYL GERBER
  • High Hat Cafe.

All week long, we’ll be looking at dining options around some New Orleans neighborhoods that are featuring night concerts after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Part 1: The St. Claude Avenue scene.
Part 2: Around Tipitina's.
Part 3: The Canal Street theater district.
Part 4: Near City Park

Part 5: Uptown.

Live music fills this funky street, anchored by PubliQ House (4528 Freret Street, 504-826-9912) and Gasa Gasa (4920 Freret Street, 504-304-7110).

High Hat Café (4500 Freret St., 504-754-1336)

Indie drummer/High Hat manager/cocktail genius Ryan Iriarte is usually on the floor of this Southern eatery, where the tamales are Louisiana-made, the pimento cheese recipe comes from family in Georgia, and produce is from nearby Delachaise and Hollygrove gardens. In the kitchen, chef de cuisine Jeremy Wolgamott riffs with the seasons, turning out some of the city’s tastiest fruit pies, while Iriarte’s cocktails show off what’s fresh now (these days, his housemade strawberry amaro punch). A pleasing kid’s menu appeals to families, too.

Mint Modern Bistro & Bar (5100 Freret St., 504-218-5534)

Sleek seats, a sweeping menu (kimchi burger, fried chicken over pandan waffles, chopped steak and eggs) and specialty cocktails reflect the “modern” in this Freret newcomer. Providing the bass lines are standards like classic pho and bahn mi, well-priced. Chef-owner Jimmy Tran likes to mix it up, so ask for off-menu specials like lemongrass tofu over vermicelli, glazed fried shrimp, or lemongrass chicken tacos (steamed buns, bao-style). And come Sunday; unlike many traditional Vietnamese restaurants, Mint’s is open.

Cure (4905 Freret St., 504-302-2357)

Backlit liquor bottles are the scales here, played to masterful effect in revolutionary and well-balanced craft cocktails. Matching them are beefed-up plates from consulting chef Adam Biderman, who’s introduced to the menu steak tartare, ham biscuits and a stacked sandwich of fried eggs, bacon and cheddar. Bottles of wine are 40 percent off Thursdays, while classic cocktails are $6 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily. The staff also spins full digital LPs, so listen for Scottish alt-rock, folk rock, and deep-tracked Stones.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview: Cyril Jordan of Flamin' Groovies

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Flamin Groovies
  • P Squared Photography
  • Flamin' Groovies

It's not uncommon for someone to ask Cyril Jordan, "Who the f— are you guys?" Jordan founded San Francisco's Flamin' Groovies, rock 'n' roll stalwarts and punk progenators — maybe moreso to record crate diggers than the average Rolling Stones fan. (Legend has it, however, that Mick Jagger himself said the Groovies were doing a better job at what the Stones were trying.)

Band co-founder Roy Loney left after the Groovies' landmark 1971 album Teenage Head, and Jordan, along with bassist George Alexander and new guitarist Chris Wilson, focused on a more power-pop direction, with producer Dave Edmunds at the helm of 1976's Shake Some Action and 1978's Flamin' Groovies Now. In '76, the band toured the U.K. bringing along New Jersey's Ramones. The Ramones' impact there made history while the Groovies began to unravel. The Jordan/Alexander/Wilson lineup played for the last time in 1981.

But in 2008, Loney and Jordan reunited to perform Teenage Head material with some famous fans: Yo La Tengo and The A-Bones. (That lineup had a memorable performance at the 2010 Ponderosa Stomp.)

Another group of famous fans, Australia's favorite garage-pop sons the Hoodoo Gurus, heard that Jordan was considering getting Alexander and Wilson together. The band invited Flamin' Groovies to perform in Australia last year, kickstarting a Flamin' Groovies "classic lineup" reunion tour and inspiring a documentary about "the greatest rock band you've never heard."

Ponderosa Stomp and Aquarium Drunkard host a New Orleans tour stop at 10 p.m. Monday, April 28 at One Eyed Jacks (615 Toulouse St., 504-569-8361). The Men co-headlines. The Royal Pendletons open with DJs Matty and 9ris 9ris. Tickets $20.

Below, Jordan talks to Gambit about reuniting the band, surviving the Haight-Ashbury scene, The Beatles, and life without a computer or cell phone.

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Where to eat after Jazz Fest — Part 5: Uptown

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

  • Chiba.

All week long, we’ll be looking at dining options around some New Orleans neighborhoods that are featuring night concerts after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Part 1: The St. Claude Avenue scene.
Part 2: Around Tipitina's.
Part 3: The Canal Street theater district.
Part 4: Near City Park

Long-time taverns Carrollton Station (8140 Willow Street, 504-865-9190) and Maple Leaf Bar (8316 Oak Street, 504-866-9359) are hopping during Jazz Fest.

Boucherie (8115 Jeannette St., 504-862-5514)
Chef Nathanial Zimet leads the house band in this cozy former cottage, which turns out Southern-based plates; try the signature (and award-winning) po-boys. A nod to global cuisines, too, means that the Reuben’s made with pork belly, blackened shrimp come with grit cakes, and there’s usually house-fermented kimchi on the menu. It’s ramps season, so look for them here roasted with ricotta ravioli, grilled with ribs, and in sauerkraut. Pair dinner with an excellent and wide-ranging beer list, as well as lush desserts; reservations are a must.

Oak Wine Bar (8118 Oak St., 504-302-1485)
Sexy players meet here for glasses of wine and sleek plates, all smartly curated. The cellar stores about 100 wine bottles, arranged by taste rather than region. Among the shareable small plates, try the rich poutine, crab fritters, Gulf shrimp tacos and flatbread (recently, topped with fried pork belly and pickled carrots). The expansive dining room also has a small stage for live jazz, funk, soul and blues.

Chiba (8312 Oak St., 504-826-9119)
The late-night reverse happy hour is made for post-show goers. Here, “reverse” specials run nightly (on Wednesdays, starting as early as 4 p.m.) and include $3 bottled beers, select $3 sushi, $3 steamed buns (pork belly, panko oyster, chicken katsu) and $3 desserts (tempura-battered blueberry bread pudding, mochi). The regular menu is thoughtful and broad, and seafood lovers will take to the jeweled sushi rolls and fresh fish flown in weekly from Hawaii. Chiba will open the Sundays of Jazz Fest, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jazz Fest performers' picks: Ben Jaffe, Sunpie Barnes and Sam Craft

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 11:40 AM


Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Band wants to see Solange and Chaka Khan.

Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes is up for Phish and Bruce Springsteen.

Sam Craft of Sweet Crude and Alexis and the Samurai is all about The Head and the Heart and Foster the People.

Check out all their picks for this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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Listen: Big Freedia debuts new track "Explode"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Big Freedia — who recently was awarded the Big Easy Award for Entertainer of the Year — debuted a new track, "Explode," produced by DJ BlaqNMild for the Queen Diva's upcoming album Just Be Free. Stream it below.

The queen of bounce releases the album June 17 on Queen Diva Music. It's available for preorder via iTunes now. Catch Freedia at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 26 at the Congo Square Stage. Also, be sure to check out Peggy Scott Laborde's interview with Freedia at the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

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Where to eat after Jazz Fest — Part 4: Near City Park

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Bud's Broiler. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Bud's Broiler.

All week long, we’ll be looking at dining options around some New Orleans neighborhoods that are featuring night concerts after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Part 1: The St. Claude Avenue scene.
Part 2: Around Tipitina's.
Part 3: The Canal Street theater district.

Evenings sing at City Park’s Botanical Garden (1 Palm Drive, 504-482-488), where Southern soul and blues bloom; live jazz plays on the patio outside beignet palace Morning Call (56 Dreyfous Drive, 504-300-1157). Here are some nearby places for grub.

MoPho (514 City Park Ave., 504-482-6845)

Culinary mofos go down the block for Chef Michael Gulotta’s gorgeous, full-flavored takes on Southeast Asian fare. Mid-City’s latest sensation has already won over fans of its lemongrass-ginger glazed chicken wings, fried oysters tumbled with pickled blue cheese, hot sausage po-boys, and a rich chocolate-hazelnut pudding. Behind the bar, beverage director Mary Dixie has crafted an imaginative drinks list showcasing lychee, tamarind, coconut, papaya and passion fruit, ably matched with spirits.

Bud’s Broiler (500 City Park Ave., 504-486-2559)

Regulars of this accordion-sized treasure have their favorite number on the menu, a shorthand way to ask for charbroiled burgers and hotdogs, each with a stepladder of toppings. Bigger appetites take on the fried shrimp or catfish po-boys, and add a mountain of fries drenched in chili-cheese. Equally good at all hours are the milkshakes and fruity handpies. 24 hours.

Pearl Wine Company (3700 Orleans Ave., 504-483-6314)

The bar is bigger than it looks, thanks to the adjacent retail store stocked sky-high with premium spirits, beer and wines. Owner Leora Pearl sources Cleaver & Co. charcuterie and cheese for sandwiches, while rotating in dinner pop-ups like Foodie Call (loaded burgers, sandwiches and fries), Chutney & Chai (Indian street food) and festival favorite Crepes à la Cart. Thursdays, La Cocinita rolls up as part of the on-site farmers’ market.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where to eat after Jazz Fest — Part 3: Canal Street theater district

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:19 AM

  • Domenica.

All week long, we’ll be looking at dining options around some New Orleans neighborhoods that are featuring night concerts after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Part 1: The St. Claude Avenue scene.
Part 2: Around Tipitina's.

The pair of vintage theater marquees at the Saenger and Joy Theaters light up for Jazz Fest, hosting Southern rockers, bluesmen, funk bassists, sample-based pop and more.

Domenica (123 Baronne St., 504-648-6020)
Virtuoso chef Alon Shaya beautifully translates rustic Italian dishes for an urban audience, who turn out in such numbers that reservations are a must for weekend dinners, year-round. This season, look for whipped burrata paired with fried oysters and biscuits, gnocchi cradled with spring onions, and crackled-skin chicken with rosemary. As always, the bubble-blistered pizzas (half-priced at happy hour) and lively charcuterie boards can’t be beat.

City Diner (201 Baronne St., 504-309-7339)
Breakfast is the jam when it’s this decadent - sweet, cymbal-sized pancakes stuffed with cream cheese and fruit; creamy, custom-flavored milkshakes (choose from on-hand ice creams like cookie dough); mounds of hash browns with eggs, cheese, and sauce or sausage gravy. Bottomless appetites should try the “Bottom of the Bowl” – an edible bread bowl is the prize for polishing off creamed shrimp, crawfish and crabmeat. On Friday and Saturday, the foodie fun goes around the clock.

Cleo’s Cuisine & Grocery (165 University Place, 504-522-4504)
When the music’s over, Cleo’s still hums along. The dual restaurant/mini market slings authentic Mediterranean fare through the night, including generous plates of chicken or beef shawarma, lamb and beef gyro, meaty kebabs and falafel. From 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. daily, the kitchen turns out eggy, American-style breakfast sandwiches and scrambles, as well as sandwiches filled with goat cheese, feta cheese or mashed fava beans. In the mart, shop for fig preserves, jarred ghee, ground sesame seeds and other exotic fixings. 

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where to eat after Jazz Fest — Part 2: Around Tipitina's

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Dick and Jenny's. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Dick and Jenny's.

All week long, we’ll be looking at dining options around some New Orleans neighborhoods that are featuring night concerts after the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Part 1 of the series looked at the St. Claude Avenue scene

Stars, both enduring and upcoming, have taken the legendary stage at Tipitina's, and the smart layout makes every seat a good one. When the show’s done, take to the streets.

Dick & Jenny’s (4501 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-894-9880)
“We’ll turn up the music” for Jazz Fest, promises general manager Abraham D’Aquin; you also cancount on extended weekend hours and added Sunday dinners April 27 and May 4 (reservations are a must). Besides the kitchen’s Creole-accented Italian standards (crawfish risotto, braised Louisiana rabbit over polenta), look for specials featuring soft-shell crabs and a coconut-curry hot pot brimming with seafood. A quiet cocktail list, weighed toward whiskies and Italian liqueurs, rounds out the night.

New York Pizza (4418 Magazine St., 504-891-2376)
When the pizzeria’s dining room winds down (11 p.m. on weekends), the adjacent Bronx Bar takes over. That means the full menu can be had most nights until 2 a.m., including custom-stuffed calzones. Pizza pies can be super-sized to 16 inches, and generously topped. The ultimate bargain is the $5 select pint and slice, and there’s a strong beer selection, with nearly two dozen quality brews on tap.

F&M Patio Bar (4841 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-895-6784)
When the last notes fade, hardcore fans will be standing at this jumpin’ joint, where the grill’s fired up almost to sunrise Thursday through Saturday. On the sizzle are half-pound burgers, quesadillas (gator sausage is an option) and chicken fingers, delivered with dipping sauce. The signature here is a dish of waffle fries, loaded with a trio of hand-ground cheeses (go all the way with chili-jalapeños). See you when the sun comes up.

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