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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

Sufjan Stevens
8 p.m. Tue., Sept. 19
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Credited with being one of the instigators of the resurgent folky sound in indie rock, multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens is also one of the most prolific songwriters working today. To the point that it's almost possible to believe that he will complete his stated project of releasing an LP for every state in the union (although recently, he did tell the press that he "might not do Texas.") Case in point: his 2006 release on his own Asthmatic Kitty label, The Avalanche , is a full-length collection of outtakes and alternate versions from his acclaimed 2005 release Come On Feel The Illinoise , which was itself a 22-track opus. And all year, he's been doing online-only releases and tossing a track here and there to compilations and anthologies. Part beat poet, part strumming troubadour, part visionary experimentalist, Stevens is an odd and probably brilliant artist who seems to like making songs as if they were collages; beyond folky singer-songwriter material, his records are ethereal, often awed-sounding pastiches of fluttering flutes, gentle handclaps, shimmery piano and other touches of whimsy that are best for sitting and thinking to. With My Brightest Diamond. Tickets $24. Alison Fensterstock


STAGE

Nunez Community Theater Festival
Wed.-Sat., Sept 20-23;
Nunez Community College Auditorium, 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette; www.nunez.edu

Award-winning southeastern Louisiana playwright Anne Galjour (pictured) will perform her one-woman show Hurricane as part of the Nunez Community Theater Festival. Written well before Katrina, Hurricane imagines the lives of people living in coastal Louisiana as they are threatened by such a storm. Now living in San Francisco, Galjour writes often about south Louisiana. Hurricane was combined with other work and debuted off Broadway in New York City as Alligator Tales . The original San Francisco debut of Hurricane earned her the American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Award for Emerging Playwright. Her other works include Okra . Galjour will conduct two free playwriting and performance workshops during the festival (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Call (225) 571-2929 to participate). Hurricane will be presented Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday evening (also 7:30) will feature performances by a host of local theater and dance artists and musicians, including Irvan Perez, Rebecca Chapman, Laura Paisant, Rising Appalachia, NOLA Playback, ArtSpot Productions, Mondo Bizzaro, Maurice Turner, J Hammons, Maritza Mercado-Narcisse, Bruce France, Dante and Danielle Sears. Free admission for all events. — Will Coviello


EVENTS

Cocktails to Katrina
6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 23
Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive, 581-4367; call 251-7821 for tickets

If you want to take on Deuce McAllister, you might want to do it in billiards. Deuce is back in form and ready to go in the nationally televised home opener against the Atlanta Falcons in the Louisiana Superdome on Monday night. But at the "Cocktails for Katrina" fundraiser for his Catch 22 Foundation at Generations Hall on Saturday evening, both Deuce and quarterback Drew Brees will take on challengers in pool and raise a toast to Saints football and Katrina recovery efforts. They'll be on hand to talk football and highlight efforts to help area school children recover from Katrina. The event will feature cocktails by Rain vodka and food from Morton's Steakhouse, Drago's, Impastato's, Dorignac's, Pigeon Caterers and many other local restaurants. Proceeds will go to improvements at Pan American Stadium in City Park, where area high school athletic events are held. Deuce's foundation has donated more than $25,000 since Katrina to help children affected by the storm, and also supported fellow Saint Steve Gleason's efforts to provide more than 7,000 backpacks full of school supplies to displaced school kids. Call 251-7821 or email catch22foundation@sbcglobal.net for tickets. Tickets $100. — Coviello


MUSIC

Donald Harrison Quartet
8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fri., Sept. 22
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St, 949-0696; www.snugjazz.com

A Mardi Gras Indian big chief just like his namesake father, 46-year-old Donald Harrison Jr. was born into New Orleans royalty. After first making a splash on the national jazz scene playing with Eddie Palmieri and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the '80s, and locally in a long-term collaboration with Terence Blanchard and under the tutelage of Kidd Jordan on free-form philosophy, Harrison earned his spot among music royalty decades ago. But Mother Nature's wrath — and the levee's failure — paid no mind to Harrison's exalted status when it took his home and everything in it during Katrina. Harrison drew inspiration from the tragedy in creating The Survivor (Nagel Heyer), his latest album released in late May. The acclaimed release runs the emotional spectrum, from a brooding, detached version of "Summertime," to the rollicking, funky street-beat of "Nouveau Swing." A hip-hop-infusion of post-bop style (evident in the send-up of the Duke Ellington standard "Caravan," which comes over turntable samples of James Brown's "Funky Drummer," and tight grooves — juxtaposed with Harrison's loose wanderlust on the alto and soprano sax — define the album. Highlights come not only with Harrison's trademark explosive, incandescent style, but as well as the superb play throughout by pianist Mulgrew Miller, a favorite partner of Harrison since the '80s, and Christian Scott, Harrison's 19-year-old trumpet-playing nephew. Tickets $18. — Frank Etheridge

click to enlarge DENNY RENSHAW
  • Denny Renshaw
click to enlarge ae_feat-14140.jpeg
click to enlarge MICHAEL C. HEBERT
click to enlarge ae_feat-14140.jpeg
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