Local audiences are probably familiar with John and Lillian Boutte. Though primarily a jazz singer, John once fronted Cubanismo! and recently garnered attention for supplying HBO's Treme with its theme song. Sister Lillian is best known as a gospel singer, but both have sung a range of genres including jazz, blues and gospel.
This Boutte Family Sunday Praise show brings together six musicians from the Boutte family on one stage for the first time. Lillian and John are joined by their nieces Tricia "Teedy" Boutte-Langlo and Tanya Boutte-Elsworth, sister and first-timer Lorna Boutte-Delay and her daughter Arsene Delay.
Boutte-Langlo says gospel provided a foundation for her family.
"New Orleans makes crossing genres so easy," she says. "Gospel was the base of most of the music we perform — blues, jazz, soul. Gospel is their mama."
Gospel shouldn't be limited to any one denomination or necessarily associated with organized religion, Delay says.
"Gospel music is about enduring struggle, it's about being able to come out of the dark places we all go to or end up at as human beings," she says. "It speaks to our need as human beings to know that we aren't alone in times of extreme grief or difficulty. ... Gospel music reminds us to keep faith in the dark times, because when dawn breaks, it will make us all the stronger."
Delay is the newest artist added to the Threadhead Records roster, and she is slated to release her solo debut album in November. Several members of the family are working on new projects, and Tricia is recording with her band The Bootleg Operation, which has an ever-rotating membership.
This performance, under the direction of Dwight Fitch, should showcase their individual talents and interests.
"The audience can expect to hear six fantastic voices take six different approaches to the material," Arsene says. "We've all picked the songs we are singing solo, which hold different meanings to each of us. So you can expect a nice variety."