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Preservation Hall's Grand Reopening and 45th Anniversary 8 p.m. and midnight, Fri.-Sat., April 28-29

Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter St., 522-2841; Founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe as a living tribute to traditional New Orleans jazz, Preservation Hall comes back to life this weekend in fitting fashion. Celebrating both its post-Katrina reopening as well as the venerable venue's 45th anniversary, Preservation Hall offers The New Orleans Revue, a mix of jazz sounds and Carnival-style revelry featuring The Preservation Hall Band performing with special guests on Friday and Saturday night. Additionally, the intimate, all-acoustic and smoke-free space holds a late-night concert series Friday through Monday. Local musical provocateur Clint Maedgen mounts another reunion of the stellar Bingo! (pictured) experience at midnight Friday and Saturday. At 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Sunday, JJ Grey of Mofro performs his brand of swamp soul with guests Robert Walter, Papa Mali and George Sluppick. On Monday, Stanton Moore grooves with Walter and Will Bernard. Tickets to all shows are $15. — Frank Etheridge


Big Easy Benefit Concert Series 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., April 28-29

The Theatre at Harrah's New Orleans Casino, 8 Canal St., 533-6000; The nonprofit Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education presents two benefit concerts for the Big Easy Entertainment Awards, which celebrate the performing artists of New Orleans. The first concert features improvisational trumpeter and vocalist Jeremy Davenport — a local favorite known most for his pre-Katrina gigs at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel — and his band, with special guest Ingrid Lucia. Lucia, who started her musical career in a family band on the streets of the French Quarter, is also a well-loved, regularly appearing local lady crooner with equal amounts of style and class. Both artists are Big Easy Award nominees. Saturday's concert features the beloved singer, songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint (pictured), who has been creating popular albums from New Orleans for more than 40 years. Toussaint's music has deeply influenced all genres of American music, from R&B and country to musical theater and jazz. Harrah's, Gambit Weekly and White Oak Productions co-sponsor this series. Call Gloria Powers at 427-3557 for tickets, which range from $25-$35, with a limited number of VIP tickets for $45. — Katie Walenter


Instruments A Comin' 6 p.m. Mon., May 1

Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; Has it really been five years since Tipitina's waved goodbye to its historic Piano Night to first Generations Hall and now House of Blues, only to reinvent the evening as a way of raising thousands of dollars for public-school marching bands' instruments? Uh, yup. And this year's lineup is as impressive as ever: Galactic, Rebirth Brass Band (pictured), and the Original Uptown All-Stars (Ivan Neville, Willie Green, Renard PochŽ and Nick Daniels). The musical coup this year will be the ÒVoice of the WetlandsÓ collaboration featuring Tab Benoit, George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne, Waylon Thibodeaux, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Jumpin' Johnny Sansone. You can play this two ways: Drop $30 and just chill and feast on the music, or truly keep the faith and kick in $125 for the VIP treatment and get treated like Hef on the bayou: open bar, a whole mess o' food from six New Orleans restaurants, free themed posters and a chance to glad-hand the musicians. Your call. Take your time. You have all week. — David Lee Simmons


Piano Night 7 p.m. Mon., May 1

House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE; If some of our readers have wondered why we might have been a bit fixated on the post-K status of community-oriented radio stations in our pages, maybe it's because music that comes from the streets only seems to get its just due in New Orleanians on its publicly supported airwaves. Make no mistake about it; without WWOZ, the Big Easy would be a lot harder to live in. Sure, some of the DJs prattle on endlessly on occasion, and sometimes drop names like chicken turds at a Slidell bayou bar, but they're also some of the most musically astute among us, and they know they're literally broadcasting to a worldwide audience hungry to digest Louisiana's musical heritage. Hence Piano Night, the biggest 'OZ fundraiser this side of the fall/spring pledge drives, and the greatest testament to New Orleans' incalculable piano tradition. So far regulars such as Eddie Bo (pictured), Joe Krown, David Torkanowsky and Marcia Ball are the confirmed tinklers on board. Other guests include Henry Gray, Carol Fran and Shannon Powell. The $75 Blue Heaven tickets gains access into the 5:30 p.m. patron party; $30 for the usual upstairs/downstairs, main-floor/Parish access. — Simmons

click to enlarge CHERYL GERBER
click to enlarge ae_feat-13287.jpeg
click to enlarge ae_feat-13287.jpeg
click to enlarge CHERYL GERBER


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