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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go


James Singleton's 3Now4kestra
8:30 p.m. Fri., May 5
Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1724 Oretha Castle Hailey Blvd, 525-2767;

We'll admit it. We miss bassist and composer James Singleton, both personally and as a presence on the music scene. His post-Katrina decampment to L.A. (that's Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama) has deprived New Orleans of a great musician who always played his heart out and took chances in a great variety of musical settings. The 3Now4kestra expands his and guitarist Dave Easley's 3now4 quartet to a big band featuring many of the city's best improvisers. The music is definitely jazz, but also has elements of classical and avant-garde music to it. It is complex without sacrificing its accessibility, and it's never boring. The smiles on the musicians' faces while playing shows how much fun they have in this band, and Singleton's enthusiasm is infectious. Tickets $15 general admission, $12 students/members. — David Kunian


Greyboy Allstars
2 a.m. Fri., May 5
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE (2583);

2 a.m. Sun., May 6
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-8477;

The groundbreaking and rump-shaking Greyboy Allstars have pioneered some groovy frontiers in the jazz/jam/funk realm. Starting from their inception in San Diego in the early '90s, when DJ Greyboy laid down some hip-hop beats to complement the tenor sax and flute of Blue Note session veteran Karl Denson, the group grew quickly in both membership and popularity. They also helped change the face of Jazz Fest into a 24-hour party, becoming late-late-night favorites in the mid-1990s when Phish and Widespread Panic started attracting thousands of night trippers to town for Fest. Though the Greyboys disbanded in 1999, Karl Denson and keyboardist — and NOLA resident since early 2005 — Robert Walter have made regular appearances in town with various projects. Two years ago, their Greyboy Allstars performed their first reunion concert during Jazz Fest at the Saenger Theatre. Though that show suffered from obvious rust, the Greyboys have been on the road with all original members since then, and the tour-tested sound today is once again tight and groovalicious. This fall, the band releases its first album in nine years. Tickets to both shows are $30. — Frank Etheridge


Ministry and Revolting Cocks
8 p.m. Mon., May 8
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE'

In a clever save-space-on-the-tour-bus move, Ministry's Al Jourgenson has brought his most well-known side project along as the supporting act on the VH1 Classic MasterbaTour. (The sponsor says, "I'm over 40" — the tour name adds, "Yet I appeal to ninth-graders.") Ministry (pictured) brings monolithically aggressive industrial dance music with politically scathing, literate lyrics — one of their most well-known tracks, "Jesus Built My Hotrod," is structured around a Flannery O'Connor quote). The Revolting Cocks add more pervy levity (and classic metal guitar) to the thunka-thunka grind. The Cocks dropped their first album in 13 years — Cocked & Loaded — last month. Ministry's latest, Rio Grande Blood — which promises to rip the current presidential administration a new one — is due out this week. Both are on the indie label Megaforce, which signals Jourgenson's return to indiedom. Tickets $30. — Alison Fensterstock


Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Bonerama
10 p.m., Thu., May 4
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

You could call this a symposium of brass instruments, but it is a rare symposium where you will dance so much. A New Orleans rookie could learn a lot about the last 30 years of brass band music in the Crescent City at this show, and a veteran can check in with some old friends. After totally revamping the sound of brass bands in the early 1980s by bringing funk and bebop into the brass band canon, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (pictured) still has it and they never lost it. When they go into their theme song, "Feets Don't Fail Me Now," your feet will not fail you like they have never "not failed" you before. The Rebirth Brass Band is one of the best bands in the city at taking the street party vibe of second lines and backyard crawfish boils and bringing it onstage. Bonerama's four trombones and 1 sousaphone make rock 'n' roll like it's never been made before. When they go into the full whomp of the riff to Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein," you may literally get blown over. Tickets $20. — Kunian


Davis Rogan and Friends: "Peter and the Wolf"
6 p.m., Tue., May 2
The Big Top, 1638 Clio St., 569-2700,

One of the big secrets at Jazz Fest has been the Kid's Tent, and one of the highlights each year has been seeing what Davis Rogan comes up with. Alas, this year will not have his music class singing Smiley Lewis or the Hawkettes, but eager fans and their children can still steal away a block off St. Charles to The Big Top to witness Rogan's New Orleans interpretation of Prokoviev's "Peter and the Wolf." Rogan has assembled an excellent band for this gig, including members of Bonerama, Woodenhead, the Cosmic Krewe and others. What makes this performance so much fun is not only the enthusiasm with which the band takes to the music, but also Rogan's funny digressions including a short version of St. James Infirmary to commemorate the death of the duck character. Rogan's rewrite of the lyrics compares the dead duck in the infirmary to a piece of foie gras. This is only one example of an evening of music for kids (and grownups, too) that will include the fun-loving excursions of accordionist Glenn Hartmann. Tickets $10. — Kunian


"In Concert at the Windsor Court": Cassandra Wilson with Rhonda Richmond
9:30 p.m. Fri., May 5
Windsor Court Hotel, Le Chinoiserie ballroom, 300 Gravier St., 523-6000, ext. 6033

Whatever happened to Cassandra Wilson? It's been three years since her Blue Note release, Glamoured , but the jazz diva was active with other projects even before that. In 2000, at the peak of her popularity, Wilson — who spent a time or two in New Orleans back in the 1980s —Êreturned to her home state of Mississippi to start her own Ojah Media Group. Her first protégé, fellow Jackson native Rhonda Richmond, has drawn critical praise for her vocals, as evidenced by her 2000 debut, Oshogbo Town . Her vocals hue a little more toward the smoother side than Wilson's trademark grit. The Windsor Court kicks off its "In Concert at Windsor Court" series with this pair of singers inside the Le Chinoiserie ballroom on the 23rd floor of the swank hotel, with its awesome view of the river, and with a cabaret feel. Oh, and regarding Wilson: She dropped her latest CD, Thunderbird (Blue Note), in early April. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, or you can go for the pre-performance/concert package for $100; seating starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to show only $55; valet parking included in either price. — David Lee Simmons


The Original Uptown All Stars
10 p.m. Sun., May 7
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 891-TIPS;

With all the lame, copycat funk bands out there, the Original Uptown All-Stars are refreshing. Consisting of Ivan Neville on keyboards, Nick Daniels on bass, Renard Poche on guitar, and Mean Willie Green on drums, this is the band that backed up the Neville Brothers when they first started playing way back in the day. Since then, in various aggregations, these musicians have made some stinky funk music. As the Original Uptown All-Stars, these guys take the funk to a whole other level, way further down than the basement. Their music features elements of the Meters and the Nevilles, but they righteously make it their own with different arrangements of the standards and a groove that hits you between your solar plexus and your spine. Last year's gig downtown had many of the city's veteran funkateers agog with their proverbial jaws to the floor at the groove these guys were throwing down. I mean, these guys do "Hey Pocky A-way" like nobody else, and that's saying something. This is the opening of a looong evening that features fellow opening act Rebirth Brass Band and, later on, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk with special guests George Porter Jr. and Leo Nocentelli. Tickets $25. — Kunian


Playthings : Ceramic sculpture by David Scott Smith
Through May 20
Palma Gallery, 828 Howard Ave., 598-2276;

We've all heard of flying fish, or even walking catfish, but how about a running fish with little arms and legs outstretched as if competing in the Crescent City Classic? It sounds disconcerting, but running fish may be among the more innocuous sights in Baton Rouge ceramic artist David Scott Smith's kiln-fired menagerie at the Palma Gallery. Exaggeratedly gaudy amid the paisley opulence of crimson hearts and serpentine wall sconces, Smith's bestiary of baroque bears in clown makeup, saber-tooth toads, rococo alligators, bird-headed fairies and horned humanoid piglets are all part of an installation that suggests the ruins of a hedonistic lost civilization, or maybe a kitschy Club Med for those little demons in Hieronymus Bosch paintings. Hmmm, if Smith is any guide, Baton Rouge may be even stranger than we thought. — D. Eric Bookhardt

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