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Ladysmith Black Mambazo with James Andrews, Trombone Shorty and friends
9 p.m. Wed., Feb. 13
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Photo by Robert Hoffman The group New Orleans-South Africa Connection (NOSACONN) promotes cultural dialogue and tourism between New Orleans and South Africa via a series of "cultural recovery" concerts that pair African and local musicians. A recent show featured the Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour sharing a bill with Russell Batiste. Now the Grammy Award-winning South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo comes to New Orleans. The all-male chorus, which sings a traditional South African a cappella style called isicathamiya, first rose to national prominence when Paul Simon incorporated its sound into his seminal 1986 album Graceland (which also featured the zydeco talents of the late Clifton Chenier and Terence Simien). Ladysmith Black Mambazo is joined by a stellar cast of local artists from all reaches of south Louisiana's musical heritage, including Rockin' Dopsie Jr., James Andrews, Troy Andrews, David Batiste and the Gladiators, Donald Harrison Jr. and the Rebirth Brass Band. Tickets $25. — Alison Fensterstock



7 Days of Paradise
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Feb. 15-16
NOCCA|Riverfront, Lupin Hall, 2800 Chartres St., 940- 2900;

The premiere of 7 Days of Paradise draws on a nearly epic collaboration of local talents from many mediums to recount artist Jeffrey Cook's experiences during the week after Hurricane Katrina. The multimedia piece brings together elements of theatre, dance, opera and film and stars Jeffrey Cook himself, Michael Arata, Leah Chase, Derrick Deal and Stayce Markey. There are also appearances and contributions by Carol Sutton, Beverly Trask, M.I. Scoggin, Chakula Cha Jua, Philip Melancon, Donna Duplantier, Ron Flagge, Gwendolyn Foxworth, Adella Gautier, Lance Nichols, Ashley Ricord and Michael Aaron Santos. The piece was written by St. Augustine High School- and Tulane-alum Harold Sylvester, who has acted in many film and TV productions, including An Officer and a Gentleman and Married With Children . The score for the piece was composed by CAC Executive Director Jay Wiegel (pictured). Tickets $20 general admission, $18 students/seniors, $15 CAC/NOCCA Institute members. — Will Coviello



Tribute to the Classical Arts
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon., Feb. 18
Hotel Monteleone, 214 Royal St., 483-3129;

The Big Easy Entertainment Awards' Tribute to the Classical Arts will recognize lifetime achievement and individual performances from 2007 at its luncheon hosted by WWL-TV anchor Angela Hill. Honorees include composer Roger Dickerson (pictured), music educators and professional vocalists Ellen and Philip Frohnmayer, Manon and Albinas Prizgintas, founders of the long-running Trinity Artists Series, and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year. Individual awards will be announced in categories for classical music and opera, and work in ballet, ethnic and modern dance. The program will include performances by many of the nominees. Tribute to the Classical Arts has celebrated achievement in the arts for 14 years. The event is sponsored by Gambit Weekly , Coleman E. Adler & Sons, WWNO 89.9 FM Radio, Hall Piano Company, John and Anne Burr and Uptown Costume and Dancewear. A buffet lunch will be served. Tickets $40, tables of 10 $400. — Coviello



Sadie Hawkins Valentine's Day Prom with the Special Men
11 p.m. Thu., Feb. 14
Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peter St., 522-2841

In the late '90s and early years of this millennium — when the avant-garde carnival stylings of the New Orleans Bingo! Show were just a twinkle in Clint Maedgen's eye — his saxophone and singing talents could be heard around town with the Special Men, who paid loving tribute to the glory days of New Orleans R&B. Along with the boogie-woogie piano stylings and gruff vocals of Jimmy Horn, Maedgen (pictured) played the cuts that earned legendary labels like Minit Records their place in history. Most recently, at the Voodoo Music Experience and at Offbeat 's Best of the Beat Awards, the group reconvened for a special tribute to the late Ernie K-Doe. This special Valentine's gig is a showcase for the romantic tones of vintage New Orleans rhythm and blues, and also a premiere for a special project from Preservation Hall: a musical video Valentine, directed by Ron Rona, which features Maedgen and a full cast of local characters (including Antoinette K-Doe) celebrating love New Orleans-style at sunrise in Jackson Square. The video, which will be released online only, is available to be delivered to your sweetie's email on the big day — details are at Tickets $15. — Fensterstock

click to enlarge ROBERT HOFFMAN
  • Robert Hoffman
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click to enlarge ae_feat-16844.jpeg
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