Second Lines & Brass Bands

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"All Fats Day": New Orleans says goodbye to Fats Domino with immense second line

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 11:00 PM

PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD

A sign bobbing above the sea of captain's hats and blue and white outfits declared Nov. 1 "All Fats Day" for "St. Antoine of the Lower Nine."

From Vaughan's Lounge in Bywater to the gates of his black-and-yellow landmark on Caffin Avenue in the Lower 9th Ward, an enormous crowd joined a second line parade honoring rock 'n' roll legend and New Orleans icon Antoine "Fats" Domino, who died Oct. 24 at age 89.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Second line for Fats Domino set for Nov. 1

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Friends and fans left bouquets, notes, records, signs and candles outside Fats Domino's old house on Caffin Avenue Oct. 25. The artist died Oct. 24. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Friends and fans left bouquets, notes, records, signs and candles outside Fats Domino's old house on Caffin Avenue Oct. 25. The artist died Oct. 24.

A second line honoring Fats Domino will begin in Bywater and head to his famously black-and-yellow house on Caffin Avenue. James Andrews and the Crescent City Allstars will lead musicians in the procession.

The second line meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Vaughan's Lounge (4229 Dauphine St.) and parades down St. Claude Avenue to Domino's former home at 1208 Caffin Ave., then it returns to Vaughan's for a memorial party and tribute performance.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Black Men of Labor second line Oct. 22 to celebrate the life of Deborah Cotton

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 5:26 PM

Deborah "Big Red" Cotton with the Black Men of Labor.
  • Deborah "Big Red" Cotton with the Black Men of Labor.

The annual Black Men of Labor second line this Sunday will salute and celebrate the life of Deborah "Big Red" Cotton, the community activist and Gambit second line correspondent who died in May as a result of injuries she suffered in the 2013 Mother's Day second line shooting.

The parade will line up at Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club at 2 p.m. and step off promptly at 3 p.m., making stops in Treme and the 7th Ward.

As Deb would say: show up and holla for ya girl.
Location Details Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club
1931 St. Claude Ave.
Faubourg Marigny
New Orleans, LA
(504) 945-9654
Louisiana Contemporary and Bar

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mayoral candidates tackle issues facing musicians, social aid and pleasure clubs

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 7:15 PM

Baby Dolls parading in 2017. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Baby Dolls parading in 2017.

While the New Orleans Saints kicked off their 2017 season, a crowd filled the Carver Theater Sept. 11 to hear how eight mayoral candidates plan to protect musicians and artists as the city and its cultural communities brace for another bout.

Moderator Lolis Eric Elie said music and cultural policy is "one of the most important and least discussed aspects" of the campaign. Candidates largely agreed that a lack of affordable housing as well as inequitable event fees and unsustainable payouts for gigs have threatened artists' and their families' abilities to live in New Orleans.

All candidates agreed to change the fee structures for parades and events for social aid and pleasure clubs and masking groups and echoed a “music is not a crime” mantra, though each had different ideas for ensuring protections for musicians and workers in a cultural economy and how they’d be represented at City Hall under their respective administrations.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Second line and rally to commemorate 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 11:05 AM

Mardi Gras Indians participated in a healing ceremony at the site of the Lower 9th Ward levee breach during the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Mardi Gras Indians participated in a healing ceremony at the site of the Lower 9th Ward levee breach during the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Update: The event has been postponed to Sunday, Sept. 3 due to rain from Tropical Storm Harvey.

A memorial march will transform into a second line as it moves from the Lower 9th Ward to the 7th Ward on the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures.

Hip Hop Caucus, New Orleans Katrina Commemoration Foundation, Nuthin But Fire Records, Q93.3-FM, People’s Climate Music, social aid and pleasure clubs and other community groups host the event beginning 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mayoral candidates to weigh in on future of New Orleans music

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Musicians marched into City Hall in 2014 to protest a draft of the so-called noise ordinance. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Musicians marched into City Hall in 2014 to protest a draft of the so-called noise ordinance.

Mayoral candidates Michael Bagneris, LaToya Cantrell and Desiree Charbonnet will participate in a forum discussing the future of New Orleans musicians — and whether they'll have a voice in City Hall — in a city that fears risking their loss as it changes.

The forum — presented by The Ella Project, OffBeat Media and The Recording Academy — is 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11 at the Carver Theatre (2101 Orleans Ave.)

Columnist Lolis Eric Elie will moderate a panel with Offbeat publisher Jan Ramsey, Black Men of Labor co-founder Fred Johnson, Melissa Weber (aka DJ Soul Sister), and music writer Larry Blumenfeld.

Candidates will discuss their plans, if elected, for building on New Orleans' "reputation as a beloved music city" and how music and performance will flourish "in concert with
continued neighborhood development." Candidates also will discuss other ways in which they'll work with the music community, and whether they'll work with artists in addressing quality of life issues, education, housing and public safety.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Photos from Sunday's Take 'Em Down NOLA march to Lee Circle (slideshow)

Posted By on Sun, May 7, 2017 at 10:45 PM



Images from the celebratory march and second line hosted by Take 'Em Down NOLA, which was greeted at Lee Circle by white supremacists who had rallied in defense of the Confederate monuments.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Editorial: Remembering Deborah "Big Red" Cotton

Posted By on Thu, May 4, 2017 at 2:22 PM

On the evening of Deborah Cotton's death, musicians, friends and neighbors gathered in Treme to remember her, stopping outside her old apartment for a tribute. - CLANCY DUBOS
  • CLANCY DuBOS
  • On the evening of Deborah Cotton's death, musicians, friends and neighbors gathered in Treme to remember her, stopping outside her old apartment for a tribute.

“With each second line that rolled down Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans lured me from my dark brooding funk and tossed me into the fire of dancing Black folks and brass instruments bobbing down the street, burning, sweating, marching from one end of town to the other. This went on for months until one day, between the parades and sessions with my shrink and onset of Spring, I began to feel alive again. And the haunting images of dead floating bodies faded away.

“This is the beauty — and the problem — with living in New Orleans. At any moment, life and death change places with each other when you least expect it. And try as you may to control what you let enter your life, you never know what’s waiting around the corner that will either thrill you — or level you to the ground.”


Deborah “Big Red” Cotton wrote those words in 2007, in her book Notes From New Orleans — six years before the Mother’s Day second line tragedy in which she and 18 other people were shot by two men who fired into the crowd. She took only one of the many bullets that were fired, but no one was injured more severely than Deborah. In the years that followed, she underwent dozens of surgeries to repair internal organs. Last week — nearly four years to the day since the shooting — Deb succumbed to complications from those injuries four years ago. She was fearless, fierce, compassionate and taken far too soon at the age of 52. She still had work to do.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Orleans social media users remember Deborah "Big Red" Cotton

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 6:33 PM

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The passing of longtime New Orleans writer, activist, culture bearer and Gambit contributor Deborah "Big Red" Cotton was being roundly mourned today by a wide cross-section of New Orleanians, from former U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite to DJ Soul Sister and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. A sampling:

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