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Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music Shannon Powell, Donald Harrison Jr., Ingrid Lucia, and Other Festival Performers to Talk Music at French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron

March 24, 2014 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

Let Them Talk, the annual lecture series featuring Louisiana musicians, will return to Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint for the 2014 French Quarter Festival.  French Quarter Festival takes place April 10-13th 2014. 

Let Them Talk is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th and Sunday, April 13th. From The King of Tremé, a conversation with legendary drummer Shannon Powell, to Indian Lake, Continental Drifters, and Covered In Vinyl with Susan Cowsill, the lineup provides a diverse glimpse into the world of some of New Orleans’ most beloved performers.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

11:30 am – The King of Tremé– That’s the fondly applied nickname for legendary New Orleans drummerShannon Powell, who grew up in that culturally important and historic neighborhood.  Powell has won the admiration of audiences locally and around the world with his commanding technique and style, rooted in the characteristically funky drum beats of New Orleans.  Skilled at performing both traditional and modern jazz, Shannon Powell has toured with a wide range of top artists, including Harry Connick, Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Marcus Roberts, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  He’s also an engaging raconteur and for Let Them Talk will share stories about his remarkable life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

12:30 pm – The Sunny Soul of Eric Lindell – Singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Lindell marries a genuine gift for melody and direct, heart-felt lyrics with a deep feeling for the blues – and obvious love of New Orleans funk – to create an irresistible blend of sunshine and soul that has won the admiration of audiences in New Orleans and around the country  since he relocated to the Crescent City from his native California in the late 90s. For Let Them Talk, the Alligator Records recording artist will share stories with interviewer Fred Kasten about his musical adventures and personal journey from troubled times to redemption through love and music.

1:30 pm – Kristin Diable and The City – That’s the name of the roots-rock band led by singer and songwriterKristin Diable,  and the title of their award-winning  2012 release.   Diable is a native of Baton Rouge who was inspired to start performing as a teenager after attending an Irma Thomas concert.  She spent six formative years doing the New York scuffle before hitting New Orleans five years ago and forming The City. For Let Them Talk, Kristin Diable will discuss her musical inspirations and aspirations with Times-Picayunemusic writer Keith Spera.

2:30 pm – The Joy of Life is in the Accordion – So says master accordionist and leading purveyor of new traditional Cajun music Bruce Daigrepont.  A native of New Orleans, Daigrepont began leading his own Cajun bands at the Maple Leaf Bar in 1980, and since 1986 has supplied the music, heart, and soul for the now world-renowned Sunday fais do do dances at Tipitina’s.  Over his nearly 35 years as a band leader, Daigrepont has become one of Cajun music’s foremost cultural ambassadors, performing in such prestigious venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival.  For Let Them Talk, he’ll discuss his rich cultural heritage and full life in music with interviewer Michael Tisserand.

3:30 pm – Talk That Music Talk –   Talk That Music Talk is the title of an acclaimed new book by Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Rachel Breunlin, a life history and photography project exploring the traditional methods of teaching brass band music in New Orleans – and the neighborhood institutions, including social aid and pleasure clubs, schools, and churches, that have supported the music.   Barnes is an award-winning musician, photographer and veteran ranger with the New Orleans Jazz Historical Park. Breunlin is co-director of the Neighborhood Story Project, a collaborative ethnography organization at the University of New Orleans.  They’ll talk about the new book’s origins and intent with interviewer Fred Kasten.

4:30 pm – The Hub City All-Stars – For more than two decades, accordionist and slide guitar wizard Roddie Romero has led his Grammy-nominated Hub City All-Stars at top worldwide music festivals in performances of traditional Cajun and zydeco music, plus energetic Louisiana-roots-rocker original tunes inspired by the spirit of Louisiana. It’s music made for dancing and “laissez les bon temp rouler.” For Let Them Talk, Roddie Romero will discuss the musical and cultural influences that led him to create the Hub City All-Stars with interviewer Michael Tisserand.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

11:30 am – “The Royal Roses” and More – Aurora Nealand is best known in the Crescent City for playing saxophone and clarinet and singing with her traditional New Orleans jazz band “The Royal Roses” – but she has a wide range of interests and abilities as a composer and performer. A native of California and resident of New Orleans since 2005, Nealand earned a degree in music composition at the Oberlin Conservatory and studied at the Jacques Lecoq School of Physical Theatre in Paris. According to DownBeat Magazine, “She is definitely one to watch as an innovator and creator.”  For Let Them Talk, Nealand will discuss the full range of her musical and performing interests with interviewer Fred Kasten.

12:30 pm – A Most Musical Bass, Man – From his arrival in New Orleans in the ’70s to play bass with legendary guitarist and fiddler Gatemouth Brown, through his now 3-decade-plus tenure with Astral Project, to his numerous intriguing and accomplished side projects, James Singleton has consistently shown himself to be one of New Orleans’ most creative and innovative musicians, a virtuoso-bassist and composer of memorable and compelling music.  Whether he’s playing one of the most traditional pieces from the New Orleans jazz canon or an adventurous composition for his string quartet, Singleton always brings a high level of energy and expertise to his performances.  For Let Them Talk, he’ll discuss the many paths of his life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

1:30 pm – Rock’n’Roll Cello – Marc Paradis – aka “Johnny Sketch” – is the lead singer, cellist and guitarist for one of New Orleans’ most innovative and entertaining rock’n’roll and funk  bands,  Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes.  Paradis studied at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, then earned a degree in cello performance at Loyola University, where Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes got together over a decade ago. For Let Them Talk, he’ll discuss his many and varied musical interests with interviewer Fred Kasten.

2:30 pm – A Different Flavor of Cello, Part 2 – Jazz-based cellist, singer, composer and improviser Helen Gillet grew up in Belgium, Singapore, Illinois and Wisconsin – and has called New Orleans home for over a decade. Nominated as a “Rising Star” in the 61st Annual Critics Poll in DownBeat Magazine, she just scored a four star review from DownBeat for her latest cd, a duo collaboration with bassist James Singleton titledFerdinand – and has enjoyed recent collaborations as well with Van Dyke Parks, Marianne Faithful, Cassandra Wilson, Hamid Drake and The Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra. For her Let Them Talk conversation with interviewer Fred Kasten, Gillet will discuss the full range of her musical interests and influences.

3:30 pm – From Flying Neutrinos to New Orleans Nightingales – Singer, songwriter and bandleaderIngrid Lucia has led a very varied life in music. From her childhood days fronting the family band started by her late father – The Flying Neutrinos – in the streets of the Crescent City – to her recent role as founder of the New Orleans Nightingales – a consortium of 20 or so of the city’s finest female singers – Ingrid Lucia is a top-notch entertainer and creative force on the New Orleans music scene. Her latest cd, Living the Life, is a highly recommended collection of mostly original tunes co-written by Ingrid and either guitarist John Fohl or bassist Roland Guerin. For Let Them Talk, she’ll discuss the new cd – and many aspects of her multi-faceted career – with interviewer Fred Kasten.

4:30 pm –  Indian Lake, Continental Drifters, and Covered In Vinyl – When her family’s band, The Cowsills, hit number 10 on the Top 40 with “Indian Lake” in the summer of 1968,  singer and songwriter Susan Cowsill— then age 9– became the youngest person to be directly involved with making a top-10 hit. Since then Susan Cowsill has enjoyed many other remarkable experiences in music – including moving to New Orleans in the early ’90s to be a part of the rock supergroup the Continental Drifters – and her more recent critically acclaimed work in the Crescent City, the “Covered In Vinyl” series, in which she and her band learn all the tunes on a classic rock album – then perform them in concert.  For Let Them Talk, Susan Cowsill reflects on her very early start – and on-going journey – in the world of music.

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