Tag: blues

New Orleans Jazz Fest to Feature Jill Scott, B.B. King and N.O. Native Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If there’s a theme to this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it may be living legends.  Headliners include B.B. King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Hall and Oates and Fleetwood Mac. There’s also a cast of modern-day hit makers such as The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, Kem, the Dave Matthews Band and New Orleans native Frank Ocean.

Over the next two weekends, fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be treated to traditional jazz as well as rock ‘n roll, Cajun, gospel, blues, hip-hop, funk and zydeco.  “The way the talent fell into place this year, it became a very special year for us,” festival producer Quint Davis said. “It’s Jazz Fest, but it’s also B.B. King, Willie Nelson. It’s Ben Harper. It’s Hall and Oates. We ended up with probably the greatest living proponent in each kind of music we feature here.”

In all, about 5,000 entertainers will play the festival on 12 stages. The first weekend is Friday through Sunday, and the following weekend starts Thursday, May 2, and lasts until Sunday, May 5.

Continue reading “New Orleans Jazz Fest to Feature Jill Scott, B.B. King and N.O. Native Frank Ocean”

The Whitney Museum of American Art Presents ‘Blues for Smoke,’ a Look at Blues, Jazz and American History

Charlie Parker

Beauford Delaney
Portrait of Charlie Parker, 1968, Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York

The Whitney Museum of American Art exhibit, “Blues for Smoke,” features an exciting array of works by a wide range of contemporary black artists. But it offers so much more. A journey back in time, the combination of works, inspired by African-American music, slips you, with a heady mix of anticipation and foreboding, into a dark, back alley jazz club that would be easily at home in the ruins of Potsdam, Berlin, or along the steamy backwater canals of New Orleans. The mood of the show captures the feeling of folks gathered at smatterings of café tables as you enter, where you sit and listen to live jazz vocals in an atmosphere tinged with the bite of a gin cocktail and the halo of cigarette smoke.

Continue reading “The Whitney Museum of American Art Presents ‘Blues for Smoke,’ a Look at Blues, Jazz and American History”

Born on this Day in 1935: Blues and Funk Legend Johnny “Guitar” Watson

imagesA flamboyant showman and guitar picker in the style of T-Bone Walker, Johnny “Guitar” Watson was born John Watson, Jr. in Houston, Texas on February 3, 1935.  Watson recorded throughout the 1950s and 1960s with some success. His creative reinvention in the 1970s with disco and funk overtones, saw Watson have hits with “Ain’t That a Bitch”, “I Need It” and “Superman Lover.”  His successful recording career spanned forty years, with his biggest hit being 1977’s “A Real Mother For Ya”.  Watson was known for his virtuosic guitar playing and inspired musicians ranging from Bobby Womack to Frank Zappa.

To learn more about his life and music, click here, and enjoy “A Real Mother For Ya” below:

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

GBN Quote Of The Day

“Life is something like a trumpet. If you don’t put anything in, you won’t get anything out.”

–W.C. Handy, composer and musician known as the “Father Of The Blues”


GBN Quote Of The Day

“Can’t a man alive mistreat me, ’cause I know who I am.”

–Alberta Hunter, blues singer and songwriter