MAY 2013: Allen Toussaint To Receive Honorary Doctorate From Tulane University
Allen Toussaint received an honorary doctorate degree of Fine Arts at Tulane University's commencement ceremony on May 18th, 2013. Others recipients of honorary degrees at this year's ceremony include Dr. John, The Dalai Lama and Pulitzer Prize winner, Natasha Trethewey. His Holiness The Dalai Lama gave the keynote address at the commencement ceremony which took place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Honorary Doctorate Award is the highest award that Tulane University confers, and it is given "to individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements" and to "recognize outstanding civic engagement that advances Tulane, New Orleans, the Gulf Coast or the world." Some of Toussaint's past accolades include induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, and Louisiana Music Hall of Fame; multiple GRAMMY nominations, and a GRAMMY Trustees Award. Actively touring the US and abroad, Toussaint continues his influential work and efforts to spread the musical culture of New Orleans.
APRIL 2013: Allen Toussaint's 75th Birthday Tribute Concert & Benefit Features All-Star Line-Up
Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Art Neville, Irma Thomas, Cyril Neville, Deacon John, Rosebud artist, Jon Cleary and more will perform at "Tribute to Toussaint," a benefit concert and tribute to Allen Toussaint celebrating his 75th birthday as well as his legacy and influence as a songwriter, performer, and producer. The event will be held at Harrah's Theater in New Orleans on April 30, 2013 at 8:30pm. Proceeds from the event will benefit New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness, a non-profit organization that Toussaint co-founded with Aaron Neville in 1985. Toussaint has a history of working or performing with each of the artists involved in the tribute over the course of his long and highly influential career which includes multiple Grammy nominations and a Grammy Trustees Award, as well as induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Toussaint himself is also expected to perform at the event where LAE Productions and WLAE-TV will be filming for their upcoming documentary about Toussaint. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit noaahh.org.
Bill Frisell came in second as Best Guitarist (he won the category overall in the recent Downbeat critics poll - for the fourth consecutive year and 11th time in the past 15 years!) and ranked high in Best Jazz Artist of the Year and Composer categories, while his CD All We Are Saying... scored among the top dozen Jazz Albums of The Year. Allen Toussaint ranked in the top five in the Arranger category, while Bettye LaVette was listed among the top artists in the Blues Artist or Group category. Meshell Ndegeocello ranked high in the Beyond Artist or Group category, and her recent release Weather was ranked among the top choices in the Beyond Album category. Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band also ranked among the best in the Baritone Saxophone category.
Muddy Waters, a Rosebud artist until his passing, was ranked among the top readers choices for the DownBeat Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to all the artists. To Catch These Artists Perform Live On Stage, See Tour Dates >>
SEPTEMBER 2012: Rosebud Artists Featured on Preservation Hall Jazz Band's 50th Anniversary Recording
Rosebud artists Allen Toussaint, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Trombone Shorty are featured on Preservation Hall Jazz Band's new CD, St. Peter & 57th St. The album, released September 25th on Rounder Records, was recorded at a live performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall this past January in New York City where Toussaint, The Blind Boys and Trombone Shorty joined PHJB on stage along with other special guests including Steve Earle, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), My Morning Jacket and GIVERS.
The release celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Preservation Hall and its mission of preserving the musical culture and heritage of New Orleans. A portion of the album's sale will benefit Preservation Hall's ongoing music outreach program to pass down the traditions of New Orleans music to younger generations.
Rolling Stone premiered the track "It Ain't My Fault" which features Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty and Yasiin Bey (a.k.a. Mos Def). "It Ain't My Fault," which PHJB, Bey and Shorty collaborated on in the past, has been a tool for protest in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. Click here to listen to the track on RollingStone.com.
To see Allen Toussaint, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue perform live, see Tour Dates >>
JULY 2012: Allen Toussaint, The Dirty Dozen and Jon Cleary - Legends Of New Orleans - The Sydney Opera House Pays Tribute
On September 28, 2011, Legends Of New Orleans - Allen Toussaint, The Dirty Dozen and Jon Cleary sold out the Sydney Opera House in their triumphant first major concert together Down Under. In this recently released video clip, the Sydney Opera House pays tribute as each of these singular artists describes their relationship to the city and the musicians that nurtured their music - New Orleans.
JULY 2012: Dr. John and Bill Frisell Are Winners In DownBeat Critics Poll! Marcia Ball, Bettye LaVette, Meshell Ndegeocello, Allen Toussaint and Trombone Shorty Also Named Among The Best
Trombone Shorty joined Frisell in the Jazz Album of the Year category for his CD For True. In fact, Trombone Shorty scored high in seven categories including Best Trombone Player (ranking third), Rising Star Jazz Artist (also 3rd), Rising Star Jazz Group, Rising Star Trombone, Beyond Artist or Group, and Beyond Album. Also, appearing in the latter two categories is fellow Rosebud artist Meshell Ndegeocello.
Frisell's long-time collaborator, the late Paul Motian, was also inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. Frisell worked with the legendary jazz drummer for three decades. Some of Bill Frisell's other frequent and current collaborators were named in the following categories - Ron Carter (Bass category), Jenny Scheinman (Best Violinist and Rising Star - Violin categories as well as Jazz Album of The Year), and Joey Baron - Best Drummer category. Bill's Manager and Producer as well as collaborator on 2012's Floratone II CD, Lee Townsend, was also named among the best in both Producer and Rising Star-Producer categories.
Ruthie Foster won the Koko Taylor Award for Traditional Blues Female of the Year, an honor awarded to her in 2011. In addition, Ruthie's Live at Antone's captured the DVD of the Year. Marcia Ball was honored with the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player Award making this her 5th win of her 14 previous Blues Music Award nominations in this category.
Formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards, the BMAs were staged at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, TN, by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation. The annual event brings together Blues performers, industry representatives and fans from all over the world to celebrate the best in Blues recordings and performances from the previous year.
One of the most influential figures in New Orleans music, Allen composed classic songs such as "Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On)," "Fortune Teller," "Get Out of My Life Woman," "Mother in Law," "On Your Way Down," "Sneakin Sally Through the Alley," "Southern Nights," "Sweet Touch of Love," "Working in the Coal Mine" and "Yes We Can Can," to name just a few.
In addition to his own albums, Allen has produced, recorded, written for, arranged, and / or had his songs covered by scores of musicians. The esteemed list includes Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Band, Paul Simon, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, LaBelle, Albert King, Ernie K-Doe, Lee Dorsey, Etta James, Solomon Burke, The Pointer Sisters, Booker T. & the MG's, The Ohio Players, Harry Connick, Jr., fellow Rosebud artists the late Albert Collins, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Mavis Staples, Trombone Shorty, Jon Clearyand (for international booking outside North America) Dr. John, as well as countless others.
DECEMBER 2011: Trombone Shorty Leads In Best of The Beat Awards With 8 Nominations. Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Michael Doucet and More Honored
Rosebud Artists have once again been honored with a plethora of nominations in the Best of The Beat Awards. The awards are presented by OffBeat magazine, recognizing the best of New Orleans music. Trombone Shorty lead all other artists with 8 nominations, including Artist of the Year; Album of the Year for For True; Song of the Year for "Do To Me"; Best R&B/Funk Artist; Best R&B/Funk Album for For True; Best Trombonist; Best Trumpeter and Best Music Video for "Do To Me." Last year Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue were honored with awards in 5 of these categories for both Artist (their 3rd) and Album of the Year as well as both Best R&B/Funk Artist (also their 3rd) and R&B/Funk Album in addition to Best Trombonist honors for Trombone Shorty. He has also received 2 previous awards for Best Trumpeter.
Irma Thomas is nominated once again for Best Female Vocalist. She won this award last year for the third year in a row. Irma is also one of the writers and a featured performer on Song of the Year nominee "Could Have Been Worse". The song is on the album Nine Lives - A Musical Adaptation by Colman DeKay and Paul Sanchez. Allen Toussaint is also featured on Nine Lives, which received additional nominations including Album of the Year and Best Roots Rock Album. Jon Cleary is nominated for Best Piano/Keyboardist for the fourth year in a row. His frequent band members James Singleton and Matt Perrine were also nominated for Best Bass Player and Best Tuba / Sousaphonist respectively.
In addition to the above, Papa Grows Funk's Needle In The Groove CD was Co-Produced by Rosebud artist, the legendary Allen Toussaint and also features "Big D" (Dwayne Williams) from Orleans Avenue. The CD is nominated for Best R&B / Funk Album. Congratulations to all the nominees!
With a mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has been carrying their distinctive sound around the world on behalf of Preservation Hall, a unique venue that embodies the city's musical legacy. With a cast of musicians schooled through first-hand experience and apprenticeship into the music's historic traditions, Pres Hall has served as a vital link to the earliest days of one of America's most beloved forms of popular music.
Charlie and Allen are also both featured guests on Cyndi's new DVD/CD, recorded at a concert earlier this year in Memphis. It draws on material from Cyndi's GRAMMY nominated 2010 album Memphis Blues, on which Charlie and Allen are also featured guests. Charlie has been touring extensively as a featured performer in Cyndi's band.
Bill Frisell scored high in three categories, placing in the top 10 Jazz Albums of the Year for Beautiful Dreamers, in the top 5 for Best Guitarist (a category he has won 3 times in the past) and among the Best Beyond Albums for his collaboration with Vinicius Cantuária, Lagrimas Mexicanas.
JULY 2011: A Big Thanks To HBO's Treme For Again Featuring Rosebud Artists In Their 2ND Season: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John, Jon Cleary, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Music by Allen Toussaint
The second episode is titled "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky," named after Allen Toussaint's composition. The Dirty Dozen's version of this song plays during a Thanksgiving Day montage. In addition, The Dozen's "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" plays on the jukebox at Gigi's (the bar owned by a main character, LaDonna).
The third episode is once again named after an Allen Toussaint song, "On Your Way Down," and it can be heard playing on the jukebox as LaDonna closes Gigi's. Yet another of Allen's songs, "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley," is played in rehearsal by main character Antoine Batiste's band Soul Apostles. Also, Allen's "Tipitina and Me" is the featured music in the closing credits of the ninth episode.
In another one of the bands in the show, Brassy Knoll (the Davis McAlary character's project), Kirk Joseph of The Dirty Dozen is featured as the tuba player. Later in the season, Dr. John becomes a central character to a recording project by the Delmond Lambreaux character with his father Chief Lambreaux.
Jon Cleary is prominently featured performing in episode ten. He plays his unreleased song "Frenchmen Street Blues" at the venue Chickie Wah Wah for characters Annie and Davis in memory their slain friend Harley (Steve Earle). Later, Dr. John's "I Thought I Heard New Orleans Say" plays as Annie and Davis clear out Harley's belongings from his house.
In the final episode of the season, the Antoine character chats with Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews at Jazz Fest. The two shared a number of scenes in Season One.
Thanks again to Treme and congratulations on another great season! We look forward to watching Season Three. Check out all these artists perform individually live on stage, please see Tour Dates >>
JULY 2011: Bill Frisell Honored With 10TH DownBeat Critics Poll Win For Guitarist of the Year - Allen Toussaint, Trombone Shorty, Bettye LaVette, Dr. John, Charlie Musselwhite, Mavis Staples Also Recognized
Allen Toussaint was named in the Arranger category; Trombone Shorty was recognized in both the Trombone and Rising Star: Trombone categories. Bettye LaVette, Dr. John and Charlie Musselwhite were all named in the Blues Artist category. Charlie received an additional nod in the Blues Album category, while Dr. John was also named in the Beyond Artist category. Mavis Staples and Bettye LaVette were both recognized in the Beyond Album category. The late Muddy Waters (a Rosebud artist until his passing) was also named as one of the finalists for induction into the Hall of Fame.
As usual, many of Bill Frisell's frequent and recent collaborators were also honored: Jason Moran was awarded Jazz Artist Of The Year, Jazz Album Of The Year, and Piano of the Year, as well as being named in the Rising Star: Jazz Artist, Composer and Rising Star: Composer categories; Joe Lovano Us Five was awarded Jazz Group of the Year and Joe was also named in the Jazz Artist, Jazz Album, Soprano and Tenor Saxophone categories; Paul Motian was awarded Drummer of the Year and he was also named in the Hall of Fame and Jazz Artist categories; Dave Holland was awarded Acoustic Bass of the Year and was named in the Jazz Album, Composer, Arranger and Jazz Group categories; Jenny Scheinman was named in the Violin category; and Bill's Manager and Producer, Lee Townsend, was named in both the Producer and Rising Star: Producer categories.
JUNE 2011: Allen Toussaint and Meshell Ndegeocello Featured on Madeleine Peyroux's Newly Released Album, Standing On The Rooftop
Allen Toussaint and Meshell Ndegeocello are both featured on multi-platinum Vocalist, Madeleine Peyroux's recently released new album, Standing On The Rooftop. In addition to Allen and Meshell, the album also features contributions from guitarist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), drummer Charley Drayton (Neil Young, Johnny Cash), guitarist Chris Bruce (Seal, John Legend), and was produced by Craig Street (Norah Jones, k.d. lang and Cassandra Wilson).
This is Madeleine's fifth solo album and she wrote most of the songs herself, though she collaborated with former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman on one song and with violinist Jenny Scheinman (a regular collaborator with Rosebud artist Bill Frisell) on "The Things I've Seen Today." The New York Times has noted that Madeleine Peyroux "has branched out to refine an enigmatic, low-key personal style that is all her own."
JUNE 2011: Dr. John, Allen Toussaint & The Meters Revisit The Dr.'s 1974 Album Desitively Bonnaroo at 10th Annual Bonnaroo Fest PLUS Dr. John Heads Up Fest's Super Jam with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach
The Tennessee festival named itself after Desitively Bonnaroo, an album which united Dr. John with The Meters as his backing band and was helmed by producer Allen Toussaint (who also contributed keyboards, percussion, arrangements and background vocals). The musicians had all worked together on Dr. John's previous record, In the Right Place. The Nashville Scene said of the set that they played "with plenty of swampy funk and Crescent City soul. For fans of New Orleans music, this was like a jam session among the heads on Mount Rushmore."
The following day, Dr. John and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys led Bonnaroo's annual Super Jam. The set largely focused on Night-Tripper-era (1968-71) Dr. John material ("Jump Sturdy," "Black John the Conqueror," "Mama Roux," "I Walk on Guilded Splinters"). They were joined by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and two drummers: Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) and Max Weissenfeldt (of the German rare-groove band Poets of Rhythm). The New York Time's Ben Ratliff praised the set, writing "Oh, it was good... They played the kind of funk that raises no sweat... Something went very right; the atmosphere grew charmed and spooky... There were few solos and no need for them. I hope they pile into a studio tomorrow and record it."
APRIL 2011: Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas to Sing National Anthem at NBA Playoff Game Between L.A. Lakers @ New Orleans Hornets Thursday April 28
Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas will sing the National Anthem at the NBA First Round Playoff Game 6, pitting the L.A. Lakers against New Orleans Hornets, on Thursday April 28. The game is scheduled to air on the TNT network at 8pm EST. The Lakers lead the series 3 - 2. The game comes on the eve of this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 4/29 - 5/8/11. Both Allen and Irma will be playing multiple shows in and around Jazz Fest.
On 5/5, Allen will play 2 solo shows at Snug Harbor where he will debut some new jazz pieces. On 5/7, he'll perform on the Acura Stage at Jazz Fest directly preceding Jimmy Buffett's closing set. Irma will be the featured performer at the Touro Synagogue Jazz Fest Shabbat on 4/29. On 4/30, she'll play the Acura Stage at the Fest directly preceding Bon Jovi's closing set. On 5/5, Irma will also perform as part of Down on the Bayou III, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic Benefit, at The Howlin' Wolf. The next day on 5/6 she'll play the Fest's Gospel Tent in the 100th Birthday Celebration for Mahalia Jackson w/ guest John Boutté.
APRIL 2011: Irma Thomas, Dr. John and Arrangements by Allen Toussaint Featured on Forthcoming Album by Hugh Laurie (Star of FOX TV's House)
Irma Thomas, Dr. John and horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint are all featured on a forthcoming album by Hugh Laurie (likely known to Americans primarily for his starring role in FOX TV's House series. He's also been a successful comedic actor in his native UK since the late 1980's). The album, Let Them Talk, will be released in the UK May 9, 2011 with a US release to follow in the Fall. Recorded in Los Angeles and New Orleans, the album is a celebration of New Orleans music.
The Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas, is featured on two tracks collaborating with Hugh (who plays piano, guitar and sings on the album). On one, "Baby, Please Make A Change" Irma is also accompanied by Tom Jones. "You don't get much better than her," Hugh said of Irma in a recent interview in Guitar Aficionado.
Dr. John is featured on "After You've Gone." Hugh explained in the same interview, "I absolutely worship Dr. John. He's an absolute god on the piano." The legendary Allen Toussaint contributes horn arrangements throughout the album. The project was produced by Joe Henry (Solomon Burke, Elvis Costello, Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint, Loudon Wainwright III, among others).
Hugh offers an amusingly humble explanation of the record: "I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. You may as well know this now. I've never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman said anything to my mother when I was born and there's no hellhound on my trail, as far as I can judge. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.
If that weren't bad enough, I'm also an actor... Worst of all, I've broken a cardinal rule of art, music, and career paths: actors are supposed to act, and musicians are supposed to music. That's how it works. You don't buy fish from a dentist, or ask a plumber for financial advice, so why listen to an actor's music? The answer is - there is no answer. If you care about provenance and genealogy, then you should try elsewhere, because I have nothing in your size."
Catch Irma, Allen and Dr. John (who recently joined Rosebud for International booking representation outside the U.S. and Canada) performing individually live on stage, including shows by all three at and around the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. For more info, please see Tour Dates >>
APRIL 2011: Allen Toussaint Featured In All Star Benefit: Harmony for Health, Unity for the Gulf Concert April 20 at New Orleans' House of Blues
The evening features artists from music and film as well as other concerned citizens including Kevin Costner and Modern West, Voices of the Wetlands featuring Tab Benoit, The All Star Band (featuring Kenny Aronoff, Oliver Leiber, Aaron Hersey, Scott Page, & Martin Guigui), Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Johnny Vidacovich, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Johnny Sansone and Waylon Thibodeaux, James Carville, Jose Hendrix,Frances Beinecke President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Robin Mann President of the Sierra Club, Dr. Ira Leifer Chief Mission Coordinating Scientist for NASA Gulf Mission, Environmental Attorney Stuart Smith, Bonny Schumacher (NASA/JPL) Founder Wings of Care, Daryl Hannah, Dr. Riki Ott, Senator Robert Graham, Co-chair of the President's National Oil Spill Commission, and other special guests.
A special sneak trailer of the upcoming film The Big Fix directed by Josh Tickell from GreenPlanet Productions will be screened and a major international effort to address industry spin in media unveiled. The Sierra Club, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and WWOZ New Orleans are among those sponsoring the event.
All the proceeds will go to The Oil Spill Memorial Fund administered by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation and the Gulf Coast Fund. The fund will benefit Gulf Coast grass-roots NGO's to pay for desperately needed medical care for victims of the oil spill through medical clinics for humans including vision and dental, and veterinary services for animals with 2 full-service clinics scheduled to be operational in May; one in Louisiana and one in Alabama. Due in part to a lack of media attention, but owing more to an aggressive campaign by BP to ensure that medical providers and government officials do not acknowledge the problem, the vast majority of the American public is unaware the true extent of health impacts on people and animals along the effected regions of the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.
Catch Allen performing live on stage, including at and around the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, please see Tour Dates >>