NICKEL-A-DANCE Presents: Mari Watanabe & Her Chosen Few Jazz Band!
Time & Location
About The Event
NICKEL-A-DANCE is a free series of Sunday afternoon jazz concerts each spring and fall, that is a hit with children, families, seniors, and the general dancing public that don’t tend to go to nightclubs. It attracts a diverse group of fans that meet on Frenchmen Street to celebrate jazz as America’s original dance music while listening to the best of today’s classic jazz bands. This season the series features 4 acclaimed band leaders.
Next up is Mari Watanabe. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mari Watanabe began piano lessons at age five. She participated in the New Orleans Jazz Club while attending Waseda University. Upon her first visit to New Orleans, she decided to make this city her permanent home. Since 1986, she has performed at various clubs including the Preservation Hall and Palm Court Jazz Cafe, hotels, the French Quarter Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with local jazz legends such as Danny Barker, Dr. Michael White, Gregg Stafford, Ernie K-Doe, Tuba Fats, Dejan's Olympia Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, and Walter "Wolfman" Washington. Mari has performed in concerts featuring women in jazz, as well as Piano Night, a celebration of New Orleans-based pianists. She was selected as a Jazz-Allstar by New Orleans Magazine in 2002. In 2005, she released her own album, "Old Friends", comprised of original compositions as well as time-honored favorites. Mari continues to play in Jazz and R&B venues such as Preservation Hall and Palm Court Jazz Cafe. Originally founded by Tuba Fats in the '80s, her Chosen Few Jazz Band was well received at the 2006 New Orleans Jazz &Heritage Festival. The Time-Picayune described the performance as "Heart-warming sound".
Sunday, June 20th
The Maison on Frenchmen