SPRING 2019 LINEUP
PAPA HENRY'S STEAMIN’ SYNCOPATORS REUNION
The Steamin’ Syncopators, the late Henry Butler's full-on traditional New Orleans jazz band that he formed in 2002, lit up stages like the one at the Nickel-A-Dance show series. “I really did want a forum for playing more traditional jazz,” Butler said of his enduring interest in pursuing classic jazz. The group was formed to revive 1920s steamboat jazz and will come back together to perform only a few months after Henry’s passing back in July 2018.
NEW LEVIATHAN ORIENTAL FOXTROT ORCHESTRA
The New Leviathan Oriental FoxTrot Orchestra is an American revival orchestra, that performs authentic orchestrations of vintage American popular music from the 1890s through the early 1930s. In addition to the well known compositions of jazz and ragtime composers like Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, and Eubie Blake, the orchestra's repertory includes the work of other New Orleans Tin Pan Alley composers such as Larry Buck, Joe Verges, Paul Sarebresole and Nick Clesi. Taking its name from the SS Leviathan, a transatlantic ocean liner with a well regarded dance band at the start of the 1920s, the orchestra was founded in 1972. Their first performance was at Tulane University, presenting a rather tongue-in-cheek concert of "best loved Oriental Foxtrots", partially satirizing the then current revival of scholarly interest in classic ragtime.
Formed in in 2009, Tuba Skinny has steadily evolved from a loose collection of street musicians into a solid ensemble dedicated to bringing the traditional New Orleans sound to audiences around the world. Drawing on a wide range of musical influences—from spirituals to Depression-era blues, from ragtime to traditional jazz—their sound evokes the rich musical heritage of their New Orleans home. The band has gained a loyal following through their distinctive sound, their commitment to reviving long-lost songs, and their barnstorming live performances.
ROGER LEWIS & THE BARI OUT THERE JAZZ BAND
Roger H. Lewis, saxophonist, joined Gregory Davis, Kevin Harris, and Efrem Towns over 30 years ago to form The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Lewis and the Dozen are known for playing everything from birthdays to funerals...and everything in between. Roger Lewis is one of the most prolific horn players around. Known as the OLD MAN & the most OUT THERE of the Dozen, he creates magic as well as an ass-shakin' good time when on stage. This will be the first time that Roger will be leading a traditional jazz band featuring pianist Mari Watanabe.
FALL 2018 LINEUP
GREGG STAFFORD & HIS JAZZHOUNDS
Great New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Gregg Stafford spent much of his childhood in the Central City neighborhood. He saw lots of parades, often sang in church, and developed a real love of music. Gregg teamed with Dr. Michael White playing in each other's bands to preserve the musical heritage of New Orleans. Dr. White formed his Original Liberty Jazz Band in 1981. Gregg became a music educator in New Orleans public schools in 1985, and took over leadership of the Young Tuxedo Brass Band in 1984. He also became the leader of the Heritage Hall Jazz Band in 1992 after Kid Sheik Cola's death; this group performed regularly at Preservation Hall in the 1990s. In 1994, he took over leadership of Danny Barker's Jazz Hounds, in which he had played from the early 1980s and still to this day. Stafford has played with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Brian Carrick, and Michael White. Staffords passion for music led him to co-founded the group Black Men of Labor, a civic organization fostering brass bands in New Orleans.
DAVELL CRAWFORD & THE CREOLE JAZZ MEN
Pianist Davell Crawford is one of New Orleans’ most exciting showmen, bringing the traditional NOLA sound to roots music lovers everywhere. He blends traditional R&B, funk, gospel and soul rhythms into his playing, adding a little freshness and personal touch to this remarkable tradition. Raised in the church, Davell is the grandson of the rhythm & blues star James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, who wrote the New Orleans hit song “Jockomo”, later known as “Iko Iko”. Performing since the age of seven, he made his name as a “teenage piano terror” before taking it to the professional level with gigs in France, Russia, Finland, Spain, Brazil and beyond — not to mention stages across the world-famous Frenchmen Street. A true roots musician, Davell is here to bring the boogie-woogie to crowds throughout New Orleans and the world.
THAIS CLARK & HER JAZZSTERS
Born and raised in the musically fertile neighborhood of New Orleans Seventh Ward, Thais Clark is a high-energy performer with a deep-rooted passion for the bawdy number popularized by blues legends Ma Rainy and Bessie Smith. This dynamic singer-dancer can present each song like no one else, having more than thirty years’ experience performing before audiences at home and around the world. She’s performed in the New Orleans themed musical revue. “One Mo’ Time,” the long-running Off-Broadway tribute to the early days of black vaudeville. Ms. Clark played the character of Ma Reed on the New York, London and European stages including a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and a separate performance for Prince Phillip. Since then, she has traveled much of the world with Wynton Marsalis and Dr. Michael White. She has also performed with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
SHANNON POWELL & HIS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ALL STARS
Shannon Powell is a highly sought after drummer and percussionist who has achieved international acclaim for his commanding technique and style, rooted in the characteristic funky drum beats of New Orleans. As a youth growing up in New Orleans' storied Faubourg Tremé, home to many of the city's jazz performers, Powell was surrounded by music. From 1987 to 1992, Powell toured extensively with Harry Connick, Jr. and released two platinum albums with Connick. During subsequent years, Powell has toured with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marcus Roberts, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Earl King, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and John Scofield. Powell is considered a leading force on the traditional jazz circuit and also serves as an educator and clinician. He has been featured at workshops presented at universities and jazz festivals all over the world.Considered a living legend in New Orleans music, Shannon Powell is heralded as "The King of Treme," the neighborhood where he grew up in New Orleans, which has given birth to countless musical inspirations and innovations.
THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO DONATE TO NICKEL-A-DANCE. ALL SHOWS WERE AN EXTREME SUCCESS. YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR NOJC TO PRESENT THIS UNIQUE JAZZ EXPERIENCE!
It all began when three anonymous individuals combined their personal donations to pay for a traditional New Orleans Jazz band to perform for three hours during one Sunday afternoon in October at Café Brasil on Frenchmen Street. The event was free and open to the public, advertised by word of mouth to local traditional jazz fans. It was so well received that many people requested that the event be presented again.
The following year it was decided to contact Jason Patterson, then representing the Louisiana Jazz Federation, to see it the LJF would include another concert in their October calendar of activities as a Jazz Awareness Month event. The event was listed on the LJF calendar as Nickel-A-Dance, the name chosen for the event because it encompassed the concept of the old-time dance hall events that years ago were held in the neighborhoods of New Orleans.
The Nickel-A-Dance concert series has evolved through increasing attendance and sponsorship so that now, the events are held every Sunday afternoon in October and (when funding permits) every Sunday afternoon in March. The New Orleans Jazz Celebration, a non-profit organization directed by Mr. Patterson, has graciously acted as the fiscal agent for Nickel-A-Dance, making it possible to receive grant awards, individual and business contributions toward presentation of the series. The Maison on Frenchmen Street has become the new adopted home of Nickel-A-Dance, and opens their doors to the public every Sunday in October and in March to audiences and dancers who increasingly attend the concerts.
Get on your dancin' shoes darlin' and come out and enjoy the music!
For more information on the history of the New Orleans jazz dance hall and the history we are continually working preserve, please visit our history page.
OUR NICKEL SPONSORS:
This event is supported by the Threadhead Cultural Foundation, the New Orleans Theatre Association and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. We would like to wish them a special thanks for their support.