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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 night clubs.  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.

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October 7th
Gregg Stafford & his JazzHounds
 

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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.

October 14th
Thais Clark & her JAZZsters
 

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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.


October 21st
Davell Crawford & the Creole Jazz Men
 

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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.

October 28th
Shannon Powell & his New Orleans Jazz All Stars
 

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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.


HISTORY

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 out your dancin' shoes darlin' and come out and enjoy the music!
 

FALL NICKEL-A-DANCE 2018

OCTOBER 7th: Gregg Stafford and his Jazz Hounds
OCTOBER 14th: Thais Clark & her JAZZsters
OCTOBER 21st: Davell Crawford and the Creole Jazz Men
OCTOBER 28th:  Shannon Powell and his New Orleans Jazz All Stars

 

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Sunday, March 11th 2018

Herlin Riley & The Flat Foot Five

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Featuring: 

Wendell Brunious: Trumpet
Tom Fischer :Clarinet
Craig Klein: Trombone
Kerry Lewis: Bass
Lars Edegran: Piano

New Orleans is a drummer’s town. But in this town full of first class drummers, Herlin Riley is “the” drummer. The Baron of the Boom Boom. The Pulse that keeps the life flowing through any body of work. Born into a musical family steeped in gospel, blues and jazz,  Wynton Marsalis asked him to join him in New York in 1988 where he stayed for almost two decades while still maintaining a home in New Orleans. He still is a regularly featured musician with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra but now is back in his home town when he’s not on tour with Ahmad Jamal, Dr. John, or Harry Connick, Jr. He lights up a stage with just his presence and always fires up the first class jazz artists who love to play with him. 

PHOTO FROM THE SHOW!

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Photo courtesy of Sally Young

Photos From Last Season:

 
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PAST PERFORMERS THIS SEASON

October 1st Herlin Riley And The Flat Foot Five

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New Orleans is a drummer’s town. But in this town full of first class drummers, Herlin Riley is “the” drummer. The Baron of the Boom Boom. The Pulse that keeps the life flowing through any body of work. Born into a musical family steeped in gospel, blues and jazz,  Wynton Marsalis asked him to join him in New York in 1988 where he stayed for almost two decades while still maintaining a home in New Orleans. He still is a regularly featured musician with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra but now is back in his home town when he’s not on tour with Ahmad Jamal, Dr. John, or Harry Connick, Jr. He lights up a stage with just his presence and always fires up the first class jazz artists who love to play with him. 

The First Nickel A Dance Was A Great Success! Here Are Some Photos From The Evening

Courtesy Of Felicia Khan:

October 15th Roderick Paulin & The Traditional All Stars

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Internationally-renowned saxophonist Roderick Paulin is an accomplished composer, arranger, producer, and educator. Roderick has collaborated with artists such as Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick, Aaron Neville, Allen Toussaint, Delfeayo Marsalis, Maceo Parker, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, making him a highly sought after artist of impeccable musical standards for the last 25 years. Roderick, a New Orleans native, began studying the saxophone at eight-years old and while only in the 6th grade, he began performing with his father, legendary jazz musician Ernest “Doc” Paulin. Roderick and his five older brothers were the core of his father’s band, The Doc Paulin brass band, performing brass band music across the globe. Roderick readily acknowledges his father instilling the importance of preparation, musicianship, timeliness, flexibility, and fortitude to be successful in the entertainment industry and in everyday life. Those attributes are the center of Roderick’s character not only as a musician but also as a person, and it shines clear on his sophomore recording of classic jazz standards SLOW, BUT STEADY. The Slow, But Steady recording is celebrated tonight with an all-star band featuring jazz & gospel singer Jolyda Phillips.

Here Are Some Photos From The Evening

Courtesy Of Diane Danthony:

October 22nd

Gerald French & The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band

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From the birthplace of jazz and the city of family music traditions, Gerald French is from one of the pioneering families of New Orleans Traditional Jazz. For the past 15 years, he has been the drummer for Ms. Charmaine Neville, the Darlin of New Orleans, as well as, the drummer for the Dixie Cups for the past two years and counting. Known as "The Giant" for his own original style of drumming, Mr. French has traveled and performed with several musicians such as:  Leroy Jones, Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John, Dr. Michael White, Lillan Boutte, Jermy Davenport, Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias, Preservation Hall Jazz Band just to name a few.  He is currently working with The Joe Ashlar Organ Trio, Fritzel’s Jazz Band, his own original bands Abstract and Déjà vu.

 In December 2011 Gerald was passed the torch of band leader of the oldest jazz band The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. The Original Tuxedo Orchestra, named for the Tuxedo Dance Hall in the Storyville district, was founded in 1910 by cornetist Oscar “Papa” Celestin. Celestin, who led the group and eventually rechristened it the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, led the band for 44 years. After his death in 1954, trombonist Eddie Pierson stepped in for four years. Banjoist Albert “Papa” French, Bob’s father and Gerald’s grandfather, then logged two decades as leader. After 107 years of performances, Mr. Gerald French leads the historic group. 

October 29th Louis Ford & The New Orleans Flairs

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Louis Ford descends from a line of musicians originating in New Orleans’ Storyville days. Louis is an accomplished clarinetist and saxophonist, dedicated to the preservation of traditional jazz. Born and raised in New Orleans, Louis studied under Professor Kidd Jordan at Southern University in Music Performance, which inspired him to create a unique sound all his own. He graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Music Education.

As a significant member of the traditional jazz community, Louis performs regularly with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and in other historical jazz venues. Louis Ford and all the members of his band teach young musicians in schools and privately, to keep New Orleans' cultural tradition alive.

November 5th Don Vappie Creole Jazz Sextet

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Don Vappie is descended from a long line of New Orleans musicians that goes back to the nineteenth century. Once a featured performer in the Preservation Hall Band, Vappie now leads and tours with 'The Creole Jazz Serenaders' (CJS). After Hurricane Katrina, he co-founded with his wife Millie "Bring it on Home", an organized effort to help displaced New Orleans musicians find work and return to their hometown. His family's musical heritage was recently explored in "American Creole: New Orleans Reunion", a PBS documentary. As a result, he was honored with a LA Creole Society Award for his promotion of the Creole culture of New Orleans in music and film. Vappie, known for his original banjo style, also plays mandolin, guitar, string bass and is a vocalist as well. He has also transcribed many early jazz recordings of Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and others. He was also chosen by the Historic New Orleans Collection to serve as Musical Director for the premier of their newly discovered Jelly Roll Morton compositions. Over the past ten years, Don has appeared as a regular guest with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz At Lincoln Center.