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NICKEL-A-DANCE

Fall 2023 Season Begins October 1st! 
Sundays:
4pm -7pm
@ The Maison

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NICKEL-A-DANCE is a free series of Sunday afternoon traditional jazz concerts started in 1994 that now take place each spring and fall season, and 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.

FALL 2023 
LINEUP

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DR. MICHAEL WHITE

& The Original Liberty Jazz Band

OCTOBER 1st

Dr. Michael White is a widely regarded clarinetist, bandleader, composer, historian and educator that plays classic New Orleans jazz in the George Lewis style, and has served as guest director for several Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts.

 

On his musical philosophy, he shares; “I try to teach to my students that one of the values of listening to jazz, especially New Orleans  jazz, is not just for the danceable nature and  the great music that it is, but also for the lessons it teaches that can be used today; that you have to improvise.” 

This evening he presents

the 7-piece Original Liberty Jazz Band!

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NEW LEVIATHAN

Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra
OCTOBER 15th

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. They've been together ever since.

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HERLIN RILEY

& the Crescent City Joymakers

with special guest Shannon Powell
OCTOBER 29th

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, Herlin was asked by Wynton Marsalis to join him in New York in 1988 where Herlin stayed for almost 20 years, all the while still maintaining a home in New Orleans. Today, he still is a regularly featured musician with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, but has been based back in his hometown when he wasn't on tour with Ahmad Jamal, Dr. John, or Harry Connick, Jr. He lights up any stage with just his presence alone, and always fires up the first class musicians who love to play with him. 

 

Join us for the Grand Finale of

Nickel-A-Dance's 30th Season this evening!
 

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DAVELL CRAWFORD

Trad Jazz Band

OCTOBER 8th

Known as The Prince of New Orleans, Davell Crawford is an all-around musical sensation as a pianist, singer, songwriter, and performer. 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.” 


Davell has been playing piano since he was seven years old and although he didn't know his grandfather was a musician at the time, the elder Crawford gave him a keyboard when he was 11, and he soon first toured Europe in his early teens.

 

Like so many New Orleans musicians, Crawford brings a synthesis of styles to his playing, weaving together funk, gospel, and R&B to his piano playing, songwriting and singing. A Steinway endorsed pianist, Davell has released more than seven albums since 1995 on imprints such as Rounder Records, Basin Street Records, and more. Bill Taylor from Blues Access proclaims that, “Plain and simple, Davell Crawford is one of the most talented musicians alive.” 

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KERMIT RUFFINS

& The BBQ Swingers
OCTOBER 22nd

From playing himself in the HBO Series Tremé, to barbecuing outside his bar, Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge, to sitting in with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the trumpeter/vocalist keeps himself busy when he isn’t on stage doing what he does best—entertaining and sharing his love of life with the world.

But he did not come by his gifts easily. Ruffins did his homework and developed his stage persona and musical act by studying artists who came before him. He watched videos of Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway until the tape wore out, cut his teeth busking the streets of the French Quarter, and apprenticed on stages with local legends “Uncle” Lionel Batiste and Danny Barker. While still in high school, he co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band, but eventually left the touring band to return home to the culture he missed so much, launching The BBQ Swingers, now a beloved New Orleans institution.

Some say he resembles king pops, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong himself. You be the judge.

SPRING 2023 
LINEUP

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SHANNON POWELL's

Traditional All-Stars
MARCH 5th

Known fondly as "The King of Tremé," Shannon Powell grew up in New Orleans’ Tremé neighborhood, where brass bands and second lines passed by his house all the time. Drawn to the drummers he saw in those parades, he was playing drums at his church when he was six. Legendary jazzman Danny Barker recruited Powell to play in the Fairview Baptist Church Band while he was in grade school, and by age fourteen he played professionally with Danny Barker’s Jazz Hounds.

Preservation Hall director Ben Jaffe recalls, “My dad used to get Shannon’s grandmother to bring him over by the Hall at night to listen to Cie Frazier, Louis Barbarin, Alonzo Stewart, and Freddie Kohlman. . . . By the time I graduated high school, Shannon was touring and recording with Harry Connick Jr. I remember the first time I saw Shannon at Madison Square Garden with Harry’s big band and not believing my eyes. I was so proud of him.”

 

Powell has recorded with Harry Connick Jr, Ellis Marsalis Jr, Jason Marsalis, Leroy Jones, Donald Harrison Jr. and played with Diana Krall, Earl King, Dr. John, Marcus Roberts, John Scofield, and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Each week, Powell delights Preservation Hall’s audience by leading a spirited, inspired ensemble.

Currently, he is a bandleader and has recorded his own album, "Powell's Place," which showcases a mix of traditional and original jazz songs and also features Powell on vocals. 

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JOE LASTIE's

New Orleans Sound

MARCH 12th

Born in New Orleans, Joe Lastie received his first drum set at the age of 8. He comes from a highly musical family, which included his mother, both grandfathers, his aunt Betty, and his uncles Melvin, David, and Walter “Popee.”

 

His grandfather, born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward, was a minister and is credited popularizing the drum set in church music. As a youth, Joe would set up a small drum kit at the foot of his grandparents bed and practice on whatever drums were available. “it didn’t matter if it was just a snare drum and a cymbal, I’d always find a way to make it work out.”

Lastie played his first job with a rhythm section, backing the Desire Community Choir. He also studied jazz with Willie Metcalf at the Dryades Street YMCA, where his classmates included the young Wynton and Branford Marsalis.

 

In 1969, he moved with his family to NYC, where he took lessons from Clyde Harris through the public schools. His drumming improved enough to earn him a gig with the pit band for the New Orleans Broadway musical, “One Mo’ Time.”

Lastie returned to New Orleans after high school and picked up a steady gig with bassist Richard Paynes band. On a tip from trumpeter Greg Stafford, Lastie was invited to substitute at Preservation Hall in 1989, and has been a regular drummer with the band since then. You can also catch him around town with his own band, Joe Lastie’s New Orleans Sound.

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MARK BROOKS

& Friends
MARCH 19th

Mark Brooks is one of New Orleans most talented and sought after bassists and vocalists. Mark attended Southern University in Baton Rouge where he earned a music degree along with two of his closet friends, Donald Harrison Jr. and Branford Marsalis, who as well moved on to further their professional careers. Mark has toured and played with an array of artists. Just to name a few – Mark has worked with

Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, Fats Domino, Henry Butler, Charles and Aaron Neville’s Ensemble, Lou Rawls, David “Fathead” Newman, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Maryland Jazz Band Of Germany. Mark can also often be seen playing at Preservation Hall and Palm Court Jazz café.

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NORBERT SUSEMIHL's

New Orleans All-Stars
MARCH 26th

Trumpeter, singer and drummer Norbert Susemihl has been a traveler in New Orleans music for many years, performing on international festivals and concerts. For over 4 decades he has been commuting between his second home in New Orleans, his birthplace of Hamburg, and later also Denmark. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Susemihl made extensive connections in New Orleans with the still living legends of his music, studied their style and learned their concept of music.

 

As a bandleader, he lets his experience flow into numerous projects, building the bridge between traditional New Orleans Jazz, and the music of the new generations, developing it further stylistically. His improvisations and interpretations of the musical material display an ever-present melodical approach. Over the years, Susemihl has brought many New Orleans musicians for tours to Europe, where he leads "Norbert Susemihl's Joyful Gumbo Jazz & Blues Band."
 

In 2022 Susemihl was given the “Louis Armstrong Memorial Award” by the “Swinging Hamburg Foundation.”He has recorded and produced over 50 recordings, both with his own bands  and as soloist with other groups. 

 

Part of his program at Nickel-A-Dance will be in celebration of Louis Armstrong’s 100-year anniversary of his first recording, which took place on April 6th, 1923 -- almost exactly 100 Years prior to this Nickel-A-Dance concert date.

FALL 2022 
LINEUP

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DON VAPPIE

& The Créole Jazz Serenaders
OCTOBER 2nd

Don Vappie is a world renowned jazz musician and bandleader from New Orleans. He leads the Creole Jazz Serenaders, a classic New Orleans jazz orchestra, as well as his various jazz and R&B combos. He has produced and recorded numerous albums and film soundtracks, and is star of the PBS documentary "American Créole: New Orleans Reunion." Known for his virtuosic banjo skills, Don is also a stellar bassist, guitarist and vocalist. Add to that his commitment to the preservation and perpetuation of the cultural créole music of New Orleans he calls "créole jazz." 

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RONELL JOHNSON

& His New Orleans Jazz Band
OCTOBER 16th

Ronell Johnson is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist specializing in Traditional New Orleans Jazz. With trombone as his principal instrument he is also highly proficient on tuba, piano, and organ. Born and raised in New Orleans, Ronell began learning music on trumpet and piano at the age of six. His music career began at the age of 12, performing professionally on organ, piano, trombone, and tuba. International travels began at the age of 15, with several New Orleans bands including his family band Coolbone. 

 

While having learned from many great New Orleans trombonists, Ronell's style of playing is greatly influenced by legendary jazz trombonist James "Trummy" Young of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Band, and incorporates a technique of “tailgate” playing developed by famed New Orleans jazz trombonist Kid Ory. He and his three older brothers, also professional musicians, are the great-nephews of Joseph “Kid Twat” Butler, who was the string bass player with the legendary Kid Thomas Valentine and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. In 2003, Ronell began performing at Preservation Hall and later became a member of the principle touring band in 2012.

 

In addition to incredible skill, Ronell’s blend of power and energy (and humor) are unforgettable. His latest release entitled That Gentilly Swing, also features a duet with his wife, a classical pianist and composer. Ultimately, Ronell is dedicated to preserving Traditional New Orleans Jazz and sharing its flavor with music lovers worldwide.

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DUKE HEITGER

& His New Orleans Wanderers

OCTOBER 9th

Classic jazz trumpeter Duke Heitger is known for his warm sound, virtuosity, and unwavering musicality. While renowned on the international scene, performing and recording around the world, he reigns as one of the longest tenured bandleaders in New Orleans appearing regularly on the Steamboat Natchez. Since arriving in New Orleans in 1991, he's worked with the likes of Duck Hyman, Scott Hamilton, Topsy Chapman, and more. He's appeared on broadcasts such as "A Prairie Home Companion," "Jazz Inspired," and "Live From The Riverwalk." Heitger has also performed at renowned venues including the Hollywood Bowl and Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Midsummer's Night Swing" series.

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WILL SMITH

& His New Orleans Jass Cats
OCTOBER 23rd

Trumpeter Will Smith was introduced to jazz at an early age by his older sister, civil rights activist and longtime early Jazz Fest and Preservation Hall staffer, Dodie Smith-Simmons, and his brother-in-law, fellow trumpeter John "Kid" Simmons, who would take him almost nightly to Preservation Hall as a youth. In 1975, Will joined the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, founded by legendary jazzman and author Danny Barker. Later, Will organized his own band, The Jass Katz, but also played and toured with famed bands like Dejean's Olympia Brass Band, Chosen Few Brass Band, Tremé Brass Band, and the Original Pinstripe Brass Band. Today, he is a resident musician at Preservation Hall Jazz, and a youth educator in New Orleans schools. 

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HERLIN RILEY

& Traditional Majesty
OCTOBER 30th

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, Herlin was asked by Wynton Marsalis to join him in New York City in 1988 where Herlin stayed for almost two decades, all the while maintaining a home in New Orleans. He is still a regularly featured musician with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, but has been based back in his hometown for several years now -- that is, when he wasn't on tour with Ahmad Jamal, Dr. John, or Harry Connick Jr. He lights up any stage with just his presence alone, and always fires up the first class musicians who love to play with him.

 

This evening, he presents his energetic trad jazz ensemble. 

SPRING 2022 
LINEUP

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GERALD FRENCH

& The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band
MARCH  6TH

Gerald French is from one of the pioneering families of New Orleans traditional jazz and is known as “The Giant” for his own original style of drumming, which has taken him all over the world performing many types of music.

He’s been Charmaine Neville’s drummer since the early 2000s, later for the famed women’s trio of 1960s pop hit wonder, The Dixie Cups, and in 2004 joined the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band. 2022 marks his 10th year as bandleader for New Orleans’ oldest active trad band, The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, a torch passed to Gerald as family tradition in 2011.

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KEVIN LOUIS

& His Top Dollar Jazz Band

MARCH  13th

Trumpeter Kevin Louis is a 1995 graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1999), a Masters of Arts from the Aaron Copeland’s School of Music at Queens College (2001), and has toured at least 30 countries as a performer, clinician and private instructor over his 25 year career. Louis is a resident artist with Preservation Hall Jazz, and has performed with dozens of jazz and pop music greats including Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz, Henry Butler, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and more. This evening, he presents his own Top Dollar Jazz Band!

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WENDELL BRUNIOUS

& The New Orleans Jazz All-Stars
MARCH  20th

Famous for "knowing more than 2,000 songs," trumpeter and vocalist Wendell Brunious boasts a towering musical family tree primarily flowered with trumpets. He is the son of trumpet master John “Picket” (or “Picky”) Brunious Sr. and Nazimova “Chinee” Santiago, the niece of guitarist/banjoist Willie Santiago. The talented and dedicated Wendell credits some of his early development to having worked with the Olympia Brass Band under the direction of his cousin, bandleader and saxophonist Harold Dejan. Extremely knowledgeable in the music’s tradition and history, Brunious enjoys sprinkling his conversation with advisory quotes from his father and other artists who have crossed his musical path through his decades-long career. This evening, he presents The New Orleans Jazz All-Stars, who have toured the world several times over as a pillar of the artform.

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TOM SAUNDERS

& The TomCats
MARCH  27th

Trumpet and Tuba player Tom Saunders' 12-Piece Big Band is a jazz orchestra known as the TomCats, playing 1920s "hot dance" and 1930s swing of New Orleans and New York's Harlem. Tom Saunders and the TomCats perform a large repertoire with a focus on the rare, unheard "hot music" of this period. Close-out the Spring 2022 Nickel-A-Dance seasons with us and Tom's famous big band!

FALL 2021 LINEUP

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THAIS CLARK & HER JAZZSTERS
NOVEMBER 7TH

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 of 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.

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TIM LAUGHLIN JAZZ BAND
NOVEMBER 21ST

A native of New Orleans, Tim Laughlin fell in love with the sound of the clarinet before he ever held one after hearing a childhood friend practicing his clarinet. He was nine when he received his first horn and shortly after became hooked on the New Orleans clarinet-style after hearing it on the radio. His first professional job was on a Mardi Gras float when he was only fifteen. After finishing high school he began working around town and eventually joined the musicians union where he would meet and perform with some of his most influential mentors. He has recorded over a dozen solo CDs among which “The Isle of Orleans” (2003) is an award-winning collection of Laughlin originals. Several of his tunes have been featured in television shows, commercials, and motion pictures. With this, he is the first New Orleans clarinetist to write and record an entire album of originals.

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GREGG STAFFORD & HIS JAZZHOUNDS
NOVEMBER 14TH

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.

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NEW LEVIATHAN ORIENTAL FOXTROT ORCHESTRA
NOVEMBER 28TH

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.

SPRING 2021 LINEUP

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SHANNON POWELL & HIS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ ALL-STARS
JUNE 6TH

Shannon Powell is a highly sought-after drummer and percussionist who has achieved international acclaim for his commanding technique and style. He has performed all over the world with notables in jazz. In his early career, Powell toured extensively with Harry Connick, Jr. and released two platinum albums with Connick including, "We Are in Love," and "Blue Light Red Light.” 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 has also recorded with a long list of noteworthy artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Irvin Mayfield, Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. 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.

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MARI WATANABE & HER CHOSEN FEW JAZZ BAND
JUNE 20TH

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".

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JOE GOLDBERG & THE FUNCTION
JUNE 13TH

Albert Murray Defined The Saturday-Night Function as "a purification ritual where you get rid of the blues," Joe Goldberg and the Function does just that. Joe Goldberg , band leader, started the band in 2016 as band to showcase the talented musicians in his community while always keeping the music 'for the dancers'.  With danceability paramount The Function delivers classics and original music with heat.  The Function will transform any room into a party drawing inspiration from greats from the past and today including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Johnny Hodges, Thelonious Monk, Wessell Anderson III, Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis, and more.  

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TOM FISCHER & THE WEST END RHYTHM KINGS
JUNE 27TH

Thomas Fischer was born and raised in the Chicago area and moved to New Orleans in 1989 to join the Band of Banu Gibson. One of the City’s most sought-after clarinetists, he has performed everywhere from Preservation Hall to Carnegie Hall, in France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the UK, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Australia, and has toured Japan on a regular basis since 1998. Tom continues to be a featured performer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Summer Fest, and many jazz festivals throughout the world. He often performs or has recorded with such artists as Lionel Batiste, Mark Braud, John Brunious, Wendell Brunious, Lars Edegran, Wendell Eugene, Gerald French, Duke Heitger, Kermit Ruffins, Al Hirt, and Don Vappie, to name but a few. Dubbed “one of the best” by Times Magazine, he teaches Jazz clarinet at the University of New Orleans. Having received his formal training with classical clarinetist Bernard Portnoy at Indiana University – and his informal training on the clarinet and Saxophone in the Jazz clubs of Chicago and New Orleans, Tom Fischer’s playing reflects his love for the great New Orleans clarinet tradition. In 1990, he was featured soloist for Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra. Main tours since 2007 have included New York City with Henry Butler’s Steamin’ Syncopators (Metropolitan Museum of Art) as well as Don Vappie (Zankel Hall at Carnegie), Moscow with Konstantin Gevondian and again the Ascona Jazz Festival (2012) as a regular member of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band with it’s present leader Gerald French. Actually the oldest Jazz band in the world, it was founded by Papa Célestin as early as 1910. Nowadays in New Orleans, Tom frequently performs in all major venues including Snug Harbor, Preservation Hall, Irving Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, the New Orleans Jazz NHP at the Mint, the Bombay Club or the 21st Amendment, among others. 

SPRING 2020 LINEUP

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DON VAPPIE & THE CREOLE JAZZ SERENADERS
MARCH 1ST

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 explored in the early 2000s 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.  

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CRAIG KLEIN & THE NEW ORLEANS ALL STARS’ TRIBUTE TO LUCIEN BARBARIN
MARCH 15TH

Craig Klein, one of the most in demand trombonists in the Crescent City, makes a rare appearance as band leader tonight. Klein is best known as a member of Bonerama, the funky brass rock band that has been gigging around town since 1998. But he has been playing in many bands for even longer, having been a founding member of the Storyville Stompers and the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. This show will be dedicated to the late trombonist, Lucien Barbarin, who New Orleans had lost earlier this year. Lucien was a beloved New Orleans jazz trombonist who had captivated audiences around the world with his work in the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Harry Connick, Jr., and many other New Orleans jazz luminaries. Lucien had a command of the trombone and love for performing which established him as one of the city's premier musical ambassadors. 

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TOM FISCHER & THE WEST END RHYTHM KINGS
MARCH 29TH

Thomas Fischer was born and raised in the Chicago area and moved to New Orleans in 1989 to join the Band of Banu Gibson. One of the City’s most sought-after clarinetists, he has performed everywhere from Preservation Hall to Carnegie Hall, in France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the UK, the Middle East, India, Pakistan, Australia, and has toured Japan on a regular basis since 1998. Tom continues to be a featured performer at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Summer Fest, and many jazz festivals throughout the world. He often performs or has recorded with such artists as Lionel Batiste, Mark Braud, John Brunious, Wendell Brunious, Lars Edegran, Wendell Eugene, Gerald French, Duke Heitger, Kermit Ruffins, Al Hirt, and Don Vappie, to name but a few. Dubbed “one of the best” by Times Magazine, he teaches Jazz clarinet at the University of New Orleans. Having received his formal training with classical clarinetist Bernard Portnoy at Indiana University – and his informal training on the clarinet and Saxophone in the Jazz clubs of Chicago and New Orleans, Tom Fischer’s playing reflects his love for the great New Orleans clarinet tradition. In 1990, he was featured soloist for Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra. Main tours since 2007 have included New York City with Henry Butler’s Steamin’ Syncopators (Metropolitan Museum of Art) as well as Don Vappie (Zankel Hall at Carnegie), Moscow with Konstantin Gevondian and again the Ascona Jazz Festival (2012) as a regular member of the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band with it’s present leader Gerald French. Actually the oldest Jazz band in the world, it was founded by Papa Célestin as early as 1910. Nowadays in New Orleans, Tom frequently performs in all major venues including Snug Harbor, Preservation Hall, Irving Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, the New Orleans Jazz NHP at the Mint, the Bombay Club or the 21st Amendment, among others. 

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ERNIE ELLY’S NEW ORLEANS HERITAGE BAND
MARCH 8TH

Ernest Anthony “Fat Daddy” Elly, Sr. is a rhythm & blues, soul, and modern and traditional jazz drummer from New Orleans. With a musical sound heavily influenced by the street parade culture of New Orleans, Elly has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Apollo Theater, toured with Ray Charles, and Doc Cheatham, and continues to feature as one of Preservation Hall’s countless musical stars. Ernest Elly was born on June 16, 1942 in New Orleans’s Sixth Ward, a neighborhood located in the city’s famed “backatown” area. As he grew, Ernie began to be deeply influenced by the burgeoning rhythm & blues scene in New Orleans and beyond, listening closely to the work of Fats Domino, Little Richard and James Brown. On Saturdays, Ernie remembers his eldest brother, Frank Jr., turning on the radio program This Is Jazz, hosted by Al Gourier. It would be here that Elly would first hear Art Blakey, Max Roach, Art Taylor and an early Miles Davis. By 9th grade, he had begun to receive formal training from instructor Yvonne Busch, who taught the young musician how to read music. At 19, Elly auditioned for the Air Force band, and soon afterwards enlisted and joined the band. Elly had always been largely left-handed, setting up the drum set from the left side. But much of the formal training he’d received was focused on right-handed playing, including his Air Force sergeant’s instruction. After that, Ernie says, he was uncomfortable playing either way, so he developed a style that worked for both. New Orleans drummers were among Elly’s greatest musical influences including, Vernel Fournier, Mickey Conway, James Black and Joseph “Smokey” Johnson. 

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JOE GOLDBERG & THE FUNCTION
MARCH 22ND

Albert Murray Defined The Saturday-Night Function as "a purification ritual where you get rid of the blues," Joe Goldberg and the Function does just that. Joe Goldberg , band leader, started the band in 2016 as band to showcase the talented musicians in his community while always keeping the music 'for the dancers'.  With danceability paramount The Function delivers classics and original music with heat.  The Function will transform any room into a party drawing inspiration from greats from the past and today including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Johnny Hodges, Thelonious Monk, Wessell Anderson III, Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis, and more.  

FALL 2019 LINEUP

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THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS AND JAZZ FANS FOR ANOTHER GREAT SEASON!
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MARK BRAUD’S JAZZ GIANTS TRIBUTE TO PERCY & WILLIE HUMPHREY
OCTOBER 6TH

Trumpeter and vocalist Mark Braud is the quintessence of the New Orleans spirit. His energetic interpretations of melody craft a freshly unpredictable spin on the tradition of jazz and the down-home, honest grooves of New Orleans.  Born in New Orleans, Braud comes from a family of world-renowned musicians. Traditional jazz, R&B and the great American songbook inspire his engaging music.

Braud has been a member of Harry Connick Jr.'s band since 2001 and was in the band on Connick’s syndicated television show, Harry.  He served as the leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from 2008 to 2016.  He has played with a who's who of the music industry, ranging from the Treme Brass Band, the Marsalis family, and the Blind Boys of Alabama, all the way to the Foo Fighters, John Oates, Tom Waits, My Morning Jacket, Mos Def and Erykah Badu. 

Braud’s work as a composer and performer can be seen in several episodes of Treme, American Horror Story, Sonic Highways and NCIS: New Orleans.

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ORANGE KELLIN’S DELUXE ORCHESTRA: BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO JELLY ROLL MORTON
OCTOBER 20TH

Originally from Sweden, Kellin began playing clarinet at the age of 15. Two years later, Orange formed his first band in partnership with pianist Lars Edegran. The band played music in the New Orleans manner. In 1966, he moved to New Orleans where he became a regular performer at several leading jazz venues including Preservation Hall. In 1968 he was a founder member of the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. He also led his own bands in the city including, in 1970, a band which held a residency at the Maison Bourbon Club. Two years later he formed the New Orleans Joymakers. Kellin recorded with several veteran New Orleans musicians including Josiah ‘Cié’ Frazier, Preston Jackson, Jim Robinson, Jabbo Smith, Zutty Singleton and Kid Thomas Valentine. In 1978, Kellin played with the NORO for the soundtrack of the movie Pretty Baby. The following year he appeared in New York with the stage musical One Mo’ Time for which he was musical director and co-arranger in addition to playing in the onstage band. In the early 80s he appeared with the same show during its long and successful run in London’s West End.

Kellin has toured extensively with his own bands and with bands formed largely from New Orleans veterans. In 1992 he made his first solo tour of the UK. A gifted and highly musical clarinetist, Kellin’s dedication to the music of New Orleans has contributed greatly to the preservation of the style. He has an excellent technique and solos with flair and eloquence. As an admirable ensemble player, he lends authority to any group of which he is a member.

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NORBERT SUSEMIHL & NEW ORLEANS DANCE HALL BAND
OCTOBER 13TH

The New Orleans Dance Hall Band got together as a quartet in 2018 and recorded an album that year as a tribute to the legendary New Orleans musicians, like Billie and De De Pierce, Sweet Emma Barrett, Kid Thomas Valentine, George Lewis, Josiah "Cie" Frazier and many more. These legendary musicians played their very special music in the local Crescent City dance halls in the 30s, 40s and 50s of the last century. Luthjen’s, Speck’s Moulin Rouge, Economy Hall, Kohlman’s Tavern and San Jacinto Hall were some of them.

These places were simple neighborhood bars with a small stage and dance floor, where the locals would meet, socialize and dance, or halls available for rent, to host many kinds of social events. The music was pure New Orleans Jazz of the era, and the repertoire consisted of popular songs of the time.

Now for this occasion augmented to the New Orleans Dance Hall Sextet, the band is greatly inspired by this music and its players and strives to capture the feeling and sound of this art form.

Norbert Susemihl has been a part-time resident of New Orleans now for 41 years. When out of town he leads his European Band, "Norbert Susemihl's Joyful Gumbo" and he tours as soloist.

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MARK BROOKS & JAZZ FRIENDS
OCTOBER 27TH

Mark Brooks is one of New Orleans most talented, versatile, and sought after bassist. He is also a protégée of the great Jazz Master, Alvin Batiste. Mark attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, where he pursued a music degree along with one of his close friends, Branford Marsalis, who later as well as Mark moved on to further his professional career.  Mark has toured with an array of artist ranging from Jazz, Blues, R&B, to Gospel.  Just to name a few, Mark has worked with Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, Henry Butler, Charles and Aaron Neville, Lou Rawls, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and with Fats Domino Band.  Mark has to his credit numerous recordings and appearances on local television shows, but his most highlighted musical moments were the opportunities to appear on screen and sound track of Clint Eastwood Film the Bridges of Madison County, The Regis and Kathy Lee show and his appearance in the movie Ray Charles life story “Ray”.  Mark has recently finished two episodes in the HBO Special “Treme”, also the trailer and several episodes in the TNT special “Memphis Beats and an episode in the “American Horror Story”.  Mark exemplify both team and leadership skills which keep him in demand.  You can be sure they’re more exciting musical credits to come.  Mark also proudly use and endorse GHS Bass Strings, Fender Instruments and David Eden Line of Bass Amplifiers for all his professional endeavors.

THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO DONATED TO THIS SPRING'S NICKEL-A-DANCE. ALL SHOWS WERE AN EXTREME SUCCESS. YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR NOJC TO PRESENT THIS UNIQUE JAZZ EXPERIENCE!

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 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. 

NOJC History

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.

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