stomping (and talking) the blues (and jazz and soul and r&b) in new orleans

I've tried wherever I can to lend a sense of context to presentations of New Orleans music, in terms of history and especially the current situation. So I was thrilled when The Wall Street Journal asked me to host a July 15th panel discussion at Lincoln Center's Kaplan Penthouse about just that topic, as part of "Summer Scoops: Live with the Wall Street Journal," the paper's new series of intimate discussions with culture-bearers.

Please pass the word on about the following and, for or those of you in New York, please let me know if you'd like to attend the panel (There'll be a limited number of press and guest seats available.)



Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?

Wednesday, July 15,  7:30 p.m.

Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Lincoln Center

Trumpeter and film composer Terence Blanchard, singer Tammy Lynn, and Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos, the founder of the Ponderosa Stomp, a festival dedicated to promoting American roots music, gather to tell the city's untold stories and to reveal the fight to preserve art and culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in discussion with Larry Blumenfeld, who writes about jazz for the Wall Street Journal. A live performance by the Terence Blanchard Quintet concludes the evening.

Ticket price: $30

$22.50 student tickets available! Students may buy up to four tickets in advance at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office or online at For online purchase use promo code STUWSJ25. Students must present a valid student ID when purchasing or picking up tickets at the box office.

This panel is an outgrowth of my writing about New Orleans during the past four years for The Journal and other publications. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard is one of this generation's most powerful jazz voices, via his trumpet, his band, and his wide-ranging film scores; his 2007 CD A Tale of God's Will is among the most articulate and pointed musical responses to Katrina. Tammy Lynn possesses a singular voice, fierce one moment, tender the next; more so than perhaps any other New Orleans-bred singer, she blends R&B with bebop, owing to her work decades ago with the landmark AFO collective. And Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos supports New Orleans culture in many less-than-obvious ways; through his "Ponderosa Stomp" he's quite visibly revived careers, thrilled aficionados, and created one of the great American-music celebrations.

STOMPING: For years, my friends had urged me to check out Ponderosa Stomp, a jewel of a festival each year for the past eight in New Orleans, tucked in between the weekends of the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival (These days, it's the action during that in-between week that forms my own personal festival.) In 2008, my Ponderosa Stomp moment came via a tribute to composer-arranger-bandleader Wardell Quezergue, who has been called the "Creole Beethoven" and must certainly be in anyone's New Orleans pantheon of Midas-touch hitmakers (think "Iko, Iko," "Mr. Big Stuff," "Chapel of Love"...) 

Quezergue fronted a fantastic ten-piece band studded with ace players, including drummer Zigaboo Modeliste and Dr. John (on guitar for much of the set), as well as indelible voices (Jean Knight and Tammy Lynn, etc). Ponderosa Stomp brings that magical brew to NY this summer, as part of the Lincoln Center Festival July 19th at Alice Tully Hall, and I can't wait to relive it.

There are two other neat windows into Stomp's world, as part of Midsummer Night Swing: a soul/R&B "Get Down" with a cast including the great William Bell (July 16); and a rockabilly show (July 17).

July 1, 2009 1:44 PM | | Comments (2)



Wow this fantastic!, I really love blues and jazz music, hope i could watch this wonderful events.

Hi Larry,

Your upcoming event sounds fantastic and I would love to attend.

I am working with the New York-based non-profit Art for Refugees in Transition (A.R.T.) to organize a new cultural arts education program in New Orleans.

A.R.T. is excited to be in discussion with Sweet Home New Orleans about partnering in this initiative, and eager to connect with others involved in strengthening community and perpetuating cultural heritage in the wake of Katrina.

Looking forward,

Sarah Kantrowitz

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