In the week after Mardi Gras, the city collectively catches its breath. But there’s still plenty of music to provide the soundtrack to the recovery period, including a mini-guitar festival and a big band tribute to Nina Simone featuring a contemporary R&B star.
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra featuring Ledisi presents "A Tribute to Nina Simone"
7:30 p.m. Friday, New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.), $30-$80
The reborn New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, now led by drummer/artistic director Adonis Rose, continues to reintroduce itself with another ambitious program at its home venue in Central City. Ledisi is the New Orleans-born contemporary R&B star with an ever-expanding catalog of acclaimed albums and national accolades. Her most recent album is the Grammy-nominated "Let Love Rule"; she recently released the single "All the Way." But the focus of this show won't be her own music. Instead, she and the 16-piece New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will explore the repertoire of Nina Simone, the hugely influential jazz, classical and pop singer and pianist who was one of the primary, and most urgent, voices of the civil rights movement. Simone's notable songs ranged from her hit "I Loves You Porgy" to the confrontational "Mississippi Goddam."
8 p.m. Monday, Civic Theatre, general admission sold out, $169 VIP
As befitting a musician whose résumé includes the Berklee College of Music, the psychedelic rock choir the Polyphonic Spree, and singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens’ band, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, has eclectic sonic tastes. She has cited the likes of David Bowie, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Kate Bush and Jimi Hendrix as influences. The Recording Academy considers her mix of indie rock, soft rock, jazz and other genres to be “alternative”; her self-titled 2014 album won the Grammy Award for best alternative music album. Her most recent release is 2017’s “Masseduction.” St. Vincent brings her Fear the Future Tour to the Civic Theatre on Monday. The voice and guitar duo Tuck & Patti opens the show.
Across the Pond Guitar Festival
7 p.m. Wednesday, Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave.), $11
Jimmy Robinson ranks among New Orleans’ most proficient guitarists, as evidenced by his 40-plus years of electric guitar acrobatics with rock fusion band Woodenhead as well as his intricate acoustic work. But he also has forged alliances with guitarists from far outside the city. Robinson’s new Across the Pond Guitar Festival is a one-night summit at the New Orleans Jazz Museum inside the Old U.S. Mint's pristine third-floor performance space. The show pairs several renowned New Orleans guitarists with the Bruskers Duo, a high-flying acoustic guitar duo from Modena, Italy. In addition to the Bruskers Duo, the show, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, features local favorites Phil DeGruy, the New Orleans Guitar Masters and a pairing of Robinson and percussionist Michael Skinkus. The Bruskers Duo and Robinson will also perform at Snug Harbor on Feb. 22.
9 p.m. Wednesday, Joy Theater, $27.50-$77.50
Southern California is a long way from Jamaica geographically if not philosophically, but SoCal is where quasi-reggae band Rebelution sprang to life. The future bandmates first met as students at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 311, the most successful of the reggae/rock hybrid bands of the past 20 years, is an obvious influence, though Rebelution does not veer into hip-hop territory nearly as often as 311. Fans are buying what they’re selling: Rebelution has sold out such venues as Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver. The band also markets a Rebelution brand of cannabis oils and vaporizers. New Orleans saxophonist Khris Royal has been a touring member of Rebelution; his band Dark Matter will perform at an after-party at Three Keys inside the Ace Hotel following Rebelution’s show at the Joy Theater. Raging Fyah opens the Joy show.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY SHOWS
Catch Pedro the Lion at One Eyed Jacks.
The popular Boogie Men are at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
Americana guitarist Jesse Dayton blazes through town for a show at Chickie Wah Wah.
Guns ‘N’ Roses tribute band Appetite For Destruction rocks the House of Blues.
Classical and jazz singer Quiana Lynell, who honed her considerable natural abilities as a vocal performance major at Louisiana State University, fronts her Lush Life combo at Snug Harbor for two sets.
Trombone-powered rock and brass band Bonerama fires up at Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
Blues-based guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart holds court at Chickie Wah Wah.
Puddle of Mudd, the post-grunge band best know for the rock radio hits “Blurry” and “She Hates Me,” hits Southport Hall.
Trombonist and singer Michael Watson, who is often the featured vocalist with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, leads his combo Alchemy at Snug Harbor.
Bruce Daigrepont powers the dancers for a Cajun fais do-do at Rock ‘N’ Bowl starting at 5 p.m.
Catch Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns Quartet at Snug Harbor.
Jazz guitarist Todd Duke powers a trio at Snug Harbor.