NOLAxNOLA Brings Live Local Music to Uptown Venues
A city-wide event known as NOLAxNOLA (nodding to SXSW music and film festivals in Austin, Texas) opens Thursday (October 7).
To help fill the void created by the cancellation of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, it presents 195 concerts – maybe more, check this link – around town for the 10 days that would have been filled with Jazz Fest and performances galore at clubs and other venues.
Of more than two dozen local sites, five are located in the Uptown neighborhood. Gasa Gasa, the Maple Leaf, NOLA Brewery, Rock ‘n’ Bowl and of course Tipitina’s will be holding 29 combined shows over the 10 days.
The series is the result of New Orleans & Company, formerly known as the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Sig Festival Events. Co-founder Sig Greenebaum is a music and festival producer with the Voodoo music experience, among others, to his credit.
NOLAxNOLA co-founder and producer Paul Peck points out how strong New Orleans’ music community is and how it spans across many neighborhoods and locations. “I see music as the lifeblood of the city,” he said, “and it has been difficult for them. Jazz Fest was going to be the light at the end of the tunnel because, as we know, Fest visitors also flock to the venue afterwards. “
Sig Fest Events wanted to help support venues and musicians, which is why the idea of NOLAxNOLA was born. “It’s a real coalition,” Peck said. He credited Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company, and Ben Jaffee, Creative Director of Preservation Hall, with being instrumental in making the event happen.
Kelly Schulz, senior vice president of communications at New Orleans & Company, echoed Peck’s take on the New Orleans music community. “There is no New Orleans without New Orleans music. And that helps boost our economy and supports local businesses, ”he said.
This local music extravaganza aims to generate income for clubs and musicians in the face of canceled concerts by bringing visitors to town and luring locals to clubs.
All regulations in place in New Orleans to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus will be enforced. The sites all require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 72 hours. Masks are mandatory so as not to eat or drink.
New Orleans & Company tackles the pandemic head-on in a press release: “We want residents to have safe places to attend shows and we will promote to travelers that they keep their travel plans, while following all vaccination and safety guidelines, because the shows must continue. “
Organizers hope that NOLAxNOLA (pronounced “Nola by Nola”) will become a national model on how to safely present music during the pandemic. Locals and visitors alike are welcome to get vaccinated and thus help bring back the beloved New Orleans music scene.
“We hope to make this an annual October event,” said Schulz, “as the Jazz Fest resumes its regular spring schedule.”
Upscale neighborhood shows
Gasa Gasa will present 10 shows, featuring a variety of groups such as the Lisbon Girls with Dana Ives and Nile Aston and the venerable blue guitarist Little Freddy King, who turned 81 this summer.
For their two events, the NOLA Brewing Company provides a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, 51 years after his death, and a blues experience.
The Maple Leaf will feature acclaimed blues pianist and composer Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.
Rock ‘n’ Bowl opens five shows with Cowboy Mouth. The closing act is singer-songwriter Marc Broussard, sometimes described as “Bayou Soul” with his mix of pop, rock, funk and blues.
Tipitina hosts a total of 11 concerts, starting with Anders Osborne and ending with Dumpstafunk. The lineup includes Shorty Fest with Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.
The whole NOLAxNOLA range and the links to buy tickets can be found here.