Thursday, April 10, 2008

Jazzfest Threadheads raffle benefits New Orleans music

For Jazzfest attendees, check out this report from Lisa G at Festive Living on a worthy fund raiser.

New Orleans Jazzfest is only weeks away and I CAN'T WAIT! A highlight of my trip to Jazzfest for the past several years has been festing and partying with other Jazzfest fanatics from all over the US, Canada and overseas that I've met through the Jazzfest message board. This forum is a great way to keep up with all the news and tips on stuff to do in New Orleans before, during and after Jazzfest. Due to the somewhat addictive nature of the board, and the fact that topics are called "threads", those of us who read and post there have come to be called Threadheads.

In 2008, for the third year in a row, some of the Threadheads have organized an online raffle to benefit New Orleans Musicians Clinic, which provides access to health and social welfare services for the local music community. A new beneficiary this year is a charity called Fest4Kids, which partners with Silence is Violence in a program to give New Orleans youth an opportunity to learn and play music, mentored by some of the talented local musicians, and to send kids to fest that might not otherwise be able to afford it.

There are over 100 items being raffled off this year, in so many categories - collectibles, music, art, travel and more. The way the raffle works, is you buy tickets for specific items on the website, using Paypal. Some of the prizes are for use in New Orleans, like tickets to night shows and restaurant certificates, but there are lots of other fun items that can be enjoyed anywhere, like t-shirts, posters, one-of-a-kind hand made artwork, jewelry, wine, and so much more. In the Travel category, there is a trip to Disney World being offered, as well as a weekend in New Orleans. And in the category of "Other", there's even an animatronic parrot - Squawkers McCaw - who loves to go to festivals!

The raffle will be held on 4/28, the Monday between Jazzfest weekends in New Orleans, but you need not be present to win. Prizes not picked up in New Orleans will be shipped to the winner, who will be notified by email. I can assure you this is 100% legit, as I have been present at the raffle the last 2 years, and the organizers of this raffle are friends of mine. A list of the winners will also be posted on the messageboard. You can read more about the Threadheads, the raffle, and other related projects here.

If you love New Orleans, or the music of New Orleans and the Louisiana as much as we do, and want to help us keep it going, please consider helping out these causes by buying some tickets on the raffle site, shown below. You can contribute a few bucks and maybe win a cool prize too. And please forward this message to anyone else like us who loves New Orleans and may want to help support some of the musicians - present and future - who are nurtured there.

Merci, and laissez les bon temps roulez!

Vibrant program for JVC NY 2008

Festival Network rolled out a dynamic program for JVC Jazz Festival New York, playing at Carnegie Hall and all around town for 14 days June 15-28. It's the first full festival produced under the new management, which bought out producer George Wein last year, and a quick review of the program shows the same combination of big jazz names, interesting pairings and all-star tributes that we've seen in recent years.

Some of the highlights: Herbie Hancock's River of Possibilities Tour; a Bossa Nova celebration starring João Gilberto; a JVC exclusive with Bad Plus 1 featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel; festival debuts by Jill Scott, Mos Def Big Band with special guest Gil Scott-Heron, Charlie Haden Quartet West and Bill Frisell Trio; tributes to pianist Hank Jones and to producers Art D’Lugoff and Jack Kleinsinger; and standout performers Chris Botti, Al Green, Cecil Taylor, George Cables, Sergio Mendes, Soulive with special guest Joshua Redman, and Charles Lloyd.

Major venues for the festival include seven headline shows at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium; 10 concerts at the New York Society for Ethical Culture; and six shows at the old Village Gate, now called Le Poisson Rouge. Other venues are the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea, uptown at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn.

The festival also presents free events in city parks. June 19 at the Prospect Park Bandshell looks like a great night with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog and Taylor McFerrin. Besides the scheduled events, many of the clubs in town will be running late night shows with two-for-one discounts for festival ticketholders. Check out The Blue Note, Birdland, Cachaca, Iridium, Smoke and Zinc.