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OUR TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH’S EVENTS

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Midsummer Night’s Dream
It is time to dust off your costume supplies (yeah, right, you never put them away to begin with) and deck yourself out for the annual Midsummer Mardi Gras, an event that takes place on and around Oak Street with the neighborhood group Krewe of OAK. The interactive summer parade, which drew nearly 10,000 people last year, begins at the Maple Leaf Bar and runs along streets in the Carrollton area with small floats, marching groups and costumed characters, including the Bearded Oysters, among other whimsical troupes of revelers and musicians. The parade takes place on Aug. 25 with an after-party at the Maple Leaf. Information, MapleLeafBar.com.

What a Wonderful World
Paying tribute to one of our greatest hometown heroes, Louis Armstrong, the Satchmo SummerFest takes place on Aug. 3-5 at venues around downtown. Lectures start on Aug. 3 in the afternoon at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint; the weekend will be filled with traditional and contemporary jazz, brass bands, children’s programming and educational speakers, seminars and discussions about Satchmo’s life and legacy. Information, fqfi.org.

Spotlight
Southern Celebration
In celebration of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s ninth anniversary, the “Ogden After Hours” series will feature a special performance that celebrates the region’s music in an array of genres. “A Celebration of Southern Music: The 15 Southern States in Song” is produced by Matt Lemmler, a local musician and composer. Miss Linda’s Soul Food Catering will provide food and there will be a full bar as well as a kids’ art activity table. Information, OgdenMuseum.org

What and who are the main attractions of this Ogden After Hours celebration?

The main attraction is “A Celebration of Southern Music: The 15 Southern States in Songs” with Matt Lemmler’s New Orleans Jazz Revival Band, featuring musicians Brian Blade, Jason Marsalis, Steve Masakowsi, Mark Mullins and many more special guests. I’m still arranging and orchestrating the music, and all of my productions always have original arrangements on familiar songs and a “who’s who cast of musicians.” I’ve been asked to produce this amazing celebration of the 15 Southern states’ music. We’ll be doing an array of genres from ragtime, jazz, gospel, spirituals, country, rhythm & blues, but as someone stated, “It’ll be Lemmler-ized.” I’m very excited about this production and the chance to present Southern music in a very creative way.

What kind of music do you play? I love and play and arrange all types of music. I’ve played piano with The Dukes of Dixieland and Pete Fountain, to classical engagements with the New Orleans Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. For four years I toured throughout the United States with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera. I’ve been fortunate to play all types of genres with many great ensembles and groups throughout my career.

What does this celebration mean to you personally? How has the Ogden enhanced your life as an artist? I’m truly honored to be asked to present my music anywhere, but especially at the “Ogden After Hours” series. It’s inspiring and a validation to have the support from places like the Ogden.

They’ve allowed me to do what I do best, and that is to create and perform music, and to assemble a team of stellar musicians to bring healing to anyone who shares in that experience. I believe music is healing, and I’ve finally come to the realization that it’s been healing me throughout my life.

Music is my passion, but now giving back to my community has also become a passion. I’m thrilled to present this concert at the Ogden.

Boys are Back
After the city held its breath in anticipation of Drew Brees’ contract-signing, we can all sigh with relief knowing that the team, despite some controversial setbacks, will once again return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with a star-studded roster including standouts such as Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles. Keep an eye on the defense this year, which will be led by new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

With some shifting around in terms of its coaching staff, the team is slated for success. Remember that the Super Bowl will be held here in February 2013 – this could be a year full of surprises. Preseason games on the home turf this month take place on Aug. 17 and 25, against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans, respectively. Information, NewOrleansSaints.com.

Through Sept. 9. “Leah Chase: Paintings by Gustave Blache III”; New Orleans Museum of Art. Information, noma.org

Aug. 3, 4,10, 11, 17, 18. Urban Education Smackdown!; Shadowbox Theatre. Information, TheShadowboxTheatre.com

Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24. Tipitina’s Foundation presents Free Fridays Series; Tipitina’s Uptown. Information, Tipitinas.com

Aug.  4. Whitney White Linen Night; Warehouse/Arts District. Information, cacno.org

Aug. 4. WTUL presents Dirty Projectors; House of Blues. Information, HouseOfBlues.com

Aug. 5. Maze and Frankie Beverly; New Orleans Arena. Information, OrleansArena.org

Aug.9. Jason Mraz; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, arena.uno.edu

Aug. 9. SimplePlay Productions presents The Eastern Sea with Native America and Sharks Teeth; One Eyed Jacks. Information, OneEyedJacks.net

Aug. 10. ArenaBowl XXV; New Orleans Arena. Information, ArenaFootball.com

Aug. 10-15. New Orleans French Film Festival; Prytania Theatre. Information, NewOrleansFilmSociety.org

Aug. 10-17, 27-31. New Orleans Zephyrs home games; Zephyr Field. Information, milb.com

Aug. 14. Doctor P; Republic New Orleans. Information, RepublicNola.com

Aug. 25. CHAIRish the Children; Louisiana Children’s Museum. Information, lcm.org

Aug. 29-Sept. 3. Southern Decadence; downtown. Information, SouthernDecadence.com
 

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