While New Orleans may be known as the "City of Jazz," Chris Hochkeppel, 24-year-old leader of the band Burris, wants to make sure the world knows about Louisiana’s other musical gem, Lafayette.
Hochkeppel started his band, Burris, during his time as a student at LSU. Since graduating, some members have stayed in Baton Rouge, while others have spread out to cities like New Orleans and Lafayette. During this time, Hochkeppel came to learn how challenging it can be for independent bands to get their name out there.
Hochkeppel says, “I’ve always been happy to work with local bands, because a lot of venues are afraid to book them, and it can be hard for them to get shows. New Orleans is a destination city for music around the world, but Lafayette has always had a blossoming music scene along with Baton Rouge. Some of the guys in the band and I were thinking, why not do something once a year that features local artists.”
Thus the idea for Burris Fest, an event that would showcase local talent ranging from Lafayette to Lake Charles to Baton Rouge was born.
Hochkeppel has a special appreciation for the Southern cities his bands come from, all of which they have spent time practicing and performing in.
“I grew up in Lafayette and went to LSU, which is where our band was formed, it was like a mash up of all of us music majors,” says Hochkeppel. “After college, people spread out to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and I’m from Lafayette. We were going back and forth to the different cities for rehearsals and shows, and during that time we met tons of other amazing artists.”
*L to R: Derrick Savoie (credit: Meagan Bolds – Ocean & Anchor), Burris at The Varisty
One artist slated to play at the event is Lafayette singer-songwriter Derrick Savoie. Savoie has a profound appreciation for the friendliness offered by Lafayette’s music community.
Savoie says, “I’ve played in places like Dallas and Houston, and I even lived in Colorado for a while, and in those areas, I felt like there was more of a competitive vibe. We have such a good music community here though, because everyone tries to help each other out.”
Lafayette’s rich history of musical talent speaks for itself, which is why Hochkeppel was intent on hosting Burris Fest in the city.
“A lot of good Indie bands seem to come out of Lafayette," says Hochkeppel. "That’s one thing about smaller cities though, you could go to Artmosphere every night of the week and hear a different genre and sound.”
Savoie describes his sound as a mix between indie rock and folk, and he also enjoys mixing up his sound with guest artists, one of which may join him at the performance on Friday.
“I may have a guitar player come out to play with me on Friday because I like to add other musicians to see what they add to a song,” says Savoie. “Sometimes I have certain parts I want them to play, but most of the time I tell them to go with what they feel.”
Other genres that will be represented during Burris Fest range from funk to folk.
The first half of the night will kick off at 6 p.m., and feature singer songwriter artists, Mia Montero, Derrick Savoie and Brittany Pfantz, who will play their sets outside of Artmosphere, with the Rayo Brothers rounding out the first portion of the evening.
Hochkeppel says, “For that part I figure these people would be sitting in their rooms practicing, so they may as well come out and play for people.”
The latter half of the show will move inside to showcase funk band, Free Hot Breakfast, Nashville Jazz Soul band, The JJ Murphy Quartet, Baton Rouge Indie band, Particle Devotion, Alt. Folk Artist, Dustin Gaspard.
and the night will end with a performance from Hochkeppel’s jazz rock band, Burris.
Each set will last anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes, and food will be available for purchase at Artmosphere.
Tickets can be pre-ordered online for $10 here or purchased for $12 at the door.
For more information visit artmosphere.vpweb.com or call 337-233-3331.
- Hot Art, Cool Nights, Fri., May 12, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., Baton Rouge
Take a tour of Mid-City Baton Rouge while enjoying local artists and refreshments.
This Spring Art Hop will feature the works of sculptors, painters, jewelry designers, photographers and never-before-seen artists.
Proceeds from the art festival will go toward purchasing public art for Baton Rouge’s Mid-City.
- The Big Easel Art Festival, Sat., May 13, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Lafayette
The Big Easel Art Festival, previously slated for April 22, was postponed due to weather, and will now take place on May 13.
Forty-seven artists will have their works on display in tents in the River Ranch Town Square. A variety of mediums will be present, including acrylic, pottery, porcelain, mixed media, oil, photography, metal, jewelry, wood, glass, encaustic, clay, watercolor, fiber, and more.
All art is available for sale on the day of the event.
- The Breakfast Club Brunch Crawl, Sat., May 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lafayette
“The Breakfast Club Brunch Crawl,” is Downtown Lafayette's first official brunch crawl. Join the club as they stroll down Jefferson Street tasting complementary brunch samples and cocktails.
Stops include registration at Acadian registration at Open Chanel (AOC), Reve Roasters Coffee, The Greenroom, Tsunami, Legends, The Jefferson Street Pub, and the Official After Party at The Wurst Biergarten.
Come dressed as your favorite "Breakfast Club" character or in eighties themed attire.
- Artcade 2017, Sat., May 13, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Lafayette
AIE and the Lafayette Science Museum are teaming up for the third annual Artcade. Artcade is a one-day event dedicated to promoting video game development, independent film, music and art in Acadiana.
Come out for a night of free music, video games and art, as well as a free Smash tournament to those who sign up beforehand.