The pandemic was no match for Bumbu Roux, Chris Reed’s melodious Indonesian-Creole food combo. He and his mom Priscilla-Jane were approaching the one-year mark at Politan Row, serving up blackened catfish, and red beans and rice, alongside beef rendang, and chicken bakar, when COVID came to town. The food hall shut down and never reopened, but […]
Quin Kirchner blew into Chicago in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina devastated his old hometown of New Orleans. He wasted no time making himself essential as a drummer, and since then he’s played with a wide variety of acts: Afrobeat combo Nomo, tropical pop band Wild Belle, singer-guitarist Ryley Walker, and countless jazz ensembles. In all […]
When New Orleans band Tank & the Bangas invited their friends and family to help them cover Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s pop classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love” in January, they embraced the song’s earnest call for kindness, sprinkled in spoken word urging people to come together in peace, and wrapped up […]
Mardi Gras Indian troupe 79rs gang play music for staying loud in the streets.
Big Freedia is both a practitioner and a champion of bounce music. On the first episode of her 2013 reality show, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, she defined the New Orleans hip-hop style as “uptempo, heavy-bass, ass-shaking club music.” Bounce music emerged in the mid-80s, after Queens duo the Showboys released the 1986 single “Drag […]
The word “preservation” implies something kept under glass, unable to breathe if not simply dead—but the members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band swing so hard that “rejuvenation” would be a better way to describe their sound. Named for the Preservation Hall in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the PHJB assembled its original lineup […]
A charter member of the AACM and a longtime partner of saxophonist Kidd Jordan, drummer Alvin Fielder was an encyclopedia of jazz history with an eye on the future.
On their second album, 2018’s Pop Therapy (Inflated Records), New Orleans indie duo Video Age liberally apply the glassy, frictionless keyboards and cheesy affectations of 80s synth-pop. But fortunately, Ray Micarelli (drums) and Ross Farbe (guitar, vocals, production) aren’t interested in simply replicating the unmistakable sounds of the Reagan years—the duo transplant them into a […]
A Chilean skate park through the eyes of two dogs and a Black neighborhood in New Orleans
It’s not hard to tell the difference between New Orleans and Chicago: open a window in the wintertime, or take back-to-back bites of gumbo and a hot dog. Each city has its own proud and particular musical traditions, including distinctive past and present approaches to jazz. Just like a meal of gumbo and a hot […]
A descendant of a New Orleans minichain surfaces in Logan Square.
NOLA native Brian Jupiter (Frontier) gives authenticity to this Cajun-creole spot in the former Beechwood Inn.
Educator and photographer Rose Velez draws on her Caribbean roots and current infatuation with New Orleans in crafting her style.
Benny Turner has often seemed content to stay 20 feet from stardom, but 60 years into his career he’s finally making a name for himself.
Also, the history behind the name of Kim and Kanye’s new daughter, Chicago West.