Fess Fest 2013
New Orleans Greats Jon Cleary, Donald Harrison, Jr., George Porter Jr., Mark Mullins, Shannon Powell, Detroit Brooks, and Tracy Griffin to be joined by special guests Joe Jackson and Musician/Actor Hugh Laurie at benefit to restore home of a beloved music icon.
General Admission & VIP Tickets Available!
** VIP TICKET INCLUDES...
- Open Specialty Bar (featuring Troublemaker Wine)
- Pre-Event Winetasting Presented by Troublemaker (One Hour Prior To Doors)
- Soul Food by Miss Linda -- The "Chopped" Award-Winning Ya-Ka-Mein Lady
- Commemorative Show Poster & Laminate
On November 7, New Orleans’ celebrated club, TIPITINA’S, will open its doors for a memorable evening of music and fundraising paying tribute to the late great Professor Longhair, whose family home was devastated in Hurricane Katrina and remains in shambles. 100% of the proceeds will go toward rebuilding this historic home on Terpsichore Street for the Professor’s family, who have been forced to rely on friends and family for housing since the disaster.
The distinguished lineup of jazz and blues talents includes Jon Cleary on keyboards, Donald Harrison Jr. on sax, George Porter Jr. on bass, Mark Mullins on trombone, Shannon Powell on drums, Detroit Brooks on guitar, Tracy Griffin on trumpet, plus very special guest Hugh Laurie on piano and vocals.
A devotee of The Professor’s genius, Laurie includes Longhair’s Tipitina on his newest CD, Didn’t it Rain.
An inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Professor Longhair (affectionately known as “Fess”), who passed in 1980, was one of the most influential musical icons of New Orleans in the 20th century. One of his signature hits was Tipitina, from which the club was named and Go To The Mardi Gras, which appropriately serves as an anthem to his beloved city. “Fess” was awarded a posthumous Grammy for his earlier recordings.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Longhair’s daughter and grandson have had to rely on friends and family for housing while struggling to rebuild their family home. Plans call for a portion of the refurbished home to serve as a museum to“Fess” and New Orleans musicology.
Also performing at “Fess Fest 2013” are the teen musicians from Tipitina’s Internship Program, under the musical direction of Donald Harrison Jr., who will also be playing saxophone with the headlining band.
TIPITINA’S was founded by a local group of music enthusiasts called “The Fabulous Fo-teen” as a venue where their friend, Professor Longhair, could perform. To this day, “Fess” is the centerpiece of TIPITINA’S. His bust greets club goers at the door and a large mural of his likeness hangs above the stage overseeing everything that goes on below.
“There are very few people and places that are as inextricably linked as Professor Longhair and TIPITINA’S – spiritually, artistically, emotionally, and historically – and we just felt like it would be a missed golden opportunity not to preserve his home,” says TIPITINA’S owner and Foundation co-founder Mary Von Kurnatowski.
The rebuilding of Professor Longhair's home is a joint project between Tipitina's Foundation, United Way SELA, and Project Homecoming.
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About Professor Longhair:
Henry Roeland Byrd was born in Louisiana in 1918. At an early age, he learned to play piano on a keyboard with missing keys, which contributed to his distinctive style. In 1948, because of his shaggy hair, he was nicknamed Professor Longhair. His musical career spanned over three decades. In 1980, at the height of his career, Professor Longhair passed away in his sleep.
About Hugh Laurie:
English actor, comedian, writer, musician, and director, Hugh Laurie, is best known to American audiences as Dr. Gregory House, on the long running FOX drama series House, for which he received two Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and six Emmy Award nominations. As a musician, Laurie plays piano, guitar, drums, harmonica, sings, and is heavily influenced by New Orleans style blues and jazz. His two Warner Bros. releases both went to #1 albums on the Billboard blues charts: 2011’s Let Them Talk and 2013’s Didn’t It Rain, which includes a cover of Professor Longhair’s Tipitina.
About Joe Jackson:
Joe Jackson was born on August 11, 1954, in Burton-on-Trent, England, but grew up in the South Coast naval port town of Portsmouth. An awkward, skinny, asthmatic child, he joined a violin class (aged 11) in order to escape from school sports, and soon fell in love with music. He claims that this saved his life. Pretty soon Joe switched to piano and started to compose.By age 18, he was playing clubs, discos and naval bases in bands with embarassing haircuts and embarassing names ('Edward Bear,' 'The Misty Set'). He also won a scholarship to study Composition at London's Royal Academy of Music. Joe Jackson lives mostly in New York City but escapes regularly to a house in his home town of Portsmouth.
About Tipitina's Internship Program:
Led by Artistic Director, and “Fess Fest “ sax player, Donald Harrison Jr., the Tipitina’s Internship Program is an afterschool jazz program for local high school students. The program focuses on instrumental performance, recording, music theory, and career professionalism. The program is free of charge and accepts intermediate and advanced music students. Participants are expected to be interested in pursuing a career in music.
In the hallowed ranks of New Orleans "piano professors," Jon Cleary is on the tenure track. Born in England and bred in New Orleans, Jon Cleary is a
Donald Harrison, Jr. is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of our times, yet he remains inextricably tied to his New Orleans roots.
Mark Mullins has made a reputation for himself in New Orleans as a multi-faceted musician who like a chameleon, fits perfectly in many situations without compromising his integrity.