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plunk88 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plunk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 3:05pm
Toad!!!
 
This is so wild....the building on the left in your pic is The Bon Maison Guest House(835 Bourbon)....and this is the joint that I cleaned toilets (that was the good part...its a gay guest house, so lots of...well you get the general idea)that I refered to in "Booker on the Edge"...incredible kismet !
 
Best,
 
Geo
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 3:17pm
OMG This place EXPLODED George that was an incredible story. I feel like I was right there!!

Booker was indeed incredible, especially his memory... playing classical pieces backwards... JEEZ!! Yes Geno, the hot-glued toaster sounds like something that could happen here too... lol.

Toad I like Tab a lot, especially "Night Train"

That's so cool George 835 Bourbon... nice downtown video Toad.

I just saw your post. Geno ... Neville Brothers... you know who will be happy to see that.

George,

Welcome to Soulful Planet. . .
I'm an Environmental Chemist. I'm VERY interested in New Orleans for obvious reasons... the mold problems to FEMA unsafe formaldehyde laced trailers. Very sorry for what everyone is going through!

Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plunk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 5:31pm
hey y'all
 
Its so great that I've gotten to share stuff with you...thanks Geno!
 
Perusing the corners of the planet is a little overwhelming, so I'm staying put in this section til I figure out how to post videos, change my avatar that actually means something...you know, basic computer skills I've been avoiding learning...I'm SO analog...I miss twisting knobs and perfectly dropping a needle on a record a skill that was akin to...well, slipping the diamond tip stylus perfectly in the groove! (You guys did pick up on that double enendre in Booker On The Edge....right?)
 
Anyway, I usedto be a minor international blues artist, and I have two myspace sites....here's the alter-ego's, Little Georgie. There are some photos there as well so you can see I only look slightly like a miniature pinscher palying the piano
 
http://www.myspace.com/littlegeorgieandtheshufflinghungarians  
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 5:57pm
George. . .

If you go into "settings" if you look at the top of this page. . .
then "edit profile". . . you can put your MySpace address in where it has a space for it (NOT favorite links. . . that's just for your easy navigation and stays private for you)

You can put your other MySpace address in your web page area if you want .

2 buttons will appear at the bottom of all of your posts to link to your MySpace pages.

Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 5:59pm
George,
As talented a writer that you are, I am more than sure that you could pursue a possible career writing articles and stories in high-end
Mags like Esquire and Playboy discribing your exploits as a musician.
     Your Booker tale is a perfect example. When you hit the wall trying to write new music, keep the pen in hand and write your memories.
Remember,....If you strike it rich,I gave you the nudge!!!!
The best,
toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 6:01pm
I agree Toad!
Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plunk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 7:01pm
Thanks Toad and Mixey
 
That means a lot to me. I am very grateful to be able to share stuff with The Planet Community. If you have a problem with some of what I write, blame Geno...He's the one that tossed me into this forum of wolves!
 
 
Friends have been encouraging me to "publish" for some time.. Its very flattering when you get that kind of reaction. (particulary handy when sel-esteem is swirling down the terlet)
 
But here are the reasons why I write:
 
 
1. For a creative outlet....allthough there are many positives to eating 1200mgs of Lithium and 40mgs of Lexapro per day to treat bipolar (typeII)  disorder,  alas one of the unfortunate side effects is involuntary tremors and spasms in the arms, hands, and fingers...lets just say that I'm on permanent "sabbatical" from playing the piano...lately when I try to play, it sounds more like I'm playing with hooves rather than hands. Thank God for "spell-check". I type at a snail's pace.... I only type with two shaky fingers (three if I'm on a roll). However, I do type with the utmost of sincerity.
 
2. I really like the catharctic experience, sharing that experience with friends, and getting feedback....because of the "viral" nature of the internet, you never know who will end up with something, if someone is moved enough to copy it and send it to a close friend....its like a message in a bottle. 
 
Lots of friends have suggested the traditional "publishing"route, but, (and no offense meant here folks) that process is too much like the music industry....and I think, just like some of the folks on "the Soulful Planet", I've paid my pound of flesh to the industry.
 
I could start a blog, but again, it smacks of shameless self promotion, and I've done enough of that in the "biz" too....yuck!
 
I do it for fun and to just throw it out there , and I have no aspirations toward literary sucess.
 
But I'll make you a deal....just send the story to as many people as you think may enjoy it, be edified, or even perhaps be helped by it...if enough people do it, I probably will end up being published, and if that happens, I'll give you points...or you could be my manager, I'll kick in 15% and you can take another 35% fo administrative costs, we can give the lawyer another 25%, the accountant 10%, use 50% for a promotional tour....uh,oh...its smells like another shitty record deal. We are over 100% are we not?
 
 
 
 
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 15 2007 at 7:19pm
LOL. . . You are a gem. We've all got our "stuff" to handle; and you're among people who understand that here.

As per the spell check, I hear you on that too. I ragged on RDICE in the introduce yourself area in Spam & Eggs and he momentarily took me wrong and got rid of his post. Then one of the guys from Various Decree got on there and said... hey... this is what I look like without spell check.

There are many ways of communication. Perfection actually can hinder it to a degree.... back to the conservatory, you know.

Mixey
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plunk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 18 2007 at 10:18pm
THANKS MIXEY:
 
HEY FOLKS! I"m going to be in San Francisco with the WILD MAGNOLIAS at the San Francisco Jazz Fest with Dr. John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (OCT 27th). I'll be coming in earlier to do Radio interviews on Friday (KFOG morning drive ,KUSF) afternoon)
 
I'm trying to raise awareness of the full on war on culture that is happenning in NOLA...street culture (Second Lines, Indians) are being specifically targeted by the NOPD and are being shut down with excessive force...fully functional housing projects are intentionally not being ..re-opened....don't believe all you read about "the musician's village", because, as you know, musicians aren't real people with bank accounts and collateral...at least around here when you're job is to play your ass off and pass the hat...the so called Musician "Relief" agencies dole out that relief more on the basis of public relations then on actual need; Tipitina's Foundation gave Fats Domino $100000 to rebuild his home (Fats gets more mailbox money than GOD) but try to get rental or relocation assitance for a street Indian that spends half his per annum below the poverty line income on a suit that he sews all year and then tears it apart, and starts all over again on next years suit.
 
There's a lot of funky shit going on down here, and it ain't just funky music. It's gotten to the point that the management firm that I work for (Gaines and Associates) is getting proactive. We've formed a chapter 501 c 3 corp (The Second and Dryades Mardi Gras Indian Federation) dedicated to the preservation and continuation of this highly unique American cultural phenomenon, and every gig we do, we are now going into markets early to do media stuff (print, radio, TV), instores, workshops...any thing we can do to draw attention to the situation, and raise funds.
 
This is an expensive undertaking to blanket bomb a media market like San Fransisco basically "out of the trunk of your car"...
 
If you know anybody in San Fran Media that might help us to expose some of this stuff, if you have any bright ideas at all...I'm basically on my own here, and I need more heads, and more creative ideas.
 
I'd gladly expound upon some of this stuff further if any one wants yo dig deeper....New Orleans is being intentionally positioned to be a Disneyland Country Club...they're co-opting the culture,  branding it, putting it in bottles and selling it...and are banishing the people that created the "soda pop". And then asking tourists to come to New Orleans to see the "factory".
 
But the factory is in real danger of extinction, because the soda pop is made by po' folks (and all the attendant social responsibilties that come with po'folks)...the flaw in this logic is you can sell  and market "Jazz" Soda pop all you want, but if you kill its ongoing oral, passed down traditions (like second  lines) eventually they will be no "workers in the factory". And then there will be no more soda to pour in the bottles.
 
I'm nakedly asking for help here, in word of mouth more than anything
 
 
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2007 at 5:13am
Plunk88,
     Big problems sometimes need big solutions. You can attempt to
solicate or beg for basically small donations from thousands of people,
[which can be a very taxing endevor] or you can go for the big bucks.
     This is my opinion, and only a thought on how to get a substantial
chunk of funds to get the help that your people need.
     There are people that have so much money..[Bill Gates type money]
that are compelled by various reasons to set up philanthropic foundations
or orginizations that distribute funds for worthwhile projects that address
the arts, and humanitarian efforts. Most people would think that these
people are un-approachable, but that is not true. It can be done.
      I will take some serious research, but these people and organizations
can be accessed. You would need to provide them with a well thought
out plan to distribute the funds to the subject people. The task would be like laying down a business plan for a small business loan.
      As gifted you are as a writer, and by using the vernacular that you possess in your expressions, you may want to examine the possibility
of trying to access some of this big money. Again...It can be done.
       The amount of work to get the big money may be less than
going for the bits and pieces. I can tell that you have the desire, and the
smarts to try this approach, and if you use diligence, and above all
perseverance it may pay off big.
The best,
toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gene_Leone_Mix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2007 at 5:45am


George!!!

What You are doing is FANTASTIC!!!

Everybody, let me back up... a couple of days ago, George and I had a great phone conversation about all of what NOLA is like "now" since Katrina.
and what is really going on in many of the rebuilding and recovery efforts... listed well by George in the post above.   

"...the full on war on culture that is happenning in NOLA...street culture (Second Lines, Indians) are being specifically targeted by the NOPD and are being shut down with excessive force...fully functional housing projects are intentionally not being ..re-opened...."


Stop and think about this. As one can imagine, there are many special interest political agendas and "visions" involved when government money goes to help a city rebuild from a disaster of biblical proportions... wanna guess who's being left out of the 'vision', wanna guess which cultural communities (that have been there forever) are not being invited back to their home city?

When one thinks of New Orleans, one probably thinks of a city rich with great, unique culture with deep roots, great jazz music and great food.

A rebuilding effort that attempts to turn the city into the next (as George put it) "Disneyland", of course complete with casinos and theme park fake facades about what NOLA Jazz 'was' all about... well, one can imagine the result.

NOLA Music and Jazz is a flowering tree that has roots, deeeeep cultural roots! If that tree is stripped of it's roots... what will happen to flowers and leaves it produces?

George states it this way, and it's worth re-reading from his post above:

"There's a lot of funky shit going on down here, and it ain't just funky music. It's gotten to the point that the management firm that I work for (Gaines and Associates) is getting proactive. We've formed a chapter 501 c 3 corp (The Second and Dryades Mardi Gras Indian Federation) dedicated to the preservation and continuation of this highly unique American cultural phenomenon, and every gig we do, we are now going into markets early to do media stuff (print, radio, TV), instores, workshops...any thing we can do to draw attention to the situation, and raise funds."

This is an expensive undertaking to blanket bomb a media market like San Fransisco basically "out of the trunk of your car"...

If you know anybody in San Fran Media that might help us to expose some of this stuff, if you have any bright ideas at all...I'm basically on my own here, and I need more heads, and more creative ideas.

I'd gladly expound upon some of this stuff further if any one wants yo dig deeper....New Orleans is being intentionally positioned to be a Disneyland Country Club...they're co-opting the culture, branding it, putting it in bottles and selling it...and are banishing the people that created the "soda pop". And then asking tourists to come to New Orleans to see the "factory".

But the factory is in real danger of extinction, because the soda pop is made by po' folks (and all the attendant social responsibilties that come with po'folks)...the flaw in this logic is you can sell and market "Jazz" Soda pop all you want, but if you kill its ongoing oral, passed down traditions (like second lines) eventually they will be no "workers in the factory". And then there will be no more soda to pour in the bottles.

I'm nakedly asking for help here, in word of mouth more than anything."

~~~

Well said, George... (your writing is incredible! It paints pictures that we can all see... keep doing this!)...
Remember Everybody, that this is happening in real time to one of our Musical Community Soulful Cities, one of our fellow "MUSIC Hot Bed" Sister Cities. Many of our Musical Sister Soulful Cities are in similar boats... (I've referred to Detroit as a Great Musical Soulful City that has suffered their own Katrina without the wind and water). We need to speak out. Keep posting what's real, and exposing what is not...


Let's help spread the word.

~We Are One Thru Music,
& Wishing Peace To All ~
Geno



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote M I X E Y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2007 at 11:52am
I'm so happy to be reading all of this!!!

I'm not happy about the heartache and the problems that exist. . . but I'm VERY happy that we are able to read about it somewhere. So much is suppressed today in the news.

You guys are saying all of the things that make me want to push harder to get Soulful Planet moving and accessing a greater audience.

Artists speak through their art. That kind of communication is being suppressed by the kind of packaging that you are describing George. . . and the artists who created the "product" are suffering greatly.

What I am trying to do with The Soulful Planet Project. . . is to make a way for artists everywhere, to be able to create and get paid their full worth for what they do, not just the people who work on the project. There will be no hookups with people who want to start to dictate what a person should or should not "say" with their music.

Creating a money machine is easy. That's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to create a freedom machine. That's not so easy. As soon as people smell money, they want to put controls on it.

It's very hard to gain money for the artists of New Orleans, when creative people everywhere are not being paid what they are worth. I can just imagine what is happening down there.

Tell me a little bit more about what you are doing.

Thanks,
Mixey

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plunk88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2007 at 4:41pm
Hey Soulful Planet Folks:
 
Perhaps a little history might be in order:
 
There is a neighborhood bordering the French quarter on Rampart Street called the Treme.
 
On the Rampart side of the Treme is a large green space, and within that green space is an area called Congo Square. Things have ALWAYS been a little looser down here in New Orleans, even during the hey dey of the slave trade.
 
Traditionally, slaves were not allowed to have drums or any vestige of musical expression from their homeland, specifically for the very pragmatic reason (from a slave owner's point of view, anyway) that music, and particularly drums, were a form of long distance communication that could signal a revolt, escape, or a threat to the status quo. Plus the more miserable slaves were, the easier they were to control.
 
This was not the case in New Orleans...Slaves had Sunday afternoons off. Maybe it was due to the French and Spanish owners, who were a little more "cosmopolitan" than their American counterparts. ...But slaves were allowed to congregate, and more importantly, play music, play the communicative rhythms of Africa, dance the Bamboula, worship in any way they saw fit, and meld and weld the new "European" sounds (and instruments) they were being exposed to in their daily lives to the music they brought from Mother Africa.
 
I'm not an expert by any means, but it is generally excepted wisdom that that little patch of grass in the Treme was ground zero for several forms of what is now considered original American Music, from blues, gospel, jazz, funk,rap, hip-hop, soul (George Gershwin, for Chrissakes...no Congo Square, no "Rhapsody in Blue", or Aaron Copeland, or Leonard Bernstein...)...you name it...really except for more Appalachian centric forms (country, bluegrass) pretty much all popular music as we know it sprung from Congo Square., in the Treme.
 
Now bearing this historical "In Utero" period of American musical history in mind, I'd like to talk about the New Orleans tradition of "The Second Line"
 
I really don't know the total history of the Second Line, but I do know that from the nascent beginnings in Congo Square, it eventually evolved into three basic forms in Modern Times....two types are "planned".
 
The most familiar is the funeral procession, where a brass band leads the procession (and the onlookers, and neighborhood denizens form a "second line" behind the main procession),playing sad and mournful dirges until the place of internment is reached....on the way out of the cemetery, the band then plays the up tempo music, it gets funky, and everyone dances their way back to the party....its a way of sending off someone's spirit with good vibes as they cross to the other side.
 
So even if New Orleans is known for putting the "Fun" in funeral, this first form of jazz, the African American spiritual and the improvisational and poly tonal and poly rhythmic freedom found within the form, was solidified during funeral celebrations....deeply steeped in the spiritual context in which it was solidified.
 
The other type of planned second  line is actually a street party that is planned by various neighborhood organizations, called Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs. Several Clubs pool resources, hire the funkiest brass bands in town, and a large parade is thrown, the parade route, and the second line itself, disclosed and promoted by word of mouth....Traditionally, they would take place every Sunday from Labor Day through the Mardis Gras season.
 
These are HUGE street parties...thousands show up for these events, there are entrepreneurial opportunities galore (People sell beer and Bar B Que out of the back of their pickup trucks) and the bands are literally running as they play, only to stop at a preplanned neighborhood watering hole, so the second liners can catch their breath, and have a cocktail....than, yippee, its off to the next stop.
 
These street parties are massive, collective, celebrations...but the thing that strikes me when ever I attend one is how powerful it is when 2-3 thousand folks are relieving the stress of their weekly lives simultaneaously...its a powerfully moving experience to be in the middle of that, and again, a spiritual one, even though the music isn't traditionally spiritual, but more poly rhythmic funk.
 
Last, but most definitely not least, is the spontaneous second line, and that's what I would like to focus attention on...as it is closest to the second line's true origins.
 
A much beloved neighbor or neighborhood musician passes away...the word spreads from house to house, door to door, or in modern times, cell phone to cellphone....musicians congregate in a central location and start to play spirituals to honor the beloved friend, neighbor, and if a musician, contributor to the culture.
 
Neighbors hear the music and naturally form a second line behind the band as it meanders on an unplanned route through the neighborhood.
 
Those who can't dance, sit on their stoops and porches, to celebrate the spirit of the neighbor crossing over...and to sing the old songs as the children in the street need to hear them, and most importantly learn them.
 
Approximately three weeks ago, one of these spontaneous celebrations popped up in the Treme to honor the sudden passing of a beloved neighbor and tuba player, Kerwin Williams....as the second line grew in size, and the mourners were singing "I'll Fly Away", 20 NOPD Squad cars flew into the neighborhood, sirens screaming, it's passengers outfitted in riot gear, truncheons at the ready.
 
The crime? Disturbing the peace, and parading without a permit. Two of he leading musicians refused to stop playing.This is what their fathers did, this is what their grandfathers, their great grandfathers...as far as their families can remember, this is who the were, and what they did.
 
They were summarily hog-tied, thrown in a squad car, and arrested.
 
 
Who sends a riot squad in to break up a cultural tradition that has been occurring for well over one hundred years without incident?
 
This is a very good question...I have some theories on that that I'll share in a later post.
 
Here's the deal, fellow planetarians: This is not an isolated incident, and its been happening before Katrina ever hit the shores of Lake Ponchartrain.
 
There has been a systematic strategy employed by the NOPD to crack down hard on second lines and Indian "parading" under the flimsy excuses of parading without a permit or "disturbing" the peace. The collective second line celebrations that are planned by the Pleasure Clubs were shut down by the police charging 500% of their normal fee for procurement of a police detail.
 
I'm not blaming police here folks. They do their best, but lets not forget that there is a chain of command...most importantly, they do what they're told.
 
Politically, as I'm sure you've heard, things are a bit Byzantine down here....but I would like to know who's giving that order, that prime directive....I would like to know where the buck actually stops.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Various Decree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2007 at 5:22pm
George - You rock man. We did not know these things.
Welcome to Soulful Planet!
 
The Band
" Each Man Is His Own Monarch "
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gene_Leone_Mix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 25 2007 at 4:35pm
(((George sent me this link a few days back on MySpace, but I've been away from a lot of things on the net, with all that's been going on keeping an eye on which wildfires are burning where, and getting that info to Mixey via cell phone as fast as possible. (Mixey's family was evacuated from her home in Northern San Diego County on Sunday).
Under normal circumstances, I would have posted this article right away.)))
~~~

George sent me this article. Some background info worth reading!!!

Permit fees raining on second-line parades
ACLU seeking temporary order halting 'unreasonable' charges
Thursday, March 29, 2007
By Katy Reckdahl

"On Easter, Joe Henry and his friends would like to dance through the city in sky-blue and soft-yellow suits with matching alligator shoes, fans and streamers, as they do every year.

"The only thing stopping them: the security bill for $7,560 from the New Orleans Police Department."

"As president of the Original Pigeontown Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Henry started parading on Easter 14 years ago. In 2005, the last time the club paraded, the NOPD charged them just $1,200 to escort the parade -- "


NOLA Times Picayune (read full article here)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 04 2007 at 6:53am

Hi pluck88, that is very insightful.

Another artist from the region is Merry Clayton.

kitten

 

when you have friends who needs enemies.
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Joined: Oct 25 2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kitten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2007 at 4:02am
 
ClapStar
By concidence I watched a movie called Eve's Bayou the other night and another movie starring Angela Basset she stared in called, I think "A Bucket OF Blood", where she plays the owner of a backwood jukejoint. I know in some states we have different terminology for music that's listened to. Some places its called Dusties, Shagg, Golden Oldies or Oldies But Goodies. I very much liked the music coming from this region in particular, a mixed bag of music. My son has plenty of soundtracks for me to listen to.
 
Kitten
 
when you have friends who needs enemies.
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Joined: May 23 2007
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2007 at 6:44am
Plunk 88 [George,]
I hope we get some more updates from you of the situation
in New Orleans. You know we will never hear it in the media.
Your information is priceless.
The best,
toad
Down, and nearly out in Detroit......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dream207 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 15 2007 at 12:15pm
I almost put this article under Music General.
 
Fest
Thursday, November 15, 2007 6:06 PM EST
The Associated Press
By STACEY PLAISANCE

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Neville Brothers are returning to New Orleans next year to assume the role they held for more than a decade the closing act of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

It will be the group's first hometown performance since Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005, flooding 80 percent of New Orleans and scattering the four brothers across the country.

Art, 69, is the only one living in New Orleans since Katrina. Charles, 68, is living in the Northampton, Mass., area; Cyril, 59, is in Austin, Texas; and Aaron, 66, is in Nashville, Tenn.

On Thursday, Art joined his son Ian and nephew Ivan Neville, son of Aaron Neville, for a brief performance celebrating the Neville Brothers' return.

"This is how it should be," Art Neville said after a news conference with festival organizers. "We're a part of Jazz Fest."

New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. and his 18-piece orchestra closed this year's festival. Fats Domino was slated to close in 2006, but canceled just hours before showtime. Lionel Richie filled in at the last minute.

Organizers also announced they are restoring Thursday to the festival's second weekend, making the event a total of seven days for the first time since Katrina. The festival was scaled back to six days the past two years.

Next year's Jazz Fest dates are April 25-27 and May 1-4.

Tim McGraw will close the festival's first weekend on Sunday, April 27.

http://cdbaby.com/cd/eugenepitt
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