Tag Archives: Topsy Chapman

WHAT BETTER WAY TO CARPE THE DIEM? (September 18-20, 2015)

NATCHEZ

I am not sure that Ralph Waldo Emerson would have instantly taken to jazz, although its energy, self-reliant independent passion might have pleased him. But he did write these words in Nature, words I have tried to take to heart: “Life only avails, not the having lived.”  Put more simply, the experience of life is both intense and fleeting: it must be savored while it is here, not in retrospect, as if leafing through a photograph album.  Or, as Patrick Dennis’ Auntie Mame says [in the play of the same name], “Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death!”  (It became “suckers” in the film version, alas.)

What has all this to do with JAZZ LIVES?  It is my unsubtle way of saying that the Steamboat Stomp is once again happening in New Orleans, on the dates shown above and below, and that if you can be there, your happiness will measurably increase.  This is not an idle bit of press-agentry on my part: I was there two years ago and had a wonderful time.

STOMP 2015

The poster tells you all you need to know, with one emendation.  The Dukes of Dixieland won’t be performing at the Stomp; instead, there will be Jacques Gauthe’s New Orleans Classic Jazz Orchestra.  AND my brilliant friends and pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi will be there also.

The musical festivities will begin Friday night with performances “held at a local offisite location,” which means somewhere nearby, comfortable, and on land. (Incidentally, I do not like small boats and do tend to suffer from mal-de-mer . . .  I felt fine on the Natchez.)

The main Saturday evening concerts will take place aboard a special sailing of the Steamboat Natchez. The evening will include two stages of simultaneous music along with New Orleans-style food served by the Natchez‘s own renowned chef (food not included in price).  On Sunday, a New Orleans style gospel jazz brunch (food included) will conclude the musical festivities, followed by a reception for patrons and sponsors.

Now, with all good things, a little investigation on your part is required. Emerson talked mightily of self-reliance, so one must do some legwork — or some clicking in this modern technological age. Here is the Stomp’s Facebook page.  Here you can reserve tickets and learn more.  And because — as Lester Young said in a comment I will expurgate — seeing is believing, here are a few video posts from the inaugural Stomp.  Oh what fun it was.  And will be.

Duke Heitger’s Steamboat Stompers

The Yerba Buena Stompers and Vince Saunders

Banu Gibson’s Rhythmic Heart

New Orleans Joys With Ray, Tim, Steve, and Jeff

If that doesn’t work, we’ll have to double the dosage of Joy.

May your happiness increase!

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DUKE HEITGER’S STEAMBOAT STOMP (November 14-16, 2014)

I had a wonderful time at the inaugural Steamboat Stomp last fall — the pure pleasure of hearing hot New Orleans jazz on a steamboat cruising up and down the Mississippi River.  Mark Twain, Fate Marable, David Jones, and young Mister Armstrong all combined.

I cannot go to this year’s effusion of good times and good music (three festivals in one month is too much for me while I am attempting to hold a full-time job), so there will be an empty seat.  So I urge you to go in my place, and bring your jazz-loving friends.

Musical evidence here and here  — and there is more from the 2013 Stomp if you search JAZZ LIVES.

And here is what Duke Heitger, the generous beacon of hot jazz, has to tell us:

The second annual Steamboat Stomp is about 2 months out (November 14-16). This is a wonderful time of year to be in New Orleans, and we have added some marquee names to the already stellar roster including Evan Christopher, Jon-Erik Kellso and Hal Smith. This will surely be a weekend of great music and great fun. Weekend packages and a variety of exciting sponsorship opportunities are still available. As you know, the support and participation of folks like you are key to the success of events like Steamboat Stomp. Please visit www.steamboatstompneworleans.com for more information. If you have any questions with regards to hotels, reservations, etc… I will be happy to assist you personally at dukeheit@bellsouth.net. This promises to be a very special event. I hope to see you there!

What Duke’s letter does not say is . . . the Yerba Buena Stompers, Banu Gibson, Tim Laughlin, Topsy Chapman, Solid Harmony, the Dukes of Dixieland . . . joy-spreaders all.  Don’t let this weekend event steam right by you.

May your happiness increase!

TRADITION IS A TEMPLE (in New Orleans)

Tradition is a Temple — a music documentary — asks for your help to show what never left New Orleans.  Its filmmakers call for pledges to “crowd-fund” post-production on this musician owned-documentary on New Orleans music culture.

Tradition is a Temple highlights the dynamic resilience of New Orleans musicians, acclimated to hard times and dedicated to their city, the way of life, and the music. The artists discuss how, as children, they were inspired to pursue music, the trials of jazz today, and how the traditional sounds of the streets will survive.
 
The non-fiction film aims to show that Katrina, the economic downturn, and the BP oil spill can’t quiet this small, buoyant, and totally unique American sub-culture. After all, children still dance along with brass bands on Sunday afternoon Second Line parades as they have for generations.
 
Filming began in 2006, when director Darren Hoffman was a film-school-graduate-turned-music-student attempting to capture the nuts and bolts of New Orleans music by video taping his drum lessons with prominent local musicians. After several years and hundreds of DV tapes, Hoffman’s “video project” had slowly grown to include intimate interviews with his teachers, multi-camera studio recordings, and live concert footage. That wasn’t all, Hoffman’s passion for the music had evolved into a commitment to his teachers; he gave all of the featured musicians a majority share in the film.
 
“I don’t know if any of the artists actually believe that there will be any profits coming back to them.” Darren admitted, “Unfortunately, a lot of guys are used to getting the short end of the stick when they sign contracts… Either that or they don’t think anyone wants to watch a movie about jazz.”
 
The filmmakers are raising money in order to complete the costly post-production process through online “crowd funding”.  On sites like Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com artists, filmmakers, musicians and designers can raise significant amounts of money from hundreds of donors, each pledging small amounts of money. Tradition is a Temple offers pre-orders for the DVD and Soundtrack as just a few of the many rewards in exchange for pledging toward their campaign, which continues until Feb. 3, 2011.
 
“With a little luck,” Hoffman added, “we’ll be able to prove to [the artists in the film] that we’re legit, and to the world that jazz music still has resonance in American culture.”

http://traditionisatemple.com/
Featuring: Shannon Powell, Jason Marsalis, Lucien Barbarin, Roland Guerin, Steve Masakowski, Ed Petersen, Topsy Chapman, The Treme Brass Band, The Baby Boyz Brass Band, and spoken word performer Chuck Perkins.
Writer/Director: Darren Hoffman
Producers: Darren Hoffman, Patrick Stafford, and Kristen McEntyre.
Executive Producer: Darren Hoffman
Director of Photography: James Laxton
Sound: Steve Reynolds and Kevin Schneider
Editor: Darren Hoffman