Great things at UNO

It has been hard over the couple decades or more, since arriving in New Orleans, to find much if any dialogue about what is new and most up to date in contemporary music thinking, let alone having that dialogue opened up to the freshest minds around town.  It was invigorating this weekend to catch up on what Yotam Haber and Henry Griffin and others had been putting together for student composers at UNO.

Professor Yotam Haber is a very interesting composer who gets novel and beautiful compositions played all over the world.  It is a great thing that UNO has a fellow of this capacity in its music program- which, especially on the jazz side has been excellent- but Yotam Haber offers things for a whole other musical direction to be available to a city that has not often seen the possibility of training or even exposure to things in these directions.  His enthusiasm and vitality for the subject is palpable, and clearly inspiring for the students whom he champions in a great way.

On Friday we played the film scores composed by Yotam Haber's students, live, along with silent movies selected by Henry Griffin and Laura Medina. Griffin is massively knowledgeable about film and had selected some of very wonderful key films from the silent era for the students to score.  A great deal of effort went in to getting these pieces played with a good degree of finesse, and that is a great opportunity for young composers- and essential if they are to keep developing  or gain confidence to keep writing.  It was clear that they had been given exposure to a plethora of interesting techniques and had made their own choices about what to use and, some of the results were quite interesting.

Saturday evening there was a concert of pieces by the students and also by Yotam Haber and another faculty member from Tulane.   

I was called in to play guitar with the Contemporaneous ensemble that Professor Haber had brought in from New York.  I have little experience or comfort in playing in such ensembles so it was humbling to be treated so well despite my own short comings, and I must add that the young players in contemporaneous, including their conductor, David Bloom, were also extremely generous in giving me pointers to help the event go off smoothly. Not to mention larger picture issues from my old friend, bassist Doug Therrion. It was all very interesting especially because I am usually in the composer's seat having a piece played, not usually doing the playing.  My strengths as a player are often in other directions, but it was nice to be given an opportunity try to find some way to contribute, given my limitations.  Fresh challenges in music are a good thing.

It seems that with all this going on we might see a healthy crop of fine composers develop out of New Orleans which is something that has been in short supply here, and something that could make a  fascinating musical town, even more so.

The Naked Orchestra at Open Ears this Tuesday, March 31, 2015-10pm

The Naked Orchestra coming to you in all its singular splendor.  Come out Tuesday night for the band filled with great and unusual voices from New Orleans music.  18 musicians actually.  Where else will you find that? Original charts.  New offerings.  

You may have heard of the recent onslaught of cover bands. Apparently it's a noble calling so we will get involved.

We will be covering ourselves... well...

...with fig leaves, well placed to drop innocently, and enticing ideas, sensual musical ribbons tossed freely to wrap around your embodiment.  All that sort of thing, for the spring...come on over in groups, and let the orchestra set your energies spinning.

Here is the lineup:

Jimbo Walsh- conduction
Alex Mcmurray-vocals
Janna Saslaw-flute
Chris Kohl-clarinet
Steve Bertram-bassoon
Martin Krusche-soprano saxophone
Ray Moore-saxes
Rex Gregory-saxes
Joe Cabral-baritone sax
Mike Fulton-trumpet
Jeff Albert-trombone
Devon Taylor-tuba
Helen Gillet-cello
Nobu Ozaki-bass
Jonathan Freilich-guitar
Carl Leblanc-guitar

Doug Garrison-drums
Marcello Bennetti-drums


The right idea...

The right idea...

Interesting show with James Singleton's Force Majeur Orchestra last week at Zeitgeist

Here is a clip that Reynard Rochon posted to FB.

Ugly Beauty by Thelonious Monk.  Was a pleasure of an evening...

James Singleton-bass
Justin Peake-drums/Electronics
Brad Walker-saxes
Rex Gregory-reeds

One Saturday a month at Casa Borrega starting tonight

Playing with a great little combo at casa borrega tonight.

Joe Cabral-sax
Andrew Wolf-bass
Hector Gallardo-percussion
Jonathan Freilich-guitar

Plenty more about those folk if you poke around this website.


The Wolf calls this

Johnnie "Guitar" Mambo and the Hot Latin Combo.

We are not averse

For anybody who remembers when latin music ruled Frenchmen street.  Fans of Mas Mamones, Los Vecinos, The Iguanas, The Three Amigos, The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, etc.  anything could happen tonight with a real driving beat and infectious syncopation.  And, you can eat.  And, I'll be back with another interesting project next month.

with The Diesel Combustion Orchestra at Open Ears, Blue Nile, NOLA-2/10/2015

Playing Tuesday 10th of February at Open Ears with Dan Oestreicher's outfit.  Groove creative under the fiery drive of Dan- in town for a bit from endless touring with Trombone shorty.  Dan has put together a group some of the most interesting and distinguished musicians from across a couple of scenes.

The lineup is:

Dan Oestreicher- bass and bari saxophones (trombone shorty)
Roger Lewis-Baritone, soprano saxes
Steve Glenn-Tuba
Oops-Bass drum(soul rebels)
Doug Garrison-drums/percussion
Jonathan Freilich-guitar

The show is upstairs at the Blue Nile. For more info on the open ears music series...

I'm looking forward to this greatly! You'd be nuts to miss this, one week out from carnival and all that!


at The Ogden after hours series

I'll be playing a set of originals with the quartet at The Ogden Museum on 925 Camp St. in the main hall.  The gig has an interesting format and, I will be interviewed halfway through so if you come and have pressing questions, we could get to them there.

You will at least witness Doug Garrison on drums and James Singleton on bass. 

Showtime is from 6-8pm.

For more information click here...

Naked Orchestra at Cafe Istanbul, NOLA this Monday- 1/19/2015

The Naked Orchestra will play again at the site of the band's recent return to action. Another very solid lineup of some of the finest in New Orleans.  "Not to be missed!"  exclaimed a previous audience before loosening it all up and heading out into the streets.

So far the lineup is as follows:

James Walsh-conductor
Janna Saslaw-Flute
Chris Kohl-Clarinet
Steve Bertram-Bassoon
Martin Krusche-soprano sax
Ray Moore-Alto sax
Brad Walker- Tenor sax
Jason Mingeldorff-Baritone sax
Scott Frock-trumpet
Jeff Albert-trombone/ electronics
Devon Taylor-tuba
Carl LeBlanc-guitar
Jonathan Freilich-guitar/director
Robin Sherman-bass
Marcello Bennetti-drums

feat. Alex McMurray-vocals


Naked Orchestra at Istanbul Sept. 2014

Naked Orchestra at Istanbul Sept. 2014

New Organisms- P3+ closing event party at Tigermen Den. Video Installation-Shawn hall/ sound-Jonathan Freilich

I've been quite involved with this video installation for which I've provided sound.  It's my first involvement in something like this in New Orleans.  Swing by and take a look.

There is a closing party at the gallery where it can be viewed on Thursday 15, Jan 2015.  From 7-10pm.  And there's refreshments!

Please join us for a.jpg

Part 3 of Audio interview with Geoffrey Douville of Egg Yolk Jubilee is up

Long overdue- the penultimate section of interview by New Orleanian, Geoffrey Douville, pictured below with the banjo marching with Egg Yolk Jubilee.

Geoff goes on to describe the relationship and impact of his film practices to his musical thinking.  This segment goes very heavily into things he likes in film creativity. it's on the interviews page, here...

Part 2 of audio interview/ conversation with Geoffrey Douville of Egg Yolk Jubilee

Jeff Douville marching with Egg Yolk Jubilee

Jeff Douville marching with Egg Yolk Jubilee

In this segment, Geoff goes on to discuss his involvements with film, more on Danny Barker, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues performer/ audience relationships in music and a handful of other interesting subjects.

Take a listen- get involved in some more sides of the New Orleans music world of today and the past!

The Interview can be found on the interviews page, here...

First part of interview with Geoffrey Douville, guitarist with Egg Yolk Jubilee is up!

The interviews are back after a long layoff.  Find out about a great local musical artist and one of the whackier bands from the 90s.  Also, films, politics and bar-owning.

egg yolk jubilee- jeff douville 3rd from right


Geoff Douville is an interesting and alive mind.  I went to talk with him using the Egg Yolk Jubilee as a jumping off point.  Egg Yolk showed up on my radar in the early 90's and they had a mad frantic style and were composed of some very expressive locals and, of course, featured Jeff playing electric guitar in a style not so commonly heard in the directions that they seemed to be headed.  Then I found out about his fascinating film work with Paul Grass.  He's also an owner of the Lost Love Lounge in the Marigny neighborhood in New Orleans.

Jeff is very good at elucidating opinions and he is one of the few folks amidst the list of interviewees that is really from New Orleans, not transplanted. There is an interesting long view about the city, and its art and music world that seems to emerge from that perspective.

Part 1 of the interview is here...

Playing with Dave Capello Trio at Open Ears this Tuesday

Dave Capello, Helen Gillet, my Chip Wilson seven string at open ears

Dave Capello, Helen Gillet, my Chip Wilson seven string at open ears

I'll be playing with the Dave Capello Trio this Tuesday the 14th of October at 10pm upstairs at The Blue Nile at 532 Frenchmen St. New Orleans.  COME OUT AND CHECK IT OUT!

Dave Capello is one of the most unusual drummers in town.  There is a reason; a background of very interesting radical theater and music situations in New York and Kansas City before his move to New Orleans 20 years ago.  I interviewed Dave a few years ago.  Surprising stuff. If you are interested in music ideas and where they come from and whether your ears are as open as you hoped you can check out the interview here...

Jeff Albert's Open Ears series has really become an event, over the years, for those still driven by music and sound.  The fact that it goes on amidst the grotesque and never ending cheapening of Frenchmen St. makes it even more of a diamond in the rough.  

This show will feature songs from the bassist, Cecile and Dave is trying to get me to do the same.  She has a wild and varied background on the Chicago music scene including long stints with Fred Anderson and Famodou Don Moye (Legends everybody- google it- get involved in what goes in your ears! Ditch the complacent attitude!))  She sings really nice.

Oh yes- improvisation will occur for those of you enraptured by this central of all music language developments.  There will be also elements of some other lines in music thinking.

Interview appearance on It's New Orleans radio show

The "It's New Orleans" radio show had me on to talk for their Happy Hour Show, which is a weekly live recorded show at The Wayfare restaurant on Freret.  It was an entertaining hour.  I even sang a song- very rare to put my voice on the air.

The talk was interesting.  The other interviewees were artist and storyteller, Marie Lovejoy, musician, Andrew Duhon, and film-maker Russell Blanchard.  Interesting conversation ensued.


Check out the show here...