The Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival returns to stages and schools across the city on January 9 and runs through January 14. The mission of this unique festival is to showcase and highlight the many contributions and accomplishments of NEA Jazz Master Danny Barker: musician, singer, songwriter, raconteur extraordinaire and author – who played guitar and banjo with many top jazz artists over the course of his 70 year plus career – and served as a mentor to numerous young New Orleans artists who have since come to prominence, including Wynton Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Leroy Jones, Gregg Stafford, Dr. Michael White and Lucien Barbarin.
The festival will again offer a mix of school clinics, workshops, panel discussions, interviews, films, and live music performances at a variety of venues, including the New Orleans Jazz Museum, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, Snug Harbor, Rhodes Family Services, Bullet’s Sports Bar, Prime Example, Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge, NOCCA, UNO, and the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. Check out the full schedule of events below.
Tues., Jan. 9
5 - 5:45p Patron Party with live music from Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes and Detroit Brooks, a screening of choice video segmetns with Danny and Blue Lu Barker from filmmaker Matt Martinez (Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, 1901 Bartholomew)
6:30 - 8p Festival Kickoff Concert with music from Ellis Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Mitchell Player, Detroit Brooks, Will Smith, Dr. Michael White, and a short presentation from music journalist Gwen Thompkins on Danny Barker's autobiography, A Life In Jazz (Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, 1901 Bartholomew)
Wednesday, Jan. 10
3 - 5p Danny Barker: Musician, Mentor, Historian, Raconteur (New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Ave)
Fred Karsen talks with artists and community leaders (Gregg Stafford, Fred Johnson, Herlin Riley, Detroit Brooks, Molly Reid, Scott Billington, Ellis Marsalis, Roger Dickerson) about their experiences with Danny Barker and his profound contributions to New Orleans music and culture.
5 - 7p Kid Merv and All That Jazz (New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Ave)
8p-1a International Culture Night (Prime Example, 1907 N. Broad Street)
Featuring Carl LeBlanc, Detroit Brooks, Steve Masakowski, and special guest from Haiti, guitarist Claude Carre. Backed by a top-notch rhythm section.
Thursday, Jan. 11
11a - 12p Banjo and Guitar Clinic (Bethune Elementary, 2900 Humanity St.)
Clinicians: David Bandrowski and Carl LeBlanc
1p - 3p The Louisiana Music Factory presents A Life In Jazz (Louisiana Music Factory, 421 Frenchmen St)
Music Inside Out host and award-winning journalist Gwen Thompkins leads a discussion about the Historic New Orleans Collection’s acclaimed new edition of Danny Barker’s memoir/autobiography Followed by a live set from the Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Quartet.
4 - 7p Memories and Stories: Let's Talk About Danny and Lu (Rhodes Family Services, 3933 Washington Ave)
Featuring a complimentary buffet, live music from the Harry Sterling Quartet and great stories about Danny and Blue Lu Barker from a wide range of folks they deeply influenced, including Leroy Jones, Jon Pult, Jan Ramsey, Harry Sterling, Chris Sylvain, Mark Bingham and Greer Mendy.
8 & 10p Danny Barker Birthday Bash (Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St)
An all-star band plays a night a music associated with Danny Barker – featuring Gregg Stafford/trumpet and vocals, Freddy Lonzo/trombone, Bruce Brackman/clarinet, Detroit Brooks/banjo and guitar, Mari Watanabe/piano,Kerry Lewis/bass, Jerry Anderson/drums, Topsy Chapman/vocals.
Friday, Jan. 12
12:30 - 1:45p Banjo and Guitar Clinics (University of New Orleans, 2000 Lakeshore Dr)
Hosted by Steve Masakowski, Carl LeBlanc, and Seva Venet
2:30 - 3:45p Banjo and Guitar Clinics (NOCCA, 2800 Chartres St)
Hosted by Michael Pellera, Don Vappie, and David Bandrowski
5 - 8p Danny Barker "Don't You Feel My Leg" String All-Stars (George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1205 N. Rampart)
Featuring Detroit Brooks, Carl Leblanc, Steve Masakowski, Seva Venet, Don Vappie, and special guests Haitian guitar great Claude Carre`and Senegalese kora master Morikeba Kouyate.
9p - 12a Danny Barker Traditional Jam (Kermit's Mother-in-Law Lounge, 1500 N. Claiborne)
Hosted by Kermit Ruffins and also featuring James Andrews, Glenn Andrews, Gregg Stafford, Donald Harrison, Freddy Lonzo, Leroy Jones, Wendell Brunious, Roger Lewis, and more.
Saturday, Jan. 13
12p - 2:30p Second Line for Danny (from the New Orleans Jazz Museum to Bullet's Sports Bar)
Led by the Hot 8 Brass Band and Sons of Jazz Brass Band. Also featuring various school bands and other young local musicians.
3 - 9p Danny Barker Showcase of Bands (Bullet's Sports Bar, 2441 A.P. Turead Ave)
Featuring sets from the Mari Watanabe Band, Steve Pistorius, Wendell Brunious , Les Getrex, Gregg Stafford and Herlin Riley.
Sunday, Jan. 14
Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival Grand Finale (New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Ave)
11a - 1p Danny Barker in Sound and Image
Interviewer Fred Kasten plays highlights from an extensive set of interviews with Danny Barker and conducts a live interview with former Fairview Baptist Church Christian Band member Dr. Michael White. Followed by historic video segments featuring Danny and Blue Lu Barker presented by filmmaker Matt Martinez.
1pm – 5pm Three Stages of Music (two inside, one outside)
Sets from John Boutte, the UNO Jazz Ensemble (featuring Steve Masakowski), Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony, Charmaine Neville and Amasa Miller, Claude Carre`, Kermit Ruffins, Leroy Jones Quintet, George French, and more.