To date, the Foundation has given grants to 163 artists in thirteen rounds of Grant funding and was also the recipient of a grant to help produce the musical adaptation of Dan Baum’s book ‘Nine Lives’, a project by Paul Sanchez and Coleman DeKay. A total of over $615,000 has been rewarded in our history through grants, donations and special programs.
We will keep the information on all of our grant projects updated here, so please visit us often.
We also invite you to become a member of the Foundation to assist us in raising the funds to provide grants, and to receive regular updates on our activities. For information on applying for a grant from the Foundation, please see the Grants page.
2021 Round 13 Grant Recipients
Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival
The eighth annual Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival will be held March 16th through the 19th of 2022. It will again offer a mix of live music performances, interviews, and panel discussions at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. The mission of this yearly festival is to showcase and highlight the many contributions and accomplishments of NEA Jazz Master Danny Barker: musician, singer, songwriter, educator, raconteur extraordinaire and author who played guitar and banjo with many top jazz artists over the course of his 70 year plus career. Danny also 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 and Dr. Michael White. The 2022 festival will also honor two stalwarts of New Orleans music and culture with deep connections to Danny Barker’s legacy – Hot 8 Brass Band co-founder and sousaphonist Bennie Pete – and jazz historian Don Marquis (In Search of Buddy Bolden) – both of whom passed away in 2021 – and present a special screening of Jason Berry’s acclaimed documentary City of a Million Dreams
Chris Butcher will record his debut CD of original compositions. From Chris: “I moved to New Orleans five years ago as a professional musician. My goal was to soak up as much of the culture, vibe and music by playing and working with as many artists as possible. Long mentorships with Delfeayo Marsalis, The NOJO (Adonis Rose and the rest of the band), James Andrews and countless others have informed my art and kept me very busy as a sideman and engineer/co producer. I now feel it’s time to tell my story informed by my environment with the production of my debut project entitled Welcome to the Crescent City.”
Extended “Without Notice”
Extended will complete their upcoming 2022 release, “Without Notice”, their third full-length album of all original compositions. Extended is Oscar Rossignoli (piano), Matt Booth (bass), and Brad Webb (drums). They all compose for the group, with the particular musical personalities of the group foremost in mind, an approach that has thrilled audiences both locally and worldwide. Their debut LP from 2017, on Breakfast 4 Dinner records, received praise for its distinctive compositions and dynamic group interplay. “Harbinger”, their 2019 release on Origin Records, garnered critical acclaim and radio play across the country, and was named by Offbeat Magazine as one of the year-end Top 50 Best Albums of Louisiana Music. Now, with four years of development as an ensemble and the solid momentum from their first two records, Extended has created a truly world class project with pristine sound quality, showcasing 11 diverse new songs which exhibit a new attitude and focused maturity.
Sarah Quintana will produce her fifth studio recording featuring new originals and some New Orleans classics, plus her fantastic band! From Sarah: “For more than a decade I played shows across the US and Europe, bringing New Orleans music (and a bit of my own magic) to listeners far and wide. But when the pandemic hit and the tours stopped, I found an unexpected opportunity — to re-explore my hometown with fresh ears and two feet on the ground, and to rediscover all the things I love about it. Nothing has made me happier than coming home to New Orleans, and I think it shows. I wrote a record full of Louisiana feel-good music, just a few blocks away from where I grew up. It feels like I finally found my voice; I’m free on the fretboard. This is the happiest I’ve been since I was a kid running around Bayou St. John! I can’t wait to gather friends and collaborators to record it this spring. I feel so proud to be part of Louisiana’s musical heritage and so honored to be associated with the work Threadhead Cultural Foundation does to keep our music and culture thriving. Thanks so much!”
Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers
Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers will complete their second recording. Formed in 2010 by Aurora Nealand to perform at Chazfest, the band was the fulfillment of a longtime dream of hers to be in a rockabilly band. From Bill Malchow: “We are thrilled to be the recipients of a coveted Threadhead grant! This grant will help to see through to completion the band’s sophomore album, currently titled “The Age of Invention.” As New Orleans’ premiere theatrical art-rockabilly band, the Danger Dangers’ have neared the finish line of an album that promises to rock your boots off, spin your brain on its axis, and give you a new haircut before the initial listening is complete. The band is filled with some of New Orleans’ finest musicians, including members of the Royal Roses, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, Debauche, the Go-Cup All Stars, and the late Spencer Bohren. In fact, included on this double vinyl release are some of the last of Spencer’s recordings, as well as a never-before-heard lost recording of his from long ago. It is with great excitement that the Danger Dangers join the Threadhead family! For their unparalleled support and generosity towards the greater New Orleans music and arts community, we say HUZZAH and cannot wait to bestow upon you this record!”
Erica Falls will produce a solo album of original music. Throughout her career Erica, who grew up in the 9th Ward, has recorded and performed with such worldwide icons as Allen Toussaint, Dr John, John Fogerty, Galactic and many more. She has been voted best female vocalist by offbeat several times and her newest solo project will allow Erica the singer to blossom into Erica the artist. From Erica: “I am known for being a vocalist, but few know my artistry as a songwriter and my original music. Being so busy working and supporting others musically, I put my creativity on hold. When the world came to a halt it gave me the time to write and create again. I am able to focus on saying what’s on my mind and my heart musically of my view of living, loving and surviving in these uncertain times”.
The Storyville Stompers Brass Band
The Storyville Stompers Brass Band will record their long overdue next recording. From Craig Klein: “We look forward to getting into rehearsals then studio and cutting some music that we truly believe in. We have been together for over 40 years and have played regularly since. Our first record was produced by the co-Leader of the Olympia Brass Band, Milton Batiste in 1986”. Olympia essentially took the Stompers under their wing and they have been a major part of the brass band scene ever since playing everything from funerals to cruise ships, and of course the storied Krewe of St Ann procession every Mardi Gras day for 38 years! “This recording that we will begin is going to be a traditional jazz/brass band record. We are always keeping in mind of where New Orleans brass bands come from and try keeping that tradition alive and well is what we do. There will also be a couple of Fats Domino songs along with a gospel song or two.”
Johnette Downing is a 2017 Louisiana Writer Award-winner and Jazz Fest veteran. Following up on 11 albums of Louisiana roots music for children and 27 books, Johnette plans to create a Halloween musical album for children titled Jumpin’ Jitters that features slightly spooky, mostly silly original and traditional songs such as “Shake Your Skelton,” “Mean Old Witch,” and “Skin and Bones.” The basic tracks were recorded at The Rhythm Shack in New Orleans in 2019, and the grant funds will be used to complete the recording, which was put on hold during the pandemic. Some of Louisiana’s finest musicians are slated to participate including David Torkanowsky, Evan Christopher, Doug Belote and Gina Forsythe, with of course some ‘bones’ added to give children something spine-tingling to sing about this fall!
Singer-songwriter, author, music minister and educator Laura Huval will create her new recording titled ‘Raised in the Choir Loft’. The daughter of world-renowned Cajun recording artist and fiddler Al Berard and a member of the Grammy nominated band Sweet Cecilia, Laura is an active advocate for the unique cultural heritage of Acadiana and is a co-founder of the Al Berard Memorial Fund and co-chair of the Cecilia et Les Alentours Cultural District. Huval was literally “raised in the choir loft” where her parents met at St. Joseph Church in Cecilia, LA. This project will feature some of her original music reflecting the rich, diverse musical style of Louisiana as well as some of Laura’s favorite faith-based hymns directly from the same choir loft that had such a huge impact on her musical and spiritual journey. It will feature a series of live videos and performances, where Laura will tell the stories behind the songs that helped to shape her life. An album will accompany the video series, which will be available on all digital platforms.
Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund (DSEF)
The Dinerral Shavers Educational Fund (DSEF) Music and Cultural Education Program is designed to educate both youth and cultural ambassadors about the history of New Orleans’ music and cultural traditions. This includes implementing cultural education cohorts throughout schools and community organizations, as well as hosting seasonal music and cultural series in the park. DSEF’s Music & Cultural Series in the Park was created during the COVID 19 pandemic and allowed staff and youth to gather and learn safely in an outdoor setting. Today, DSEF’s Cultural Series in the Park has grown to an exciting event, which features live music, art and interactive cultural presentations. From Nikita Shavers: “The generous funds provided by TCF will allow DSEF to host its 2022 Music and Cultural Series in the Park. Thank You Threadheads!”
Dave Jordan will record and release of an album of original songs. For his latest release, Dave is teaming up with Anders Osborne for their third album collaboration. Besides producing the album, Osborne provides his extraordinary guitar work with a backing band that includes legendary bassist and local hero George Porter, Jr; renowned studio and touring drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young/Mark Knopfler); and local violinist and frequent bandmate, Rurik Nunan. The album also features guest appearances by exemplary vocalists Tif “Teddy” Lamson and Kelli Jones; and Lafayette stalwarts, accordionist Roddie Romero and pianist Eric Adcock. From Dave: “It’s always enlightening to work with Anders, but this album also is very special to me to finally record with George. We’ve been friends for 30 years, and he’s probably my biggest musical influence. At this stage in my life and career, these friendships and opportunities to work together take on a little different meaning.” Featuring nine tracks, the album highlights Jordan’s potent blend of Americana storytelling and south Louisiana roots music. The vinyl albums will be pressed at New Orleans Record Press in the Bywater, one of the few vinyl pressing and manufacturing companies in the country.
Lyrica Baroque will hold its annual music festival and competition, NOLA Chamber Fest. Since 2014, NCF has encouraged, inspired, and motivated musicians through the experience of tight-knit collaboration and artistic independence that only chamber music can offer. They provide learning and performance opportunities for elementary, middle and high school-aged musicians, college and graduate ensembles, community musicians and today’s top emerging professional talent. Collaboratively presented by Lyrica Baroque, the New Orleans Friends of Music, and the University of New Orleans, NOLA Chamber Fest continues to thrive as a meaningful educational and artistic opportunity with all ages are welcome. COVID-19 brought significant challenges and hardships and NCF was presented virtually for two years. From Jaren Atherholt: “We were inspired by the ways participants, students, and educators thought creatively and collaboratively to continue playing chamber music through such immense challenges. Our 2022 hybrid festival is all about genre fluidity. We have many exciting events planned, fantastic guest artists, and we are so excited to welcome our 2022 Community Partners!”
Donna’s Bar & Grill
The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation
The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic & Assistance Foundation will expand their successful Makin’ Groceries program, which provides weekly, home-delivered care packages containing fresh groceries, healthy prepared meals, and lagniappe to a group of 125+ elderly and immunocompromised musicians, culture bearers, and their families to show gratitude and admiration for their profound influence on our local culture. Makin’ Groceries is led and produced by a network of local musicians and community health workers and designed in collaboration with the culture bearers served. From Zach at NOMAF: “With funding from the Threadhead Cultural Foundation, we will rent an easily accessible storage facility unit that will provide space to store extra non-perishable food and household goods for future distribution, aggregate items for special events, and keep a surplus of goods for disaster and emergency response so that we can act immediately whenever another crisis should occur.”
Two-time Grammy award winning teaching artist and cultural advocate Terrance Simien will produce a new collectible hard cover book, CD and poster package. The project will further Simien’s work to inform and intrigue the multi-culturally curious family and readers of all ages about the unique heritage of the mixed race and black French speaking Creoles of south Louisiana. At the center of it all will be zydeco roots music and its history: from juré to Amédé to Clifton Chenier to where the music is today (as Terrance likes to say!) – culturally diverse, relevant and loved all over the world. Simien, who hails from one of the first families documented to have settled St. Landry Parish, will utilize personal family and career photographs, as well as vivid illustrations by notable Creole visual artist, Bryant Benoit. Terrance’s performance and residency work in schools, performing arts centers, children’s festivals and for US State Dept Cultural Diplomacy programs has postured him well as an important cultural advocate for Louisiana and internationally recognized, proactive and responsible partner whose project will help further the mission of THCF.
Baby Doll Carnival Ball
The Baby Doll Carnival Ball and Blessing of the Streets ceremony took place on January 8th, 2022. This ceremony included a roundup of all Baby Dolls coming together in a socially distanced setting in advance of Mardi Gras season. Carol Harris, also known as ‘Baby Doll Kit’, hails from uptown New Orleans and is the leader, organizer and multi-generational culture bearer of the N’Awlins Baby Dolls. At this event, new Baby Dolls are initialized and black masking culture bearers from across the city come together to celebrate the onset of Mardi Gras. Performances take place that include N’Awlins Dawlins Baby Dolls, a Mardi Gras Indian rhythm section and a local brass band. From Carol: “N’Awlins Babby Dolls believe in celebrating LIFE through dance! We seek to unite our community by upholding traditional cultural customs, while being of service to those in need. We advocate the continued education of New Orleans traditions in our customary expressions. Shake your tail feathers with HAPPY!”
David Bode Big Band
David Bode will produce an album by his 19-piece ensemble, the David Bode Big Band, that will feature David’s original compositions and arrangements. David’s arrangements draw on his broad experience as a working musician and his eclectic taste in music, with influences ranging from jazz to opera to tango to rock. He will play Lead Alto and conduct the band, which consists of some of the best young musical talent in the city of New Orleans. The project will be recorded at Marigny Studios by Mack Major, and Grammy-nominated engineer Michael Harvey will master the album at NOLA Recording Studios. “I am so thankful for the support of the Threadhead Cultural Foundation, without which, this project would not have been possible,” said David. “I first fell in love with the saxophone because of big bands, and after writing arrangements for several years, I am so excited to be able to share them with the world through this recording!”
Joe has had a long history of playing music and making CDs in New Orleans, recording eight under his own name and five more collaborating with artists like Walter Wolman Washington, Johnny Sansone and most recently Jason Ricci. Along with leading bands of his own for the last 30 years in New Orleans, Joe was in the Clarence Gatemouth Brown Band for 15 years and has been in the multi award-winning, chart-topping Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band for the last five years. “The goal will be to create a piano CD that is a tribute to the New Orleans piano style and the masters who helped define it,” said Joe. “It will feature music from all of my piano influences like Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Dr. John, Professor Longhair plus a few originals. My hopes are that this CD will help preserve this New Orleans piano style and keep it alive.”
Make Music NOLA (MMN)
Make Music NOLA (MMN) is a program that began in a converted Walgreens in the Lower 9th Ward, with just five students, and has since grown to reach hundreds of students at multiple locations. MMN’s mission is to give the children of New Orleans the keys to claim their musical heritage and the tools to build their creative legacy through music education. MMN primarily offers group instruction on string instruments, violin, viola, cello, double bass, and K-6 general music classes. MMN works with over four hundred students in six locations on a weekly basis, providing over sixty-five hours of music programming a week during the school day and through after school and Saturday programs. Make Music NOLA’s curriculum focuses on local New Orleans music, maintaining the tradition of the violin playing the lead in early jazz bands (including Louis Armstrong’s band) and music by BIPOC composers. Make Music NOLA’s goal is for our students to learn to love music and incorporate it into their daily lives, regardless of what career they choose for themselves. The grant awarded by the Threadhead Cultural Foundation will be used to pay teaching artists for Make Music NOLA’s Creative Composition Workshop in June.
Douglas Page/ Good Earth Records
Douglas Page/ Good Earth Records will finish and press a new vinyl EP compilation series of one-of-a- kind songs from the now defunct Houma Records label. Houma Records was a small record label that emerged from the Bayous of Terrebonne & Lafourche back in the 1960’s. The label was started by Anthony ‘Rod’ Rodrigue in 1964 and the studio was located on Main Street in downtown Houma. Most of the songs on the label were Honky-Tonk style Country music, but some of the artists sang songs in Cajun French with a very unique dialect specific to the area and time. There were a few Black musicians to record for the label as well as members of the United Houma Nation Tribe. In total, there are 78 known 45 RPM records and one LP to come out of this small studio and label. Tragically, the master tapes were all burned in a fire and all that remains of this label is the 45s themselves. Good Earth Records is teaming up with Louis Michot and his label, Nouveau Electric Records, as well as the son of Rod Rodrigue (AJ the Boudin Man, DJ on WWOZ) to re-release these iconic and unique recordings back to the public for the first time since their original pressings. From Douglas: ‘It has been a project that has taken nearly 5 years to put together and it is a joy to be at the finish line.”
Women Performing for Women
‘Women Performing for Women’ event is a night of celebration in support of Hagar’s house which is a sanctuary for women, children, and gender non-conforming folks that provides an open and empowering residential community, resource coordination, and a safe space to transition into sustainable housing. It’s a night when local New Orleans women and gender non-conforming musicians, dancers and artists perform to benefit and raise funds for Hagar’s House. The lineup is usually at least 2 New Orleans women-fronted bands + dancing + blessing by our MC Sula Janet Evans. Artists have included: Assata Renay, Tanya Boyd Cannon, Jaz Butler and Friends, Drag Show by Debbie with a D, DJ Soul Sister, N.O.B.A.B.E. (a group of 10+ well-known local women performing together), Muevelo (with Margie Perez and Sula Janet Evans), The Cole Williams Band, Darcy Malone and The Tangle, Big Freedia, Tank and the Bangas, Charm Taylor, Germaine Bazzle, Amanda Shaw, Charmaine Neville, The Pinettes Brass Band, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, Leslie Smith, Kimberley Longstreth, Meghan Swartz, Cassandra Faulcone, Amy Alvarez and the amazing Mid City Soul.
Crescent City Farmers Markets
Funding will support musical performances at local non-profit Market Umbrella’s weekly Crescent City Farmers Markets which have served the Greater New Orleans Community for 26 years. Throughout each year they invite local musicians to perform acoustic sets at their outdoor markets, providing free musical entertainment and a unique gathering place for shoppers, vendors, and neighbors to connect and enjoy great food and music. They host three weekly markets per week, year-round, rain or shine. Crescent City Farmers Markets are held Tuesdays at 8 am – noon at Uptown Square, 200 Broadway St. at the river, Thursdays 3-7 pm at the Lafitte Greenway Plaza in Mid City at 500 N. Norman C. Francis Parkway at the Bayou, and Sundays 8 am – noon at City Park, Tad Gormley Stadium, Marconi Drive at Navarre Ave. Acting as a small business incubator in our local economy, Market Umbrella also provides technical assistance to area farmers and food vendors while offering food access programs to ensure everyone in New Orleans has greater access to fresh local food. Visit enjoy unique local cuisine and fantastic music and make groceries in style!