ROUND 4 (2012)

Guardians of the Flame
The Guardians of the Flame was established in 1988 by second generation Mardi Gras Indian, the late Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. The multi-generational group is dedicated to the authentic preservation and presentation of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, and is is known for its soulful songs, spirited dancing and spectacular ritual attire.  With the grant proceeds, the Guardians of the Flame will produce an original Mardi Gras Indian interactive performance art musical that will feature historical facts, authentic music, ritual attire, protocols and artists from the tradition. The musical will give theatergoers an inside glimpse of what happens 24 hours prior to the group’s Mardi Gras procession by actively engaging them in the production.

Community Center of Saint Bernard
Grant funding will support the production of a multi-media “Blues in da Parish Festival” CD featuring original songs from the musicians who will perform at the next Blues in da Parish Festival to be held during October 2013 in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana.  The CD will also include video interviews with blues musicians, historians and New Orleans Blues Society members about the cultural significance of New Orleans Blues music.

Carlo Nuccio
In the years since “Continental Drifters,” and his last solo effort “Loose Strings”, Carlo has been producing and playing with many other artists. Grant funds will provide him the opportunity to bring some of the songs he’s been writing during that period to life.  It’s been fourteen years since Carlo’s last endeavor and with this new release he looks forward to bringing new material to those who have supported him in the past, and also to  making new friends through music.

Ruby Rendrag
Ruby’s musical roots are all New Orleans. She grew up in Kenner playing guitar with her five brothers and has never stopped making her own style of music.  Ruby has been visualizing this new album for the last two years been and is thrilled it’s now being realized. It will feature ten fully produced original songs, and feature outstanding New Orleans musicians including Mark Mullins, Craig Klein and Jimmy Robinson. Music Shed Studios engineer, Kyle Lamy (who is currently on hiatus as music supervisor for Tremé), will be recording and Ben Lorio will mix the album.  This long awaited album will be produced with assistance from grant funds, and is expected to be complete by March or April of 2013.

Calvin Johnson, Jr.
‘My New Orleans’ is the latest studio project by Calvin Johnson Jr. It is a tribute to his musical lineage and heritage received within the great city of New Orleans.  Steeped in the traditional sounds of New Orleans Jazz, this project will be a testimony to Calvin’s personal interpretation of New Orleans’ culture.  Calvin will utilize an open hall format of recording to convey to the listener the feel of an ‘on-the-scene’ presence which is characteristic of the improvisational genius of many of this City’s traditional jazz greats.

Jay Mazza
Jay’s latest project, “Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughan’s Lounge” is an affectionate portrait of the legendary Bywater nightspot where Ruffins honed his solo act after his departure from the Rebirth Brass Band.  The book features a detailed history of the club and includes spirited quotes from Ruffins, members of his band, the BBQ Swingers, and fans that were present in the early days of the Thursday night gigs.

Lynn Drury
An undeniable talent and a passionate performer, Lynn brings wonderful imagery to her compositions that seemingly transports all who listen to another time and place. Born in Yazoo City, her sound combines the grit of her native Mississippi with the funky grooves of her adopted home of New Orleans.  As a long-time resident and representative of the New Orleans musical community, Lynn continues to be inspired by the music and heritage of the city, and will record 10 or more of her new original compositions with the grant proceeds.

Frenchman Fais Do Do Concert Series (Buddy Mann Memorial Grant recipient)

The mission of the “Frenchmen Fais Do-Do Concert Series” is to increase  awareness and enjoyment of Cajun and Zydeco music and dancing as well other musical groups that perform in the New Orleans area. Offering three hours of non-stop music and dancing and a “family-friendly” atmosphere, two bands, one of which is Cajun or Zydeco, play two alternate sets on two separate stages.  There is no cover charge and free dance lessons are offered in the musical genres playing (Cajun & Zydeco, Cajun & Country, etc.) before each event, normally monthly.  We try to replicate a “Fais Do-Do” atmosphere (“Fais Do-Do” is a name for a Cajun dance party) so that friends, family members and strangers can “eat, drink, dance and be merry” on a Saturday afternoon.