Monday, May 23, 2016

It's so great to be back at the helm of my radio show again. After several months in New Orleans, with the wonderful job of reporting on Mardi Gras and JazzFest, I am back in California escaping the brutal summer heat and bugs in the Big Easy.

Looking forward to the Healdsburg Jazz Festival in June, and planning another trip to the Havana Jazz Festival next December. Stay tuned for more details as they roll in!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Beautiful music from Valentina and PhiLOVEsophy!

Following the recent demise of iconic and beloved David Bowie, it's all the more delightful to find a cover of "Space Oddity" on the new album by Valentina Marino.
Her phrasing and instrumentation is extraordinary, as also evidenced by "In the Name of Love".

Currently residing in New York and hailing originally from Rome, Valentina studied and received her BFA at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. She has toured and performed all over the US and Europe, enchanting audiences with her heady improvisation and tasteful arrangements. Sometimes incorporating Brazilian influences, other times Argentinian, the recordings on "PhiLOVEsophy" bring the listener up close and personal with her heartfelt love for jazz in all its variations.

Another cut, "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", highlights her dynamic range: subtle yet powerful.

All in all, I'll be giving this album a lot of airtime for my listeners to groove on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Latest from the Big Easy

It was one of the most moving press conferences I have ever attended: Michelle Obama speaking on veterans' homelessness in the nation. It was her first stop on the tour, introduced by Mayor Landrieu, 
and she was eloquent and elegant as always.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Join me for the 30th Annual Havana Jazz Festival on an exciting People-to-People Journey to Cuba in December 2014!

TEL: (800) 353-2276 or (415) 332-0682   EMAIL:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LOTS of exciting happenings over here in the Ess Eff Bay Area.

In addition to the incredible music that rolled through here over the week-end, which included Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits and CSNY at the Bridge School concert, on a personal note there has been some thrilling news.

I am proud and pleased to be rolling out my brand-new New Orleans radio show this Sunday on Public Radio KRCB 91.1fm this Sunday, November 3rd.
Day after Day of the Dead! Perfect timing....

See you there!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Orleans by the Bay

Lots of music in the Bay Area comes to us live and direct from New Orleans. We are SO lucky to have musicians roll through like Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, George Porter Jr., 
Kermit Ruffins, Raw Oyster Cult, Bonerama
- the list just goes on and on. 

Not only that, there's a fantastic NOLA cafe 2 minutes from 
my house where I can get my po'boys and beignets on - morning, noon, and night!
Definitely check out the Hummingbird Cafe when you're in Fairfax.

It's my pleasure to promote and publicize these bands and venues, and certainly share their music on the airwaves. Stay tuned for exciting news about my show and BIG changes at 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Garifuna Collective new release

Listening to the new Garifuna Collective release, Ayo. Beautiful songs, 
traditional rhythms.

Great job Ivan Duran!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Orleans Funky Bohemian Soul Circle

Last week I had the opportunity to hear a rare combination of musical talents. The individual players were known to me: Johnny Vidacovich, Adam Theis, Scott Amendola and Wil Blades

But together? Never, til this particular show at Mill Valley's premiere entertainment venue, the upscale Sweetwater Music Hall

The show was billed as the New Orleans Funky Bohemian Soul Circle
2 drummers, a trombonist, and Hammond B3. Hello there, funk. Come on in.

We arrived at 9pm (which to me was ridiculously early). But the room was packed, with nary a seat in sight, filled to the brim with an older crowd of couples finishing up dinner and desserts. And waiting in anticipation for this funky show to begin. Where had they heard about it? How did they know about Johnny Vidacovich, whose drumming history in New Orleans is the stuff of legend? Maybe they were tipped off by friends in the know. Or were they just there for a Saturday evening out?

I chatted with some of the folks around me. A couple from New York, a blind woman from Sonoma, a husband and wife waiting for their son and girlfriend to arrive. A drummer who had purchased Johnny's DVD and couldn't wait to see the star in person. But here's the kicker: the woman who kindly allowed us to share her table admitted to me that she loved Trombone Shorty. Now, I know Shorty, and have been following him for years. But he's not exactly a household name - at least I didn't think so til now. So I was thrilled to hear a middle-aged woman of apparently significant means disclose her love of New Orleans trumpet players.

The band hit the stage and opened with a straight-ahead jazz tune. Then they dropped into a danceable mash-up and it only went higher and higher as they continued. Hard to keep in your seat. So we didn't. Within half an hour a significant number of us were dancing, weaving in and around those dear folk who were still seated at their little tables but bobbing and swaying.

Johnny did a few of his signature vocal improvs as he leaned back and stroked his kit. The solos on trombone were exceptional. Scott set up riffs for the band to follow and repeat. We were in awe. The energy in the room kept ratcheting up, til the manager moved more of the tables to make room for dancing. Will Blades hit us with "I'm In with the In Crowd", then later "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" done as a second-line rhythm.

Two super-long sets later, they were done. A stellar evening that could not be duplicated outside of Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. Thank you guys. Let's do it again soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The 50 must-have New Orleans recordings!

Piano Masters
1. James Booker – "Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah" – Rounder – 1993
2. Allen Toussaint - "Allen Toussaint" - Varese Fontana - 1971
3. Professor Longhair - "The Last Mardi Gras" - Atlantic - 1982
4. Dr. John - "In the Right Place" - Elektra - 1973
5. Jelly Roll Morton - "The Complete Library of Congress Recordings - Rounder - 1938
6. Fats Domino - "My Blue Heaven" - Capitol - 1990
7. Eddie Bo - "Check Mr. Popeye" - Rounder - 1988
8. Henry Butler - "Homeland" - Basin Street Records - 2004
9. Joe Krown Organ Combo - "Livin Large" - Joe Krown - 2005
10. Ellis Marsalis - "Whistle Stop" - Sony - 1993

Indians 'n' Jazz
11. The Wild Magnolias - "The Wild Magnolias" – Polydor – 1974 
12. Preservation Hall Jazz Band - "An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall" - Preservation Hall - 2010
13. The Neville Brothers - "Nevillization" - Black Top - 1984
14. The Meters - "Rejuvenation" - Reprise Records - 1974
15. Wynton Marsalis - "Black Codes (From the Underground)" - Sony - 1985
16. Los Hombres Calientes - "Vol. 3 New Congo Square" - Basin Street Records - 2001
17. The Wild Tchoupitoulas - "The Wild Tchoupitoulas" - Mango - 1976
18. Astral Project - "Big Shot" - Astral Project - 2001
19. Louis Armstrong - "Complete Hot Five & Hot Seven Recordings" - Columbia - 2000
20. Pete Fountain - "Pete Fountain's New Orleans" - MCA - 1957

Modern Acts 
21. Anders Osborne - "American Patchwork" - Alligator Records - 2010
22. Glen David Andrews - "Walking Through Heaven's Gate" - Threadhead Records - 2009
23. The Radiators - "Law of the Fish" - Sony - 1987
24. John Boutte - "Jambalaya" - CDBY - 2008
25. Lil Wayne - "Tha Carter III" - Cash Money Records - 2008
26. Down - "NOLA" - East/West Records - 1995
27. Juvenile - "400 Degreez" - Cash Money - 1998
28. Jon Cleary - "Mo Hippa Live" - Mri Associated - 2008
29. Theresa Andersson - "Hummingbird, Go!" - Basin Street Records - 2008
30. Mystikal - "Let's Get Ready" - 2000

Brass Bands 
31. Rebirth Brass Band - "Feel Like Funkin It Up" - Rounder Records - 1989
32. Galactic - "Ya-Ka-May" - Anti - 2010
33. Kermit Ruffins - "Live at Vaughan's" - Basin Street Records - 2007
34. Trombone Shorty - "Backatown" - Verve Forecast - 2010
35. Soul Rebels Brass Band - "No More Parades" - Tuff City Records - 1998
36. Shamarr Allen - "Meet Me on Frenchmen Street" - Pome Music - 2007
37. Treme Brass Band - "Gimme My Money Back" - Arholie Records - 1995
38. Big Sam's Funky Nation - "Peace, Love & Understanding" - Big Sam's Funky Nation - 2008
39. Dirty Dozen Brass Band - "What's Going On" - Shout Factory - 2006
40. Bonerama - "Bringing it Home" - Bonerama - 2006

41. Irma Thomas - "In Between Tears" – Fungus – 1973
42. Lee Dorsey - "Yes We Can" - Polydor - 1970
43. Champion Jack Dupree - "Blues from the Gutter" - Atco - 1958
44. Earl King - "Street Parade" - Charly Records - 1972/1982
45. Mahalia Jackson - "16 Most Requested Songs" - Sony - 1996
46. Ernie K-Doe - "A Real Mother-in-Law for Ya" - Westside - 2002
47. Joe Krown, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Russell Batiste Jr. -- Live at the Maple Leaf – 2008
48. Snooks Eaglin - "Teasin You" - Black Top - 1992
49. Johnny Adams - “Heart & Soul” - Vampi Soul - 1969
50. Lloyd Price - "The Exciting Lloyd Price" - Hoo Doo Records - 1959

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Back from New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest 2012!

Photo courtesy Jim Brock

I am just catching up on my sleep before I hit the road again.
BUT! I want to tell you about all the great new (and old) music I heard. 
And I 24 hours or so.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Top 10 New Orleans albums!

  1. Del McCoury's Bluegrass Band & Preservation Hall Jazz Band "American Legacies"
  2. Rebirth Brass Band "Rebirth of New Orleans"
  3. Hugh Laurie 'Let Them Talk'
  4. Irvin Mayfield "A Love Letter to New Orleans"
  5. Eric Lindell "Cazadero"
  6. Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars "Box of Pictures"
  7. Rick Trolsen (Neslort) "Mystical Scam"
  8. Sasha Masakowski "Wishes"
  9. Eden Brent "Ain't Got No Troubles" (OK technically she's from Mississippi)
  10. John Autin "Piano Town"

Check em out for yourself or a holiday gift!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

House. In the house.

I tried. I really did. I thought my listeners would like to hear about his affinity for NOLA music. Hugh Laurie (aka Gregory House MD) has a bluesy new release, "Let Them Talk", that he recorded in New Orleans with Irma Thomas, Sir Tom Jones, and the venerable Allen Toussaint.

It's an homage to the blues and jazz greats, and he duplicated that feel today in his hour-long set at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest after a sold-out gig in LA last night where Sir Tom showed up and wowed the crowd.

He opened with "St. James Infirmary" tinkling away on the keys - even gave a brief history of the song - and continued with tunes by Leadbelly, Ray Charles, and J.B. Lenoir. Also added a great rendition of "Careless Love" and "Tipitina". Brave stuff! He was witty, urbane and handsome in his grey suit and tie while the SF sun made a strange appearance and shone down on us all.

Afterward his manager charmingly sidestepped my request for a brief chat by saying: "Hugh is so affable he hates to say no, but sometimes he has to." Hugh stuck around to shake hands with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, then intently watched the entire wonderful set of Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.

We all stayed for soul queen Irma Thomas, who delivered as always.

Great day. I think all who showed up got their money's worth. Ha!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

For our East Coast friends - & Anniversary of Katrina


Gather by the River

Down By The Riverside

Harlem River Blues

The River's Gonna Run

Let Your Love Rain Down On Me

Black Water Blues

Hurricane Season

I Asked For Water (She Gave..)


One Foot In The Bayou

Hurricane On China Lake

Wicked Rain

Who'll Stop The Rain

Rainin' In My Heart


Rainin' In My Heart

Sunday, August 21, 2011

We are not Eric Lindell stalkers

I swear. Just because in this past week we went to see him:
  • At the San Jose Jazz Festival
  • At the Forestville Club
  • At a free BBQ party at Boogie Marin in my hood!
A few of the things I love about Eric, besides the new cd Cazadero, is that he's always fresh, always soulful, and always delivers a powerful performance. He's joined by Myles Weeks on upright bass and Will McMains on drums. Sometimes a horn player steps in, and last night a special treat: Cora player and guitarist-songwriter Peter Joseph Burtt, who penned "Lucky Lucky". Well, we were the lucky ones in Sonoma and Marin this week-end.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New podcast for your Hot Summer nights!

One of the artists I can never get enough of: Stanton Moore... of Galactic, Stanton Moore Trio, & Dragonsmoke fame. The drum/percussion solo he did at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest lasted for 15 minutes, with all the members of the band gathered around him while he beat a snare on the stage floor. Listen to this latest podcast and see if you can hear him.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Big Easy listening

Listen to my shows here on iTunes! You just may start missing New Orleans, like I do.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gil Scott Heron - RIP

We will remember him, not for his faults, but for his struggles, poetry, music.

Thank you Gil for all you did to wake us up, to shake us up, to bring us up higher than the level of consumption that consumes us in America. You left us on Memorial Day week-end; so we could think about war, and killing, and how the revolution will not be televised.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Still recovering from Mardi Gras?

Tune in to archived shows of New Orleans and the World on Fire for soothing sounds that'll heal your soul and impassion your heart!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Orleans follows me wherever I am

How lucky am I? Just had beignets at the new Hummingbird Cafe in my own little town. And chicory coffee. NOLA meets Cali once again. You will see me at the counter from now on...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Music's Gonna Get You Through

Now screening live and airing on your Public Television stations nationally

The Music’s Gonna Get You Through explores pianist Henry Butler’s impact
on a group of blind and visually impaired teens who gather in New Orleans one summer to train with the master at his week-long Creative Music and Jazz camp.

This is beautiful and heart-warming - you go Henry!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Check out latest show's playlist on Public Radio!

On The Road Again
Jul 29, 2010
8:00PM - 10:00PM

OTRA in the house
Search Playlists

is you is or is you aint my baby
Name: louis jordan

John Henry
Name: Dom Flemons

Fire and Oil
Name: Moss Henry

Where the Blues don't shine
Name: Steeldrivers

low down dirty blues
Name: son House

Valley Of The Moon
Name: Bill Kirchen

snowden's jig (genuine negro jig)
Name: carolina chocolate drops

Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
Name: Mahalia Jackson

Key To The Highway
Name: Derek Trucks Band

Word to the Wise w/ Dan Hicks
Name: Bill Kirchen


If the Sea was Whiskey
Name: TinPan Band

Malheureuse Negre
Name: Cleveland Benoit + Darby

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shop here for their incredible collection
of NOLA gear!

Also please view recent films on the
BP disaster in the Gulf:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Benefit Concert, San Francisco
Sunday, September 19, 2010 at Bimbo's
A Concert Benefit for Gulf Coast Fishermen, Residents, Wildlife & Wetlands

Through an on-the-ground, participatory assessment in coastal communities, we have identified the most pressing needs of both the people and the environment, as well as the most efficient and effective aid delivery mechanism. 100% of the monies raised by For the Bayou are directly allocated to: 1) address humanitarian or livelihood assistance needs of residents with businesses and/or families dependent on fisheries, wetlands, and coastal waters; and 2) the organizational efforts of environmentally accountable, local non-profits in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast assisting in wildlife recovery and environmental clean-up and restoration.

WHO WE ARE For the Bayou was founded in San Francisco in 2008 by Louisiana natives to increase public awareness of the disappearing Louisiana coastal wetlands, to foster restoration and protection of this culturally significant coastal environment and to aid and assist the people of Louisiana in the event of a disaster. Since the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well on April 20, 2010, and the devastating oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, our mission is expanding to humanitarian and environmental assistance of Gulf Coast communities. We are a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization. All directors and officers of the organization are non-paid volunteers.

␣ FinancialSponsorships ␣ FoodandBeverageSponsorships ␣ SilentAuctionDonations ␣ Mediasupport ␣ Production ␣ Promotion Assistance

ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED: Global Green USA, Tess-Aid, Juice, Voice of the Wetlands, Sunset Promotions, Blue Bear Music.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let's keep these birds flying

In an interview I did recently with Reggie Scanlon of the Radiators, I asked him what we can do about the catastrophe in the Gulf - those of us who may not be able to travel to the affected regions and help clean birds or the beaches. He encouraged us all to contact our political representatives, and let them know how outraged we are.

Additionally, please consider supporting the ngo's and non-profits that are helping send people and money to aid fishermen and wildlife or supporting programs in the area; specifically:

Locally, For the Bayou will be holding a series of music events to raise funds for the above; generously joined by musicians in the Bay Area and from New Orleans.

Please come to Yoshi's on June 29th for a phat Tuesday
For the Bayou fundraiser with the Brothers Goldman.
$10 at the door and all proceeds going to FTB. Show starts at 9pm.
A spicy gumbo of New Orleans street fonk and acid jazz!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Port Fourchon is full of National Guard, wild life & fisheries, state troopers, regular cops and a whole lot of BP people. They are trying to cover up everything they can. BP even bought google and yahoo search Saturday to control what people can find out about the oil spill. The water and my beaches are horrible. Oil all over the place. You can see the tar balls all through it. Friday I went to Grand Isle off the pier at the public beach it was coming it bad. Like globs of crude 6' long. Makes u sick just looking at it. Other than that I'm doing just fine.

We need to mobilize now! Here's just one fun way:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Treme in the Treme in the .....funeral home?

Ok so I have mentioned to some of you that I was in New Orleans at the Charbonnet Funeral Home for the premiere of Treme, the new HBO series about New Orleans and that unique neighborhood.

The community gathered to watch, comment, and even have a question-and-answer period afterward.

Overall the response was positive. We/they felt that to bring again to light the man-made disaster that occurred when Katrina struck is valuable and necessary to the city.
It's not enough to just love the city and hope all the problems have gone away; they are still there and the infrastructure needs a lot of work.

That said, New Orleans has arisen again like it has so many times in the past and will be stronger and more WHO DAT than ever.

Check this link for more info: Treme explained

and go here for my show tonite with brand-new Anders Osborne & Stanton Moore,
Matt Perrine, Marc Stone, Glen David Andrews, les Freres Michot, Magnetic Ear & more :
Saturday nites (thanks guys for all the new tunes)

Can't listen live? Download my New Orleans podcasts from iTunes here
See you at JazzFest!