Dew Drop Jazz Halls Announces Spring Concert Line Up

Dated: 01/11/2016

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The spring 2016 entertainment lineup at the historic Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Jazz Hall has been announced. The six-event season will begin on March 5 and end on May 21. It will also feature a mini-festival, "Tamarama" on April 16.

This season's opening and closing concerts will acknowledge the role in the history of American jazz of "two Louies," Prima and Armstrong, both New Orleans natives who became international stars.

With the exception of Tamarama, all concerts will take place on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are sponsored by the non-profit Friends of the Dew Drop. Admission to all spring concerts will be $10 at the door.

Friends of the Dew Drop will provide beverages for a donation as well as souvenir merchandise. Meals during concerts will be available next door to the hall, prepared by members of the First Free Mission Baptist Church.

The March 5 concert will feature Lena Prima and her band. The daughter of Louie Prima, she spent part of her youth in New Orleans and at her father's Pretty Acres golf community in Covington. A former Covington High School student, she began her singing career in Las Vegas with the group Spiral Staircase.

In 2011, she and her musician husband Tim Fahey moved back to New Orleans, where she has since established a musical career which showcases original material as well as crowd-pleasing renditions of songs made famous by her father.

The May 21 concert will feature the Ella/Louis Tribute Band, created in 2013 by Mitchell Player, a regular bass player with Leroy Jones and his jazz band at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter.

Player's band pays tribute to the two legendary record albums produced in the late 1940s and early 1950s which featured duets by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. The band typically features Player, George French, Wendell Brunious, Todd Duke, Leslie Martin and female vocalist Eileina Dennis.

March 19 will feature the Shotgun Jazz Band, led by Marla and John Dixon, and including Charlie Halloran, Tyler Thompson, Justin Peake and Ben Pelcor.

April 2 will feature the Leyla McCalla String Trio at 6:30 p.m. followed by Yvette Voelker and Swinging Heathens jazz band at 8 p.m.

On April 16, Tamarama will begin at 4 p.m. with the New Orleans based seven-piece band Bad Penny Pleasuremakers. At 5 p.m. a blues guitar-in-the-round set will feature north shore musicians Amadee Frederick, Amadee Frederick V, Big Daddy O, as well as Picayune resident Wardell Williams.

At 5:45 p.m. Mandeville resident Cindy Van Duyne will perform. Van Duyne is lead vocalist with the Pat Barberot Orchestra in New Orleans. At 6:45 p.m. the Reg Sanders Jazz Trio will perform and the event will conclude with a 7:30 to 9 p.m. performance by the Hot Club of New Orleans. Led by Chris Kohl and Matt Rhody, the band specializes in swing era jazz.

The May 7 concert will feature Kenny Neal, a New Orleans native and son of Louisiana blues legend Raful Neal. He has emerged as a standard bearer of a new generation of Louisiana blues artists, carrying on a rich legacy while bringing a new vision to the genre, and has already been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

"We who form the Friends of the Dew Drop board of directors are especially excited about this spring schedule," Board member Richard  Boyd said, "It begins and ends with musical references to two New Orleans jazz legends, Louie Prima, who had strong St. Tammany connections, and Louis Armstrong, who we know once played at the Dew Drop."

For more information about the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Jazz Hall, including its history and relationship with the town of Mandeville,

Mandeville notes

English as Second Language (ESL) classes are now in session at the Causeway Branch of the St. Tammany Parish Library, located at 3457 U.S. 190 in Mandeville. The classes are free, for adults only and are geared for all levels of learners, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Classes begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. For more information call 985.626.9779.

There is also a new reading group at the Causeway Branch for ESL learners. It begins on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. with weekly meetings through May. Come make some new friends while reading good books. For more information call 985.727.7223 and ask for Laura. The classes and the reading group are for adults 21 and over. 

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