Add Event
Add Event
Monthly View
Monthly View
Flat View
Flat View
Daily View
Daily View

Event: 'Open Mike Celebration Of Stringed Instruments '

City Wide Events
Events Happening in New Orleans
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2009 At 02:00 PM
Contact Info:
Media Contact: Lynn Mitchell, chairman (985) 630-2474

You coming from Alabama with a banjo on your knee? You got guitar dreams and violin visions or a near madness for the mandolin? You think the bass
is boss?
Well if you got a penchant for American roots music and developing or skilled acoustic acumen come to the Dew Drop Social and Benevolent Jazz
Hall on March 29 for the first ever open mike celebration of stringed instruments sponsored by the Friends of the Dew Drop.
Called The Dew Drop Unplugged, this celebration of acoustic music including jazz will be from 2-6 pm inside the historic 1995 Dew Drop in the 400 block of Lamarque St. in Old Mandeville , the oldest virtually unaltered rural jazz dance hall in the world and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The four hours of music will be free to the public and it is anticipated some musicians may create impromptu groups and also play outside under
the canopy of ancient live oaks framing the Dew Drop building. Home cooked food will be available for a nominal fee, prepared by woman members of the First Free Mission Baptist Church next door to the Dew Drop. This is the first spring event at the Dew Drop according to Lynn Mitchell, a Mandeville architect specializing in historic reconstruction, and newly elected chairman of the Friends of the Dew Drop. The Friends are an all-volunteer group chartered by the state as a non-profit organization
dedicated to the preservatio of the building, education and exposure to the world of its historic role in the development of New Orleans jazz and
use as a continuing musical venue.
"The concept of our first ever unplugged afternoon is to give our area musicians, some skilled and some just learning, a chance to meet and mingle, play music together, entertain the public and learn instrument skills from each other,'' said Mitchell.
Michael O'Brien, an Old Mandeville contractor specializing in historic reconstruction and owner of Mar Villa Guest House on Claiborne Street, is
helping in notifying area musicians of the event. An ardent Dew Drop supporter, he is also a musician. He can be reached at (985) 626-5975.
Also helping inform musicians is Mark Flynn, a musician, and recently named to the new Friends of the Dew Drop advisory board. He can be reached at (985) 626-1677.
"Bring an instrument and join in. We expect a variety of combinations during the afternoon with various musicians joining one group and then
hoping back on stage to sit in with another. And we are anticipating a lot of spontaneous outdoors picking under the trees,'' Flynn said.
Board member Trilby Lenfant said the concept is to keep the event virtually unstructured to encourage an afternoon of spontaneous music. "We
are striving for a four-hour jam session atmosphere,'' she said.
Mitchell said all forms of acoustic roots music will be welcomed. "This is a bit of a departure for this one event because the Dew Drop's important place in American and world musical history is that it was the first major active venue outside New Orleans in the early 1900s where pioneers of New Orleans jazz -- Kid Ory, Bunk Johnson, Buddy Petit and others -- could play in a then rural setting to full houses and expand the vocabulary of the new musical form they were creating in the city,''
Mitchell said.
"But an event of this sort fits our more encompassing mission of letting the Dew Drop envelop other forms of contemporary American music,'' he said.
Mitchell said those who wish to come and play can contact O'Brien or Flynn in advance but it is not necessary. "If you play a stringed instrument and want to trade some licks with others, just show up and everyone who comes to play will be to be on stage during the four hours,'' he said.
Fans who just want to listen can seat inside the building or bring bag chairs and sit under the oaks hearing the on stage music wafting out of large open shutters along the sides of the building.
This event is one of three funded in part this year by a state
Decentralized Arts Funding Grant administered through the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs.
Dew Drop Unplugged will be followed on April 5 by the second mini-jazz
> festival also funded by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation. That 2-4 p.m. event will cost $10 and focus are at
least four musical groups in New Orleans that are garnering critical attention for their creation of a new local musical genre combining world
music, gypsy music, Caribbean music with elements of traditional New Orleans jazz.
Bands are still being secured for that event and details will be announced soon along with the pre-sale of tickets.
The third Dew Drop event is a master class for 30 selected talented musical students who will work with internationally known jazz musician
Don Vappie of Covington. The students will be selected from Mandeville and Fontainebleau High Schools and Mandeville, Monteleone and
Fontainebleau junior high schools. Working with Vappie they will learns skills in composition, improvising and ensemble instrument mixing and they will contribute to creation of an original piece of jazz music.
That original piece along with several standards will be performed by the students and Vappie at a free concert on May 31 at the Dew Drop.
The students are still being selected and details of the event will be released shortly.