Zach Brien

Jan 212019
 

Video by Zach Brien, Uptown Messenger

The city paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday at the New Orleans Jazz Market on  and a march from the Market to A.L. Davis Park in Central City. Marc Morial, former mayor of New Orleans and president and CEO of the National Urban League, delivered an address at the Jazz Market. There, he talked about New Orleans’ key role in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, co-founded and led by King.

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Jan 102019
 

A.J. Allegra, far right, director of musical theater at Lusher, speaks with Stavros Koumbaros, center, and Paige Smallwood, left, of the musical Les Miserables in front of a group of 35 students. The play is at the Saenger Theater from January 8 through 13th. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Theater students from a local high school had the opportunity to hear from two actors from “Les Miserables,” a Tony award-winning musical playing at the Saenger Theatre until Jan. 13.

On Wednesday, Paige Smallwood and Stavros Koumbaros, actors from “Les Miserables,” spoke with 35 theater students at Lusher Charter School on Freret Street. During the event arranged by Broadway in New Orleans and the Orleans Parish School Board, the actors answered questions from A.J. Allegra, director of the musical theater division at Lusher, and directly from the students themselves.

Smallwood and Koumbaros are recent college graduates. Some students were curious as to how they knew they wanted a career in theater.

“If you’re passionate about it now, do it,” Underwood said.

Paige Smallwood, right, actor from Les Miserables, answers questions from theater students at Lusher Charter School on Wednesday.  (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

“Regardless of what field you go into,” Koumbaros said. “You have to go into it passionately. It’s totally OK to do that.”

Smallwood and Koumbaros are young enough to remember being in these students’ shoes. They know what it means for those students to hear from professionals.

“’One of my mentors said that we are like birds. We see the shiny things and we take the shiny things,’” Smallwood said, speaking about passing on knowledge to a younger generation. “I’m just hoping that I can give them some ‘shiny stuff’ to take along the way.”

Jan 072019
 

Revelers clamor for beads from the Phunny Phorty Phellows as the streetcar rolls down Carrollton Avenue toward St. Charles Avenue on Sunday.

Photos by Zach Brien, Uptown Messenger

On Sunday, Carnival season began in New Orleans. The Phunny Phorty Phellows, a krewe dating back to the late 19th century, rang in the season with their annual parade on a St. Charles Avenue streetcar. The krewe began its Twelfth Night streetcar parade in 1982.

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Dec 222018
 

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews signs a book for his former teacher Rozetta Millner during the “Toys From Troy” event at Warren Easton Charter High School on Friday.

Photos by Zach Brien, MidCityMessenger.com

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, internationally-renowned trombonist and Warren Easton graduate, returned to his alma mater on Friday, Dec. 21 bearing gifts. Andrews hosted his second annual “Toys From Troy” toy giveaway. The second annual event also featured pictures with Santa and a performance by students at the Trombone Shorty Academy. Continue reading »

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Dec 112018
 
Poppy Tooker book signing

Areme Marks, left, talks with Poppy Tooker, right, after Marks got her copy of “Pascale’s Manale Cookbook” signed at Octavia Books on Saturday, Dec. 8. The book includes a history about the restaurant and its founders as well as select recipes from the restaurant. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Poppy Tooker—chef, radio show host, author and cooking instructor—published her most recent book on one of New Orleans’ most historic restaurants: “Pascal’s Manale Cookbook.”

Having published a book in 2015 on one of New Orleans’ historic restaurants, Tujague’s, her newest subject was a fitting next step.

“People said, ‘What do you want to do next?’ This [Manale’s book] seemed to be the only thing I could think of,” Tooker said. “This is the second-oldest continuously operating family-owned restaurant [in New Orleans]. So both Tujague’s and Manale’s are second to Antoine’s. That [Tujague’s] book has already been written.”

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Dec 042018
 

Photos by Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Lower Garden District Association announced the completion of the Lafon Fountain in Coliseum Square Park.

The fountain is dedicated to preservationist Howard Schmalz, who was instrumental in getting the Lower Garden District placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in defeating a Mississippi River bridge that would have cut into the heart of the neighborhood.

The public can once again enjoy Lafon Fountain in Coliseum Square after two decades of dormancy. The Lower Garden District Association raised nearly $100,000 for the restoration of the fountain and an endowment fund for its maintenance.

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Nov 072018
 

Bruce Reilly shows off a cake he and his daughter Kira Love, 9, made together, in honor of Amendment 2, which will require unanimous juries in non-capital felony cases. Supporters of the state constitutional amendment gathered in the Jazz Market on Nov. 6 to watch election results come in. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

By Zach Brien, zbrien@nolamessenger.com

Election day in New Orleans saw a high turnout for a mid-term ballot, and voters kept U.S. House incumbents Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, in their seats. But the biggest local celebrations turned out for a down-ballot constitutional amendment.

Supporters of Louisiana’s Amendment 2 gathered Nov. 6 at the New Orleans Jazz Market on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard to watch election results at a party put on by the Unanimous Jury Coalition. The amendment requires unanimous juries to convict people of any felony count.

Going into Tuesday night, Louisiana and Oregon were the only states where defendants can be convicted of felonies without unanimous verdicts. Non-unanimous juries are considered a vestige of the Jim Crow era, when racial segregation was written into laws after the Civil War. Unanimity already was required in capital trials and those for lesser felonies decided by six-member juries.

At around 10 p.m., it was announced that the amendment passed with 64 percent of the vote, ending the 120-year practice. It take effect next year, when it will be applied to trials involving crimes committed on or after Jan. 1, 2019.

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Oct 022018
 

Corey Henry plays trombone with Galactic during their Halloween show at Tipitina’s on October 28. Galactic and the Soul Rebels will play a benefit show at Tipitina’s on October 4 for victims of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com

On Thursday, October 4, Galactic and The Soul Rebels will perform at Tipitina’s in a benefit show for victims of Hurricane Florence, a category four hurricane that hit North Carolina and the east coast in September. The storm caused upwards of $38 billion in damage according to the National Weather Service. Continue reading »

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Sep 282018
 

NOPD officers investigate a crime scene at the Shell station on the corner of S. Carrollton and Earhart on Friday, September 28. One man was found fatally shot in the chest.

A man was found shot to death Friday morning at a gas station on South Carrollton Avenue, and a homicide investigation is now in progress there, New Orleans police said. Continue reading »

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Aug 252018
 

Queen Keri Lee, left, and King Robustus XXXII Paul Bel, right, lead the Krewe of O.A.K. back down Oak street to the Maple Leaf Bar for their ball. The 31st annual parade rolled with the theme “Hard Oak for your Tongue and Groove.” (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Outrageous and Kinky (O.A.K) rolled their 31st annual midsummer Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, August 25. The parade began at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak, down Oak, left on Carrollton and stopped at Palmer Park. They finished back at the Maple Leaf where O.A.K. held their ball. O.A.K.’s theme this year was “Hard Oak for your Tongue and Groove.” Their King Robustus XXXII was Paul Bel and queen was Keri Lee. Bel, a contractor, maintains Jacque-Imo’s and part of the Maple Leaf.

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Jun 242018
 

The Uptown Swingers march down Washington avenue towards their first stop at the Purple Rain bar. The Uptown Swingers rolled their annual parade, starting at 4622 Loyola, finishing at Tapps II and Fox Bar, on Sunday, June 24. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

The Uptown Swingers Social Aid and Pleasure club closed out the second line season on Sunday, June 24 with their annual parade.

Eric Gordon blows his horn down Magnolia street. The Uptown Swingers rolled their annual parade, starting at 4622 Loyola, finishing at Tapps II and Fox Bar, on Sunday, June 24. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

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Jun 122018
 

The second line for Eva Louis “Tee Eva” Perry, who died on Thursday, June 8 at 83, marches down Prytania before finishing at the Kingpin Bar. Tee Eva was known for her praline and pie shop at 5201 Magazine, singing with Ernie K-Doe and participating in the baby dolls at Mardi Gras. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

 

“Tee Eva” Perry, who was widely known for both her Magazine Street praline shop and her representation of the New Orleans baby doll tradition, was memorialized Monday night with a second line in her honor after her death last week at age 83.

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Apr 022018
 

Walter “Wolfman” Washington plays with his teeth during his performance at Jazz in the Park in Armstrong Park June 25, 2015. Washington is set to release a new album produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Walter “Wolfman” Washington, a veteran in the New Orleans scene for many years, is set to release his first studio album in 10 years: My Future is My Past.

This new record is unlike any he has ever done. He is recording without his band, The Roadmasters, who he has been playing with for nearly 40 years. There is no shortage of talent on this record, however, which features New Orleans’ stars singer Irma Thomas, pianist Jon Cleary, drummer Stanton Moore, and organist Ivan Neville.

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Mar 262018
 

 

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians sings on LaSalle street during Super Sunday on March 25. Indians from across the city gathered at the annual event at A.L. Davis Park at the corner of Washington and LaSalle. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Sunday, March 25, Mardi Gras Indians and Social Aid and Pleasure clubs converged on A.L. Davis Park on Washington and LaSalle in Central City for the annual Super Sunday event. The event was postponed one week after weather concerns.

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Mar 192018
 

 

 

Dale Cooney, left, receives a kiss from from Callie, the five-month-old dog on Magazine street. The 2018 Irish Channel parade took its typical route down Magazine street on Saturday, March 17. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Saturday, March 17, the annual Irish Channel Parade rolled down Magazine street.

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