On Saturday, family and friends gathered at the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club headquarters on Broad Street to remember Wilbert “Mr. Chill” Wilson. Wilson owned Mr. Chill’s First Class Cuts and Mr. Chill’s First Class Hot Dogs & Sweet Pastries, both on Carrollton Avenue. After his Broadmoor barber shop flooded in the Katrina levee breaches, Wilson put up a tent at an abandoned gas station and began cutting hair, creating a popular post-disaster gathering spot and attracting national media. Wilson died Dec. 26 after along battle with pancreatic cancer.
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Gia Maione Prima Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase presented “Tunes for Toys” at Tipitina’s. For the price of one unwrapped toy, fans could see the Trombone Shorty Academy band, New Breed Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band. All of the toys collected were donated to Trombone Shorty’s toy giveaway, Toys from Troy, at his alma mater, Warren Easton High School. The toys will be given away at Warren Easton today in an event hosted by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and featuring Santa Claus as well as the Trombone Shorty Academy players.
Tropical Storm Barry continued to cause rain and sparse street flooding Uptown for the second day. On Sunday, however, many residents were out and about. Restaurants, bars and grocery stores opened and the city slowly came back to life.
Friday marked the beginning of Tipitina’s Free Fridays series, which runs from May 17 to August 30. The series began with one of the most storied families in New Orleans music, the Nevilles. Omari Neville and the Fuel opened the night and his father, Cyril, closed with his band Swamp Funk. This is the first of this series since members of Galactic acquired the venue. Omari Neville and the Fuel
Tuesday was the second day of the three-day Crawfish Festival at Central City Barbecue on South Rampart Street. The day featured the percussion-heavy Mike Dillon Band and the funky stylings of Eric Kresno, George Porter Jr., Ivan Neville, Ari Teitel, Jermal Watson and more. The day also featured a a crawfish-eating competition. Ten contestants had 10 minutes to consume as much crawfish as possible. The winner, Aaron Burgau, ate 5.97 pounds in 10 minutes, walking away with a $100 prize and bragging rights for a year.
On Monday, cyclists, advocacy groups and city government officials gathered at Booker T. Washington in Central City to discuss issues around cycling in New Orleans. The meetings are part of an effort by New Orleans officials to make the city more bike-friendly and a safer place for cyclists. Bike safety has come more into the spotlight since Frank Fisher, a 34-year-old oil-services worker and lifelong New Orleanian, was killed in February after being struck by a garbage truck while riding on Carrollton Avenue. No citations were written or arrests made in that case. Then, on March 2, the deaths of Sharree Walls, 27, and David Hynes, 31, and the injuries of other cyclists on Esplanade Avenue galvanized the cycling community.
The annual Freret Street festival drew a large crowd on Saturday, April 6, packing the street from curb to curb between Napoleon Avenue and Soniat Street. Performers included Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Debauche, J & the Causeways, Little Freddie King, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers and more.
On Sunday, people gathered in the 8300 block of Oak street, outside of the Maple Leaf Bar to celebrate the legacy of musician and chef Jamie Galloway with live music from the Hundred and One Runners, Billy Iuso, Papa Malie and more — plus crawfish from Seither’s Seafood and Clesi’s Catering. The event serves as a benefit for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.
Leah Chase has been working in what is now Dooky Chase’s restaurant since the 1950s. She still works in the kitchen today, at 96. On Tuesday, she accepted the first 2019 InnovatHER award, presented by TruFund Financial services, honoring her legacy as a female entrepreneur and business owner. The award was presented at a press conference by TruFund Financial Services where they announced their participation in the Wisdom Fund, a national loan fund targeted to women entrepreneurs. The event was held at NOLA Brewery.
The Buku Music + Art Project took over Mardi Gras World for a 7th year with big national names like Lana Del Ray, Dog Blood, and A$AP Rocky. The lineup, however, did not skimp on local talent across musical styles. Performers like Tristan Dufrene from the Cut Off, Thou and Kevin Gates from Baton Rouge, and $uicideboys from New Orleans, showed how Louisiana creates quality music in many contrasting genres. Malik Ninety Five and James Seville—two 23-year-old rappers from Gentilly New Orleans who also performed at the festival—are striving to show the changing definitions of the city’s hip-hop sound. Malik Ninety Five
Malik Ninety Five, who recently released his first album Tragedy Under the Sun, does not want to be limited by the traditional sound of New Orleans hip-hop.