Uptown musician Kate Fagan finds herself suddenly too cool

By Jeanne D’Arcy, Uptown Messenger

More than four decades after its release, Uptown musician Kate Fagan’s “I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool” and Fagan herself have caught the public’s attention. 

When she recorded “I Don’t Wanna Be Too Cool” (Side B: “Waiting for the Crisis”) in 1979, the singer-songwriter was making waves in the Chicago punk rock scene. Fagan hustled for exposure — printing and distributing fliers, calling radio station DJs — but never gained much traction beyond her ardent fan base. 

With her punk days behind her, Fagan had been living in New Orleans for nearly 10 years when a New York City number popped up on her phone. She picked up, thinking it could be an old friend, and found herself talking to a record producer from the Omnian Music Group in Brooklyn. They wanted to reissue the single on their new rerelease label Manufactured Recordings. The producer told Fagan: “I want you to be our first project.”

Fagan still had the original recording.

Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp offers new workshop on hip-hop

The 29th annual Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp will, for the first time, For the first time, offer classes in hip-hop. They will be taught by two of that industry’s most notable professionals: Grammy-winning producer and songwriter Adam “BlaqnMilD” Pigott and Grammy-winner rapper, producer and singer Darius “Deezle” Harrison. 

The jazz camp will take place June 19 through July 7 at Loyola University’s Communications and Music Complex, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Aspiring young musicians ages 10 through 21 are urged to apply now, said Jackie Harris, executive director of camp and the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Educational Foundation. Classes have traditionally been offered in woodwinds, brass, piano, electric and upright bass, drums, strings, vocals, large and small ensembles, big band, music theory, and swing and second-line dance.

Neutral Ground exiled after 40 years on Danneel Street

New Orleans’ oldest coffeehouse and longest running open mic night is looking for a new location. After more than 40 years on Danneel Street, the building has been sold to new owners and the Neutral Ground Coffee House has lost its lease. At the end of April, the coffeehouse and entertainment venue will be without a home. The owners of the nonprofit will continue their Sunday open mic night with the help of NOLA Spaces on Toledano Street near St. Charles Avenue but are actively looking for a new building.

No-fee Jazz Fest tickets available for one day at Tipitina’s


The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is holding a one-day sale of no-fee tickets at Tipitina’s, 501 Napoleon Ave., on Saturday (April 8) from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Announced Monday (April 4) on the WWOZ website, this opportunity for locals gives Jazz Fest fans a chance to purchase tickets in person, without online processing fees. Only the $85 single-day advance tickets will be sold. Weekend passes, VIP options and other packages will not be available at this venue. And in line with Jazz Fest’s new cashless policy, payment must be with a credit card. WWOZ 90.7 FM, a community radio station, is owned by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, according to the Jazz Fest website.

Neutral Ground Coffee House owners prepare for a potential ‘exile’

Caroline Williams, known by most as Phant, broke down in tears at the front door of Neutral Ground Coffeehouse. Someone waiting at the door mistook the Neutral Ground co-owner for a Realtor looking to sell the building where the coffee shop lives. That’s how Williams and James Naylor learned their coffeehouse could lose its longtime home. They don’t know when they will have to go, Williams said, but they’ve already begun preparing for Neutral Ground to be in “exile” if the building sells. Neutral Ground Coffee House is a “community space, part gallery, half stage,” often referred to as a safe third place for patrons.

City seizes the blighted Buddy Bolden house, NOLA.com reports

The city seized the blighted Central City shotgun where legendary jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden once lived, stating the owner, Greater St. Stephen Ministries, let fines for minimum property maintenance pile up unpaid, Doug MacCash reports on NOLA.com. Grammy winning musician PJ Morton, the son of the St. Stephen pastors, announced plans in 2019 to renovate the Bolden house at 2309-11 First St. and a twin shotgun double next door into a museum and community recording studio, but has allowed it to deteriorate for years.

Oak Street Po-Boy Festival is back, with music on four stages and a truck

After a two-year absence, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, the popular event celebrating New Orleans’ beloved sandwich, will return Sunday (Nov. 6). The 14th annual festival will host more than 40 food vendors, four stages of music (plus a piano truck stage), an arts market and kids zone. The 2022 festival will also highlight the history of the po-boy with special programming and events, organizers said in a press release. ​The festival traditionally features a po-boy competition, where local restaurants battle for top honors.