‘Out of time and options,’ Live Oak Cafe is latest casualty of pandemic losses

The Live Oak Cafe — the epitome of Oak Street’s laid-back, creative vibe — is closing its doors Sunday (May 8) after its Mother’s Day brunch. Announcing the closure on the cafe’s Facebook page, chef and owner Clare Leavy said that the uptick in business during Carnival season was not enough to overcome the losses experienced during the pandemic. “Simply put, we are out of time and options,” Leavy stated. The cafe is known for its fresh, down-home renditions of classic brunch fare with dishes such as Sweet Potato Benedict and its beloved Shrimp & Grits. And every meal at Live Oak has been served with a side of live music.

Buku Music & Art Festival celebrates a decade at Mardi Gas World on Saturday and Sunday

The 2022 Buku Music & Art Festival, a celebration of the progressive subculture of New Orleans, will take place at Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, on Saturday (March 26) and Sunday (March 27) from 1 to 11 p.m.

Residents in the Lower Garden District and Irish Channel may feel the impact of traffic. Parking will be in the Convention Center parking lots. The festival attracts about 20,000 music fans. No street closures are anticipated; however, traffic congestion is expected along Tchoupitoulas Street. Buku organizers have contracted officers assigned to traffic and perimeter detail.

Freret Street helps revive festival season on Saturday. Here’s the music lineup.

On Saturday (March 26), the Freret Street Festival will take over the popular restaurant and entertainment corridor. The six-block street party features 18 bands music on three stages (see the lineup below). The headliners include Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, Squirrel Queen, Erica Falls and Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers. Alongside the 46 brick-and-mortar restaurants, bars and shops on Freret, the free festival includes a food court featuring top local chefs and more than 200 arts and crafts vendors. Plus there’s a children’s area with inflatables, a petting zoo, alligator meet and greets, arts and crafts, clowns and stilt walkers.

For rapper Alfred Banks, Uptown is ‘where I came from, where I’m at and where I want to go’

A few days after hip-hop artist Alfred Banks returned to his Uptown apartment from a Hurricane Ida evacuation, his ceiling caved in. Mold began to penetrate his apartment. So he left for Dallas and, after some texts to a few connections, ended up doing three shows there. “Not coming from a lot financially, not having financial backing and not being signed to a record label, you have to be resourceful as an independent artist,” he said. “It’s just mandatory.”

Banks, 30, is making a full-time living from his music for the first time in his life.

Holiday markets and events make the yuletide bright across Uptown neighborhoods

A wide variety of markets in Uptown neighborhoods give you the chance to find the perfect Christmas gift for family and friends while supporting local artists and businesses. Plus, browsing a market is more fun than shopping online or in the big-box stores. If you want to forget about the shopping and just sit back and enjoy the festive spirit, you can take in a concert inside one of Uptown’s resplendent churches. A list of markets and other holiday events is below. Christmas markets

Nov.

Bayou Relief Porch Concert with Amanda Shaw at CR Coffee Nov. 27th (sponsored)

Free Porch Concert and artisan coffee/teas is the perfect mix to bring a burst of energy to Uptown for Small Business Saturday. Music will fill the air on Magazine St. Nov. 27th, thanks to CR Coffee Shop and special guest Amanda Shaw. As we enter the season of gratitude and giving, this festive event will be an opportunity for the community to donate to The Amanda Shaw Foundation Fund while supporting their local cafe. While strolling Magazine, guests will get into the holiday spirit by enjoying the sweet sounds of Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys and sipping one of their favorite CR favorites.

Ursuline Academy announces Fall Festival with lawn concert on Nov. 14 (sponsored)

The concert on the lawn at Ursuline Academy in New Orleans will feature three performances: The Hundreds Brass Band — The Original Pinettes — Charmaine Neville. Here in New Orleans, festivals play an essential role in celebrating our unique culture. After a year of virtual concerts and drive-by events, fall 2021 is finally gearing up for the return of live gatherings. 

Ursuline Academy is joining in the revelry with a Fall Festival on State Street featuring music, food and fun. Ursuline will kick off its inaugural Fall Festival on Sunday, Nov. 14, from 1 to 5 p.m. with a musical celebration featuring live performances from three of New Orleans’ most beloved bands.