Ride by the yellow corner building at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas these days, and you see a line of people spread out on the sidewalk to order coffee at a to-go window. Yes, coffee. Since 1977, this has been the location of the iconic New Orleans’ music club, Tipitina’s. Originally intended to showcase the life’s work of Professor “Fess” Longhair, born Henry Roeland Byrd in 1918, at the end of his career, it quickly grew into one of the most beloved music venues in the city. It has survived changing ownership and changing musical climates, as well as hurricanes, over the years, even briefly closing in 1984.
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.
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
Tipitina’s brings back their annual Free Fridays Concert Series this summer this Friday, May 17 thru August 30. The 10 p.m. kickoff show will feature Cyril Neville with Omari Neville & The Fuel. This will be the first Free Fridays series since Galactic bought Tipitina’s late last year. Future shows will feature Brassaholics, Erica Falls, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes, Khris Royal & Dark Matter, Stooges Brass Band, and more. For more, see the full Tipitina’s calendar.
Galactic band members inherit a culturally rich but financially risky enterprise in Tipitina’s, Keith Spera shows in a chronicle of the music club’s turbulent history for the New Orleans Advocate. Since its founding more than four decades ago by 14 Professor Longhair fans, Tipitina’s has played host to roster of colorful characters both on and off the stage.
Tipitina’s, the legendary music club on Tchoupitoulas Street and Napoleon Avenue, was purchased on Friday by the five members of the local funk band Galactic, the New Orleans Advocate reports. The musicians bought the club from Roland Von Kurnatowski, the embattled local real estate developer who has owned it since the 1990s.
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. Ticket sales will benefit The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a North Carolina-based group that, according to their website, “believes in order to ensure a safe, adequate supply of healthy food, we must protect farm workers and encourage environmentally sound farming. We see environmental sustainability, economic viability, biodiversity, and social justice as inextricably linked. Therefore, the best way to ensure a just, sustainable future for farming is to create a reality where farmers feel supported and protected and have the resources to thrive.”
Doors are at 7 PM and the show is for 8. Tickets cost $20-$25.
The “My Lil’ Darlin'” all-star revue at 8 p.m. Saturday at Tipitina’s will feature performances by Paul Sanchez and The Rolling Road Show, Little Freddie King, Guitar Lightin’ Lee, Robert Parker, The Pfister Sisters and Clarence “Frogman” Henry, with special appearances by, and a tribute to, Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew, according to a post at “Treme” creator David Simon’s website. It will also include appearances by the cast and crew of the show, with ticket sales supporting the Roots of Music education program in New Orleans. Tickets are available at the Tipitina’s website.
A new 5k run replete with costumes and brass bands will raise money Saturday afternoon to support local high school music programs, and an array of legendary New Orleans musicians will participate in a benefit concert afterward to preserve the family home of Professor Longhair — all presented by the Tipitina’s Foundation. Eric Paulsen and our partners at WWL-TV took at detailed look at Fess’ legacy and the effort to restore his home:
The full news release for the two events follows:
Tipitina’s Foundation Presents
The 1st Annual “Rhythm and Blues 5K Run” and
Fess’ House Party “New Orleans Style”:
A Benefit to Renovate & Preserve the Family Home of Professor Longhair
When: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Where: At Tipitina’s Uptown, 501 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans
Time: 5K Race begins at 5:00 p.m. with a post-race party afterwards
Doors Open at 8 p.m. and benefit concert will begin at 8:30 p.m.
The Tipitina’s Foundation, in partnership with the New Orleans Track Club, is proud to announce the 1st Annual “Rhythm & Blues 5k Run” on Saturday, September 29 at 5:00 p.m. Participants will take off from Tipitina’s (corner of Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas) and will run to the beat of New Orleans high school marching bands playing instruments donated by Tipitina’s Foundation along the route, and end the event with food and refreshments at a post-race party on the neutral ground in front of Tipitina’s. Costumes of famous musicians and musical groups are encouraged and awards will be given for the best costumes. Proceeds from the 5K Run will go toward providing New Orleans area high school marching band programs with uniforms, particularly the standard shoes that are required to march. Links for registration and more information will be available at www.runNOTC.org and www.tipitinasfoundation.org
With generous support from The United Way and Project Homecoming, the Tipitina’s Foundation is also hosting a benefit concert after the race. 100% of the proceeds will go towards renovating and preserving the family home of Professor Longhair on Terpsichore Street in New Orleans.