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Volume 21/Issue 7/2003

Rip & Marsha



by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain 
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

French Quarter Fest Celebrates 20th Anniversary Apr. 10-13

This year, French Quarter Festival celebrates 20 years of showcasing New Orleans' unique culture and heritage with an anniversary edition that will be better than ever and, as always, free. The event will again bring an estimated crowd of 300,000 to the streets of the historic Vieux Carr, (from Canal St. to Esplanade Ave. and Bourbon St. to the Mississippi River) for the best local music, food and fun. Festivities begin with a T.G.I.F. (Thanks Goodness It's Festival) Fundraising Party on April 10 and continue all weekend long, from 11am until 10pm on Fri. and Sat. and until 9pm on Sun.

MUSIC - As Louisiana's largest free annual music event, French Quarter Festival is proud to present the finest, most diverse array of local and regional entertainment on 15 stages throughout Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Jackson Square, the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint, Bourbon Street and Royal Street. From traditional and modern jazz to brass bands and Brazilian combos, from folk to funk, rhythm & blues, classical, Cajun & zydeco and everything in between, there will be something for all live music lovers to enjoy. Over 150 bands will be featured, including Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Donald Harrison, Jr., Marva Wright, Coco Robicheaux, Papa Grows Funk, Irie Vibrations, Lil' Rascals Brass Band, Dejan's Olympia Brass Band, Leigh "Lil' Queenie" Harris, Friendly Travelers, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., & the Zydeco Twisters, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Pfister Sisters, Hackberry Ramblers and Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys.

FOOD - Another festival highlight is the "World's Largest Jazz Brunch," with nearly 60 food booths covering Jackson Square, Woldenberg Park and the Old U.S. Mint, operated by locally-renowned restaurants. Festival-goers can enjoy delicious dishes such as Seafood Pasta with Lobster Brandy Sauce, Alligator Sausage on a Stick, Crawfish & Goat Cheese Crepes, Corn & Crawfish Bisque, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Drummettes, Sweet Potato Praline Pie and White Chocolate Bread Pudding at reasonable prices ranging from $2-$4.

EVENTS - The three-day weekend will also be packed with several special events, beginning with the opening parade on Fri. April 11, at 10am. City officials will lead a parade of musicians and revelers down Bourbon Street to Jackson Square for an opening ceremony with the French Quarter Festival All-Star Band, including a special guest appearance by Pete Fountain. Other free events include children's activities, historic courtyard tours, music workshops, fireworks over the Mississippi, Gumbo Ya Ya's "Guess the Weight of the World's Largest Praline" contest, art shows, exhibits and various other interactive activities throughout the French Quarter. For more information, call 800.673.5725 or 504.522.5730 or visit www.fqfi.org.

French Quarter Festival 2003 is sponsored by Miller LITE and Coca-Cola, and is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., the non-profit organization which also produces the Satchmo SummerFest in August and Christmas New Orleans Style in December.

1st Annual Marigny Bunny Hop Sat., Apr. 19

The 1st Annual Marigny Bunny Hop is set for Sat., April 19, 1:30pm beginning at Coffee, Friends, and..., 2401 Burgundy St. in New Orleans. According to organizer Carl Meyer, "With more and more businesses opening in the neighborhood, we wanted to start something new and truly unique that would be for our neighborhood." "The idea behind the Bunny Hop is very simple. Approximately 24 to 40 people will participate in a small walking tour of the local bars in the Marigny. The participants will make their own Easter Bonnet which will be judged by each of the bar owners/managers."

The pub tour includes Country Club, Chet's, Big Daddy's, Friendly Bar, Kims 940, Phoenix, concluding at Cowpokes. Each bar will offer special drink prices to anyone in a bonnet. The bonnet contest categories include Biggest Hat-Big Daddy's, Best Spring Garden Hat-Country Club, Campiest Hat-Chet's, Most Original Hat-Friendly Bar, Most Feminine Hat-Kims 940, Most Butch Hat-Phoenix and Best Overall Hat-Cowpokes.

For more information call 504.948.7401.

4th Gay Easter Parade Festivities in Full Swing; Parade Set for Easter Sunday, Apr. 20, 4:30pm

The 4th Annual Official New Orleans Gay Easter Parade festivities are in full swing with fund-raisers, receptions and parties scheduled. Friends Helping Friends is the 2003 theme and benefits Food For Friends under the direction of the NO/AIDS Task Force. All proceeds minus parade expenses benefit Food For Friends.

Founder Lance Ford and Ambush Mag present the annual spectacle which showcases the fashion and creativity of the entire GLBT community. Parade attire includes tuxedos, summer suits or Easter dresses/suits with Easter hats/bonnets. Cross dressing is allowed. Nudity or partial nudity is not allowed. Sexually explicit beads or throws of that nature are not allowed.
EGM IV George Simons
Photo: GrahamStudioOne.COM

The parade rolls through the streets of the French Quarter on Easter Sunday, Apr. 20, 4:30pm beginning at N. Rampart and St. Ann Streets. Led by Easter Grand Marshals [EGMs] IV George Simons and Electra City, this year's parade promises to be the largest yet with some 58 units including 3 bands, 2 equestrian clubs, 31 carriages, 1 float, convertibles, walking groups and motorcycle clubs. For parade info contact Producer Carl Ford at 504.523.4700.

Parade lineup begins at St. Philip and North Rampart starting at 3pm. The parade travels down N. Rampart, left on Toulouse, left on Decatur, left on Dumaine, left on Royal, right on Bienville, right on Bourbon, left on St. Louis, right on Burgundy, right on St. Ann ending at the corner of St. Ann and Royal Streets.

The first major fund-raiser, Spring Fever 2003! A Star Studded Benefit Gala, was presented by EGM IV Electra City Apr. 6 at Angles in Metairie. The gala raised $1,200 including $400 cash, $500 from Jay Cooper & James Creech, $200 from Chuck Turner & Bill Miller/Angles-4 Seasons-Double Play-Billy's and $100 from Ambush. In addition to City, the show starred Tittie Toulouse, Lauren Brown, Bambi & The Dixie Chunks, Queen Amon Ra XXXVIII Giselle Bouvier, Princesse Stephaney, Krystal Charbonnet, Jay Cooper, Tiffany Holiday, Donnie Jay & the Slutpuppy Revue as well as several others.
EGM IV Electra City
Photo: GrahamStudioOne.COM

The final 3 fund-raisers are set for April 11, 13 and 14. Up first on Friday, Apr. 11, is EPD (Easter Parade Dance) at Kims 940 Night Club, 940 Elysian Fields. EPD features the talents of DJ Z in honor of EGMs IV George and Electra. Beginning at 10pm, the event will also treat guests to a buffet. Door donation is $5.

The 2nd Annual Super Star Studded Benefit Extravaganza is up on Sun., Apr. 13, 8-10pm, at Cowpokes, 2240 St. Claude Ave. Emcee Glenn Johnson will bring over 25 dazzling stars and legends from the New Orleans area to the stage. This production also honors EGMs IV George and Electra, and is presented by Lance Ford and Ambush Mag. Door donation is $10.

Mon., Apr. 14 brings the closing fund-raiser, The Tits & Ass Benefit Gala hosted at the Corner Pocket, 940 St. Louis in the French Quarter. EGM IV Electra City is special guest along with the Tits & Ass Cast.

The parties continue on Easter Weekend with the Grand Marshals Reception: The Purple Party on Sat., Apr. 19, 7-9pm at Chet's, 706 Franklin. The dressy affair features entertainer Janice Medlock live and a complimentary buffet courtesy of Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli.

Easter Sunday, Apr. 20 brings the Official Pre-Parade Party & Buffet to 7th Circle, 820 N. Rampart, from 3-4:30pm. The Official Gay Easter Parade rolls at 4:30pm sharp. The Official Post-Parade Party & Buffet is hosted at Oz, 800 Bourbon St., following the parade at 5:30pm. LeRoundup, 819 St. Louis St. will host the Official Grand Marshals' Dinner Reception at 6:30pm. Of course all events honor EGMs IV George & Electra.

This year's parade is brought to you by sponsors including Platinum: Queen Fashions, and Pat O'Rourke/Latter & Blum; Gold: Clarence Jackson, Le Roundup, Mid-City Carriages, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, and Oz; Silver: Chet's Queens' Pub, Corner Pocket, Cowpokes, Eclipse Band, Lance V. Ford & Carl J. Ford, 4 Seasons, Friendly Bar, Quartermaster: The Nellie Deli, 7th Circle, and Tommy's On The Park Flowers; and Bronze: EMG III Timm Holt, and Tom & Bob Bohler. Visit www.GayEasterParade.COM.

The Jazz Lense, an Exhibition of Skip Bolen & Steven Forster Works Opens Apr. 24

An exhibition of Skip Bolen's 20 x 24 inch black & white jazz photographs and Steven Forster's 4 by 6 foot Fuji archive color jazz photographs, The Jazz Lense, will be on exhibit at John Stinson Fine Arts at 900 South Peters Street, located in the historic New Orleans Arts District, from April 24 through May 31, 2003.
Jeremy Davenport by Skip Bolen

SKIP BOLEN: Shooting primarily in black and white, using only available light with a Leica camera system, Skip Bolen is dedicated to "capturing the moment" of some of today's most exciting jazz performers on and offstage, revealing images infused with the spontaneous intensity, raw energy and collaborative spirit of the live jazz performance. Photographs on exhibit include Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews on trumpet, Dave Brubeck on piano, Roland Guerin on bass, Donald Harrison Jr. on alto sax, Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn, Ellis Marsalis on piano, Jason Marsalis on vibes, Irvin Mayfield on trumpet, Nicholas Payton on flugelhorn and trumpet, vocalist Jimmy Scott, James Singleton on bass, Mark Whitfield on guitar, vocalist Cassandra Wilson, and many more. The exhibit also includes images shot in and around New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that capture the essence and soul of the Big Easy.

Skip Bolen's jazz photography has appeared in the CBS News Productions' episode of "Legendary Hangouts" hosted by Morley Safer. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Jazz Day L.A. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Los Angeles Jazz Society's Annual Jazz Tribute and Awards Dinner & Concert. His photography has been featured in various leading International and local jazz publications and newspapers, as well as various major label CD packages. In addition to his day job as the Creative Director of House of Blues in L.A., he currently freelances for several publications. He is a member of the Jazz Photographers Association, Jazz Journalists Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Los Angeles Jazz Society and Advertising Photographers of America.

STEVEN FORSTER: For the first time in seven years, award-winning photographer Steven Forster has opened up his portfolio to feature large 4 by 6 ft Fuji Archive photographs of Jazz Musicians in New Orleans for this exhibition at John Stinson Fine Arts.

Steven Forster is an Award winning photographer, a New Orleans native and has been a professional photographer for more than twenty years. His work is in public and private collections, among them the Historic New Orleans Collection, as well as exhibiting twice at the New Orleans Museum of Art and many exhibitions at the Mario Villa Gallery in New Orleans and Chicago. He has had more than eight thousand photographs published worldwide-for, among others, the A&E Network, People Magazine, Court TV, the Associated Press, Fox Sports, Elle Magazine, TV Guide, Washington Monthly, Ambush, Gambit and Figaro newspapers, New Orleans Magazine, LesBeaux Arts, Women's Wear Daily, and the late, lamented Impact. He was Photo Editor for Roll Call newspaper in Washington, D.C. Forster is the featured photographer in The Practical Handbook For The Emerging Artist.

He currently writes and photographs the Big Easy page in the Sunday edition of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and has won three Alpha awards, one for his "Visible Women," a series of portraits of local female notables in virtually every field of endeavor, and the other two for his Big Easy page. In 2002 Steven Forster won the Acclaim Award from The Forum For Equality for his photography. And Steven was the last person known to have photographed Ethel Merman.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. John Stinson Fine Arts is located on the ground floor of the Paragon Lofts building at 900 South Peters St., corner of St. Joseph Street in the Historic Arts District of New Orleans, one block from the entrance to the Convention Center and walking distance from the French Quarter. Hours are Mon. through Fri., from 10am - 7pm; Sat. from Noon - 5pm and by appointment. Contact John Stinson at 504.566.1944 or stinson@johnstinsonfinearts.com or visit www.johnstinsonfinearts.com.

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