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Volume 22/Issue 8/2004

Rip & Marsha



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

21st French Quarter Festival April 15-18

April 15-18 marks the 21st anniversary and the beginning of a new decade of uniquely New Orleans music, food and fun for the annual French Quarter Festival that attracted nearly 400,000 fans to the historic Vieux Carre in 2003. This award-winning festival which began in 1984 has grown to become Louisiana’s largest free music festival.

Fifteen stages throughout the French Quarter, operating from 11am-10pm Friday and Saturday (and 9pm on Sunday), will present the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to rhythm & blues and New Orleans funk, to brass bands, folk, gospel, classical and international. Even Cajun and zydeco, the popular music from southwest Louisiana, are spotlighted. Some of the scheduled performers include Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Brian Stoltz, Theresa Andersson, Rockin’ Dopsie and Amanda Shaw.

Nearly 60 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint will make up the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch, a signature event, featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants. With dishes reasonably priced around $2-$5. Past dishes included Jambalaya, Cajun Boudin, Crawfish Etouffée, Filé Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, Alligator Sausage, Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, Crawfish Remoulade, Jalepeno Macaroni & Cheese, Crabmeat Ravioli, Seafood Quesadillas, Egg Plant Funky Butt, and libations aplenty.

For more information call 504.522.5730 or visit www.frenchquarterfestival.com.

35th Jazz & Heritage Festival April 23-May 2

A classic Jazz Fest music lineup of Louisiana legends, international stars, and roots-music heroes is set for the landmark 35th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The Festival, which runs Fri., April 23 through Sun., May 2, will also feature an all-star roster of South African artists highlighting the 10th year of their country’s freedom.

Quint Davis, producer/director of Jazz Fest, said, "All of the fun and magic of the previous 34 Festivals will be packed into this one. Great Festival friends are returning and new friends are joining the party for the first time. In an anniversary year, what could be more fitting than a celebration of the heritage of the Festival itself? It’s pure Jazz Fest. I can’t remember a more Jazz Fest Jazz Fest!"

Jazz Fest’s 35th anniversary celebration will include performances by Harry Connick, Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Smokey Robinson, Branford Marsalis, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, B.B. King, Neville Brothers, Shaggy, Emmylou Harris, Steve Miller Band, Irma Thomas, Macy Gray, Etta James, Allen Toussaint, El Gran Combo, Pete Fountain, Jaheim, Odetta, Floetry, Gap Band, Galactic, Hugh Masekela Allstar Musical Tribute to South Africa, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Robert Cray, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dianne Reeves, Dr. John, Deacon John, Me’shell N’degeocello, Blind Boys of Alabama, Frankie Ford, Susan Tedeschi, Buckwheat Zydeco, Carrie Smith, Ellis Marsalis, Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Cowboy Mouth, Lee Williams & the Spiritual QCs, Nicholas Payton, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Corey Harris, Rebirth Brass Band, Zigaboo Modeliste, Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz, Radiators, Davell Crawford, Dorinda Clark-Cole, Banu Gibson, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Balfa Toujours, Ivan Neville, Terence Blanchard, Ronnie Kole, Donald Harrison, Marva Wright, James Rivers, Ricky Dillard, Leo Nocentelli, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and many, many more.

The Festival’s legendary Louisiana Heritage Fair, held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, will run Fri. through Sun., April 23, 24, 25, and Thurs. through Sun., April 29, 30 and May 1 and 2. The Heritage Fair, with its 12 performance stages, has been the signature feature of all 35 Festivals. The Heritage Fair also includes three important crafts fairs (folk, contemporary and African/African-influenced), and booths serving more than 100 different kinds of irresistible Louisiana foods.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s website is www.nojazzfest.com, which presents up-to-the-minute Festival information and much more.

Full Circle: Journey Back to Gospel Concert Celebration April 30 during Jazz Fest

The Ringing Rocks Foundation and First Thessalonians Missionary Baptist Church will sponsor the first annual Gospel Concert Celebration at this Jazz Fest time. This gospel celebration entitled Full Circle: Journey Back to Gospel will be a free special concert in the First Thessalonians Missionary Baptist Church with the purpose of bringing together renowned musicians to honor their elders, community, and gospel roots.

Hosted by Kim Prevost with the best musicians of New Orleans and around the country, including the Zion Harmonizers, Fred Sanders, The Old Time Religion Singers, First Thessalonians and New Belmont Baptist Church Choir, the concert features the performance of an elder’s choir, choir members whose minimal age is 90 years. A documentary team from Chicago led by Tony Labriola, a holder of numerous Emmy awards, is volunteering their time to film the event which will air on the PBS station.

The Ringing Rocks Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the survival and future development of global healing wisdom through education, research, and special projects. They have produced a major museum show at the Smithsonian, sponsored worldwide cultural events, and a critically acclaimed book series, Profiles of Healing.

In keeping with the mission of the Ringing Rocks Foundation, this special event helps to conserve and express the ancestral roots of this musical tradition of African American culture. Of course, in the best of New Orleans tradition, you never know who may show up to join in the celebration. Everything starts at 8pm at the First Thessalonians Missionary Baptist Church, 840 Caffin Ave., New Orleans. For more info please e-mail Kim Prevost (kimbill107@charter.net) or phone 504.220.6551 or visit the foundation’s website www.ringingrocks.org, and click on announcements.

Purple Party & Westbank Reception Raise $1,291 for Gay Easter Parade

The 5th annual Purple Party: Grand Marshals Reception and the 1st Westbank Cocktail Party & Reception brought in $1,291 for this year's Gay Easter Parade which benefits Food For Friends. Both galas honored Easter Grand Marshals V Brett Messmer and Princesse Stephaney.

For the first time, the Purple Party, hosted by Double Play in New Orleans, was a fund-raiser for the parade raising $975. The door raised $295, egg raffles $180, a $250 sponsorship from Double Play and a $250 sponsorship from Petunias. Double Play manager Doc single-handedly prepared the extensive buffet even featuring delicious purple stuffed eggs. Owners Chuck and Bill had the club draped in lavender and purple, and Buddy of St. James Floral Company provided the beautiful table and bar top flowers. The fab buffet table centerpiece was sent courtesy of Charlie Hooper of Biloxi, MS.

Live music was provided courtesy of BLT, a local favorite in the New Orleans area.

Additionally, the Double Play donated $327 in food for the buffet, and $113 in drinks, $12 in stuffed animals and $96 in t-shirts as egg raffle prizes. Door prizes awarded included a $25 and $50 bar tab as well as $15 in liquor for the final drawing, while the Golden Lantern donated a $50 bar tab and Petunias a $50 gift certificate.

The Westbank Cocktail Party & Reception, hosted by DNA in Harvey, raised $316 for the parade. Hosted by Ambush's own Big Diva Phyllis Denmark, the event raised $70 from the 50/50 raffle won by Carla Wild, $50 from the basket raffle and $196 in tips from the stage show performances.

In addition to Denmark, the show featured Auntie Charlotte, Peppermint Patti, Delta Louise Carter, a surprise performance by Lady Magic Necha, and male dancer Ricky.

DNA served a complimentary buffet and Denmark brought in some fab wraps from Bywater Bar.B.Que.

Clint Taylor Joins Cowpokes Staff

Clint Taylor

Cowpokes is pleased to announce a new addition to its fine staff. Clint Taylor will be joining the club starting April 29th. Taylor formerly worked at the Tool Shed in Palm Springs, CA and was Mr. Tool Shed 2000, Mr. Palm Springs Leather 2000 and competed at IML (International Mr. Leather). He currently writes two columns for Pulp magazine, a leather column and a video review. This very busy guy has also done video work with Catalina Video, All Worlds Video, ButchBear.com, BearFilm.com and Grey Rose Productions.

Taylor will be hosting Thirsty Thursdays, Fetish Fridays and Members Only-Black Out Parties every Saturday. Cowpokes wants everyone to welcome Clint Taylor to the area.

New Orleans Pride Fest Sets Fund-raisers After Releasing Past Financial Reports

The fund-raising season for New Orleans Alliance of Pride, producers of New Orleans Pride Festival, has been set following the release publicly of it's past financial statements from 2000-2003.

According to Donnie Jay, spokesperson for the Entertainment/Fund-raising Committee, Sun., April 18th begins a series of benefits with a fund-raising show and raffle at Starlight By The Park, 834 N. Rampart St., 8pm. Admission will be by donation, pay what you can. The event will feature some of the best Drag Queens and Drag Kings the city has to offer. Anyone wishing to participate in entertaining at this event should contact Donnie Jay at 504.523.0140. Space, of course, is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis, but not to worry, there will be room for everybody, as other monthly shows will be held at different venues.

Sat., May 1st, Sexy Bitch Productions will present a benefit show at The Ninth Circle, 700 N. Rampart St., 10pm. Admission will be by donation.

Sat., May 8th, Masquerades Lounge, 3505 Division St., Metairie, will be hosting an auction at 7pm. The Alliance is accepting donations of items to be auctioned off. Please contact Shayne McClain to make donations to this worthy cause, 504.947.0816.

Sat./Sun., May 16th, 5am, the show, Left Over Bitches, will sell raffle tickets and request donations.

In addition, the Board of Pride Fest 2004, wishes to extend an invitation to all members of the vast community to participate in the planning and execution of this 25th anniversary festival. Pride Fest is strictly run by volunteers and the board is looking for as many people as possible to help make this year's anniversary the best and most inclusive festival ever. Your input and expertise is vital for Pride to achieve this end. For more information on how you may be able to help, please contact Thomas Taube at 504.943.0990.

Fund-raising is an important part of Pride Fest, for without the monies generated by the parties, shows, sales and sponsorships, it wound not be able take place. Interested clubs should contact Donnie Jay at 504.523.0140 to schedule a fund-raiser.

Business and individual sponsorships are available as well. For further information contact Shayne McClain at 504.947.0816.

To get things on track this year, the Pride Board voted to make public it's financials from 2000-2003 at it's last board meeting, insuring the credibility of the organization in the eyes of the community.

In 2003, Pride Fest income totaled $37,724.01 from fund-raisers, parade, festival, sponsors and vendors with a total of $33,887.08 in expenses, leaving a positive balance of $3,836.93.

2002 income brought in $22,342.00 and expenses of $30,851.68 with a loss of $8,509.68.

2001 income totaled $36,601.08 and expenses totaling $37,786.86 with a loss of $1,185.78.

2000 income totalled $35,340.23, while expenses totalled $29,548.92 leaving a positive balance of $5,791.31.

Roof Top Sit In Benefits Belle Reve April 22-25

U.B. Productions will present the 2004 Roof Top Sit In, an AIDS awareness benefit for Belle Reve in New Orleans. Beginning on Thurs., Apr. 22nd and ending on Sun., Apr. 25th, the 72 hour feat will feature Harold Short, aka Ursuline Burgundy, on the roof top of Chicken Box at 3101 Elysian Fields, New Orleans.

The local personality will accept contributions by lowering a bucket from the roof top to benefit Belle Reve, a permanent residence for adults and families living with AIDS and HIV infections.

The Roof Top Sit In is sponsored by Chicken Box with co-sponsors Friendly Inn International and P-FLAG New Orleans. For additional info, call 504.945.9455 or 504.669.2757.

Equality Louisiana Visits Shreveport

On Sat., April 24, Equality Louisiana invites the LGBT community of the Greater Shreveport area and its supporters to participate in two important events.

During the day, a Town Hall meeting will be held. Topics will include an "inventory" of Louisiana LGBT rights and the denial of rights, as well as a skills-training program. Attendees will be offered tips on effective advocacy, how to approach your local lawmakers, press relations, writing Letters to the Editor and building a local grassroots infrastructure. As of press time, details for the venue are still being negotiated. Please check later at www.EqualityLA.org for additional details. The event is free and is co-sponsored by the Equality Louisiana Educational Foundation and the Shreveport chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

At 7pm on April 24th, Equality Louisiana will host Shreveport’s first-ever "Community First" Awards Dinner at Smith’s Cross Lake Inn. Recipients of the Community First Award are long-time civil rights advocates Jerry and Sherry Kircus. A minimum contribution of $25 is required for admission to the dinner and awards ceremony. Tickets may be purchased by going to the "Community First" link at www.EqualityLA.org or by calling 318.865.5217. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Equality Louisiana Political Action Committee.

Office of Special Counsel Issues Encouraging Statement

Washington - The federal agency responsible for investigating workplace discrimination issued a statement recently saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited in federal workplaces. HRC was deeply concerned with recent reports that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel was retreating from its long-established policy of investigating and enforcing disciplinary action against sexual orientation-based employment discrimination against federal workers.

"This is an encouraging sign and we look forward to the restoration of full protection," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "No employer should be given a pass on discrimination."

The OSC removed references to sexual orientation-based discrimination from its complaint form, the OSC basic brochure, training slides and a two-page flier entitled "Your Rights as a Federal Employee." The OSC also removed from its website a press release issued by the OSC in June 2003 that announced the settlement of a case involving discrimination based on sexual orientation against an applicant to the Internal Revenue Service. According to today’s statement, the office "intends to review and revise those materials."

"The non-discrimination policy should be clear to every federal employee and employer," added Jacques.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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