Let Them Talk Symposium

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music 

Free and open to the public. 


11:30AM – A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF ELLA – 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Ella Fitzgerald, whose duets on record with Louis Armstrong in the 1950s remain for many critics and listeners some of the finest music ever recorded. The New Orleans-based Players Ella and Louie Tribute Band is dedicated to presenting the best of Ella and Louie’s repertoire – both on record with 2016’s acclaimed Timeless and in live performances. Veteran Crescent City music producer and artist manager Michael Paz talks with interviewer Fred Kasten about the band’s performing and recording plans and heightened visibility nationally.

12:30PM – THE LATIN SOUL AND CRESCENT CITY FUNK OF LOS PO-BOY-CITOS – Founded just over a decade ago, Los Po-Boy-Citos features a captivating, blend of Latin boogaloo and New Orleans R&B. Los Po-Boy-Citos guitarist and Tulane University associate professor of music,Matt Sakakeeny, discusses the multi-award-winning band with interviewer Fred Kasten.

1:30PM – ALOHA GOLDEN MEADOW – That’s the title of the new music video from the Lost Bayou Ramblers – and also the name of a limited edition beer – a perfect Louisiana match! Founded in 1999 by brothers Andre and Louis Michot, the _Grammy_nominated band continues to bring fresh perspectives, energy and spontaneity to the Cajun tunes the brothers first learned performing with the band formed by their father and uncles in the 1980s, Les Freres Michot. They discuss their musical roots and the evolution of their music with award-winning author and journalist Michael Tisserand.

2:30PM – THE CONTINUING REIGN OF THE SOUL QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS – The great Irma Thomas is – and always will be – “The Soul Queen of New Orleans” – with a string of hits, many written by Allen Toussaint – dating back to the 1950s; dozens of awards including a Grammy; and highly anticipated performances each year at French Quarter Festival. Irma Thomas discusses her remarkable life and soul-stirring music with Grammy producer Scott Billington.

3:30PM – THERE IS A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE – His name is Dr. Michael White– the “house” in question is any top venue for authentic New Orleans jazz – and he is one of the planet’s prime purveyors of that essential music with his Original Liberty Jazz Band – their performances always leave listeners feeling better than they did before the band played. From his earliest days as a fledgling clarinetist in Doc Paulin’s brass band – to his current position as leader of one of the premier New Orleans jazz bands – Michael White has maintained a deep dedication to the music and musicians who make it – and talks about his life in the music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

4:30PM – RIVER’S ON FIRE – That’s the title of the widely-praised CD from ace pianist, organist, songwriter and bandleader John “Papa” Gros – his first release since the long-running group “Papa Grows Funk” disbanded back in 2013. A New Orleans native with more than a quarter century of experience performing a wide variety of New Orleans music, John Gros will talk about his wide-ranging life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.