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The Artists Officially Take Over Downtown Lake Charles!
I would imagine that this is the day most artists in town dream of. A day where portions of downtown are closed off allowing the artists to be the true stars that they are with all the attention on their creations. This annual event is by far one of the most popular events to take place in downtown Lake Charles and it by most definitely one of the most colorful. The Spring Art Walk & Art Battles is organized and presented by The Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA along with other area partners.
AF THE NAYSAYER
Normally we catch up with AF THE NAYSAYER at venues; this time, in studio! - BRAY J
AF THE NAYSAYER is a huge supporter of the HeyBrayJ movement and has done an amazing job linking cities and towns throughout Louisiana while also bringing in out of state talent to experience this birth of new music life in Louisiana. Did we mention he's currently THE Red Bull Music Academy's "Mr. X"? Well listen into the interview and you will understand what that means exactly. He's also the founder of Dolo Jazz Suite, a beautiful traveling show that features some of the best producers, with true talent and creative being displayed.
Download "Imagerial Denouement featuring Myka 9" on Itunes and Bandcamp.
Description: Atmospheric Cosmic Slop and 90's Arcade Classics.
Visit his site: http://www.afthenaysayer.com/
Be sure to listen to both Part I and Part II of the interview. The most in depth we've ever gone, time was most definitely not a factor.
This post is based on my most recent "Lake City Beat" column which is featured in "The Jambalaya News".
With Mardi Gras behind us, you might be wondering what we can celebrate next. There's no reason the good times have to stop rolling. With the numerous festivals, outdoor concert series and special events planned over the course of the next few months, just about every weekend can be a party.
The great thing about outdoor concerts is that they are usually free of charge. Live at the Lakefront, for example is put on by the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana, the City of Lake Charles and Deep South Productions along with other area organizations. The concert series occurs three Fridays in a row on March 14, 21 and 28. You might want to arrive by 5:30 to get a great parking spot and perfect view on the hill. The outdoor series will offer a variety of music, fresh air and opportunities for children to run around and have a great time. while allowing you food options from area eateries all within walking distance of the arcade amphitheater.
On March 14, local jam rock band, Fresh Nectar will set the stage for everything to come. Next up, the Pine Leaf Boys from Lafayette will bring Southwest Louisiana their Grammy-nominated Cajun sound. On March 21, we'll do it all again, this time with The Loaded 44rz bringing their rockabilly style mixed with a bit of country followed by the highly sought-after party rock band, the Flamethrowers. Wrapping up the concert series will be Lafayette’s The Onlies, bring out their Acadian Folk/Indie Folk style of tunes with roots and reggae favorite Ashes of Babylon as the finale. We hope to see you there and look forward to one of the largest outdoor music concerts in our region. Check out the Lake Charles/SWLA Convention and Visitor's Bureau's new blog for more entertainment options. Go to www.visitlakecharles.org for more details.
Between The Lake Charles Little Theatre, ACTS Theatre, McNeese State University's Department of Performing Arts, The Children's Theatre Company, Itinerant Theatre, Inc. and the numerous other on-stage productions at local schools, etc., there is no shortage of drama and talent in our area. Recently, we had Tarzan and Aladdin Jr. on stage, along with productions such as And the Rain Came to Mayfield and Tuesdays with Morrie that brought forth much thought and a deeper subject matter.
The art scene of SWLA is endless. Mark your calendars for the Spring Art Walk scheduled for April 25 from 5-9 p.m. where you can explore a variety of galleries throughout the downtown’s Charlestown Cultural District and surrounding areas. And on any given day, you can explore artwork at 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center, Central School, McNeese State University and dozens of galleries and spaces throughout the region.
I'm an advocate for the arts and support anyone who is willing to put in the work necessary to improve their skills. I personally do not consider myself an artist, however, I do have a voice and a platform that I choose to use to better our community. With that said, I would like to mention MusicMakers2U. The foundation accepts donations of musical instruments that are no longer used and in turn cleans and refurbishes them with the help of band directors and music teachers. The instruments are then given to deserving students. To find out what you can do to help, contact Eva LeBlanc at (337) 244-9314 or by e-mail at musicmakers2U@gmail.com.
If you have a passion for playing music or some other form of art, go out on a limb and share it publicly with us here in Southwest Louisiana. I know at first it may seem like a challenge, but after taking that first leap of faith, it may just turn out to be one of your greatest accomplishments. I have discovered some great talent on the lakefront and they are now close friends. Singer Kimberly Stegall was playing with her band Consequence of Silence when I first met her, and saxophonist Will Cryer was playing along the lake when I heard the tunes of his sax through the harsh cold wind of winter. Support the people around you and don't be afraid to start doing something new. Let's work together to make each day a great one, Southwest Louisiana!
Live @ the Lakefront which takes place over three consecutive Fridays in my opinion is one of the most relaxing, care free events you can attend in Southwest Louisiana. You literally can lounge around, watch some impressive bands on stage, walk a few feet to get some of the best food offered in our area, experience local art in a way that most have to travel all throughout the area to see and get to celebrate one of the most important facets of our region, community.
I was very pleased with our first Friday considering it was a tad bit windier than we expected it to be and it was overcast. The wind and clouds did not prevent the crowd from setting up their space on the green topped hill and enjoying themselves.
As an emcee, I hope that I do a great job making everyone feel welcomed, delivering all of the announcements clearly and effectively while not talking so much that attendees grow bored or lose interest; not an easy task by any means. Considering how my memory works, I make it a point to have side notes on hand and am not ashamed to have them in hand while on stage to ensure I don't leave anyone out or forget to mention something important.
Fresh Nectar started off the evening and should be applauded on a job well done. As the opener, while they perform the audience gets denser, but may not give their full attention to the band. Imagine how it must feel to perform in front of an audience that is settling in, walking around, conversing and possibly trying to talk over the music. With all of obstacles, the band continues to give it their all and share their love and passion with the community. Local Jam Rock band Fresh Nectar represented SWLA proudly.
Next up to perform was Pine Leaf Boys. This group has garnered four Grammy nominations and has received rave reviews from reputable, well known media outlets. Just as you would hope to encounter, the members of Pine Leaf Boys were down to earth and a delight to work with. Wilson Savoy was cool and allowed me to briefly interview him on stage just before they performed. The band definitely delivered. While Pine Leaf Boys were setting up, we had a special performance by Washington Marion High School's Marching Band and they did a fantastic job.
Be sure not to miss the next two concerts. The Flamethrowers perform with opener the Loaded 44rz on March 21 and Ashes of Babylon return to the L@LF stage with opener The Onlies. If you take photos while at Live @ the Lakefront, be sure to #rockthelake no matter what social media platform you use. For more information on the next two concerts, visit http://artsandhumanitiesswla.org/events/featured/live-the-lakefront/.
If you took a photo at Snazzy Snapshots Photo Booth, visit this link to see them: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1461634220732655.1073741827.1444344672461610&type=1
- Bray J
If you want to have the best overall experience in Southwest Louisiana, you have to attend Live at the Lakefront. The event is a community focused music series that takes place over the course of three Fridays and brings a variety of food, sounds, artists and businesses/organizations together. Let's start with the location; the Arcade Amphitheater is the only outdoor based stage in our area and encompasses a gorgeous view of the lakefront in the background and a green topped hill area for lounging attendees. Next is the community aspect. All beverage sales at the event directly benefits the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA, who organizes the concert along with many other annual events year round. Lastly, I have to mention the music which is the focal point of the concert series.
On March 14, gracing the stage first to initiate the start of the series, local jam rock band Fresh Nectar will amp up the crowd . Topping off the night is four time Grammy nominated Cajun band, Pine Leaf Boys. On March 21, rockabilly and country take the stage with The Loaded 44rz, opening the second Friday. Highly sought after party rock band Flamethrowers will wrap up the night. On March 28, The Onlies open the final night of the 2014 season with their Acadian Folk/Indie Folk sound. The grand finale of the night brings Ashes of Babylon who originated in Lake Charles, back home from Austin, Texas with their famed Roots/Reggae sound and vibe.
Live @ the Lakefront is sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Council of SWLA and co-sponsored by the City of Lake Charles and Deep South Productions.
He may not know everything, but he knows most things; and he wants to share what he knows with you. #heybrayj