Britney Spears Coming To New Orleans 3/19/09

Britney Spears
Britney Spears

Pop superstar Britney Spears added more dates to her North American 2009 tour. The trek kicks off March 3 by concert in New Orleans Arena. Updated tour schedule, which now lists 36 dates, is included below, tickets are available to book online. Singer will visit Atlanta (GA) Miami (FL), Boston (MA),Toronto (Ontario), Dallas (TX), Los Angeles (CA), Las Vegas (NV), and many other markets. Britney is touring in support of her new album “Circus”, released in December.

Live Video of Aura at The Brickhouse in Houma

Here is a video of Aura performing at the Brickhouse in Houma, LA on Dec 26th. Check it out and see them live if you haven’t been able to catch them. Leave some comments on what you think about the performance.

Aura – Little Goes a Long Way (LIVE)

You can check them out at the following upcoming shows:

Jan 13 2009 7:00P The Covey Awards @ Hard Rock Live Biloxi Biloxi, Mississippi
Jan 30 2009 10:00P 2 Miles North W/ The Ingalloids Gulfport, Mississippi
Mar 21 2009 9:00P The Bar Metairie, Louisiana

2009 Summer Fair looking for bands

Here’s a chance to get some more exposure around here.

First up, a call to local rockers. Organizers of the 2007 Summer Fair, scheduled for June 7-17, are looking for local or regional bands that want to showcase their talents in a two-hour set at the “Miller Rocks Café” during the aforementioned Summer Fair. According to a Vicki Miller, special events marketing coordinator for the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, which hosts the fair: “We provide the covered staging, lights, PA system and a sound engineer. There is no additional compensation, but the selected bands will be featured on our giant marquee, on our Web site, and in the printed schedules.”

According to Miller, in order to be considered, bands must submit a demo tape, photos and/or link to their Web site for review. Bands will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis, and submissions should be mailed to 2350 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39531, attention: Vicki Miller.


2009 Vans Warped Tour “Earn It Yourself” Spot For Regional Bands

DECEMBER 16, 2008

EARN IT has announced an official sponsorship of the 2009 VANS WARPED TOUR with the introduction of THE EARN IT YOURSELF SPOT on the tour’s Kevin Says Stage. At each tour stop, one band will be handpicked to perform on the stage, based on submissions that will be taken at EARNITYOURSELF.COM starting January 1st.

THE EARN IT YOURSELF SPOT will highlight the hardest-working independent bands from each region, chosen directly by the tour based on the same criteria used in picking the application bands in the past.

Sarah Saturday—booking manager of the Kevin Says Stage—created the original application process for independent bands to perform on the tour when she collaborated with tour founder Kevin Lyman in 2004. The pair expanded the presence of the Kevin Says Stage from its humble beginnings as just a picnic table to now featuring some of the tour’s most prominent artists while receiving over 3000 applications from performers each year. For 2009, in addition to the EARN IT YOURSELF SPOT artists, the stage will also feature up-and-coming signed bands from independent record labels that are handpicked by SATURDAY and LYMAN.

Bands are invited to create a profile for free at EARNITYOURSELF.COM and submit for the EARN IT YOURSELF spot in their region beginning January 1, 2009.

Described as “The Evolution of D.I.Y.” in the July 2005 edition of Alternative Press Magazine, the EARN IT YOURSELF philosophy began as a print zine written and published by SARAH SATURDAY in 2004 after the break-up of her band SAVING FACE. The idea behind the movement is to teach bands how to use a philosophical approach to creating their business plan. With the music industry giants collapsing and the internet making it possible for anyone to start a band, it’s crucial that bands’ values should be just as important to fans as their music, all while the individuals strive to earn their own success and build their careers from the ground up.

Why Your Band Should Use Twitter

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro blogging social networking site that allows you to write what is deemed as “tweets”. These posts can be about anything you can imagine, within a 140 character limit. You can also follow other people on twitter and their “tweets” will appear on your own page.

When it comes to twitter, you can follow whoever you choose to follow. The tweets are very short glimpses into someone else’s life, their thoughts, or just observations. You can quickly share a link that catches your eye or easily make plans with a group of people to have a wild night out on the town.

Basically, twitter is a simple man’s (or woman, gotta be politically correct) way of blogging. You can do this via the web or by text messaging from your phone. With the iphone and blackberry apps, this is extremely easy and addicting. It’s really easy to find and follow other people on Twitter.

Twitter, Connecting You to Your Fans

If you are a band, then you would be a fool to think that your fans do not want to connect to you in all levels possible. They want to know about you, your life, your music, and how they can become closer to the band as a whole. Every band has these diehard types of fans, even if your music sucks there is that groupie who always comes to your show, drives hours to see you play in some nasty bar, and they tell you thanks each and every time. Twitter can help you gain new fans and become closer to old ones.

How do you start on Twitter?

First, sign up as your band name. Go to and establish an account. There is a video on the homepage to give you an easy-to understand overview of how to use Twitter. Even a bass player can understand it.

Second, use your email sign up list that you have saved to your computer from shows (Because every good band has a sign-up mailing list!) and see if any of your fans are already using twitter. You may have quite a few already on twitter tweeting away. Also be sure to setup your profile to reflect your band image. Use a good image, maybe a band picture or album picture as a static image in the background. Fill in the info about yourself, input your website or MySpace address. This is all so your fans have something to see you as when they view your page.

Third, decide who is going to run the account from their mobile device. Sign up with this mobile device and link to the account. This will be the phone you send texts/updates from. You can also update via the web. If you have a band account on Facebook, link the status update from twitter to your Facebook account. Each time you post to twitter, it will update Facebook for you.

Now you have to decide how you are going to post on Twitter. Don’t post the same thing over and over again or people will stop following you. I don’t suggest only posting for people to buy your merch all the time. You should actually spend a little time having a conversation about what is going on in the band or about you, one of the musicians in the band. Do post a few times about the business aspect of your band, after all this is a free marketing tool. Then you can actually engage in communicating with your music community.

You communicate directly by repling to other people’s tweets. You do this by using the @ symbol and then their username. If you wanted to type something directly to gulfcoastbands, you would type @gulfcoastbands first and then the message. You can also send a direct message that only the user can see. This can be a very effect way of talking to someone without exchanging telephone numbers per say.

As a band, you can use twitter as a very powerful tool. Just think, you are on tour so twitter can be your online diary of your adventures. You can use Twitpic to take pictures and share them easily from your phone. Maybe you want to share your set list to your fans for your show later in the week in Memphis, TN or Chicago, IL. Maybe you want to let them know you just had a great sound check and you can’t wait to meet them at the merch booth after the show. The possibilities are endless.

You can also get a Twitter Badge or Twitter Widget to add to your myspace page and website page. This will allow your non-Twitter fans to see what you are up to as it will update as your update your tweets.

As you can see, Twitter is a very powerful tool if taken advantage of and used correctly. It is in my opinion, that every band and musician should have a twitter for their fans to follow. It’s free and the possibilities are endless on who can spread the word about your work. Check out some links below to other people using twitter.

Music Bloggers & Podcasters & Zines

Bands on Twitter

Jazz Fest Lineup Announced

Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kings of Leon, Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, The O’Jays, Erykah Badu, Dr. John Among hundreds scheduled to appear at historic edition of Festival
Tickets On Sale Now, Special Hotel Rooms & Rates Available


New Orleans, LA (December 16, 2008)—The 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell (April 24-26 & April 30-May 3) will celebrate 40 years of musical and cultural history at next year’s star-studded event. Started in 1970, the Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to showcase the most important names in music history alongside many of Louisiana’s favorite entertainers. A true heritage festival, Jazz Fest stands alone in presenting the highest caliber artists in such varied genres as gospel, blues, traditional and contemporary jazz, rock, pop, R&B, Cajun, zydeco and much more.
Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kings of Leon, The Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, The O’Jays, Erykah Badu, Etta James, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, Toots and the Maytals, Dr. John, Spoon, Third World, Common, Orishas, Emmylou Harris, Irma Thomas, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Mavis Staples, The Whispers, Hugh Masekela, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, John Mayall, Solomon Burke, Jakob Dylan, Rance Allen, Chuck Brown, Meter Men; Zig, George, & Leo, Kinky, Drive-By, Truckers feat. Booker T. Jones, Better Than Ezra, Avett Brothers, Pete Fountain, Galactic, Marcia Ball, Roy Haynes, Patty Griffin, Kurt Elling, Poncho Sanchez, John Scofield & the Piety Street Band, Marc Broussard, Rebirth Brass Band, Esperanza Spalding, Kind of Blue @ 50 Tribute to Miles Davis, Del McCoury Band, Aaron Neville, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Odadaa of Ghana, The Genius of Sydney Bechet: A Tribute feat. Bob Wilber, Guy Clark, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Roy Rogers, Chris Owens, VaShawn Mitchell, Dew Drop Inn Revisited hosted by Deacon John, George Wein and Friends w/ Randy Brecker, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, Terence Blanchard, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, Tab Benoit and the Wetland Allstars, Anointed Jackson Sisters, Ellis Marsalis, Dirty Dozen, Robert Mirabal, Trombone Shorty, The Vettes, Cedric Burnside, Lil’ Ed & the Imperials, Stephanie Jordan, Radiators, Buckwheat Zydeco, Amanda Shaw, The Ebony Hillbillies, Cowboy Mouth, Trout Fishing in America, Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, Tribute to Danny Barker, Amameresso Agofomma of Ghana, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers of South Africa, Ori Danse Club of Benin, Ladysmith Redlions of South Africa, Cheick Hamala Diabate of Mali and hundreds more are scheduled to appear at the 40th anniversary celebration. (The complete weekend by weekend schedule is available at

“From day one in 1970, the goal of the Festival has remained unchanged as Jazz Fest continues to celebrate the living breathing culture of New Orleans and Louisiana,” said Quint Davis, producer/director of Jazz Fest. “While the size and impact of the Festival have dramatically increased, we have never lost sight of the original goal of presenting this unique culture to the world through music, the finest in local cuisine, and the sheer celebration of life.”

Jazz & Heritage Festival Founder and Executive Producer, George Wein, proudly stated, “It is wonderful to see the Festival continue the joyous legacy that began almost four decades ago in Congo Square. There can only be one festival this grand, entertaining and important, because there is only one New Orleans.”

Randy Philips, president & CEO, AEG Live, which co-produces the Festival said, “The 40th Anniversary Jazz Fest is one of the most highly anticipated events of 2009. AEG Live is proud to play a part in taking this legendary annual celebration to new heights.”

Wynton Marsalis, the preeminent jazz artist and ambassador of his generation and one of New Orleans’ favorite sons, will headline the first day of the Festival, Friday, April 24, performing the epic composition Congo Square, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Yacub Addy and Odadaa!.

“It’s an honor to be part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s 40th anniversary, thanks to the ongoing leadership of our friend George Wein,” stated Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Yacub Addy and I wrote and dedicated Congo Square to the great city of New Orleans and in April 2006, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Yacub’s group, Odadaa!, we debuted the music on the actual site of Congo Square. We look forward to bringing the music back, celebrating New Orleans and this momentous anniversary for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”

Tickets for the Festival, which takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, went on sale today. For the first time ever, a limited number of discount ticket packages including tickets to each day of a particular weekend of the Festival will be offered. Ticket packages purchased for all three days of the first weekend (April 24, 25 & 26) will be $105, while second weekend packages purchased for all four festival days (April 30, May 1, 2 & 3) will be $140. (Tickets included in each package are day-specific.) Advance single day Jazz Fest tickets are still only $40 with the gate price of $50.

Children’s tickets (ages 2 – 11) are only $5 in advance or at the gate. Single day tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend, with each ticket valid for a single day’s attendance.

The Festival’s popular Big Chief VIP Experience ticket package and the Grand Marshal VIP Pass return for the 40th anniversary celebration, as well as the newly unveiled Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass that allows for special covered seating at the Acura Stage audience area plus other amenities. All the hugely popular VIP packages are on sale now while very limited supplies last. (See for details.)

Tickets are available at and, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at the Louisiana Superdome Box Office (Gate A, Ground Level) or the New Orleans Arena Box Office. All Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges.

A listing of hotels offering special Jazz Fest rates is posted at
, where patrons can effortlessly reserve their hotel rooms for the event. Festivalgoers can peruse room availability and book their accommodations early taking advantage of some of the best prices offered at participating hotels.

Shell is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival. Acura is proudly celebrating its 10th year as sponsor of the Festival’s main stage. People’s Health, Miller Lite, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, AT&T, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (A Churchill Downs Company), Capital One Bank, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Pepsi, Rajen Kilachand and St. Charles Vision are all also official Jazz Fest sponsors.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and uses the proceeds from that festival for year-round activities in the areas of education, economic development and cultural programming. Programs and assets of the foundation include: radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive, the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture Series, the Jazz Journey concert series, the Community Partnership Grants program and the Raisin’ the Roof housing initiative. The foundation also produces community events such as the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, Fiesta Latina, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Down by the Riverside concerts and others. For more information, please call the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation at (504) 558-6100 or visit

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell is a co-production of Festival Productions, L.L.C.(a wholly owned subsidiary of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans) and AEG Louisiana Production, L.L.C.(a subsidiary of AEG Live).

Vodafone And MTV To Discover The Next Big Music Act

Vodafone and MTV announce the launch of Vodafone Fast-track, a competition designed to discover the next big music act and set them on a fast track to fame.

Over the next four weeks, any unsigned band or artist from 26 countries around the world has an opportunity to upload their best original track to the Vodafone Soundbites website ( and in the Netherlands) along with photographs and band/artist biographies to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record a single and a professionally produced music video which will be aired on MTV and distributed through Vodafone live!

From January 7 onwards, the MTV community will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites and select the ‘top 20’ hopefuls. The winner will then be selected by a panel of industry experts including well known music executives.

The winner’s single and music video will be produced by the MTV team who will also arrange studio time to record the winning track and secure TV broadcast during commercial airtime on MTV in 29 countries

Vodafone will then help set the winning band on a fast-track to fame. Utilising the global high speed mobile network the winner’s single will be distributed via Vodafone live! across 18 European markets, as well as Australia and New Zealand

The competition spot will also be integrated within the Vodafone Music Reporter profile on MySpace (, where a forum will engage ‘friends of the community’ to discuss the favourite entrants. The winner’s video and single will then be available to stream from the MySpace Vodafone Music reporter profile.

The Vodafone Soundbites Fast-track competition will be supported by a marketing campaign with MTV running online and on TV across 26 countries.

“Following the success of Vodafone Music Reporter with MySpace, we continue to deliver unique music experiences to our customers across multiple platforms,” says David Wheldon Global Brand Director at Vodafone Group. “Vodafone Fast-track reinforces Vodafone’s credibility in the music industry, creates exciting opportunities for our customers and at the same time strengthens our position as a global communications brand.”

Jules Robinson, SVP, Viacom Brand Solutions International comments, “Together with Vodafone, MTV specifically created this competition to deepen and strengthen their consumers ability to engage with music and further to that contribute by defining talent within it. Empowering the consumer to select the future of new music talent across the world is an exciting and unique branding opportunity”

Essence Music Festival To Celebrate Its 15th Anniversary July 3, 4 And 5 In New Orleans

Coming off its most successful year ever with more than 270,000 attendees this past July, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL returns to New Orleans July 3, 4 and 5, 2009 with headliner Beyoncé. In celebration of the event’s 15th anniversary, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL will offer a 15% discount on select tickets from December 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.

The annual weekend of entertainment and empowerment–hailed by USA TODAY (7-7-08) as having “achieved a balance of old-school homage and cutting-edge innovation at the Superdome”–will once again dazzle and uplift with an unprecedented three days of cultural celebrations over the festive Fourth of July holiday weekend. As in past years, musical performances are slated for the New Orleans Superdome and empowerment seminars are set to take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

“As we plan the Essence Music Festival’s 15th anniversary in New Orleans next July, we are looking to create an environment that celebrates our history and looks to our future,” said Michelle Ebanks, president, Essence Communications Inc. “We invite everyone to join us as we mark this milestone occasion with friends old and new.”

With more than twelve musical performances a day from some of today’s greatest African-American artists, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL sets itself apart from other music events around the world by including three full days of empowerment seminars. The empowerment seminars–which are free of charge–are open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Initial seminars for next year include Women’s Day: Getting the Life You Deserve featuring Dr. Juanita Bynum (Friday, July 3); State of Black America II: Realizing the Dream hosted by Roland Martin (Saturday, July 4); An All-Star Tribute to Bishop T.D. Jakes (Sunday, July 5).

The 2008 outing featured headlining performances from Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Chris Rock and Rihanna, with Empowerment Seminar appearances by Tyler Perry, Dr. Bill Cosby, Rev. Al Sharpton, Mayor C. Ray Nagin, Hill Harper, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Juanita Bynum and Tom Joyner. As the event concluded, concert attendees learned that platinum singer-songwriter-producer and actress Beyoncé would make her third appearance at the 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL. Look for announcements about additional performers and seminars in early 2009.

With some of the biggest names in entertainment and the nation’s most influential speakers, artists, authors and leaders, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is the nation’s largest annual gathering of African-American music and culture. What began in 1995 as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of ESSENCE magazine has now grown into one of the country’s “Top 10 Leading Brand Events” by Advertising Age.

In its 15-year history, the ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL has featured an array of performers including Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Chris Brown, Destiny’s Child, Earth, Wind & Fire, Gladys Knight, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Kanye West, The Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Mary J. Blige, The O’Jays, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Toni Braxton, Patti LaBelle and Yolanda Adams.

The 2009 ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC and produced by Rehage Entertainment. Essence Festivals LLC is a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).

General admission daily tickets are available for $51, $67 or $79; floor seats are $92 and $121; Gold Circle tickets are $173; all plus applicable service charges. Note: the 15% discount only applies when tickets are purchased for all three days and does not apply to floor or Gold Circle tickets. To purchase tickets, visit or call 800-277-1700.