This year’s ART&SOUL features a host of NOCCA alumni on the mainstage!
Kevin Gullage & His Blues Groovers
Twenty-year-old NOCCA alum Kevin Gullage takes the stage with the poise of a seasoned performer. His ability to perform across multiple styles and genres has made him one of New Orleans’ most in-demand musicians. Kevin has performed with the likes of Grammy-winning artist Patrice Rushen and renowned saxophonist Bobby Watson. He recently released his debut CD entitled Blues For The City.
Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans
NOCCA alum Doreen Ketchens leads the outstanding Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. This group travels the world, giving exceptional presentations that tingle the senses with the many flavors of Traditional Jazz. In addition to standard concerts, the band is loved for its unique religious services, weddings, and funerals. Many of its tours include in-school workshops for students that range in age from pre-school to college. Doreen’s Jazz not only entertains but also educates through music, telling the story of New Orleans’ rich, historic, and diverse culture.
Sweet Crude features a host of NOCCA alumni, and over the past few years, the six-piece band has used the music and language of Louisiana to create a completely fresh sound that thrusts centuries-old traditions into the present. Sweet Crude consistently delivers exciting shows featuring enough drums for a small marching band, exuberantly bellowed harmonies, and lyrics that jump from English to Louisiana French in a single verse. Boasting surnames like Marceaux and Chachere, the members of Sweet Crude seek to reconnect with their lineage in a way that draws on their own modern influences, while nodding to the music and language of their ancestors.
The members of Sweet Crude all hail from South Louisiana, a region that clings to its unique way of life tighter than anywhere else in the United States. That said, many of those cultural elements are fading with time as American culture becomes increasingly homogenized. This trend can be seen most directly in the gradual fading of the Louisiana French language. The members of Sweet Crude grew up with grandparents and great-grandparents who spoke the region’s native dialect as their first language, yet with each successive generation, more of that language gets lost to time. Instead of singing the language in its usual musical genres, Zydeco and Cajun, Sweet Crude draws on its own influences–mainly New Orleans music, pop, and indie rock–to produce a sound that is accessible to today’s generation. In essence, Sweet Crude takes the language out the museum and weaves it in with English, giving it fresh legs and relevancy for years to come.
Sweet Crude released its debut LP Créatures in April of 2017 on Rhyme and Reason Records and followed the release with performances at major US festivals such as Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and High Sierra. In addition to headlining its own US tours, the band hit the road with dear friends Tank and the Bangas on a sold-out nationwide club tour. Sweet Crude also won the Big Easy Award for “Best Rock Band” in New Orleans in both 2017 and 2018.