George French Band In Concert

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Event Information:

Date:
Notes: Sets are at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Location: The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center
Address:
1225 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Phone: (504) 558-6100
Website: View Event Website

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George French and his band will perform in concert Sat., Oct. 27. Photo by Eric Simon.

George French and his band will perform in concert Sat., Oct. 27. Photo by Eric Simon.

The Jazz & Heritage Concert Series Presents:

The George French Band
Saturday, Oct. 27
The Jazz & Heritage Center
1225 N. Rampart Street
Sets at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ; doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Free admission
 

Music doesn’t get much more “New Orleans” than George French.

Sure, that could be said of many Crescent City artists. But George French’s musical pedigree, and his lifelong ties to the New Orleans music scene, make him one of those iconic performers who is virtually synonymous with his hometown.

Find out why he is so beloved when he performs as part of the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Jazz & Heritage Center. Admission is free.

The concert will be live streamed (in video) by community radio station WWOZ via the station's web site, www.WWOZ.org, as well as the station's Facebook Live channel.

French’s roots in New Orleans music go back almost to the origins of jazz itself.  His father was the banjo player Albert "Papa" French, who took over the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band in the 1950s after the death of Oscar "Papa" Celestin, who founded the group in 1910.

As is so often the case with New Orleans musicians, George French grew up immersed in the sounds of the city. Not surprisingly, others in his family also are part of its musical traditions. His brother was the late drummer Bob French. And his son, Gerald, is another highly respected drummer.

Now 75, George French has been performing since his teens. He was still in high school when his cousin, Dave Bartholomew, hired him to play on Fats Domino recording sessions at Cosimo Matassa’s famed studio.

With no formal musical instruction, French learned from life and from his influences, training that served him quite well in his career.

He has worked with virtually every New Orleans musician of note, including Wilson “Willie Tee” Turbinton, Alvin “Red” Tyler, Earl King, Robert Parker, James Rivers, Wendell Brunious, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Germaine Bazzle, among others.

Although he’s usually seen playing electric bass, those who’ve heard him know that French is also one of the most accomplished singers in New Orleans. His silky vocals blend perfectly with the toe-tapping jazz, soul and R&B that make up the bulk of his repertoire.

Reflecting on his father’s influence, Gerald French said, “A lot of guys, especially in jazz, forget to entertain.

"It’s okay to play good music and be a serious musician," he told OffBeat. "But if you’re only playing for yourself, that’s not cool. You want the audience to be an extension of what’s happening on the stage. In New Orleans, that’s part of our tradition.”

The Jazz & Heritage Concert Series is produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest.

Upcoming events in the series include:

Saturday, Nov. 24:       
Heritage School of Music Alumni in Concert
JEFFERY MILLER and JOHN MICHAEL BRADFORD

Saturday, Dec. 1:
COURTNEY BRYAN
Presented by Improvisation: New Orleans’s Gift to the Modern World, A Tricentennial Conference and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

Saturday, Dec. 8:          
DAVELL CRAWFORD

Saturday, Dec. 15:        
ELLIS MARSALIS QUINTET

Saturday, Jan. 5:           
DON VAPPIE & THE CREOLE JAZZ SERENADERS

Tuesday, Jan. 22: 
SUNNI PATTERSON, DONNEY ROSE, SOL GALEANO, GRAY HAWK PERKINS and more
A Celebration Concert for the National Day of Racial Healing, part of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation's National Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Initiative. Presented by the Foundation for Louisiana, the Ashé Cultural Arts Center and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

Saturday, Jan. 19:         
Tango & Tequila
DR. JEE YEOUN KO

Saturday, Feb. 16:
Living the Highlife - A Night of Afropop
KUMASI AFROBEAT ORCHESTRA and the FUFU ALLSTARS

Saturday, March 9:
SPENCER BOHREN & THE WHIPPERSNAPPERS

Saturday, Apr. 13:
SPOKEN WORD NIGHT

Saturday, Apr. 27:
Cabaret Tremé
An evening with LEAH CHASE

Saturday, May 4:
Bechet to Batiste
EVAN CHRISTOPHER and GREGORY AGID

Saturday, June 15:
A Song For You: A Tribute to Soul Music
TONYA BOYD-CANNON

Saturday, July 13:
Noite do Brasil - Brazilian Night
CHEGADÃO, AMIGOS do SAMBA and SAPATOS NOVOS

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.