Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is proud to present Chanteuse: Celebrating New Orleans Women in Music. This two-week concert series features new talents alongside New Orleans legend, Germaine Bazzle. Six concerts will be held over the course of two weeks; these programs are paired with a SyncUp event featuring Ms. Bazzle in conversation with the incomparable Gwen Thompkins.

This series of programs focusing on women and femme-identifying persons comes during a time when the lack of women in roles throughout the music industry has come to the forefront. According to a 2019 USC/Annenberg study, only:

  • 21% of musical artists are women
  • 12% of songwriters are women
  • 2.3% of producers are women
  • Of  871 producers only 4 were women of color
  • 10% of Grammy nominees are women

It’s time to make the music industry more inclusive for everyone. Chanteuse  is part of an ongoing effort by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to address inequities in the music industry.

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All Chanteuse events will take place at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St. New Orleans. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance or program. Admission is free to all seven events, but attendees to the SyncUp session are encouraged to RSVP using this form (link).

  • March 5, 8:00 p.m. Germaine Bazzle
  • March 6, 8:00 p.m. Lilli Lewis Project
  • March 7, 8:00 p.m.  Alexis & the Samurai with special guest Alexandra Scott
  • March 11, 7:00 p.m. SyncUp Session: Germaine Bazzle in conversation with Gwen Thompkins
  • March 12, 8:00 p.m. Cyrille Aimée
  • March 13, 8:00 p.m. Maggie Koerner
  • March 14, 8:00 p.m. Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns

Germaine Bazzle is one of New Orleans most respected jazz vocalists and musicians. After graduating from Xavier University of New Orleans with a degree in Music Education, she began a career as a music teacher during the day and a bassist and vocalist at night with a traditional jazz band. Germain’s unique talent and unparalleled artistry as a vocalist is perhaps one of New Orleans’ best-kept secrets. Her voice is rich, full of quirks and surprises - sometimes she will add idiosyncrasies where they are least expected or veer off into scatting. She was influenced by the greats like Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald; she takes on a repertoire of classic jazz, American popular songs, show tunes, and the music of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and George Gershwin - true legends of elegance, grace, and style. “The voice is the original musical instrument and sometimes we forget that. Learning how to do the scales, learning how to do the arpeggios, learning how to read music...all of these things make good jazz.” In any standard number her improvisations may suggest the sounds of a wind instrument or a percussion instrument, always displaying an abundance of technique and flexibility and never singing the same song the same way. As the music flows and resonates through her, she radiates an engaging warmth and an infectious joy when she sings. Her command of tone and melody coupled with her brilliance in the manipulation of her own vocal timbre are spectacular.

Lilli Lewis Project (LLP): Described as "the most mesmerizing and soul touching combination of jazz, blues, gospel, and field folk imaginable", Lewis has captivated audiences throughout New Orleans and beyond. The LLP's most recent album is We Belong out from Louisiana Hot Records. More about Lewis and LLP is available here:

Alexis & the Samurai: The folk-pop, multi-instrumental duo is a local favorite on Frenchmen and throughout the city. Their latest release is Move into View. More information about the band can be found here: Alexandra Scott will be a special guest on this performance.

Cyrille Aimée: An accomplished musician, Aimée is the winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Competition (2007) and the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition (2012). Aimée's most recent album is Move On, a collection of songs by Stephen Sondheim. More about Aimée can be found here:

Maggie Koerner: Koerner's powerful pop vocals can be heard on the singer's solo albums, Quarter Life (2011) and The Neutral Ground (2013). On the heels of the latter, Koerner was recruited by Galactic and was the funk band's lead singer from 2013-2014. More about Koerner can be found online at

Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns: Hailed by WWOZ as "some of the finest performers in New Orleans today," Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns offer inimitable trad jazz performances. Their most recent release is Bad Kid's Club. More about Lake can be found here:

Gwen Thompkins: Gwen Thompkins is an award-winning journalist and host of "Music Inside Out." More about Thompkins can be found here:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is excited to host the 10th Annual Femme Fest, a statewide, group visual arts exhibit featuring women artists from Louisiana, sponsored by the Women's Caucus for Art of Louisiana (WCALA). This exhibit will be on view in the Jazz & Heritage Gallery, 1205 N. Rampart St. New Orelans, LA from March 6 to April 3, 2020. The gallery is open to the public weekdays from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

On Friday, March 6, there will be an opening reception at the Jazz & Heritage Gallery; visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artists, view their work, and have a bite to eat. Light reception fare will be provided. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation Gallery is located at 1205 N. Rampart, next door to the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center.

Come meet the artists, view and discuss the work and have a bite to eat. For more information, please contact WCALA directly by visiting or via email:

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