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What to Know Before You Go



Andres Gonzalez Benefit
7 p.m. Wed., June 28
Mardi Gras World, 233 Newton St., 658-6040;

When 13 bands led by Clarence "Frogman" Henry and Rockin' Dopsie Jr. get together at Mardi Gras World on the West Bank, the music will be, well, rocking. But in the back of everyone's minds will be the sound of gunshots breaking the quiet of old Algiers on a Monday afternoon. The concert — and lots of food, a silent auction and special guest Paul Prudhomme — is a benefit to help New Orleans police officer Andres Gonzalez, who was shot three times after a routine traffic stop on May 22, struck twice in the face and once in the chest (saved from that bullet by his bulletproof vest). He's in rehab now at Touro Infirmary, partially paralyzed and working his way off a respirator. Musical guests also include Luther Kent, the Bucktown Allstars and Bag of Donuts. Restaurants ranging from Galatoire's to the Cajun Cabin will be donating food. And if you can't go, Gonzalez loves having visitors. "He's in very good spirits," says Lt. William Ceravolo, who's helping organize the benefit and was Gonzalez' supervisor when he was shot. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. — Richard Hart


Getting a Kick Out of Cole
8 p.m., Thu.-Sat., June 29-July 1; through July 23
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812;

While visiting Banu Gibson's home after Hurricane Katrina, longtime friend Sheelah Strong Black saw a poster for a Cole Porter revue the two had performed in 30 years ago. Black had been searching for an outlet for Funds For Friends — Katrina Recovery , a fund she had started in Rye, N.Y., to support the New Orleans theater community. "I was just going to give people the money," Strong says. "But I figured, why not put them to work?" She reunited with Ricky Graham and Gibson to create an original musical revue celebrating the songs of Cole Porter. Getting a Kick Out of Cole promises a different kind of Porter review, complete with tapping and props. Though she is a New Orleans native, Black has lived in New York since 1975, where she performed at the New York City Opera Theater. Costumed as if it was the 1930s, when Porter was in his prime, the trio performs such classics as "It's De Lovely," "Night and Day" and "I Get A Kick Out of You." Black says audiences should expect a "hysterical lovefest." The Thursday evening opening is a benefit for the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon; call 525-4498 for tickets to this performance only. Tickets $28, includes $5 bar credit. — Daniel Castro


Trinity Independence Day Music Festival
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sun., July 2
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., 670-2520;

Beyond barbecues, Trinity Episcopal Church's Albinas Prizgintas wanted to provide a way for the Uptown community to celebrate Independence Day. Prizgintas, the director of Music Ministries, began the Trinity Independence Day Music Festival six years ago. A Lithuanian born in Germany and raised in New Jersey, Prizgintas says his only patriotic association was a brother who served in the Vietnam War. So he asked veterans what music they considered patriotic, and consequently gained a taste for John Philip Sousa, a composer he'd never appreciated before. But Prizgintas, known for his orchestration of Trinity's rousing annual 24-hour Bachathon, couldn't stop with the traditional. His call for participants in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana received an overwhelming response. The resulting Yellowdog Prophet Choir and Orchestra has been practicing with the intensity of people "gutting houses," says Prizgintas. The orchestra includes local musicians Delfeayo Marsalis on trombone, Prizgintas on organ, John Joyce and Ken Wells on percussion and Pete Wolbrette on trumpet. Also included in the day's festivities are the Caledonian Society of Scottish Dancers and Pipes and the New Orleans Trombone Choir. Free admission. — Vi Landry


Little Freddie King
6 p.m. Thu., June 29
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600;
10 p.m. Fri., June 30
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

McComb native and longtime New Orleans resident (pre-Katrina, he could often be found playing his pawn shop-purchased guitar at BJ's bar in the Bywater) Little Freddie King has blues credibility in spades. He's been playing since the early '60s and has shared stages with Bo Diddley and John Lee Hooker. He also rode a secondhand bicycle back and forth from his job as a mechanic for years and played his countrified gutbucket guitar blues on the stage of New Orleans' legendary Dew Drop Inn. In extra-credit blues points, he was also shot — not once but twice — by his wife, who he remained married to after each incident. His debut release on Fat Possum Records, You Don't Know What I Know (2005) paints a beautifully gritty picture of New Orleans living with songs like "Crack Head Joe" and "Chicken Dance" — lyrically rife with booze, blues and bad decisions and musically spot-on and raw. For the Tipitina's show, King is ably supported by the irascible local singer/songwriter Alex McMurray and high-energy blues purveyors Mem Shannon and the Membership. Free admission at Tipitina's; $10 at the Ogden. — Alison Fensterstock


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