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Kermit Ruffins' Birthday Bash
8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 19
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Everyone in New Orleans knows that Kermit Ruffins is the kind of guy who'll celebrate at the drop of a hat. Under his guidance, something as mundane as a Thursday night can turn into a shindig, as evidenced by his longstanding gigs at Vaughan's Lounge. This year, he's had plenty to party about, including his French Quarter Fest wedding, the release of his Live at Vaughan's album and, not least, a gig at the White House with his Barbecue Swingers. Wish him the best for the year to come at his annual birthday throwdown at the House of Blues, which is sure to be a brassy good time. Joining Kermit in revelry are his old crew, the Rebirth Brass Band, as well as the Hot 8 Brass Band, his daughter Neshia Ruffins and many other friends. Tickets $15. — Alison Fensterstock




Spencer Bohren's Christmas Concert
8 p.m. & 10 p.m. Thu., Dec. 20
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696;

New Orleans' folk/blues master Spencer Bohren's spare, lonely pedal steel and atmospheric acoustic guitar picking are superlative, but hardly conjure jingling sleigh bells and industrious elves. Nevertheless, he's the force behind a decade-old musical Christmas party that has North Pole spirit in spades. The annual soiree features a cavalcade of local artists trading tunes in a holiday mood. This year's spectacle features local talent from a lineup of Bohren's friends trading sets, including sousaphonist Matt Perrine, guitarist Phil DeGruy, Pfister Sister Debbie Davis, the Iguanas' Rod Hodges, Johnny Sansone and many others. While some kids may be tucked away with visions of sugarplums dancing, Bohren's won't be. Andre, the pianist and drummer for Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and Corinna, a performer with the Santa Fe Opera, will be on the stage with their dad. Tickets $12. — Fensterstock




Ogden After Hours Presents Li'l Buck Sinegal
6 p.m.-8 p.m. Thu., Dec. 20
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St., 539-9600;

Rock 'n' roll has a secret history, and it's full of players like Paul "Li'l Buck" Sinegal — the sidemen and session men whose contributions, though largely unheralded, are the key ingredient in the songs that shape a sound. Dr. Ike Padnos, the man behind the six-year-old Ponderosa Stomp music festival that takes place in May, has made it his mission to seek out these artists and give them the top billing they deserve. At the Ogden, he'll be interviewing Li'l Buck between sets about the time he put in on the guitar with zydeco king Clifton Chenier. They'll also talk about his years playing sessions with the studio band at the legendary Lafayette-based Excello label. Tickets $10. — Fensterstock




Home for the Holidays Benefit
7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Sun., Dec. 23
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Dedicated to the memory of Daniel Price, the Home for the Holidays benefit raises funds to support students studying art and music. The promising young artist was slain in San Francisco in 2003 while trying to protect his wife from an assailant. A New Orleans native and NOCCA alum, Price is remembered and honored by a namesake foundation that supports current NOCCA students. The Home for the Holidays benefit features music by Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, the Rebirth Brass Band, Rockin' Dopsie, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, John Boutté and Jonathan Batiste. The patron party (6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.) will feature a performance by Irma Thomas as well as a silent auction for items including a print of one of Price's paintings, a football signed by Peyton and Eli Manning, a jersey signed by Drew Brees, other signed Saints gear and artwork by past recipients of the Daniel Price scholarship. The patron party includes a buffet dinner and open bar. Tickets $125 patron party, $30 benefit. — Will Coviello

  • Michael Varisco

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