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An Evening with Harold Battiste and Friends


An Evening with Harold Battiste and Friends

6 p.m. Tuesday, June 8

Historic New Orleans Collection, Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., 598-7171;

9 p.m. Tuesday, June 8

One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

When Harold Battiste walks into One Eyed Jacks on Tuesday, it will be his first time. "I don't even know where it is," Battiste says, his speaking voice following a natural beat. "I've never played there. I hear it's on Toulouse Street, but I've never been there." The incongruous pairing marks the release of Battiste's memoir Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man, published in June by the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC). It will benefit his All For One Foundation and the HNOC's Louisiana Musicians Biography Series, which launches with Battiste's book. It's also evidence that at 79, the storied music educator, saxophonist and producer — maestro for Sam Cooke and Sonny & Cher, gris-gris behind Dr. John's night-tripping heyday and founder of the first black-owned independent record label, AFO, in 1961 — is still opening new doors. The patron party and club concert feature respective salutes from friend and UNO Jazz Studies colleague Ellis Marsalis and proteges Jesse McBride & the Next Generation, among others. "You don't know how special it makes me feel," Battiste says. "When that man brought me [the book] to proofread, it brought tears to my eyes. That's the first time I saw my life spread out like that before me. It made me see myself in a whole different light." Everyone else, too. Party tickets $150 (includes concert and autographed book); concert tickets $10 advance purchase, $15 day of show. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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