After decades of offering an every-night-of-the-week roster filled with the finest from New Orleans' contemporary jazz scene, Snug Harbor (626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696, www.snugjazz.com) closed its door for a mere six weeks following Katrina. The club quickly returned to its pre-storm schedule, and by the time modern jazz great Astral Project assumed its traditional role as host for the annual New Year's Eve bash, a sense of normalcy had returned to Snug. Even as summer's heat slows down local nightlife, Snug's list of musicians reads like a who's who of local jazz: Ellis Marsalis, Roland Guerin, Charmaine Neville, Leah Chase, Don Vappie and Germaine Bazzle, just to name a few.
"We've been here a long time, and we've always treated the musicians well," says club manager Wesley Schmidt, who has worked at Snug for 20 years and credits the club's solid working relationship with musicians as a reason the club was able to return so quickly.
Snug Harbor has experienced a few changes in recent months, however. The bar and restaurant, which occupy the front sections of the club, separate from the two-level music club, have been much busier recently, Schmidt says. The menu has remained the same, boasting favorites such as shrimp remoulade, steaks and Gulf fish entrees.
Musicians still perform two sets each night, but the times have been bumped up an hour to 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Schmidt explains that the earlier start times have two benefits. There's plenty of work to do in post-Katrina New Orleans, he says, so people can go to bed and wake up earlier. It also allows the club to offer a late-night set on a regular basis for the first time. Acts performing in the late-night slot include Tony Dagradi, Twangorama, Irvin Mayfield and Johnny Vidacovich.
"That's no plan B," Schmidt says, referring to the late-night performers. "That's a New Orleans A-list."
International House (221 Camp St., 553-9550; www.ihhotel.com) will hold its annual St. John's Day commemoration of the voodoo religion, starting with the construction of an altar in its lobby that will be on view from June 19-24. Voodoo priestess Sallie Ann Glassman will lead a head-washing ceremony on June 23 in honor of legendary voodoo priestess Marie Laveau.
- Cheryl Gerber
- Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield is among the A-list of New Orleans musicians to take the late-night music shift at Snug Harbor