February 7, 2015 @ 8pm
Father of TV One's R&B Diva Syleena Johnson, Syl prepares to grace the Ritz stage to remind audiences that his famous R&B singing daughter got her talent—honest. Syl’s unique blues sound is one to not miss.
February 20, 2015 @ 8pm
Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world.
March 13, 2015 @ 8pm
In their prime, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band successfully mixed together R&B with the instrumentation of a New Orleans brass band. Featuring Kirk Joseph on sousaphone playing with the agility of an electric bassist, the group revitalized the brass band tradition, opening up the repertoire and inspiring some younger groups to imitate its boldness.
March 20, 2015 @ 8pm
Chestnut enjoys mixing styles and resists being typecast in any one niche, though his gospel sound is apparent on a number of his recordings. His initial dates as a leader were recorded for the Japanese label Alfa (reissued on Evidence), and he became an Atlantic artist in 1994. A self-titled LP followed in 1998 with Tribute to Duke Ellington following a year later. In subsequent years, Chestnut remained busy, releasing Charlie Brown Christmas in 2000, the all-original Soul Food in 2001, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ in 2003, Genuine Chestnut in 2006, and Cyrus Plays Elvis in 2007. The following year, he released Black Nile on Japan's M&I label.
March 21, 2015 @ 8pm
For six decades, Mavis Staples has been the solid rock of American music. Alongside the family group she is so identified with, the Staple Singers, she has managed to transform herself as she goes, yet never alter. From the Delta-inflected gospel sound she helped create in the 1950s, to the engaged protest of the civil rights era, and then, amazingly, on pop radio in the Stax era with a series of soul anthems, from “I’ll Take You There” to “Respect Yourself”, Staples carried on, her warm embrace of a voice the only constant.
April 4, 2015 @ 7pm
In 2001, Pieces of a Dream signed with Heads Up International and celebrated their 25th anniversary with what was undoubtedly their best album in years, Acquainted with the Night. The group’s silver anniversary release featured guitarist Ronny Jordan, vocalist Maysa Leak, and saxophonists Gerald Albright and Kenny Blake. Highlights included compositions from Albright and Michael Bearden, along with remakes of “Mahogany” and “Upside Down”. Acquainted with the Night generated two top-five singles on R&R's NAC chart.
April 17, 2015 @ 8pm
The grit of low-down country and urban blues with the bold brass of New Orleans; the hand-clapping fervor of gospel punctuated with fiery postmodern, jazz-infused horn arrangements; the haunting cries of work songs and pulsating drums that reach back to the real roots of it all.