POSTED Wed. Apr 22, 2015


Piano Night Approaches

To say that New Orleans has a rich history of piano music would be a gigantic understatement. Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, James Booker — the list of top-flight New Orleans-based pianists could go on forever.

WWOZ showcases these talents on its airwaves all the time, but once a year the award-winning radio station gathers the top piano players, from New Orleans and across the world, for their flagship benefit event, Piano Night.

For twenty-seven years Piano Night has occurred on the Monday evening between the two weekends of Jazzfest, and this year is no different. On April 27th at House of Blues, twenty-two pianists will perform an assortment of piano-driven jazz, R&B, neo-soul, hip/hop, blues, pop, and much more. The event has grown considerably in the past decade, allowing organizers to expand beyond the local scene, and book acts both nationally and internationally renown.

“We want to give back to our supporters by providing them with a funky and unique experience,” said Piano Night Chair Deborah Harkins. “We have artists from Cuba, Canada, England, and elsewhere. But we do always try to bring in musicians with some sort of tie to New Orleans.”

Piano Night’s diverse mix of musicians perform across three different stages within the House of Blues venue. First, WWOZ turns the House of Blues private upstairs Foundation Room into “Club 88,” which showcases solo pianists in an intimate setting.

Second, there’s “Piano Heaven” at the House of Blues Parish, a slightly bigger set-up with a pianist backed by a few musicians. Then, of course, there’s the main stage, where a full band plays behind the piano players at all times.

Access to each of these three stages depends on your ticket package, but almost every musician on the bill plays more than one stage, and many of them play all three. “It’s like three different concert experiences in one,” said Ms. Harkins.

In addition to the music, Piano Night organizers will be auctioning off a one of a kind George Rodrigue print signed by each participating musician. Also, for the first time, the show will include a live painter, whose rendering of the evening will be raffled off at the very end of the night.

Every year, Piano Night chooses a particular artist to honor throughout evening, and this year’s artist is the incomparable Henry Butler. The technically proficient Butler, often referred to as “The Pride of New Orleans,” is a remarkable piano talent with a discography that stretches back decades. Though he won’t make it to the event in person, many of night’s pianists will pay tribute to his ongoing legacy by covering his songs.

The full schedule of performances has yet to be released, but here’s a few notable pianists to check out:

Robert Glasper Experiment

Grammy-award winning R&B artist just released his new record, Black Radio 2, earlier this year. Glasper, who is brand new to Piano Night, is a genre-bending talent, combining neo-soul with electronic, jazz, gospel, and much more.

David Torkanowsky

One of the more popular mainstays of Piano Night, Torkanowsky, affectionately referred to as “Tork” by some, has been a part of the New Orleans scene nearly all his life, and is sure to entertain both at the intimate “Club 88,” and on the House of Blues main stage.

Jorge Luis Pacheco

This high-energy Cuban jazz virtuoso was a big hit at the event last year, so producers decided to bring him back for a second go-around.

For more information about Piano Night, check out the event’s website.

Above image: Davell Crawford, by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee, courtesy of WWOZ.

POSTED Jul 18, 2019

Creative Culture

August in New Orleans

August in New Orleans

New Orleans may be known as a party town, but locals work as hard here as they do in any city. Take a break from the routine with…....

Written by CREE MCCREE
POSTED Nov 27, 2018


Ready for Reveillon

Ready for Reveillon

Just like caroling on Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral concerts, or bonfires on the levee, Reveillon dinners are a beloved Crescent City holiday tradition. This year a…....

POSTED Feb 28, 2018


Off To The (Wiener) Races...

Off To The (Wiener) Races...

We often stress on this site the unique nature of New Orleans. The one of a kind confluence of cultures, ethnic groups, immigration patterns and geographic conditions that…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN
POSTED Nov 30, 2017




Almost any identifiably New Orleans menu item has a corresponding festival, but up until recently, one of the city’s most iconic culinary treats was left without its own…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook