Thursday, April 18, 2024

Port Allen- Join the West Baton Rouge Museum in partnership with Baton Rouge Blues Festival and Foundation and WRKF on Thursday, April 18, 2024 for of a newly launched Musicians Fete. This pre-event for the Baton Rouge Blues Fest is free and open to the public for musicians and music lovers alike. 

Festivities will kick off at Noon with a free luncheon catered by Neal's Soul Food and conclude with a 6 PM live interview/performance between Tulane University Professor of Anthropology and National Public Radio's American Route's radio host and Executive Producer, Nick Spitzer and Bluesman and West Baton Rouge native, Lil Ray Neal. In between, enjoy impromptu jams, short musical sets starting with Steve Riley, widely-acknowledged master of the Cajun accordion presented by Manship Theatre's outreach program, Manship on the Move, engaging speakers, networking and a resource fair. Contacts for potential venues for gigs, legal, insurance, business, and tax preparedness information will be available. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be on hand with resources available to small businesses/sole proprietors such as musicians and free music-specific resources the library offers, such as their recording studio. As a bonus, the Juke Joint on our grounds will be open during the day for jam sessions. 

The 6 pm interview/performance featuring Spitzer and Neal will take place on the museum's outdoor Juke Joint Stage. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and libations to enjoy the show that will include a cultural and musical conversation about cultural conservation and the future if the blues tradition in Baton Rouge intertwined with solo music performed by Lil Ray Neal. 

In meeting with Lauren Lambert-Tompkins, Executive Director of the Baton Rouge Blues Festival and Foundation, and WRKF, and in polling area musicians to ask what they need most, a resounding request was made for resources. Musicians have asked for a space to network with each other and to find answers to help they need. With music, especially blues, being a rich cultural tradition in our community, it falls within our mission to "preserve and promote" this art form and those artists who keep it going. Therefore, we are wholeheartedly embracing this opportunity to serve this need in addition to our ongoing commitment to providing exhibits and programming related to regional art, culture, and history. 

Special thanks to Louisiana Office of Economic Development, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival and Foundation, WRKF, PSS Sound, Kean Miller, Manship Theatre, the East Baton Rouge Public Library, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Lazarro Nettles, Mike David and Coozan's Entertainment, and all other organizations, venues, and volunteers for helping to present this inaugural event. At this time, we are still accepting more individuals, organizations, and vendors who would like to participate to make their services known to musicians. 


Event Date: 


West Baton Rouge Museum
845 N. Jefferson Avenue
70767 Port Allen , LA