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A M B U S H  M A G  2 0 0 0   -   V O L U M E  1 5   -   I S S U E  7

Steve Gunderson To Deliver Keynote Address
at LA/HRC Dinner

Republican Steve Gunderson, retired Congressman from Wisconsin, and his partner, Rob Morris, have been chose as the keynote speakers for Black Tie V, the annual Louisiana Human Rights Campaign Dinner/Dance, slated for Saturday, May 17, at the Sheraton Grand Ballroom on Canal Street.

Grab your dance card, as the evening's theme "Dine, Dance & Dream! Black Tie V Takes You to the Rainbow Room," will feature an elegant 40's style Supper Club atmosphere, and an extravagant silent auction "Shopping on Fifth Avenue" led by local artist Chris Maier and gallery owner Arthur Roger. Entertainment will include a surprise floor show and dancing all night to the tunes of Tommy Elias.

Nationally acclaimed lesbian comedienne, Georgia Ragsdale will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the gala. Her unique wit and style has earned Georgia the distinction as the first openly gay or lesbian performer to sign a contract to star in a major television network pilot program.

With America confronting explosive challenges and new opportunities in its response to same sex relationships,. Gunderson and Morris will share their insights as an openly gay couple on Capital Hill as a bridge to progress and understanding. Building on a 13 year relationship, they will offer their inspiring story told with humor and sensitivity, as showcased in their coauthored autobiography House and Home, published in July, 1996, and currently in its third printing.

Tickets for Black Tie V are available for $125 per person. Gala Weekend tickets are available for $150 per person, which include admission to Black Tie V on Sat., May 17, and the Oz Honoree Reception on Friday, May 16. For more information about the 1997 HRC/LA Dinner Weekend, please contact Co-Chairs Ti Martin or Robert Ripley at 504.949.2572.

Award Winning French Quarter Fest Has It All

Where, but in a city that loves to party, can you hope to find a free celebration that features the best it has to offer in food, music and people? Only in New Orleans...

On April 11-13, the streets of the historic Vieux Carre play host to the 14th annual French Quarter Festival-an event that began as a means of bringing locals back to the Quarter after extensive street and sidewalk repairs prior to the World's Fair, and now attracts an estimated 250,000+ local and visitors alike, including international jazz enthusiasts.

"French Quarter Fest fans come in from England, Germany, France and the Netherlands, as well as throughout the U.S.", says festival organizer Sandra Dartus. "They love our music and often comment that the French Quarter Festival is the best showcase for real, New Orleans jazz. But equally important," adds Dartus, "are the calls we receive from the people within New Orleans and surrounding suburbs who see the festival as their own ... as an opportunity to enjoy the food, the music and the history of the French Quarter we all love."

The festivities kick off on Thursday, April 10, with a "funraising" party from 7-10 pm at the beautifully restored Boucualt House, 1025 St. Louis Street. Visitors and locals will mingle together when they "Boogie with the Bouttes" at a I St birthday bash in honor of FQF's mascot, "Rue de Poste", who was bome of a reoccurring FQF t-shirt design by Southern Silk Screen, Inc. The festive event features a party buffet, open bar and dancing to the music of John, Tanya and Tricia Boutte. During the weekend, festival goers are invited to Gumbo Ya Ya's "Guess the Weight of the World's Largest Praline" Contest, the Little Red Schoolhous 5-K race on Saturday, a Sunday family Mass at St. Louis Cathedral, and a children's village in the Aquarium/IMAX Plaza Saturday and Sunday with animal creature features", stage shows and entertainment, a petting zoo and touch pools of exotic aquatic animals. For history buffs, Herrnann-Grima House will offer a lecture and courtyard tour Saturday at I p.m., entitled "History & Restoration of a French Quarter Courtyard", and the Louisiana State Museum will present an Islenos crafts demonstration with decima singing and folkdancing from 11-5 Friday through Sunday. Except for tickets to Thursday's party which are $35 and the race registration fee, all activities are free.

In keeping with Louisiana tradition, there's food, food and more food at the festival's signature event-the "world's largest jazz brunch". Jackson Square and Woldenberg Riverfront Park are transformed into an eating extravaganza with more than 60 booths serving a variety of beverages and specialties from New Orleans finest restaurants. In addition to local favorites such as jambalaya, a variety of gumbos, red beans and rice, Creole fried chicken, muffulettas, seafood pasta, and bread pudding, there's usually a selection of unique items such as alligator sausage po-boys, crawfish stuffed bread, grilled chicken livers with hot pepper jelly sauce, brisket of beef with horseradish sauce, crawfish with lobster sauce, eggplant Pontalba, peach cobbler and more. Most items range from $2 to $5. The "world's largest jazz brunch" operates Friday and Saturday from II am - 7 pm in Jackson Square and 11 am - 10 pm along the Riverfront. The culinary caper resumes Sunday from 11 am until 7 pm in Jackson Square, and 11 am until 9 pm Sunday along the Riverfront.

To whet the appetites of music lovers, the festival offers everything from classical and contemporary to gospel and Cajun, and Dixieland jazz, performed on open stages throughout the historic neighborhood. The '97 event begins with a performance of Don Vappie & The Creole Serenaders on the Freeport-McMoRan Stage in Jackson Square at 11 am Friday, April 11. Following a brief Open Ceremony with Mayor Marc Morial, Jacques Gauthier & the Creole Rice Jazz Band offer a tribute to legendary jazzman Sidney Bechet that includes "In the Streets of Antibes", written by Bechet for his own wedding which Gauthier attended. Connie Jones, the Dukes of Dixieland, Banu Gibson, The Boogic Men, Storyville Stompers, Betty Shirley and Charmaine Neville will also perform in Jackson Square throughout the weekend.

Along the Riverfront, the Regions Bank Stage on the Toulouse Wharf introduces brass bands to the festival with performances by local favorites from11 am to 9 pm daily-the Treme Brass Band, Andrew Hall Society Brass Band, Pin Stripe Brass Band, Olympia Brass Band, Young Reliance Brass Band and the all-girl Pinettes. The Louisiana Lottery Stage (Hibernia Pavilion) kicks off on Friday at II: 15am with a Local Jazz Showcase, sponsored by the Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund. Steve Masakowski & the UNO Jazz Masters, Edward "Kid" Jordan & the Southern University Jazz Band and others will perform. Also featured on-stage throughout the weekend are local alternative group Tom's House, the Mint's Mary Griffin, Ronnie Kole, Kim Carson & the Casualties, the Reggae sounds of Offbeat Magazine-sponsored Cool Riddims & Sista Teedy, the gospel group Omega Jesse, Victor Goines, Charles Neville and Jus-Fa-Na with Harry Sterling. Margaritaville Cafe's Eddie Bo, Tim Laughlin, The Dirty Dozen and Mamou from Patout's Cajun Corner are among featured entertainers on the Miller Lite Stage (Lawn) Friday night until 10 pm. Saturday's music begins when "Proud To Call It Home" presents Bobby Cure & the Summertime Blues at 11:15 am, followed by Planet Hollywood-sponsored Rockin'Dopsie, the Wild Magnolias, and the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band. Hard Rock Cafe presents the Iguanas, followed by Allen Toussaint and the JACKSON BREWERY BREWHOUSE FIREWORKS at 9:45, co-sponsored by Planet Hollywood and the New Orleans School of Cooking. On Sunday, Tipitina's presents Bruce Daigrepont on the Miller Lite Stage, followed by Lillian Boutte, Big Al Carson, Coca-Cola-sponsored Top Cats and Marva Wright, courtesy of House of Blues.

Friday through Sunday, George Finola, Plato Smith and Warren Clark are among those featured on the Hibernia Bank Stage on Bourbon Street, while Brian O'Connell, Chuck Credo and Lionel Ferbos play the Conti/Bourbon Stage. The Court of Two Sisters Stage showcases jazz artists,John Brunious, Les Muscutt, and Michael White while Tommy Yetta, Chris Tyle and Jack Maheu grace the Gambit Weekly's Natives' Guide To New Orleans Stage on Bourbon & Orleans-also the site of Saturday night's "Battle of the Bands" with Leroy Jones, Wes Mix and Eddie Dowling as competitors. Bourbon Street also hosts the Continental Airlines Stage with groups like Neanders Jazz Band (Derunark), Peoria Jazz Band (Sweden) and King Zulu's Brass Band (Netherlands) playing their rendition of New Orleans jazz.

Music fills art and antique-lined Royal Street Saturday and Sunday with performances by Legacy from O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub, Les Amis on the harnmered dulcimer, Cajun Balladeer John Dubois, the Friemanis String Quartet and I Musiceaux on the Whitney Bank Stage at the Wildlife & Fisheries Bldg. The Monteleone Hotel Stage on Royal & Toulouse includes performances by xylophonist Carl Mack, Arnold Radel and Mozart & More, while on the Aeromexico Airlines Stage, Woodwinds Unlimited, Tony Green Gypsy Jazz,, Mel Rogers' Wienerschnitzel German Band, and Sax Encounter can be heard on the comer of Royal & St. Peter Streets.

The French Market mixes up Cajun, Jazz and Zydeco Saturday and Sunday with the likes of Blackie Forestier & the Louisiana Aces, Danny Collet & The Swamp Cats, the New Wave Brass Band, Rockin' Sidney, and the Zydeco Bone Shakers.

April 11-13 promises to be an exciting weekend, made possible by the sponsorship of Coca-Cola, Miller Lite, and the Music Performance Trust Fund, along with the support of the local community.

French Quarter Festival packages are available through the following New Orleans tour operators: Travel New Orleans (1.800.535.8747), Tours by Andrea (1.800.535.2732) and Destination Management, Inc. (1.800.366.8882).

For additional information, call 1.800.673.5725 (U.S.) or 504.522.5730 or visit the Internet site at To receive a free French Quarter Festival event schedule, write to FQF, 100 Conti Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, e-mail "", or dial FYI 1515, menu 1515.

The annual French Quarter Festival, which generally takes place the second weekend in April, is produced by French Quarter Festivals, Inc., a nonprofit organization which also presents "A New Orleans Christmas" in December and the Weindorf New Orleans (September 19-20, 1997).

Vieux Carre MCC Receives Ryan White Funding

Vieux Carre MCC has been awarded Ryan White funds for the facilitation of a day center for HIV+ persons in an effort to alleviate the problems of isolation, boredom, and loneliness that may accompany the disease.

The day center will be staffed by an administrator and volunteers; and it will provide one meal per day, as well as activities, scheduled outings, and the chance to socialize with other persons infected with HIV. The current living quarters of the pastor of Vieux Carre MCC, located next to the church, will be converted into what will be the center's facilities, and will be going by the name of the "Living Room." The Living Room is scheduled to be open and available for use some time this summer.

Currently, the church is advertising for an administrator and gathering items which will be needed for the center.

If you would like to make any donations, please call the church at 504.945.5390. The following is a wish list of items you may like to donate: furniture, paint, shelves, light bulbs, silverware, dishes, books, curtains, toilet paper, paper towels, air conditioners, office supplies, cooking utensils, games and cards, and cleaning supplies.

HAIR RAISER IV To Benefit NO/AIDS Task Force

Is your hair getting shaggy? Are those roots starting to show?

Sunday and Monday, April 6 & 7 are the dates to get your hair trimmed, styled and colored, as area hair salons open their doors for Hair Raiser IV.

Participating salons will open for business on April 6 or 7 when they would normally be closed, and will donate the day's proceeds to NO/AIDS Task Force. Last year, nearly 30 salons, and their clients, raised $30,000 to support the agency's programs and services. Some salons will also offer manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, gift certificates and product sales, as well as hair styling services.

The grand finale of Hair Raiser IV, the cocktail party and fashion show, will be held Sunday, April 13, from 7 to 10 pm at the Eiffel Tower on St. Charles Ave. This year's theme is "An Evening in Paris." The night of fashion and dancing is open to the public. Tickets are now available at $25 & $50.

The following salons will be participating: All-N-One, April Coiffeurs, Body Joys, Bendana & Co., Bourbon Cuts, Chatta Box, Cinabar, The Cut Loose Hair Salon, Dulce, Eclipse Salon, Elizabeth Fogg Salon, En Vogue Salon, Friends & Company, Hair, Inc., The Hairbox Unlimited, Guy Keefer, Irene Sarran Salon, Last Results, Michael-Frank's Salon, Pachuco Hair Co., Salon 206, Salon 2000, Salon Diversions, Versteeg Salon, Warlocks, and Wonder Cuts-Veterans.

It's Time To Fly Jazz Fest Flag Again!!!

It's coming! The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is just around the corner (April 25 - May 4, 1997).

The giant flag pole at the Fairgrounds will once again be flying the official black/gold Jazz Fest Flag.

This 1997 official exclusive Jazz Fest black/gold flag with the Festival's second line logo is being manufactured and sold by the Flag & Banner Company of Metairie, Louisiana. The f lag is available in several sizes - from small ones suitable for framing to large ones for commercial purposes.

Jazz Fest flags are available by mail order and at the Fair Grounds during Jazz Fest. An information sheet/order form listing prices and sizes may be obtained by calling either 504.834.2204 or 1.800.774-3524.

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