Blue Note Jazz Festival, Nolafunk & CEG Present: Leon Redbone
June 22, 2013
TICKETS: $40 advance, $45 day of show, $75 VIP tickets include center orchestra seating and show poster
With special guest Vinnie Raniolo
The careers of performers who reside in the limelight are usually short-lived and over-overexposed. So it's refreshing to encounter Leon Redbone, who has for decades remained so musically resonant and personally elusive.
Though his iconic guise of white fedora, jacket, and sunglasses has been thoroughly satirized (anybody remember the "Leon Redbone workout" Far Side cartoon?), it's easy to overlook what a genuinely gifted artist he remains — a role he inevitably tries to downplay.
"In some ways I've always been complacent in my approach to music," Redbone says. "So in some ways maybe I'm the pure definition of consistent." At the core of his initial calling was the desire to simply honor songs from the past — a waltz with bygone days that established him as sole curator of the museum of 20th-century music. Over the course of his 30-plus year-, 15-plus album career, the bard has continued his love affair with tunes from the turn-of-the-century (as in the second-to-last century), flapper-era radio ditties, Depression-spawned ragtime, and World War II folk-jazz.