Met Music Director James Levine conducts Verdi’s early drama of Ancient Babylon, Nabucco, with Plácido Domingo as the title character. Liudmyla Monastyrska sings the tour-de-force role of Abigaille, Nabucco’s willful daughter.
Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the seemingly ageless New Orleans institution known as the Dirty Dozen Brass Band comes to Rockport for its Shalin Liu Performance Center debut. The pioneering septet reignited and reimagined the Crescent City’s brass band tradition in the late 70’s and went on to become an iconic cultural ambassador for New Orleans all over the world.
As the preeminent Cajun band in the world, BeauSoleil has been generously exporting the rich musical traditions of Southwestern Louisiana for close to forty years. After almost singlehandedly reviving Cajun music in the 70’s, they began incorporating various folk and world music traditions into their sound, creating a musical hybrid unlike any in the world.
Founded by fiddler Michael Doucet in 1975, BeauSoleil quickly became a regional sensation. Much of their success derived from their genuine love of their Cajun/Creole roots (Doucet received a NEA Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant in 1975 to study Cajun fiddle styles, learning from iconic Cajun/Creole masters like Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot). Their popularity also stemmed from an adventurous, progressive spirit, the band unafraid to mix in elements of zydeco, Caribbean, New Orleans jazz, blues and rock into their style.
By the mid 1980’s they had already become the most popular Cajun band in the country and were performing all over the world, headlining large festivals. Ever restless, the band’s albums reflected their experimental spirit. Through the years, they’ve been nominated for twelve Grammy’s, winning two. Now entering their 40th year, Doucet and BeauSoleil have been around long enough to mentor a second wave of Cajun revivalists, lending their wisdom and expertise to rising star bands like the Pine Leaf Boys, Feufollet and the Lost Bayou Ramblers among others. But despite their elder status, BeauSoleil are by no means slowing down. They’ve got much more to say.
“The remarkable thing about Cajun revivalists BeauSoleil is that they are still inviting us to ask what’s new. BeauSoleil isn’t neo-anything. This ensemble finds freshness not by infusing vintage styles with contemporary sonics, but with vibrant, thoughtful fusions.”- Boston Globe