The final concert of the First Arts Concert Series' current season is Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach and features the Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble.
What distinguishes this ensemble from the hundreds of groups around the globe playing what is variously labeled Trad, New Orleans or Dixieland jazz is its absolute authenticity. And it is a revelation to all who thought they knew what the genuine article was. One thing it is not, for instance, is the all-pervasive, brash and brassy music which emanates from the bars and strip clubs of Bourbon Street.
Despite a burgeoning international reputation, with appearances as far a field as Moscow and Hong Kong, and radio, TV and record performances, New Orleans is still the wellspring of the band's inspiration - both musically and environmentally.
The interaction between the musicians and the people they play for - many of whom actually danced to the bands whose repertoires the LRJE is reviving - is as important in creating the group's genuineness as the long hours spent delving into the archives for buried tunes. Listen to more at lrje-neworleans.com.
Tickets are $15/adults and $8/students in advance. Cost is $20/adults and $10/students at the door. Following the concert, all are invited to attend an Afterglow at Magnolia Grill to celebrate 24 years of the First Arts Concert Series.
More info at www.firstartsconcerts.com or call (850) 863-2436 or 243-9292.