NOLA Funk Fest showcases two symposiums which will utilize a type of programming that will be prevalent at the Louisiana Music & Heritage Experience. This program involves oral histories, flavored by musical performances, will highlight the evolution of Blues and Jazz into R&B, Rock and Roll and Funk.
Deacon John is the consummate New Orleans singer, guitarist and bandleader. As a session man in the 50s and 60s, he left his musical mark on hundreds of classic New Orleans R&B hit recordings. With a career spanning over 60 years, he remains active today leading his band The Ivories. In 2000, he was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame.
Erroll King Johnson is Earl King’s son and a graduate of Alcee Fortier High School and Southern University in Baton Rouge. He is a life-long resident of New Orleans and has been in the delivery business for many years.
Ivan Neville, native New Orleanian, is a R&B multi-instrumentalist and musician best known for his solo albums, and involvement in his band “Dumpstaphunk”, which self-released their first studio debut in 2010. He has also played on several Neville Brother records, in addition to performing in Bonnie Raitt’s band in the 80’s, and playing keyboards on two Rolling Stones albums.
George Porter Jr. a coveted session bassist born and raised in New Orleans, is known for his ultimate fusion of Rock, Funk and R&B. Forming the Funk band, The Meters, in 1965 and starting the long term project, Runnin’ Pardners, in 1990 earned him recognition as the recipient of the New Orleans Music Royalty and Grammy Lifetime Achievement awards.
Ben Sandmel’s work primarily focuses on such indigenous American music as Blues, R&B, Country music, Cajun music, Gospel and traditional New Orleans Jazz with an emphasis on South Louisiana. He founded his own record label, Hot Biscuits, in 1997. The label’s recording Deep Water by the Hackberry Ramblers earned them a Grammy nomination for best traditional folk album of 1997. He authored two books about Louisiana music and folkloric connections, Zydeco! and Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans.
Hammond Scott, the co-founder and former Record Producer, Director of A&R, and President at Black Top Records INC., is known for his sound of traditional roots, blues and southern soul music. While being a former personal Manager and Booking Agent, he is currently a financial advisor in the New Orleans area.
Dave Bartholomew Symposium - Panelist Bios
Don Bartholomew, son of Dave Bartholomew, is the CEO of Bang-N World, the umbrella for Bang-N Records and the Bartholomew Boyz productions. Influenced by R&B, and following in the musical footsteps of his father, Don reaps success in the New Orleans area as a music producer.
Rick Coleman is an acclaimed R&B scholar and the author of “Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock ‘N’ Roll”, a biography of not only Fats Domino, but also New Orleans as the birthplace of Rock ‘N’ Roll.
Ira “Dr. Ike” Padnos, Ponderosa Stomp Foundation Co-founder and avid record collector, is best known for his work on Ponderosa Stomp, a three-day music festival and conference dedicated to American Roots, Blues, and Jazz music.
Gwen Thompkins is a journalist, writer, NPR veteran and host of WWNO’s Music Inside Out, which showcases the unusually varied musical landscape of Louisiana. Her stories have been featured in The New Yorker online, NPR Music, and The Oxford American.