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Karen Dalton-Beninato
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Karen Dalton-Beninato, freelance writer, uber-Tweeter, music industry consultant. Published in Forbes Travel, The New Republic, Earth Island Journal, here and afar. Newspaper features editor back when that was a thing. Married to uber-bass player Jeff.

Entries by Karen Dalton-Beninato

Jazz Fest Wraps With Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Jon Batiste and Tributes In the Rain

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 2:41 AM

There are apparently a magic number of "Purple Rain" covers that cause the heavens to send down the rain, and that was the case this weekend at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

2016-05-02-1462169502-2218644-DSCN9004.jpg Dr. John, Closing Down Acura Stage in the...
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Elvis Costello Rocks Out For New Orleans Jazz Fest Weekend 2

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 1:11 AM

For the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Thursday, headliner Elvis Costello sported the sartorial splendor of a purple hat with a button picturing the late Allen Toussaint front and center.

2016-04-29-1461906002-2301817-Elvis1.JPG Elvis Costello Photo by Adam McCullough

Musical brothers, Elvis and Allen...

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New Orleans Jazz Fest Weekend One - That's a Wrap

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 1:19 AM

2016-04-25-1461560894-7887183-DSCN8669.jpg Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

If you had a Prince / David Bowie / Tribute Clicker keeping track at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest)'s weekend one, it would have been very busy. Royal Teeth performing David Bowie's...

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From Janelle Monae's Prince Tribute to Smokey Johnson Memorial, Spirits Moved at Jazz Fest

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2016 | 1:58 AM

"Mark my face, know me again - join hands" - T.S. Eliot, "The Queen of Drum"

2016-04-23-1461426256-6072439-DSC_3866e.jpg Janelle Monáe Photo by Adam McCullough

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival headliner Janelle Monáe described her friend and collaborator Prince during an emotional set that included...

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75 Facts About Dr. John for his 75th Birthday

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 1:15 AM

1) Young Malcolm John Rebennack modeled for the Ivory Soap Box.
2) His Aunt Andre taught him to play on the piano on his childhood home.
3) By 13, his New Orleans gigs included strip clubs, grocery stores...

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Top 7 Reasons I Haven't Jumped Out a Window From Katrina 10 Coverage

(4) Comments | Posted August 29, 2015 | 12:09 AM

1) I live on the first floor, so there would be no point.
Pre-Katrina my husband Jeff and I lived on the second floor. Then we lived in Illinois, second floor again, while my parents both succumbed to the long goodbye of Alzheimer's Disease. Then we shared a...

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Mostly What We Are Is Still Here: A Cold Take on That Katrina Editorial

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2015 | 4:25 PM

The Chicago Tribute Editorial Board member's piece: In Chicago: Wishing for A Hurricane Katrina (Later renamed but still offensive) spurred a mountain of justifiably hot takes. With the Hurricane Katrina 10-year anniversary in less than two weeks, I had too much outrage fatigue to write a hot take....

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Love Is Love as Last State Issues First Gay Marriage License

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 7:54 PM

Louisiana, the last state to issue a same-sex marriage license, was off to a romantic start this afternoon. The first license was issued to a couple who work for the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court and have been watching for the state to comply with the Supreme Court's Marriage Equality...

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How to Get Meat Smart: Low and Slow 2

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 9:31 PM


Just in time for BBQ season, New Orleans food writer Colleen Rush and beloved Chicago Barn & Co. pit master Gary Wiviott have come out with the book Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roastings and Basic Curing. Clearly...

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From Elton John to Dr. John: Jazz Fest Weekend 2 Wraps

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 10:46 PM

2015-05-05-1430793087-6895365-dj.JPG Dr. John and the Ske-Dat-De-Dat Horns

Weekend two at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival had everything: aboriginal bluesman Gurrumul; a second line funeral for 40-year Jazz Fest plumber John (JT the Flowmaster) Tamberella who was made one of The Ancestors; and...

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All About That Jazz: International Jazz Day at New Orleans Jazz Fest Day 4

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 11:30 PM


International Jazz Day was celebrated, appropriately enough, in the city where jazz was born on the 4th day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2015.

From the steps of the New Orleans Museum of Art, musicians Terence Blanchard and Poncho...

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The Good Life With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Jazz Fest Day 3

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 1:47 AM

"That's My Momma!" James Andrews said of the Baby Doll dancing during his New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival set. His show was a family affair, with wife Karen Gant-Andrews belting out an "At Last" that would have done Etta James proud. Andrews' grandfather was musician Jesse Hill, known for...

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The Who, Ryan Adams, John Legend Wrap Jazz Fest Day 2

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 2:22 AM

"The Gods of Rock wouldn't let it rain on The Who," shouted a voice in the crowd fleeing an afternoon storm at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. And They didn't -- the sun broke through by late afternoon, and The Who had the chance to sing "Talkin' Bout...

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Wilco Lights Up New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 12:22 AM


The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2015 ended its first day with a bang. And a series of lightning flashes. Then torrential rain, but not before headliners from Wilco to Keith Urban to Jimmy Cliff worked in as much music as...

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All Over Including the Shouting: Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Fest Wraps

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 11:15 PM

"I have to go channel my inner Stella," Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival President Janet Daley Duval says in passing. In an hour she'll be leaning off a balcony of the Pontalba Apartments over Jackson Square as contestants gather below...
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Usher in Spring in New Orleans With Tennessee Williams Literary Festival

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 10:37 AM

The Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival ushers in spring with a five day literary event full of theater, dining and wall-to-wall author events. This year is no exception, with humorist Roy Blount, Jr. NPR commentator Amy Dickenson, poet Saaeed Jones (a/k/a @theferocity), playwright John Patrick Shanley, Pulitzer winner Vijay Seshadri and...

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Notes on a Midwestern Childhood as Ferguson Waits

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2014 | 5:25 PM

I grew up in a small town less than an hour from Ferguson, Missouri and since the shooting of Michael Brown, extreme police reaction to protesters, and now the wait for Grand Jury results, I've been recalling a Midwestern childhood where fear of the Otherness surrounding St. Louis was pervasive....

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Dream Team Realized: Dr. John's 'Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch' Honors Louis Armstrong

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:11 PM


I first interviewed Dr. John (aka Mac Rebennack) about "Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch" a year ago when he described the album in progress as being inspired by a dream in which Louis Armstrong told him: "Do my music your way."...

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From Alabama Shakes to R&B Divas, Women Rock Jazz Fest

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2014 | 10:44 AM

"Ask me how I'm doin? I'm doin alright. I will remain alright. Cause this is up to ME," said Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes, whose soulful set was quite alright with a huge audience as she closed out the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Friday night.


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Robert Plant, Big Freedia Rock: Good Day for Golden Gods and Goddesses at Jazz Fest

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2014 | 2:58 AM

Robert Plant was in fine form closing out the stage at Saturday's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, with Phish jamming across the track for hours. From Led Zepplin classics to thoughtfully curated covers, he did not disappoint. AXS Review: Here.

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