Join us at Center Stage in Town Center Park when we bring a little southern soul to Big Sky with the New Orleans Suspects on June 29 for a free concert! Tonight’s show is sponsored by First Security Bank.
New Orleans Suspects began playing together in 2009 as a pick-up band at the Maple Leaf in New Orleans. Comprised of some of the most seasoned, highly respected players in NOLA, the group called themselves The Unusual Suspects. Their chemistry was undeniable and by the summer of 2011 they decided to tour full-time, renaming the band New Orleans Suspects. They quickly began attracting large crowds from San Francisco to New York. In four short years they released three CDs and established themselves as one of New Orleans’ best supergroups.
“Mean” Willie Green was the drummer for the Neville Brothers for over thirty years. His unparalleled style has helped shape New Orleans funk, and his drumming has graced recorded tracks by dozens of artists, including The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Edie Brickell.
Bass player Charlie Wooton was born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he studied Jazz, Classical, Funk, and Zydeco. An international touring musician and an accomplished studio producer, his resumé includes Chubby Carrier, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Bonerama, Zydefunk, Sonny Landreth, ZABADODAT, and many others.
Jake Eckert was the longtime lead guitarist in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Traveling the world, he has performed everywhere from Palace Square in Russia to 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony. He has other talents as well, receiving a Grammy Award in 2011 for recording engineer and producing albums for John Mooney, Cedric Burnside, and New Orleans Suspects, among others.
CR Gruver is a classically trained pianist who immersed himself in New Orleans piano styles after touring with national bands such as Outformation and singer/songwriter Angie Aparo. Adept at James Booker-style piano and the swelling B-3 stylings of Art Neville, Gruver has also become a well-regarded sideman for Leo Nocentelli of The Meters.
Jeff Watkins is an accomplished sax player, engineer and producer. He spent twelve years leading the James Brown Band, including Brown’s induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. He also worked for six years with Joss Stone as her producer, engineer, and bandleader.
The band’s third and most recent recording, Ouroboros, was released in October 2014 on Louisiana Red Hot Records and received rave reviews from the press and substantial airplay on syndicated blues radio.
Park opens at 6, music starts at 7 p.m. Food and beverage vendors available. PLEASE no glass containers or dogs in the park!