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Deep roots

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Charmaine Neville and the Charmaine Neville Band perform at the Kent Plantation House. They will perform on Sunday at Kent Plantation House as part of the Kent House birthday celebration. (Town Talk file photo)

By Jodi Belgard

The Charmaine Neville Band, fresh off a European tour, will play a set at Kent Plantation House Sunday as part of the Kent House’s 210th anniversary celebration.

This will be the second time the band has performed at one of Louisiana’s oldest plantations.

The Charmaine Neville Band’s pianist, legendary jazz musician and New Orleans transplant, Amasa Miller, said he remembers playing at Kent House several years ago.

Miller said preservation of Louisiana history is something he takes personally, and the band takes seriously their role in the preservation of Louisiana music.

Neville is one member of a family deeply rooted in Louisiana’s music landscape. Her father was jazz musician Charles Neville, one of the famous Neville Brothers, which included Aaron Neville, who went on to have a prolific solo career.

Neville described being part of a tradition richer, older and deeper than herself as an honor and a blessing.

“Of all the great music that’s in Louisiana, people listen to me,” Neville said, in awe of her own power.

The music Neville and her band plays is not to be pigeon-holed. The Charmaine Neville Band is not a jazz band. It’s not a funk band. It’s not a roots band.

“I love everything,” Neville said. “I do classical, I do jazz, I do funk, I do gospel, I do R&B — I do it all. Probably, my favorite thing to do is make people dance.”

Her intent is to showcase all of Louisiana’s music history to as many people as will listen.

“I want people to realize that there’s so many kinds of music in the state,” she said. “And, to be able to pass Louisiana music on to the rest of the world “» I want them to now that everybody in Louisiana has rhythm.”

Neville and company have entertained audiences around the globe, and people always leave with a smile on their faces, she said.

“People might not like everything that I do, but they’re gonna find something.”

Though Louisiana’s roots music is deeply ingrained in Neville, she is not a music snob.

“I like everything,” she said. “Some of my favorite artists are Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughn, Betty Carter, Doris Day, Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson and Prince. And I have everything Jimi

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Written by demon53

September 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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