On Friday, November 3, Gallatin Street Records will hold a release party for the New Orleans based band Bon Bon Vivant.
The band includes six musicians; Abigail Cosio on lead vocals and guitar, Jeremy Kelly on saxophone, Ry D’Antonio on drums, Mike Robins on bass, Ryan Brown on accordion and keys with backing vocalist Glori Cosio.
Gallatin Street Records began in 2014. Embracing the history of the city, the label honed in on the musical culture, a defining facet of the Crescent City. The record label’s prerogative was, and remains to be, a project directed toward the ongoing preservation and promotion of New Orleans’ music, art, and culture.
Since its inception, Gallatin Street Records has remastered and digitized over three hundred recordings of traditional New Orleans Jazz—some of the greats like Louis Armstrong and the Kid Ory Band—preserving them for both present and future generations.
Through the partnership of the New Orleans Jazz Museum and the University of New Orleans, the record label is striving to publish the vintage recordings of New Orleans musicians, kept in the museum archives, as well as, record the performances put on in the museums state of the art recording space.
It is as part of the latter recording project that Bon Bon Vivant weaves in with Gallatin. The group—referring to their style, as Indie-Gypsy, New Orleans Jazz—is part of the contemporary recording sessions that the museum will be hosting.
Bon Bon Vivant has developed their own form of New Orleans Jazz but are very influenced by the harmonies of the Boswell Sisters, and other New Orleans jazz greats such as Sidney Bachet, Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton, but the music they write is also molded by their contemporaries: Herlin Riley, Brent Rose, Shannon Powel, and Chris Royal, just to name a few.
After giving me a long and diverse list of influences, Jeremy, one member of the six-part group, expounded, “We are lucky to have a history of amazing music and then the evolution of that music playing all over town every night!”
The band is heavily influenced by the musical city and has used the many variations to form their own sound. Jazz musicians interpret the music in a slightly different way from those that came before them. Abigail, the singer and songwriter for Bon Bon Vivant recently heard a story about the Jazz Axe Man of New Orleans. The historic narrative was reflected in the next song she wrote, a bawdy and bluesy swing tune.
As Jeremy succinctly put it, “we are consciously and unconsciously influenced and inspired all the time, by other musicians, the history, and the culture.”
Music is the thread that ties all parts of New Orleans together, which is how Bon Bon Vivant found their way to working with Gallatin Records. The band was invited by the New Orleans Jazz Museum to perform at the exhibition opening for Women in Jazz. They were impressed with the facility, the exhibitions, the great equipment, and the sound they were able to produce in that space.
“Some gigs you bring revelry, folks are dancing and drinking, blowing off steam and getting loose but here we had a chance to play to a listening audience, told stories about our inspiration, and got to connect with them.”
As much as the band loved the space, Greg Lambosy, the director to the New Orleans Jazz Museum and Gallatin Records, was interested and intrigued by Bon Bon Vivant’s distinctive renditions well-known jazz harmonies as well as their own innovative ballads.
Bon Bon Vivant was even more drawn in by the background of the record label. Gallatin was the first red light district in New Orleans, which seemed to fit well with the tone of Bon Bon Vivant: a little wild, a little risqué, and with a great sonorous tone.
The record label had been remastering vintage recordings and doing some contemporary recordings in the new space, but not in an official capacity. Gallatin Records was ready to get the ball rolling and Bon Bon Vivant was the right band to move forward with.
Shortly after the meeting, Greg invited the band to collaborate in an official capacity–doing a live recording at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. This is the release party that will be held this Friday, November 3.
“It would be amazing in another one hundred years what could get collected. We are all so appreciative of the documented music that comes from New Orleans and having an organization dedicated to continuing that tradition is a really cool idea!” I could not agree more with Jeremy. The music and the history of this city are woven, so it is essential that we record our great musical traditions for the inspiration and education of future generations
Bon Bon Vivant will be playing their interpretations of some traditional New Orleans tunes, songs from their record Paint & Pageantry, as well as, some new material that will be part of their next release. The set will include; new recordings of traditional jazz numbers like “Shout Sister Shout,” by the Boswell Sisters and a spin on the classic “St. James Infirmary Blues.” Originals written by Abigail Cosio are “The Bones,” “Odetta,” “USOS,” and “Hell or High Water.” “Saints and Sinners” and “Lost Soul” are from Bon Bon Vivant’s current release of Paint & Pageantry.
The night kicks off at 8:00 PM at The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave). You can purchase tickets here and learn more about the band here. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Jazz Museum to allow the continued recording and archiving of great New Orleans Jazz.