September 2nd at the Santa Monica Pier: Dr. John

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Tomorrow night is the closing night for the 26th season of the Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier and will feature Dr. John and opening act Eddie Baytos. As always, the shows are free and start at 7 pm.

An icon of American music born in New Orleans, Dr. John is indelibly linked to the traditions and singularity of the city’s musical and cultural heritage. Mac Rebennack burst onto the rock & roll scene in the late 60s as Dr. John, the Night Tripper, merging the Rhythm and Blues, voodoo rhythms and chants of his native New Orleans to create a persona perfect for the psychedelic era. Over the years he’s thrown Jazz, Classic American Songbook, Zydeco, Boogie Woogie and Rock into the musical mix.

In 1972 he recorded “Dr. John’s Gumbo,” an album covering several standards with one original, considered a cornerstone in New Orleans music. “In 1972, I recorded Gumbo, an album that was both a tribute to and my interpretation of the music I had grown up with in New Orleans in the 1940s and 1950s. I tried to keep a lot of the little changes that were characteristic of New Orleans, while working my own funknology on piano and guitar.” The next year, with local legend Allen Toussaint producing and The Meters backing, Dr. John released the seminal New Orleans funk album “In the Right Place.” In the same way that “Gumbo” began his career-long reputation as an esteemed interpreter of New Orleans standards, “In the Right Place” established Dr. John as New Orleans’ preeminent ambassador.

Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Eddie Baytos can be said to be from N’Wahlins via Hollywood. A staple of the Southland’s music scene, Baytos is both musician – accordion, piano, keyboards, frottoir (washboard) – choreographer, composer and producer. Grounded in Zydeco, New Orleans Funk, Blues and Tex-Mex, the Nervis Brothers incorporate Cumbias, Cuban, Forro’ and Ska to “…bring the world closer through music and dance!” Eddie Baytos & the Nervis Brothers clearly play “World Mardi Gras Music” for your dining and dancing pleasure!

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