Mardi Gras. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. The French Quarter.

A lot of things make New Orleans an exciting and interesting entertainment destination.

One of its biggest assets, and most popular exports, is the range of musical genres it produces, from its funk-driven brass bands to its R&B and hip-hop.

Tucson will host several artists from the Crescent City over the next few months.

Aaron Neville Duo

@ The Fox Tucson Theatre, Friday, Sept. 20.

Tucsonans may have already had Aaron Neville in the back of their minds after watching the recently released Linda Ronstadt documentary, “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.”

Ronstadt and Neville captured hearts in 1989 with a duet cover of “Don’t Know Much.” The duo’s version rose to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Now, fans of Neville’s music will get a chance to see him live, when he performs at the Fox Tucson Theatre, Friday, Sept. 20.

Neville, who was born and raised in New Orleans, experienced his first taste of fame in 1966 with the hit single, “Tell it Like it is.”

Over the years, his repertoire has moved from smooth R&B as a solo artist to N’awlins funk with his siblings, Art, Charles and Cyril, touring as The Neville Brothers.

Neville comes to the Fox, 17 W. Congress St., with his pianist Michael Goods, to perform a stripped-down selection of hits and new material, while offering the stories behind each song.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $32-$72 through the Fox box office, 547-3040.

Take Me to the River

@ The Fox Tucson Theatre, Oct. 8

For a true New Orleans experience, head to the Fox on Oct. 8 to attend “Take Me to the River,” a variety showcase of traditional and contemporary artists straight from the Big Easy.

Aaron Neville’s son, Ivan Neville, will perform with Aaron’s nephew, Ian Neville.

The show will feature bluesman Walter “Wolfman” Washington and include performances by famed Mardi Gras Indians, “Big Chief” Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles and “Big Chief” Romeo of the Ninth Ward Hunters.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a staple of New Orleans music, headlines the bill.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27-$69 through the Fox box office.

Big Freedia

@ The Rialto Theatre, Nov. 22

Freddie Ross, otherwise known as Big Freedia, brings a completely different element of New Orleans music to Tucson on November 22.

Freedia is the self-proclaimed “queen” of a fast-paced, high-impact sub-genre of hip-hop called bounce music, a style that first came to fruition in New Orleans in the early 1990s.

Freedia’s hypersexual, twerk-friendly repertoire has thrust her into the national spotlight on more than one occasion.

She’s appeared on several late-night programs, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and on the HBO series, “Treme,” and her voice has been sampled on popular songs by Drake and Beyoncé.

Freedia is on the road promoting her latest EP, “3rd Ward Bounce.”

The Rialto show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26-$28 through the Rialto box office, 740-1000.

Contact reporter Gerald M. Gay at or 573-4679.


Gerald received his journalism degree from the University of Maryland. He has been with the Star for 16 years and has covered a variety of beats. Currently, he divides his time between the presentation desk and as a member of the digital team.