Allen Toussaint (born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B.

Allen Toussaint is a senior member of that titled fraternity, a renowned songwriter and producer, who’s celebrated for his distinctively deft and funky feel on the piano and still active after more than fifty years in the business. No fading golden oldie is this piano professor, though many of his successes reach back that far. The list of those who have benefited in one way or another from the Toussaint’s touch is staggering in its historic and stylistic range, stretching from the late 1950s to the present day, with no end in sight. His studio productions have sold millions of discs and downloads. His catalog of songs has generated hits on the pop, R&B, country and dance charts – many remain on heavy rotation in various radio formats. His tunes continue to pop up as TV themes and advertising jingles. He has an ever-growing international circle of fans, and though normally reluctant to tour, he’s become a more familiar figure at music festivals and popular nightclubs around the world.

Allen Toussaint; a massive song writing talent... The dean of the New Orleans music scene. He influenced the careers of countless musicians and performers. He wrote numerous hits in the 1960s and 1970s, including Glen Campell's number one smash "Southern Nights." His later work includes 2006's The River in Reverse, a collaboration with Elvis Costello, and the 2009 jazz album The Bright Mississippi. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2013, he received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.

My music is homegrown from the garden of New Orleans. Music is everything to me short of breathing. Music also has a role to lift you up - not to be escapist but to take you out of misery. - Allen Toussaint



Quint Davis is CEO of Festival Productions Inc.–New Orleans and the producer and director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, one of the world’s great festivals. His efforts have been instrumental in the growth of the Jazz & Heritage Festival, bringing to international prominence an event showcasing Louisiana music, food and crafts.

Davis served as producer/director of America’s Reunion on the Mall, a two-day multi-stage festival as part of the 1993 United States Presidential Inaugural Celebration. One million people attended the event on the National Mall between Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument. In January of 1997, Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans once again produced a festival for the 53rd Presidential Inauguration. An American Journey, with four stages, two food tents and a technology pavilion, entertained approximately a half a million people over two days on the National Mall. Since 1970, Davis has been associated with George Wein, the impresario who has produced thousands of events since 1954, including the seminal Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.

Davis designed and produced, in conjunction with Essence Magazine, the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans from its inception in 1995, when the event celebrated the magazine’s 25th anniversary through 2007.  Under his stewardship the event became widely regarded as the biggest and best annual celebration of African-American music and culture.

By the time he had reached his early twenties, Davis was already road managing tours, including the first visits of both B.B. King and Muddy Waters to Africa, as well as overseas tours with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, John Mayall and many others. He also conducted European tours featuring artists such as Duke Ellington, McCoy Tyner and B.B. King.

Davis’ work with Festival Productions as a production coordinator put him on the front line at most of the company’s festivals, including the Benson & Hedges Blues festivals in Dallas and Atlanta, the Black Heritage Festival in Toyahasi, Japan, and the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals in Newport, Rhode Island. Davis produced two festivals on the Philadelphia waterfront, Jambalaya Jam and RiverBlues, from 1986-1995. In the summer of 1992, The Great Gospel Picnic Weekend in Philadelphia was yet another festival produced by Davis. Also that summer, Davis traveled to Bangkok with the Tuxedo Brass Band to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand.

Davis was honored in 2000 by the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau with The Lester E. Kabacoff Hospitality Award, the organization’s highest award for his contributions to the New Orleans community and its musical legacy. In 2001, Davis received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame for his continued support of the culture and heritage of Louisiana. The Hall of Fame not only presented the award to him, but also renamed the award “The Quint Davis Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Davis and Festival Productions continue to produce the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival along with other special events, such as a parade, a major party and the music portions of the halftime show held in conjunction with the 2008 National Basketball Association All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.  Davis and his company are committed to fashioning some of the most original, meaningful and unforgettable special events in the entertainment industry.



Edwin H. Hampton is a Legendary band director, a beloved community pillar, mentor to thousands of musicians and founder of the iconic St. Augustine High School Marching 100. Hampton 'didn't just teach music. He taught manhood. 

Mr. Hampton will forever be remembered for the look and sound of his Purple Knights, the purple-and-gold-clad band members who march each year in Carnival parades. But his contributions to his school and community extended far beyond parades and football halftime shows. He founded and led the quintessential New Orleans Mardi Gras marching band. They are just emblematic of all of Mardi Gras.

St. Augustine High School was founded in 1951 as a Catholic high school for African-American males. Mr. Hampton took over the band in the school's second year. He had a lofty vision of what a marching band could be. He honed that vision by studying college bands across the country. Mr. Hampton had gone to workshops in the summer. He instilled in the band members a different style of marching. The result was "patterns in motion, " an approach in which band members created complicated formations while marching a precise eight steps every 5 yards. Soon, Mr. Hampton's halftime shows rivaled the games themselves for entertainment value. "I don't want to get in a fight with the football coach, but I do know a large number of people who go to our games come to hear the music and see the band, " Mr. Hampton said in a 1981 interview.

Such was the band's renown that, in 1967, St. Augustine's band desegregated Carnival, becoming the first black band to march down St. Charles Avenue in the Rex parade. Though a great honor, marching in previously all-white Carnival celebrations was not without a price. 

Under Mr. Hampton's direction, the St. Augustine band achieved national renown, performing for Pope John Paul II, eight U.S. presidents, several Super Bowl audiences, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

Mr. Hampton was passionate about music and St Augustine H.S. He received many awards and recognitions. He paved the way for other bands. Accomplishments of the Marching 100 under the direction of Mr Hampton are as follows:

Under Mr. Hamp's leadership, the Marching 100 was the first band to march in Zulu parade, Rex parade, to perform at Saints and Tulane games, to march in Endymion and Freret parades, first and only to march for Pope John Paul, perform at Super Bowl XXIV, to march Macy's Day parade in NYC and marched for 8 presidents.

The band was able to march through insults, vile projectiles and roses in part because of the St. Augustine mystique, an unwritten code of conduct and point of pride the band director helped instill in his young musicians. 

Mr. Hamp taught discipline, respect and leadership. Those were critical value traits you had to have for him. All he asked of you was to be honest with him and to work hard. If St. Augustine can be said to have a certain mystique, Mr. Hampton can be said to have exemplified it.



Cheeky Blakk (born Angela Woods) first got her start in the New Orleans bounce scene as a backup dancer, where she met another local rap legend in the bounce world, Pimp Daddy.  From there the two became an item, bounce royalty if you will, eventually putting their relationship issues on vinyl and writing diss songs about each other, leading to high energy battle performances and fans flocking to New Orleans clubs to see what the hype was about.  With as much bravado on stage as any of her male counterparts, Cheeky became known for not only holding it down for female MC's, but for kicking the door in and demanding to be heard. 

She released "Twerk Something" in 1994 and quickly followed it up with two more local monster hits – the Mannie Fresh produced "Let Me Get That Outcha," and "Bitch Get Off Me" released in 1995.  During that time I couldn't go to a school dance, talent show, or house party without at least one, but probably all three of her monster hits tearing down the house.  Those songs are from a time when bounce exploded onto the music scene in New Orleans and was dominated by male artists like DJ Jimi and DJ Jubilee, two other originators of the genre when you look up the timeline and history of bounce of music