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Matt on Floor

Dear Newsletter Family and Friends,


Right now, I'm feeling extremely blessed in taking time in August to compose/arrange and produce some upcoming shows at the end of this month. We've been working with the Ogden Museum to help celebrate the Ogden's 9th Anniversary with a brand new show  

"A Celebration of Southern Music: The 16 Southern States in Song" on August 23rd at 6pm for The Ogden After Hours Series. We premiered "A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson-100th Birthday Celebration Show" this past October at the Ogden.  


   Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band will feature Kim Prevost, Brian Blade, John Ellis, Jason Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, David Pulphus, Bill Summers and other special guests for this show. I've heard rumors of a choir possibly being there to celebrate with us. Stay tuned. Come hear what tunes we've selected to represent each of our Southern States and they surely will be "Lemmle-rized" in that "quirky" kind of way.


   Also, we're presenting two UBUNTU CD release concerts along with the re-release of "Portraits of Wonder" and "The Music of New Orleans". We'll be at Cafe Istanbul inside the Healing Center (The Old hang out of Universal Furniture and "The ChairMan")

on Friday, August 24th  with shows at 8pm and 10pm, and then at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro on Sunday, August 26th, with shows at 8pm and 10pm.    


The New Orleans Jazz Revival Band for the CD release concerts will also feature Brian Blade, David Caceres, Bobby Campo, John Ellis, Rex Gregory, John Mahoney, Steve Masakowski, Ray Moore, Ashlin Parker, Kim Prevost, Donald Ramsey, David Pulphus and Bill Summers as well as some other special guests.      



We're very excited about our upcoming August concerts and blessed from our wonderful months of June/July.  

  Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band's premiered another entertaining show  

"The History of New Orleans Music".

  It made its debut at Loyola University--my old alma mater in June. The show featured Steve Masakowski, John Mahoney, James Singleton and Geoff Clapp to an audience filled with friends, family and Loyola alumni. I'd like to send a special gratitude to my first Holy Cross band director, Mr Michael Orkus, who came out to witness our debut concert. While I was starting Holy Cross in 7th grade, Orkus taught me how to read and sight read music, along with my first experiences playing in all types of ensembles from marching band, jazz band, concert, small  and large ensembles. I learned many things from Mr Orkus about life, music and God/prayer while under his baton and also working with him during the Summer's  work study program. I remember helping him paint the Bengal Band room and doing all kinds of stuff pertaining to music. Very blessed to have him come share in the joy of music that night. Another special thanks to Dean Boomgaarden and Loyola University for having us premiere a brand new show.


 In July, my first appearance at the Essence Festival and was blessed to share the stage with Aretha Franklin. What an amazing spirit and performer. A legend and one of my all-time favorite musicians. Her energy was inspirational and I loved playing that intense 2 hour or more concert. What an amazing band too. It had an all-star New Orleans cast of musicians and Aretha's touring band. A very cool night and experience.


 Also, I had the privilege to tour my old middle and high school Holy Cross and its brand new campus. Wow!!! I was sad to see it leave its home in the Ninth Ward a few years ago, but what a beautiful campus and re-birth for our Holy Cross family and all the new Holy Cross men that will become The Holy Cross Man.


 And, speaking of the Ninth Ward and Holy Cross, I had the honor to be featured with The Dukes of Dixieland on several Jazz Cruises aboard the Natchez Steamboat. What a trip to play again with this amazing New Orleans traditional band. I last performed with them when the band was still at Mahogany Hall on Bourbon Street. The band and the cruise was amazing. It was great to see my old Ninth Ward/Holy Cross neighborhood and my MawMaw & PawPaw's house from the river (right by the old Steamboat Houses), while playing and singing New Orleans Jazz. I highly recommend taking the cruise one day or night. So much history on the river and Louis Armstrong even played music on that river!!!  


 Speaking of Pops, Satchmo Fest was just here, and it was great to present a program of all Louis Armstrong's music for the Sunday Jazz Brunch at Mojitos, across the street from the Satchmo Fest.

Kid Ory's daughter, Babette, came to hear the show and have brunch with us and requested a rendition of her father's composition " Muskrat Ramble". One of Bob French's favorite tunes. I always think of him when I perform that. I loved how he sang and played that groove while leading his Original Tuxedo Jazz Band. Go to Irvin Mayfield's Playhouse on Monday nights to see Gerald French lead this wonderful New Orleans band. Music is a family tradition here in New Orleans for sure.


I'm always happy when I'm playing or hearing those old, New Orleans tunes/hymns/spirituals and always thinking of our past New Orleans musical mentors/masters. 




   Come on out and hear Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band this month and see some original shows created to celebrate music, spirit and heritage. An awesome way to end the month of August and celebrate the many blessings we've experienced since Hurricane Katrina. I hate using the "K" word anymore, but I wanted to celebrate our release of UBUNTU  during our remembrance of her anniversary. Out of destruction, came re-birth and revival to so many spirits. God has always blessed us, and sometimes in ways we can't see at those times of darkness. But, that Love and Light is always there for everyone of us. It's always waiting to be grasped with our hearts. Seeing,feeling, hearing, and singing it in song is the Best!!!

"Go to the Light, Caroline"  



 God/Love is the way. UBUNTU   

 With Peace & Gratitude,







Matt Lemmler's  New Orleans Jazz Revival Band


Upcoming Performances




Thursday, August 23rd



Premiere of "A Celebration of Southern Music-The 16 Southern States in Song"


with Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band featuring Brian Blade, John Ellis, Jason Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, Kim Prevost, David Pulphus and Bill Summers and special guests.  



Ogden Museum of Southern Art




Atrium of The Ogden Museum's Goldring Hall


A very special Ogden After Hours to commemorate their ninth anniversary! 







"UBUNTU"   CD Release Concerts     

with Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band


Brian Blade, David Caceres, Bobby Campo, John Ellis,

Rex Gregory, John Mahoney, Steve Masakowski, Ray Moore,

Ashlin Parker, Kim Prevost, David Pulphus, & Bill Summers

and also featuring music from



"Portraits of Wonder- A New Orleans Tribute to the Music of Stevie Wonder"




"The Music of New Orleans"  




Friday, August 24th 

Caf´┐Ż Istanbul 

(inside New Orleans Healing Center)

(Come say Hello to the spirit of "The ChairMan")

2372 St Claude Avenue

Shows 8pm & 10pm



Sunday, August 26th

Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro  

626 Frenchmen Street


Shows 8pm and 10pm


 Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band and  their new Inspirational release "UBUNTU"


Click HERE to buy UBUNTU on iTunes

Featuring artists  

Brian Blade, Bill Summers,  

Jason Marsalis, Kim Prevost, Sean Jones,  

John Ellis, Mark Mullins, David Caceres, Shane Theriot, Chris Thomas,  

Evan Christopher, George French, George Porter, Jr, Donald Ramsey, Jason Mingledorff, Bobby Campo


"It takes remarkable ears for an arranger to shape something all together new out of tunes so deeply impressed in the public consciousness." Downbeat Magazine



In January, 2010, Lemmler helped produce the 9th Annual Trinity Jazz Festival (Houston, TX) featuring Kirk Whalum, Jason Marsalis, Roland Guerin and Kim Prevost. The festival concert featured half of Whalum's music and half of Lemmler's. At the culmination of the Trinity Jazz Fest weekend, Lemmler composed the Sunday Jazz Mass "Tribute to the Music of New Orleans" which featured New Orleans musicians Jason Marsalis, Roland Guerin, Herlin Riley, Kim Prevost as well as Houston's best jazz musicians.


After five years in exile in Houston, Matt's spiritual awakening and musical path led him back home to New Orleans. Shortly after returning home in 2010, Lemmler's piano and arranging skills were featured on New Orleans Jazz trumpeter and vocalist Kermit Ruffins' (from HBO series TREME) last two CD's, Have a Crazy Cool Christmas and Happy Talk and also landed him a role performing an original tune "Lemmler's Blues" in Season 2 of TREME


           Lemmler's Tribute to the Music of New Orleans and weekly Jazz church services served as motivation to bring joy and healing to everyone's spirit through the power of New Orleans music, and the inspiration for creating his upcoming CD UBUNTU featuring his New Orleans Jazz Revival Band.


Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band performs music/shows from his CD's Portraits of Wonder (A New Orleans Jazz Tribute of the Music of Stevie Wonder), The Music of New Orleans and from his new spiritual release UBUNTU, -re-worked hymns, spirituals and popular standards -which features musicians such as Brian Blade, Evan Christopher, John Ellis, Sean Jones, Jason Marsalis, Mark Mullins, Kim Prevost, Bill Summers and Shane Theriot and the Ubuntu gospel choir featuring artists such as George French, George Porter, Jr., Donald Ramsey and Wil Walker.


This new path of Spiritual inspiration continues to enlighten Lemmler about the healing power of music, and continues to motivate him to perform with his New Orleans Jazz Revival Band for people around the world in hopes of Reviving one's spirit!!!






UBUNTU- "I am what I am because of who we all are" "A person with UBUNTU is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


UBUNTU- "One of the sayings in our country is UBUNTU-the essence of being human. UBUNTU speaks particularly about the fact that you can't exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can't be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality of -UBUNTU- you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity."

Nelson Mandela


"UBUNTU...the collective is always stronger than the individual. That's what music is all about-many people working together, sharing a common creative goal. It's deep and it's ancient."

Quincy Jones





Featuring Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band




CD Track listing
(click on each track to listen)


About Matt Lemmler
Matt Lemmler is an accomplished jazz pianist, vocalist, arranger, producer and educator. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Matt's musicianship has been praised by prestigious publications and critics both nationally and internationally.

Click here to download Matt Lemmler's latest press kit and complete biography   


What critics are saying...  


"Matt Lemmler is a pianist of rare originality and a point of view about standard songs that's always surprising and often quirky" Dave Frishberg  / "It takes remarkable ears to shape something altogether new out of tunes so deeply impressed in the public consciousness" - Downbeat Magazine / "Sumptuous arrangements that brilliantly recontextualize. Wonder's music with sparkling piano accompaniment"  - JazzTimes Magazine / "Lemmler earned a truckload of kudos for his innovative CD, which recast gems from  the Stevie Wonder songbook into elegant modern jazz showcases. Lemmler's tasteful work on the ivories and superb horn arrangements makes this CD a keeper"  - New Orleans Times Picayune/Best of New Orleans-Critic's pick for New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival / "Lemmler hits higher musical ground by recasting and rearranging 10 Wonder compositions into graceful pieces for a nine-piece jazz ensemble"  - Gambit Weekly / "A fresh, skillfully rendered take on a very familiar body of work. [. . . ] This is a jazz record, the jazz vibe brings out the elegance of Wonder's music" - New Orleans Times-Picayune 

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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and families. I would love to hear your thoughts or comments about the music, newsletter, God, your path. Keep in touch.

SMartist Productions would love to come present our shows at your Jazz Festival, Church, University, Performance Hall, High School, Retirement Homes, and where ever  music can be shared. Please take a look at our many productions and send us an invite. The New Orleans Jazz Revival Band wants to bring these healing/educational/entertaining shows to your venue!!!

SMartist Productions shows


Matt Lemmler's New Orleans Jazz Revival Band

1)      A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson- 100th Year Birthday Celebration Show

2)      A History of New Orleans Music Show

3)      Jazz101- A History of Jazz Show

4)      Portraits of Wonder- A New Orleans Tribute to the Music of Stevie Wonder Show

5)      A Celebration of Southern Music: The 15 Southern States in Song Show

        World Premiere August 23rd, 2012 at Ogden Museum After Hours Series 6-8pm

6)      Two Louis- A Tribute to the Music of Louis Armstrong and Louis Prima Show

7)      A Celebration of Cinema and Television Shows-Songs from Movies and TV Themes

8)      Kidz Jazz Show- Songs of Nursery Rhymes, Cartoons to Sesame Street and Mister Rogers

9)      A New Orleans Jazz  Spiritual Service/Mass/Show (custom composed/arranged for any denomination and/or music from UBUNTU) 

10)  Christmas and Holiday Seasonal Show





Matt Lemmler

SMartist Productions, LLC

Producer, Vocalist, Pianist, Arranger, Musical Director   



Matt Lemmler