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Louisiana Jukebox to New Orleans Live; a musical evolution

Cristian Colbert - Tuesday, June 02, 2015

It’s been a long time since our last show on Louisiana JukeBox and no matter where I go I find people that were fans, that love New Orleans music and really miss the show. I speak quite often with locals who want to walk down memory lane and reminisce about the glory days of New Orleans music television. Many of the artists that were on the show at the time (when there was no social media) have shared the video clips with their fans around the world. You can find our work on JukeBox all over the internet, on YouTube as well as on many band and fan sites. In 2015, the demand for good video content is stronger than ever and the channels to get it to the music fans are infinite so naturally the timing couldn’t be better for New Orleans Live .

New Orleans Live promises to be everything Louisiana JukeBox was and MORE! I‘ve started reaching out to artists regarding the new show and everyone I‘ve spoken to is very happy we’re getting the band back together. We’ve had many fallen greats over the past several years since the show has been on hiatus, but for every one we’ve lost it seems there are 25 more new and exciting young artists on the scene. Musicians from all over the world come to New Orleans to find themselves and soak up the energy that surrounds this historic place. New Orleans music is bigger and more popular than ever. Think about all the artists like Jon Cleary, Theresa Andersson, Anders Osborne and SO many more, that have made New Orleans their home and our rhythms a part of theirs.

Jukebox Staffers with a very young Britney Spears

I’m so excited to be back working with the team that changed my career in the music industry forever. When I began working with the team at Cox on a show called LTV it was my first time working on a television program. With my dear friend Rick Naiser we helped develop an audio and music production department that was second to none and well respected in the industry. I was able to create relationships with major manufacturers that provided us with ground-breaking technology that gave us a cutting edge in producing the highest quality audio production.

In December 2014 Rick passed away unexpectedly and while he will not be with us physically, his spirit and the lessons we learned from him will live on in this new era of New Orleans music television. Rick was one of the original collaborators on Louisiana JukeBox and along with Ernest, Kathy, Robin, Cristian and myself, formed an amazing crew and team. Together, we were an award winning program that to this day is unmatched by any other television show. Three bands in a one hour live program. LIVE, without a net! Every Thursday we would come together around 4:30pm in the afternoon and were broadcasting live at 10:30pm without fail. We had some close calls and a lot of sweat, tears, ruffled feathers, and even some blood, but we all worked together with a passion and love to get the music out to the people. As I always say, "It's ALL about the MUSIC!" The show eventually was broadcast in numerous markets, mostly in the southeast region. Places like Austin and Memphis that are big music towns had access to the amazing programming that was so far ahead of its time.

I‘ve been blessed and privileged to have worked in New Orleans music production for over 35 years. I’ve had some amazing experiences and opportunities over those years. I worked at Pyramid Audio for 15 years and they were an early sponsor of LA Jukebox. Pyramid Audio was selected to be the production company to provide audio and lighting for the very first Voodoo Music Festival in City Park in 1999. During a sushi lunch in mid city with Voodoo Producer Stephen Rehage and Voodoo Production Manager Jimmy Mac, I discovered they had an opportunity to put a major rock festival up on the internet for the first time. There were no video producers that could get the job done for the available budget. I introduced Stephen to Executive Producer Ernest Collins and our team was able to bring the production to fruition within the allocated tight budget. We used a local video truck, the Louisiana JukeBox production team and Rick and I along with the rest of our audio department loaded into a rented 24' box truck. We rocked that bad boy and documented performances by the likes of The Roots and Dr. John and created a relationship that continued with Voodoo Festival for many years. Did I say that this was the first time this had ever been done? (

In the years since Louisiana JukeBox went off the air I’ve been around the world as Tour Manager with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Zachary Richard, Terence Blanchard and the Dixie Cups. I’ve toured with Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh as well as My Morning Jacket, Del McCoury Band, Blind Boys of Alabama, Arlo Guthrie and Family, and City of New Orleans Tour (which raised money for Katrina affected musicians). Through those tours I made many friends, traveled around the world and hope to be a conduit to share both our legacy artists and new Louisiana music with all those friends and music presenters around the globe.

Currently I’m working for Bowery Presents/Civic Theatre at the newly renovated Civic Theatre downtown on Okeefe. The venue hosts concerts with artists such as the recently deceased BB King, Esperanza Spaulding, Elvis Costello, Neutral Milk Hotel, ALT-J, Tame Impala, Rob Zombie, Glen Hansard, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, to name a few.

I ran into Libra LaGrone one day at the Voodoo Festival on the Mississippi River in October 2005, the year of the Katrina displaced Voodoofest. She convinced me to join her team providing music production for their Ogden After Hours concert series. This series showcases southern music and features mostly artists performing Louisiana music. The year of Katrina (2005) the JukeBox crew provided video/audio production for that one day on the river at Audubon Park and then packed up and went to Memphis to do a second day of the Voodoo Festival (with headliners Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and New York Dolls). Rick had installed our recording and production gear into a self designed 24' trailer and the audio department once again provided amazing sound to support the best video production team in the business. As I contemplate the future in the pre dawn light here in the River Parishes outside New Orleans I am missing my friend Rick Naiser. I am encouraged and hopeful for the success of New Orleans Live and know that Rick will be in all of our hearts as we second line on celebrating the music and culture of Louisiana.

Michael Paz
Music Producer

New Orleans LIVE

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New Orleans Live is a  music performance television show featuring local, regional & some nationally known musical artists.