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Blues Fest Rent Party

  • Prince Hall Masonic Temple 1339 North Blvd Baton Rouge, LA, 70802 United States (map)

Keeping in line with blues tradition, the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation will host a Rent Party featuring a set of country and western favorites by Excello recording artist and swamp blues legend Lazy Lester. Doors open at 7 p.m. The show runs from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Complimentary beverages along with food by Louisiana Culinary Institute will be provided. 

Buy tickets here.

About the venue
The Prince Hall Masonic Temple on North Boulevard has been home to many historical performances in its 90-year existence including Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Built in 1924, the building's Grand Ballroom (previously known as the Roof Garden) was a hub for many black social functions like debutante parties, cotillions, weddings and banquets. The legendary Tabby's Blues Box opened in a convenient spot across the street in 1979 and stayed until construction forced a move to Lafayette Street in 2000. Find out more about the Masonic Temple.

About Lazy Lester
Back when blues was king and South Louisiana was the breeding ground for a blast of some of the most memorable American music ever recorded, at the heart of it was Lazy Lester. It was in the mid-1950s, on a bus, that fate turned Lester’s way, and the roots to what would become classic music began to grow. As Lester tells it, he was living in Rayne, Louisiana at the time and was on the bus riding home. Lightnin’ Slim, who was already an established recording artist, was also on the bus and was headed to Crowley to cut a record at Jay Miller’s Studio, where so much of the material for the Nashville-based Excello Records was being recorded. Since Crowley was just seven miles further than Rayne and because Lester had a serious itch to be around big-time music making, Lester decided to stay on the bus and accompany Slim to the studio. When they got there, the scheduled harp player, Wild Bill Phillips, didn’t show for the session. Lester told Slim that he had actually played with Slim’s band and thought he could handle the harp parts for the session. Remarkably, Slim and Miller gave Lester that chance, and he did not disappoint. A classic pairing was born, and Lester became a mainstay on Slim’s Excello recordings and his gigs. Through the popularity of his recordings and as the Excello story has become the stuff of legend, Lazy Lester has enjoyed tremendous popularity worldwide. In 1998, he was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, he played at Radio City Music Hall in New York as part of Martin Scorsese’s Year of the Blues super concert that resulted in his Lightning In A Bottle documentary. As a true living legend, his talents are as much in demand as ever.

What is a Rent Party?

Rent parties originated in 1920s Harlem to raise money for musicians as a means to pay the rent. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation and support its mission to promote, preserve and advance Baton Rouge blues culture. The inaugural Rent Party was held before the 2013 Baton Rouge Blues Festival. A truly can't miss experience, unexpected collaborations and impromptu sets are typical, including one from 2013 performers Blind Boy Paxton and Lavelle White, and in 2014, a special performance from Brother Dege, Chris Thomas King and Larry Garner.