The Rothko Chapel’s 2015 Summer Sounds on the Plaza concert series will commemorate the 10th anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by featuring music that originated in Louisiana.
The series will kick-off with the New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. This energetic performance promises to transport guests from the Rothko Chapel plaza to the streets of the Big Easy. This brass band formed after Hurricane Katrina, and mixes classic New Orleans sounds with new influences. Yeti Sunshine will also be on site selling snowballs, and Saint Arnolds will provide free samples of cold brews.
The second concert, slated for 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, will feature Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, a traditional zydeco band served with a side of contemporary influences. The group is guaranteed to make toes tap and hips swing. With eight CDs to his credit, Step Rideau has been a fixture of the zydecomusic scene for almost 20 years.
The final concert in the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13 – with Ed Poullard singing traditional creole music and conjuring images of “fais do dos” in Acadian sugar canes field on humid nights. Poullard is recognized as the premier creole musician on both sides of the Sabine River, part of a family tradition passed down through the generations.
“We invite Houstonians of all ages to bring a blanket and spend the evening at the Chapel plaza, soaking up the sounds of Louisiana with friends and family,” program director Michelle Ashton said.
Ashton is a Louisiana native and was living in New Orleans during Katrina. She believes taking time to commemorate the time of the hurricane is important.
“We want to honor the culture of Louisiana, knowing the great loss the state suffered during the hurricanes,” she said. “We’re looking forward to showcasing the cultural influence Louisiana music has on the Houston music scene. Every day I meet people in Houston from Louisiana, and I hope they join us this summer and enjoy the sounds of home.”
In its 40 years, the Chapel has achieved recognition as one of the greatest artistic achievements of the second half of the 20th century. In 2001 the Chapel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel regularly makes top ten lists of places to visit and is a featured entry in National Geographic’s “Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations,” published in 2009.
Visitors from around the world visit the sacred space to meditate and reflect, as they gaze at the tremendous paintings by Mark Rothko – or when they step outside to view Barnett Newman’s powerful sculpture Broken Obelisk, which stands in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.