Alanna Quinn-Broadus: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Alanna Quinn-Broadus: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

*New Orleans- I’m sure that you are like most people wondering where time has gone. You can probably, vividly recall ringing in the New Year with family, friends, significant others or co-workers, etc.

Let’s not forget the pranks that you witnessed for April Fool’s Day. Now that Spring season is upon us, many people joyously welcome the idea of getting outdoors for fun activities despite an unusually long Winter season.

Thoughts of great cuisine, wonderful music, friendly party atmosphere, couple of tons of fun, is what most people think when you mention New Orleans, aka The Crescent City and N’Awlins. Residents of New Orleans celebrate life 365 days of the year. This is a special time of year in New Orleans. Outdoor concerts/festival season is in full bloom with its delightful, musical splendor.

The line-up for Wednesday at the Square was the most anticipated event for both local residents and visitors alike. If memory serves me well, the first show was postponed due to inclement weather. The series will be extended with a make-up date in the future.

Wednesday at the Square Signage

Wednesday at the Square Signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is presenting the 16th Annual YLC Wednesday at the Square, presented by the New Orleans Pelicans. Other sponsors for the 2015 season include Republic National Distributing Company, Abita Brewing Company, the Downtown development District, and Bellwether Technology. The series is also made possible with the generous support of Lafayette Square Conservancy and the Department of Parks and Parkways.

Young Leadership Council signage

Youth Leadership Council signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

This popular 12-week concert series features several well-known local and regional musical acts. The concerts take place every Wednesday from 5-8:00PM, March 11th through May 27th in Downtown New Orleans at Lafayette Square (between Camp Street and St. Charles Avenue, directly across from Gallier Hall).

Lafayette Square Signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Lafayette Square Signage: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Wednesday, April 8th concert consisted of a crowd pleasing performance by Kermit Ruffins and Alanna Royale from Nashville, Tennessee. I wasn’t familiar with this rockin’ groove oriented band prior to attending this show. I was very impress with their set, and the powerful, soulful musical stylings and original tunes performed as the opening act. The band captivated the audience with the tunes “Last to Know,” “18,” “Big Time Me,” “Nobody Else” a sad song about having your heart broken as a result of a relationship gone bad, and “Rock and Stone.”

Alanna Royale: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Alanna Royale: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermit Ruffins is an amazing, talented trumpeter, vocalist with a huge local, national and global fan base. Count me in as one of those fans. Kermit can easily take the crowd on a musical journey of blues; jazz, gospel and R&B. Kermit is known for showcasing a top notch show regardless of the setting, while thoroughly engaging the crowd. This evening set featured some tunes from his latest CD’s WE Partyin’ Traditional Style and #IMSONEWORLEANS, and other gems from his previous CD’s. Several tunes performed during his set consisted of “When It’s Sleepy Time Down in New Orleans,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko), and “St James Infirmary.” Kermit had the crowd partyin’ New Orleans style moving and grooving, while scatting and sending musical notes high up into the stratosphere.

Kermitt Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermitt Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermit Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermit Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermit Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Kermit Ruffins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

YLC Wednesday at the Square also featured an Artist Village, showcasing local handcrafted items including jewelry, ceramics, paintings, photographs, T-shirts and more. These items will make a great gift for Mother’s Day, DADs and GRAD, anniversaries, birthdays etc. etc. A variety of food and beverages were also available for purchase from local vendors.

Proceeds from food and drink sales benefit YLC’s community service projects, designed not only to improve the quality of life for Greater New Orleans, but also to foster leadership skills in young professionals.

If your future plans consist of a trip to New Orleans for business or leisure, make sure that you include Wednesday’s at the Square Concert Series as part of your itinerary. Visit www.wednesdayatthesquare.com www.neworleansonline.com and www.nola.com for more information about events taking place throughout the city.

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]