The Historic Carver Theater will ring in 2017 with an array of live music, free shows, and local cuisine—all under an $8 million renovated roof.
Representatives announced new programming for 2017 that includes free Saturday shows and weekday music, with food trucks to boot.
Carver Theater’s 2017 music programming schedule features a new addition to its live music lineup: the $10 weekday music series. Monday Blues, Wednesday Jazz, and Thursday Brass shows are scheduled through February, with food and beer provided by Dat Dog and Urban South Brewery, respectively.
Monday night music includes shows from Little Freddy King, Ladies of the Blues and Papi Mali with Blues Guitar Heroes. The Mid-Week Jazz series–on Wednesdays–features shows from Panorama Jazz Band, Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band, and Snake and the Charmers.
Thursday’s brass series includes music from Young PinStripe Brass Band and the Free Agents Brass Band. Thursday shows feature Dat Dog’s food truck and drink specials.
The historic theater is also kickstarting 2017 with free Saturday shows—held the first five Saturdays of the New Year and free to the public. Those shows feature local bands of all genres, including Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Darcy Malone & the Tangles, and The Revealers.
Carver Theater, named after George Washington Carver, opened in 1950 and was hailed as America’s finest theater for African American patrons. The theater suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina but, after an $8 million renovation, reopened in 2014. The Tremé theater is included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Renovations to the 16,000-square-foot venue includes an open first floor with a bar and stage area, along with a second floor expanded VIP area, bar and viewing balconies. Multiple viewing screens were added throughout the theater – inside the VIP lounge and by the bar – to allow live streamed shows. The artist greenway was also renovated and more than $140,000 of moving light fixtures were added inside the venue, according to theater officials.
The theater now offers several off-street parking lots and valet parking is available for most events. Carver’s second floor VIP lounge provides space for up to 120 guests with multiple stage-viewing balconies and a private bar. The lounge can also be used for intimate shows and events – music bookings, comedy shows, community socials or happy hours.
“The Carver Theater is the perfect recipe for success,” Chris Ritter, general manager, said in a press release. “The rich history of Tremé as the birthplace of jazz combined with the historical significance of the venue, the wealth of musical talent in New Orleans and our amazing sound system make for an unbeatable combination.”
Officials are planning for Carver’s future by adding covered parking and new lots, officials said. There are also plans to add LED lighting at all parking locations, improving safety and capacity.
Carver Theater also has future plans to launch its own 501(c)3, the Carver Foundation, to provide educational, performance and entertainment opportunities to the youth of Tremé, officials said. Theater management also plan to bring new commerce to the Orleans Avenue area – including restaurants, coffee shops, music clubs and art galleries – to promote the area as a safe, customer-friendly alternative to Frenchman and Bourbon Street.
“With the theater’s new surrounding parking space and interior expansion, Carver has future plans to expand its programming to include annual street festivals, long-running musical productions and additional touring productions to accommodate a wide variety of local, regional and national audiences,” a press release said.
To learn more about the theater or to see all the upcoming events, visit its website or call 304-0460.