SPAGA, the “mostly-acoustic” jazz trio led by keyboardist Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits, will deliver a performance years in the making with SPAGA Plays Dead on Sunday, April 30th at Toulouse Theatre in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. Tickets are available here.
The trio, which also consists of drummer Matt Scarano and upright bassist Jason Fraticelli, was originally set to deliver its inaugural SPAGA Plays Dead performance at the 2020 edition of Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Comes Alive. Fate had other plans, however, as the live music world came to a standstill a week before the BCA bacchanal, initially scheduled for March 21st, 2020. While the festival returned in 2021 and 2022—including one year headlined by The Disco Biscuits—the forfeited 2020 premiere of SPAGA Plays Dead was never rescheduled.
While SPAGA Plays Dead has remained sidelined, Magner’s Dead creds have only grown in that time thanks to the 2021 revival of Grateful super-group Billy & The Kids. Led by Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann alongside Magner, guitarist Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Ghost Light), and bassist Reed Mathis (Electric Beethoven) alongside “new kid” James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band), Billy & The Kids made a splash with their acclaimed two-night return to the stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre featuring the “other Billy,” Billy Strings. Now, after Billy & The Kids play their highly anticipated Fleur De Dead New Orleans show on Thursday, April 27th, Magner will let that inspiration move him brightly into the long-awaited debut of SPAGA Plays Dead at Toulouse Theatre on Sunday, April 30th.
Related: The Disco Biscuits Plot ‘Road To New Orleans’ Run Featuring Two Shows During Jazz Fest Weekend Two
Of course, Magner’s affinity for the Grateful Dead stretches well beyond his tenure in Billy & The Kids. As Magner told Live For Live Music back in 2020, “I had an older cousin whom I idolized and he was into the Grateful Dead, therefore I liked them. What an incredible butterfly effect he had on me. I first saw Jerry [Garcia] in ’89 when I was 13 and must have seen close to 50 shows before 1995. I have never lost my passion for their music, but interestingly, I never really played most of the catalog until Billy & The Kids. That’s what kind of got me digging in deep to learn these songs on my instrument that I already knew so well in my head.”
Tickets for SPAGA Plays Dead at Toulouse Theatre in New Orleans on Sunday, April 30th are now on sale here. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for complete show details.
The SPAGA Plays Dead show at Toulouse Theatre
This show is part of a long, varied list of concerts as part of Live For Live Music’s Fest by Nite series during New Orleans Jazz Fest 2023. The series is set to begin during weekend one of Jazz Fest with The Nth Power‘s Tribute to The Gap Band featuring members of Dumpstaphunk and more at Toulouse Theatre (Friday, 4/28, 12:30 a.m.), TAUK‘s Parliament-Funkadelic vs. Sly and the Family Stone celebration featuring Kanika Moore, Antwaun Stanley, and The Horn Section at Toulouse Theatre (Saturday, 4/29, 9:00 p.m.); The Funk Sessions featuring members of Lettuce, Galactic, and more at Toulouse Theatre (Saturday, 4/29, 1:00 a.m.); and Maurice “MOBETTA” Brown & Friends at Toulouse Theatre (Sunday, April 30th, 1:00 a.m.).
During the “Daze Between” Jazz Fest’s two weekends, music fans in New Orleans can also take part in the fun at Daze Between New Orleans, a two-day music festival at Faubourg Brewery on Tuesday, May 2nd and Wednesday, May 3rd featuring four sets of Goose over two nights in addition to performances by Tank and the Bangas, Lawrence, Neal Francis, David Shaw, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Eggy, Melt, Honey Island Swamp Band, J & The Causeways, and The Quickening. A portion of proceeds from the Daze Between New Orleans will benefit New Orleans nonprofit organizations via Rex Foundation. Find ticketing information via the festival website.
The Fest by Nite programming will continue through the “Daze Between” and into weekend two with Daze by Nite featuring members of Lettuce, Lawrence, Dumpstaphunk, and more with Eggy at The Howlin’ Wolf (Tuesday, 5/2); The Daze Between Band at Tipitina’s (Wednesday, 5/3 – SOLD OUT); a Steely Dan Tribute featuring members of Cool Cool Cool, The Nth Power, The Motet, and more at The Howlin’ Wolf (Thursday, May 4th, 1:00 a.m.); Poppa Funk & The Night Tripper: A Tribute to Art Neville & Dr. John at The Civic Theatre (Friday, 5/5, 9:00 p.m.); two nights of The Disco Biscuits at the Mahalia Jackson Theater (Friday, May 5th and Saturday, May 6th); an LP Giobbi Dead House Dead & Company after-party at The Howlin’ Wolf with special guest Yesmann (Saturday, May 6th, 9:00 p.m.); Warship My Organs at The Howlin’ Wolf (Saturday, May 6th, 1:00 a.m.); and Purple Party: A Tribute To Prince at The Howlin’ Wolf (Sunday, May 7th, 12:00 a.m.).
Check out the gallery below for a running list of concerts included in the 2023 edition of Live For Live Music’s Fest by Nite series in New Orleans during Jazz Fest. For an updating list of announcements and ticketing details, head here. Follow Live For Live Music on social media to stay updated on new additions to the series as Jazz Fest approaches.
Show: GMP Live & Live For Live Music Present: SPAGA Plays Dead
Band: SPAGA (Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits, Jason Fraticelli, and Matt Scarano)
Date: Sunday, April 30th, 2023
Venue: Toulouse Theatre – 615 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA
Time: Doors at 8:00 PM / Music at 9:00 PM
Ticket: General Admission (Advance): $32.50 GA / General Admission (Day of Show): $35 / VIP: $60