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Non-fiction

History Of The Big Easy Entertainment Awards 

A BRIEF HISTORY

This is New Orleans’ premier event honoring the musical and theatrical talent of a city world renowned for its outstanding performing arts. A combination of the “Grammys” and the “Tonys” in style, 45+ awards are presented to local talent by national and regional celebrities for accomplishments in both music and theater. Harry Shearer, John Goodman, Vance and Ellen DeGeneres have served as Master of Ceremonies and presenters have included: Taylor Hackford, Harry Anderson, Eric Roberts, Lily Tartikoff, Jonathan Frakes, Adrienne Barbeau, Paul Shaffer, Rhonda Shear, Arthel Neville, Rita Coolidge, Jay Thomas, Justin Wilson, Jimmy Buffet, Quint Davis, and Isaac Tigrett.

The first Big Easy Entertainment Awards was held in the Blue Room of the Fairmont Hotel in 1988, produced by Margo DuBos, Publisher of Gambit Weekly. The event was small in scope, with attendance limited to 400. The need for an awards show to pay tribute to the city’s performing talent was obvious from the overwhelming positive response from the entertainment community. After one more year in the Blue Room (1989), the show moved to larger venues.
The demand for more tickets and more awards resulted in the show moving to New Orleans’ Municipal Auditorium in 1991. When that venue was leased as a temporary casino site in 1994, the event returned to the Fairmont Hotel but this time to the Imperial Ballroom. In 1995 the event expanded to the opulent Orpheum Theatre, where up to 1800 people attended the awards ceremonies followed by a Celebration Bash supper dance for a thousand people in the Fairmont’s Imperial Ballroom. In 1998, the event moved to the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, and the 13th event in 2000 moved to one of the largest ballrooms in the city at The Hilton Hotel, where the SRO show continued until 2005 when the event returned to the Municipal Auditorium.

Event sponsors include: Gambit Weekly, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, Coleman E.Adler & Sons jewelers, John Jay, Mardi Gras Productions, and Abita Beer. Community radio stations WWNO 89.9 fm and WWOZ 90.7 fm also supports the event.

The show’s high quality production standards have earned acclaim and loyalty from the entertainment community. George Porter, Jr (2005), The Pfister sisters (2004), Kidd Jordan (2002), Frankie Ford (2001),Wanda Rouzan (2000), Deacon John (1999), The Neville Brothers (1998), Cosimo Matassa (1997), Pete Fountain (1996), Harold Batiste (1995), Quint Davis (1994), Irma Thomas (1992) and Quincy Jones (1991) have served as Honorary Chairpersons.

Gambit Publisher Margo DuBos continues as Executive Producer, Gloria Powers is Executive Director.
A separate awards event for classical music, opera and dance was begun in 1994. The Tribute to the Classical Arts luncheon February 2, 2007 at the Hotel Monteleone is sponsored by Gambit Weekly, WWNO fm, Hall Piano Company, Uptown Costume & Dancewear, and Coleman E. Adler & Sons jewelers.

The awards events are produced annually to benefit the Foundation for Entertainment Development

Credit of the Gambit New Orleans

Native of New Orleans, who endured 20yrs cruel Minnesota Cold, I decided at 42yrs old it was time to pack up my then 6yr old and come back to my roots. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a preterm 2lb baby girl born with a disability. With the help of my mother who had her own struggles. We survived the obstacles laid before us. I'm the proud mother of three children with two failed adoptions, as well as a grandmother of three, two grandsons and a granddaughter. I survived two abusive marriages. I successfully ran a soulfood restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I started creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul.  He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute.  I put my all into my cake business over the years as House of Cakes was started right out of my house in honor of him. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, foster/adoptive mother at that, being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me in a sense; but most of it poisoned my heart and soul. I had a broken heart and I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home,  myself, my New Orleans. I'm here and I'm loving it. Even being in the so called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up! I'm down in the boot, but I know I have a nice floppy hat awaiting my destiny...

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