TEPHRA album cover NEW

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Thanks to Gwen Thompkins for being a true gift to the New Orleans music community and for masterfully weaving together the words, music and flow of this extensive interview on WWNO’s Music Inside Out.  If you want to listen to us talk about my life, my teachers and influences, to tracks from my albums and to me perform some live “in progress”songs and Leonard Cohen’s “I’m your man” visit ~ Helen

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Announcing a monthly series every 1st Wednesday

THREE KEYS ROOM at THE ACE HOTEL in New Orleans since

Wednesday June 1st, 2016


8:30pm  – doors open NO COVER

9m – solo set

10:30pm – + 1 special guest


Luke is a New Orleans based harpist and bagpiper with 26 years of experience. He has played at such venues as St. Louis Cathedral, Preservation Hall, Voodoo Fest, Spotted Cat Music Club, Irish House, French Quarter Fest, the Marigny Opera House, and many more.   He has also done orchestral work, composed, arranged and accompanied theater and dance productions.  He has played with many New Orleans bands including the Herringbone Orcestra, Helen Gillet’s Wazozo, Aurora Nealand’s Royal Roses, the New Orleans Celtic Harp Ensemble, the Pipes and Drums of New Orleans, and many others.



AUGUST 2, 2017: RICK TROLSEN, trombone + effects


Inspired at an early age by the Big Bands of the 1930’s and 40’s, Trolsen grew up listening to his parents albums. His Grandfather played the
accordion, his mother played the piano, and his older brother played
guitar. After seeing one of his school friends carrying a trumpet, he was
soon allured to a life of music. His first and primary instrument has
been trombone, primarily because the 6th grade band director needed
trombonists. Entering High School, he was immediately thrown into the
big band repertoire of Count Basie, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton,
Thad Jones & Mel Lewis. This was his first love, and today, still is. But
man cannot live on Big Band music alone. Over the years, his tastes
for music have been wide and varied …    Attending the Berklee
College of Music in 1979, enlightened him to a new repertoire of
music. Primarily through his brother, he learned of Frank Zappa, Yes,
The Mahivishnu Orchetra, Chick Corea, Carla Bley any many others
including some of the classical composers.


JULY 5, 2017: CARLOS GRASSO, video/sound – 4th of July deconstructed


JUNE, 2017 ERIC BENNY BLOOM, trumpet/effects


April 5th, 2017:  Aurora Nealand – Multi-instrumentalist and Composer

“Aurora Nealand is all over the current New Orleans music scene.  She seemed to emerge out of nowhere.  Some of her appeal is  that she has a humble nature, coupled with a fiery attack when she plays, and a real fearlessness about taking risks and getting involved.  She plays solo performances  with a gas mask and an accordion. You’ll see her playing soprano sax and clarinet exchanges at Preservation Hall with her  traditional jazz band The Royal Roses. You’ll see her playing duos, trios or performing her own original compositions at the Ogden Museum of Art. These are just a few of the interesting things she gets up to.  I have seen her under deeper cover than that, and been amazed at how easily she blends in or stands out. Whatever style  she is playing, she becomes the Music.”                          – New Orleans Presents

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March 1st, 2017:  Brian Haas – Pianist and Composer

Brian Haas is an innovative pianist and composer currently touring with Matt Chamberlain, Nolatet and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

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February 1st, 2017:  Kim Alpert

“I am a working artist, advertising creative, speaker, and consultant. I make art to inspire conversations. I create experiences that drive emotions and make memories. Between the world of p
hysical and digital there is a connective element of pure design and intention. This is where I play. Somewhere undefined, beyond the boundaries that words make”

KimAlpertWith a background in fine art, music, and carpentry Kim brings an attention to detail and diverse styles to both her video installation work. Kim’s art primarily focuses on humanism, media and change. Kim holds a degree in Digital Art & Design from Full Sail University and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2013. As a curator, Kim has produced events from intimate gallery exhibitions to large festivals. She has displayed her original works at places like SOFA Expo, The Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago and Facets Cinematheque and in the permanent collection of the National Music Centre of Canada. She focuses on creative executions merging aesthetics, psychology and technology. She currently sits as the Director of Creative Technology for DCI Artform and maintains her artistic and collaborative works through “Make Amazing.”  Kim is an outspoken advocate for social change through technology, meditation and bananas.  Make Amazing is currently working on a new series in collaboration with painter Shaun Bailey premiering in 2017.

January 4th, 2017: Jeff Coffin

Jeff Coffin (born August 5, 1965) is a saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator. He is a three-time Grammy Award winner as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and played with them from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Coffin began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the death of founding member LeRoi Moore. Coffin also fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet, with which he released the album Into the Air on September 4, 2012.


December 7th: Tim Robertson


Tim Robertson is a guitarist, composer, arranger, and performer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He works in a broad variety of idioms—from arena rock to symphonic concert, Bourbon Street cover band to experimental studio work. After graduating Duke University with a music degree, he took guitar in hand and became one of New Orleans’ most respected commercial players. After the levees failed in New Orleans in 2005, he found himself in the New York area. Needing a purpose, he sought out a composition teacher. He spent a year away from home, studying with Daron Hagen and writing concert music. His works have been performed by the West Shore Orchestra, the Yakima Seasons Festival Orchestra, and Tulane University Wind Quintet among others. Currently, Tim can be seen performing worldwide with Amanda Shaw, with the eclectic acoustic duo Paint Box, and all around his adopted hometown where he is a fixture on the music scene. His most recent piece, “5 Seasons for string orchestra”, was performed by Philip Larroque and the New Orleans Chamber Orchestra.


December 7th: Mark Southerland

horn sculptor and saxophone wizard…



Wednesday October 5th 2016!  Libra
Party with Birthday boy and girl James Singleton and Helen Gillet

8:30pm  – doors open NO COVER

9m – solo set

10:30pm – duo with James Singleton



4/28  Solo Show @ New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – Lagniappe Stage       1:50-2:40pm

4/28  Solo Show + Williams/Lurie/Southerland Sax Trio + Tephra Sound w/ Mars Williams, Nikki Glaspie, Jessica Lurie, Brian Haas + Mark Southerland @ Allways Lounge 10pm

4/29  Tephra Sound Quintet w/ Nikki Glaspie, Jessica Lurie, Brian Haas + Skerik @ Chickie WahWah 8-10pm

4/30  Belgian Avant Garde Film by What is a Motico? Soundtrack w/ Mars Williams, Mark Southerland + Doug Garrison @ Zeitgeist Art Gallery 9pm

4/30 Trio w/ Jessica Lurie, Simon Berz @ Hi-Ho Lounge 11:30pm

5/1  Solo Show + Jessica Lurie @ Bacchanal 7:30-10:30pm

5/3   Tephra Sound Quartet w/ Nikki Glaspie, Jessica Lurie + Brian Haas @ Mag’s 11pm

5/4    Solo Show @ Circle Bar 10pm

5/5    Solo Show + Debauche @ Mag’s 10pm

5/8    Solo Show + Nikki Glaspie @ Bacchanal Wine 7:30-10:30pm

5/10   Solo Show 9pm Trio w/ Annie Ellicott + Nikki Glaspie @Three Keys Ace Hotel  10pm


Helen Gillet and the Wazozo Zorchestra back together in New Orleans!

Luke Brechtlesbauer: harp – Gregory Good: guitar – Daron Douglas: violin – Doug Garrison: drums – Helen Gillet: cello/voice – Rex Gregory: clarinet, flute, melodica

Performing the music of Georges Brassens, France Gall, Lucienne Delyle (France) Julos Beaucarne, Grand Jojo, Jacques Brel (Belgium) and more..


 — Morris Bart Stage (on Royal St. between Conti and St. Louis)




     AUGUST 2017   (CD/DIGITAL)

         OCTOBER 2017 (VINYL)


August 2017

Kansas City 8/16/17 Brick Bar
St. Louis 8/17/17 Broadway Oyster Bar
Madison 8/18/17 Arts+Lit Laboratory
Chicago 8/19/17 Constellation

+ Helen Gillet and Friends
Madison 8/20/17 Art In



Helen Gillet, cello/effects

Nikki Glaspie, drums

Brian Haas, piano/melodica

~Jessica Lurie, saxophone/clarinet/flute

*Alex Massa, trumpet

*Rex Gregory, reeds/melodica

new orleans shows

3/3 HI-HO LOUNGE  8pm 

Nikki Glaspie, Helen Gillet, Brian Haas, Jessica Lurie

3/5 GASA GASA 9pm


Helen Gillet, Nikki Glaspie, Jessica Lurie, Mario Abney (trumpet) and the Abney Effect 


Helen GIllet, Nikki Glaspie, Brian Haas

3/12 ACE HOTEL  9pm 

Helen Gillet, Nikki Glaspie, Brian Haas, Alex Massa, Rex Gregory, 








Happy to be back on campus at Beloit College (’00) as Artist in Residence September 16-24th, 2016

Saturday September 24th, 2016 Eaton Chapel 7:30pm

It Goes Without Saying – Collaborative Multi Disciplinary work by Artist in Resident Helen Gillet, Film professor Aaron Gurlly, Dance professor Chris Johnson and Beloit College students.

I had a blast hanging and playing with four of my favorite musical badass friends from New Orleans in Chicago last weekend!

Improviser, Steve Marquette (guitar) and dancer/writer Marie Casimir bring together an impressive group of musicians and performers in a new collaboration of the The Instigation Orchestra and Djasporas. Inspired by the ongoing exchange of music and movement between New Orleans and Chicago, these two ensembles will meet for the first time for an evening of completely improvised performance.Featuring: Musicians:Mars Williams – saxophones (Chicago), Damon Locks – voice (Chicago), Ben LaMar Gay – cornet, voice (Chicago), Anton Hatwich – bass (Chicago), Steve Marquette – guitar (Chicago), Avreeayl Ra – drums (Chicago), Jeff Albert – trombone (New Orleans), Aurora Nealand – reeds, accordion, voice (New Orleans, )Helen Gillet – cello (New Orleans), James Singleton – bass (New Orleans), Paul Thibodeaux – drums (New Orleans) Dancers /Performers Marie Casimir, Meida McNeal (HPP), Felicia Holman (HPP), Cristal Sabbagh,  Onye Ozuzu, Kantara Souffrant, Jarrell Hamilton (New Orleans), Maritza Mercado-Narcisse (New Orleans)

STAY TUNED for a repeat performance in February 201714231894_10101943686992701_8647894601221900240_oin New Orleans!14372041_10101951400080611_7814508121320841937_oinstigationorchestrafull

Thursday April 28th, 2016 3:05pm @ The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:
Armed only with her cello and the electronic loops she manipulates so skillfully Gillet, dressed in shorts and a Chazfest t-shirt, turned in a magnificent set. She layered loops of cello lines and rhythm patterns to the point where she sounded like a full orchestra, dancing in her seat as she sang wordless vocals. She finished the set singing a song from her Belgian childhood in French. The guy sitting next to me was spellbound. “I’ve never heard anything like that,” he said in wonder.  Offbeat Magazine webpicjazz2016

                                                         preview 3

 April 21                                                    Gasa Gasa  9pm

Helen Gillet with Skerik, Nikki Glaspie and Brian Haas

April 23               Chickie Wah Wah 8pm

Helen Gillet, Skerik, Nikki Glaspie and Brian Haas + Charlie Hunter Duo 10pm



April 26 – Siberia 10pm

Helen Gillet w/ Mark Southerland

+ Lonesome Leash (Walt McClements)

April 27 – Circle Bar 9:30pm

Helen Gillet solo show w/ loops, cello and vocals


APRIL 28th – Allways Lounge 7-9pm

Michael Zerang (Snare) + Helen Gillet (Cello)

Rob Cambre (Guitar) + Michael Zerang (Drums) + Helen Gillet (Cello) Trio

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April 30 – Allways Lounge Theatre 9pm

Helen Gillet’s WHAT IS A MOTICO?  acoustic improvisation ensemble – Tribute to Ray Johnson

Michael Zerang (drums set and frame drum), Mike DIllon (vibraphone, tabla), Mars Williams (saxephones, toys), Mark Southerland (Horn sculptures) and Brian Haas (piano)

$15 advanced / $20 door


previewMay 1 –  Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center

Weather Warlock 7:30pm (begins outside at sunset)  +  What is a Motico? Ensemble 9pm

 Michael Zerang (drum set and frame drum), Mars Williams (saxophone, toys), Helen Gillet (cello, effects), Doug Garrison (drums), Mark Southerland (horn sculptures) + Quintron (electronics/weather warlock).

$15 advanced / $20 door