We extend our gratitude to River Beats New Orleans for an awesome shout out in their March edition! Here it is below.
Rock & Rouge Celebrate Women’s Empowerment with a CBD Music Festival
The second annual Rock & Rouge women’s music and food festival is coming to Lafayette Square Park this month. Get tickets here.
EMPOWER. REPRESENT. PRESENT. So reads the tagline for the second annual Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival & Beyond. The single-day women’s empowerment festival takes place as Women’s History Month draws to a close.
The fest takes place Saturday, March 21st in Lafayette Square in the CBD. Featuring all local women-fronted rock bands, Lena Prima headlines the show. Shawn Williams, Lynn Drury, Big Pearl & the Fugitives of Funk, and The Dirty Rain Revelers are just a few of the named support bands
The Rock & Rouge Foundation is a registered nonprofit in the greater New Orleans area. Their mission is to support all forms of women empowerment through improving and supporting educational opportunities for girls. They also grant small scholarships for girls to attend summer camp and continue their education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M).
The weekend festival will also host Women’s Empowerment Panels, covering topics like politics, business ownership and combatting social and economic oppression.
Partnering with the local Microsoft branch, the festival will again host a S.T.E.A.M. Tent for young girls. This tent features interactive workshops geared towards inspiring and educating the next generation of innovative and independent women.
Donor tickets and pre-reserved seating tickets are also available. Reserved tickets include a pre-prepared picnic from neighboring CBD hotspot Carmo.
Join the Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival & Beyond for a full day of inspiring music, community outreach and women’s education in the heart of the city.
Rock & Rouge takes place on Saturday, March 21st.
The event goes from 10am – 8pm. Get tickets beforehand!
Thank you, Viva NOLA, for publishing this article about out producer and artist, Lani Ramos.
Lani Ramos Rock & Rouge Women’s Festival
Lani Ramos’ Rock & Rouge Women’s Festival
By AnaMaria Bech
Click aqui para español: The Rock & Rouge Festival de mujeres creado por Lani Ramos
Opportunity. That is precisely what has been lacking in the world for women. The workplace can be tough terrain for women who often lack access to leadership positions and are denied fair pay. The situation can be even more complicated for self-employed women who work in male-dominated industries. Women have often been forced to find a solution to inclusion, and for creatives all around the world the answer has been creating their own spaces where they can showcase their talents and, hopefully, make a decent living out of it.
The music scene in New Orleans is no different. With so many talented artists, women continue to be underrepresented in festivals and music venues. Lani Ramos, a talented musician, producer, and lead singer of Big Pearl and the Fugitives of Funk, is no stranger to this reality. The California native has resided in New Orleans for almost two decades and has been an active performer in town. She has once again taken the role of producer to create The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival & Beyond, a woman-headlined music festival that will debut its second edition on March 21st, 2020, at Lafayette Square in downtown New Orleans.
After falling in love with New Orleans during a short birthday trip (during which she brazenly knocked on the door of music legend Fats Domino), Ramos knew she had found a special place with a character like no other. The day she decided to find Domino, she was armed with cookies made from her great-grandmother’s recipe, and that was what convinced the artist to open the door for her. The rare encounter left Ramos with a precious birthday gift and a story to tell for generations. She walked away having met a Rock ‘n’ Roll legend that was kind enough to give the young Californian tourist an autographed photo.
She returned to Los Angeles to try one last time at a breakthrough in the entertainment industry as an actress. Ramos continued to work in production for a big movie studio, but New Orleans kept calling her. In the summer of 2000, she moved to the city where she could live her dream of fully becoming the creative artist she is. “Moving to New Orleans was a dream come true because New Orleans let me be who I wanted to be from the inside out, without judgement, without scrutiny,” says Ramos.
Within a few weeks, Ramos was living her plan A dream as an artist, and to top it off, she also got to live her plan B of being a producer. Her first gig ever on Frenchmen Street was for the Music Maker Foundation where Ramos got to open for Earl King. She also got to record with the guitar player of British band The Alarm. The venues welcomed her energy, her mezzo soprano voice, and regularly booked Ramos for gigs on Frenchmen and Bourbon streets for many years.
After the events of September 11, 2001, Ramos went into full producer mode and worked with various musicians in New Orleans to create “In Loving Tribute, 9.11.01,” a compilation CD for first responders in New York City. Ramos traveled to the Big Apple to distribute the CD’s to fire and police stations. While in New York, she watched the play “Love Janis” and was inspired to create a dinner theatre style version of the show back in New Orleans. “I didn’t want to be her, I just wanted to sing her music, have fun, make some money.” People seem to remember Ramos mostly for that show. She used that platform to release her second album during the Janis Joplin Birthday Bash in Port Arthur, Texas in 2004. She performed her tribute to Janis and debuted her original music with Scoot Boogie Baby.
Playing Janis Joplin gave Ramos recognition, but it also created a stigma for her that was hard to break out of. Even when tribute shows became popular for other local artists long after she was done with her show, people didn’t seem to let go of the fact that Ramos performed Janis’s songs. When booking some of the big festivals in town, she was passed over many times. Although the reasons were unclear, it may have had to do with the fact that she had done the Janis show and Ramos’ original work was overlooked by festival producers.
That was just one of the many obstacles Ramos had to overcome in the music scene. Hurricane Katrina changed many things in the city, and the aftermath took its toll on Ramos as well. She stayed during the hurricane and has detailed stories of the days after the hurricane that could easily be made into a vivid movie. She left momentarily to San Francisco, where she booked some gigs before returning to New Orleans shortly thereafter to deal with a precarious housing situation, health issues related to black mold for which she became an advocate, and a city in recovery in the music industry as well.
Through resilience, she was able to regain her footing. Ramos continued to perform across town and recorded her third album “Big Pearl Double Faces” in 2012. Big Pearl and the Fugitives of Funk released “Live on Frenchmen Street” in 2014. This album was a live recording of their performance that included various influences and allowed New Orleans’ essence to come through with audience reactions, improvisation, and collaboration.
Ramos has kept busy and active, playing, recording, and even producing the Yeah You Right! television series. But Ramos recognizes the difficulties women in the industry face. She has been vocal about health issues and has lent her voice to speak against gender inequality in the industry. Just as she had to create opportunities for herself, it is important for Ramos to do the same for other female artists. After getting involved with the Women’s March a couple of years ago, she realized the need for a female-driven festival in the city of New Orleans. “In 2017 I was so fed up with the oppression in this town of the female artist. When the Women’s March came up, I wanted to join because we wanted to make statements.” Ramos created The Rock and Rouge Women’s Festival in 2018 with the intention of giving an opportunity to women-led bands and women-owned businesses to showcase their artistry through music, crafts and food.
The second edition of The Rock and Rouge festival takes place March 21st from 10am until 8pm in the CBD in Lafayette Square Park. “The Rock & Rouge is not a man-bashing event, but quite the contrary. It is instead inviting men to come see women as powerful role models and as equals in the playing field of male-dominated careers and as beautiful and educated women.” Launching the festival has allowed for the creation of the Rock & Rouge Foundation, which aims to support young women with a future in STEAM college courses and careers.
The Women Who Rock stage will include great artists like headliner Lena Prima, The Vettes, Lynn Drury, Big Pearl & The Fugitives of Funk, Muevelo, Shawn Williams, Sandra Love and the Reason, The Dirty Rain Revelers, and Sole Gaze.
Women will also feel inspired at The Women’s Empowerment Panels that will cover topics like local politics, business ownership, navigating the music industry, combating social and economic oppression, along with other diverse panelists and themes. The Rock & Rouge Foundation, in conjunction with the local Microsoft branch, will host the S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Tent for girls, featuring interactive workshops in all these fields to inspire and educate the next generation of independent, creative women. Additional local organizations and individuals invested in educational programs, focusing on ages 8 – 14, will help cultivate these activities.
The festival is free to the public to enjoy great performances along with delicious food provided by women-owned restaurants. This year, the festival is offering the option to purchase reserved seating tickets that include a wonderfully prepared picnic from Carmo, spearheaded by Chefs Christina and Dana Honn.
Ramos’ vision is getting the support of organizations who believe in the importance of creating equal opportunities for women. All are invited to come out on March 21st to support our local women artists and to enjoy a spring day of great music for a great cause.
The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival would like to thank WGNO for capturing some highlights of our festival on June 30, 2018. You can watch their video below.
The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival deeply appreciates Offbeat Magazine for the lovely article found below, in addition to all the other methods Offbeat has supported the mission of The Rock & Rouge. Thank you, Offbeat Magazine! Click here to check out the article on www.offbeat.com.
FEMALE-FRONTED ROCK & ROUGE MUSIC, FOOD & BEYOND FESTIVAL SET FOR JUNE 30
JUNE 28, 2018 by: MATTHEW PHILIPS
UPDATE: June 16’s Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival has been postponed until Saturday, June 30. According to organizers, “We have been tracking the weather all week, and were sincerely hoping that we would be okay to move forward; however, with the current forecast from now until Saturday, we did not feel comfortable hosting our event. We did not want to put any of our talent, employees, volunteers, attendees, etc. in harm’s way. The panel times and locations will remain the same.”
On June 16, a brand new festival celebrating the empowerment of women in the community is coming to New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint.
The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival and Beyond’s story begins as the brainchild of Lani Ramos, a local recording artist, radio deejay, businesswoman and founder of Big Pearl Entertainment among many other titles.
On one balmy afternoon in April 2017, Ramos attended one of New Orleans’ many food and music festivals. After grabbing a plateful of crawfish, she looked over the music lineup and noticed that something was missing. Out of the 25 bands and artists enlisted, only one was fronted by a female musician.
Unfortunately, this distressing trend was not unique to this festival. For venues on Frenchmen and Bourbon Streets, male-fronted bands are consistently booked over female-fronted bands eight out of ten times.
Ramos decided that 2018 would be the year of change, and she wanted to help lead that change at the local level. Part of that change is coming in the form of the Rock & Rouge Music & Food Festival & beyond.
Ramos will host the opening of the festival, where she will present female entrepreneurs whom she and her team believe are helping to lead the change in the public sphere.
The festival’s main stage will boast a lineup of “Women Who Rock,” headlined by New Orleans’ own Soul Queen, Irma Thomas, along with female-fronted artists including The Vettes and Big Pearl & The Fugitives of Funk among others.
Other activities on-hand include food stands serving dishes from local female chefs; Shine On, an onsite salon emphasizing beauty from the inside out; What’s Next, female empowerment panel discussions that focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), politics and the future of women in music; and the Tomboy Tent for children aged eight to 15, which includes STEAM workshops for young girls and a performance stage for junior female-led bands.
Additional information can be found on the festival’s homepage. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Rock & Rouge thanks WWL for writing the following article perfectly describing our women’s empowerment festival. Click here to read about us on the WWL website!
Rock & Rouge women’s music, food festival set for Saturday
JUNE 29, 2018 – 2:26 PM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans this weekend is hosting a music and food festival aimed at elevating and uplifting women.
Rock & Rouge is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, come rain or shine, at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint.
The festival was supposed to be held last weekend, but was rescheduled due to the weather.
Festival founder Lani Ramos said the free event will host two music stages with several performances scheduled, including sets by Irma Thomas, Lynn Drury, and Ramos, who performs as Big Pearl with her band, the Fugitives of Funk.
“This all started with the women’s march last year,” Ramos said. “It grew out of the idea of figuring out the next step post-march. I was really tired of seeing fests being played by a majority of men. We want to be in the front, at the helm of what we do.”
There also will be panel discussions on Mardi Gras Indian queens and women working in STEM fields, politics and the music industry. Speakers include Big Queen Laurita Dollis of the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indian tribe. At least two New Orleans City Councilwomen are scheduled to participate.
Ramos said the event’s goal is to raise awareness about women’s rights and the women’s movement, and to introduce young girls to education pathways in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. “We want to let them know that they can be and do anything,” she said.
A tent for girls, ages 8-15, will be set up for STEM workshops by Electric Girls founder Flor Serna, she said. There also will be a men’s “Dugout” featuring cigars and horseshoes.
Ramos said plans are in the works to produce the festival annually.
The Rock & Rouge sincerely appreciates The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint for posting this awesome event listing on their website.
The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music and Food Festival
- Saturday, June 30, 2018
- 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
The Rock & Rouge Women’s Music & Food Festival will be held at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint on Saturday, June 30th from 10 am until 10 pm.
We’ll be showcasing some amazing female talent, focusing on women empowerment all around. Our “Women Who Rock” Stage will feature female-fronted bands, headlined by Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans. Around the grounds, we will be serving delicious cuisine provided by local female chefs and food vendors. Under the big oak tree, we’ll also create an elegant champagne experience with bubbly and caviar for those of age to drink.
For the younger generations, we have partnered with Electric Girls and Microsoft to create the Tomboy STEAM Tent for educational fun and enrichment. This tent will feature creative activities geared towards kids ages 8 to 14. Inside the Mint’s third floor theatre, we will host several Women’s Empowerment Panels, including: STEAM panel, Women in Politics panel, College panel, Music panel, Career panel, and Mardi Gras Indian & Krewe Queen panel.
For more information about our performers, vendors, and scheduled activities, please visit therockandrouge.com.