Original music in Hammond

The Hammond Regional Arts Center is bringing “Playing the Staircase” to the community featuring artists from Hammond and Baton Rouge.

“Playing the Staircase” is a way to promote original music from local musicians as HRAC does with original art.

Opening the doors to original music and songwriting, HRAC Executive Director Maureen Joyce explained what this showcase will offer to people.

“Similar to the visual journey an artist takes us on, the musical journey when we are truly present and listening, takes us to those shared, connected memories and experiences that speak deeply into our joy, being and greater humanity,” said Joyce.

HRAC Media Coordinator Tara Bennett discussed the importance of hosting “Playing the Staircase.”

“The HRAC has had a long history of promoting and presenting to the public original art, theatre and storytelling and now can add original music and songwriting to this list,” said Bennett. “The listening room series aids in the HRAC’s mission of enriching lives through quality art and to develop an appreciation of the arts within individuals.”

Bennett explained how local, original music helps people to save gas and to focus on the unique talent that is in the Hammond area.

“With the closure of Augustine’s, Hammond lost one of the very last venues available for original live music,” said Bennett. “I would like to put the emphasis on original live music because much of what is heard in the downtown bars and restaurants are actually cover songs. I enjoy covers myself and acknowledge they pay one’s bills, but young college fans of live music will venture out of town now to hear original music.” 

The upcoming events will include collections of original acoustic songs from both solo and duo artists. Each performance is scheduled to happen on the last Friday of the month with performances beginning at 6 p.m. Each scheduled performance event will cost $5.

Performances begin on June 29 featuring Jess Kerber. The last performance for the “Playing the Staircase” series is scheduled for Nov. 30 and will feature Bill Robinson. 

Other performers include Jodi James and Clay Parker on July 27, Ameal Cameron on Aug. 31, Denton Hatcher and Kristen Foster on Sept. 28 and Peter Simon on Oct. 26. For more information on the musicians and for music sample, visit hammondarts.org/playing-the-staircase.