Lena Prima: Coming To Terms With Her Musical Bloodline

Feb 11, 2019 112

For the past eight years, Lena Prima and her band have been doing regular shows at the Monteleone’s Carousel Bar. For those in the know, it’s one of those special things you can only find in New Orleans: The daughter of music royalty doing a personalized take of classic songs, from her dad and elsewhere. Sometimes it’s a crowd of music fans and sometimes they’re outnumbered by the tourists that come in for cocktails and dancing, but Prima doesn’t mind: Being a natural entertainer is one of a few things that run in her blood.

The family history is hard to avoid, not least because Lena’s father Louis Prima did a residency in the very same hotel (in the upper-level Skylight Room, which is no longer a nightclub) toward the end of his career. Lena seldom does a show without a few of her dad’s greatest hits, at least “Jump, Jive an’ Wail,” “Just a Gigolo” and “Pennies from Heaven”—but her sweeter voice naturally gives them a different spin, and she’ll drop a few nuggets of family history in the song intros. When she includes some of her dad’s humor—say, an ad-lib about ravioli—you can hear her delighting in the absurdity, just as she probably did as a child.

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SOURCE: http://www.offbeat.com

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