The Big Easy’s king of the keys is returning to the Azalea City. Legendary pianist Ronnie Kole will once again provide an intimate performance at The Italian Fisherman on Saturday, Oct. 25 with reservations being accepted from 5:30-7 p.m. Kole’s extensive repertoire and impeccable showmanship have established him an extremely dedicated local fan base. With each performance, Kole has the talent of transporting his audience to his classic Bourbon Street bar Kole’s Korner in all its glory.

Pianist Ronnie Kole has been immortilized in statue at New Orleans’ Musical Legends Park.

Pianist Ronnie Kole has been immortilized in statue at New Orleans’ Musical Legends Park.

His reputation as an entertainer has allowed him to gain notice worldwide, and he continues to tour extensively in Asia and Europe. He is also revered in New Orleans not only as a local performer but also as one of the original organizers of both the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the French Quarter Festival. In 2008, he was honored as the fifth person to be inducted into the New Orleans Musical Legends Park, where a bronze statue in his likeness resides. While tickets are not being sold to this event, those in attendance will have a $10 “entertainment charge” added to their bill.

Frank Brown Fest features Larry Butler tribute

Organizers have set the dates for the 2014 Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. From Nov. 6-16, more than 200 songwriters will descend upon the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast for 10 days of performances at regional venues including the Flora-Bama, Seville Quarter, Lillian’s Pizza, Hub Stacey’s at The Point, Artworks Gallery and many more. From an intimate listening room to a gritty roadhouse, the festival provides a variety of environments to experience the creations of the featured songwriters.

To kick off the festival, the Flora-Bama will be celebrating the life of Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter Larry Butler on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. While this Pensacola native is most well-known for working with Kenny Rogers, Butler also worked with notable artists such as Don McLean and John Denver.

The tribute will include CMA Award-winning/Grammy-nominated Jim McBride, who is also the former president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. McBride’s career spans 30 years filled with 200 album cuts, 18 Top 40 singles, 10 Top Ten singles and six No. 1 hits.

Mike McGuire and Chris “Lucas” Roach will also be lending their support in the tribute. McGuire and Roach are both members of the Grammy Award-winning band Shenandoah. Shenandoah released hits such as “Next to You Next to Me” and “Sunday in the South.”

Rhonda Hart will round out this trio of musicians inspired by Butler. Hart has worked with musicians ranging from Tracy Lawrence to Warren Haynes. She also co-wrote “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” with Deanna Carter.

Stay tuned to Lagniappe for more updates on the 2014 Frank Brown Songwriters Festival.