Here in New Orleans music permeates pretty much everything and Audubon Zoo is no exception to that rule.
Immortalized in The Meters’ song They All Ask’d For You – written by Art Neville, George Porter Jr., Leo Noncentelli, and Zigaboo Modeliste – Audubon Zoo is also famous for its annual philanthropic event the Whitney Zoo-To-Do, a black-tie fundraiser replete with New Orleans’ customary signature blend of great food, great cocktails, and great music.
This year is Zoo-To-Do’s 40th anniversary and as part of the celebrations will feature performances by Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters, Jessie’s Girls, Julio Y Cesar, and Meschiya Lake.
“I am pretty excited to be performing at the zoo,” said Lake. “I adore animals and it is for a good cause. I always enjoy that.”
From a circus performer with the Know Nothing Family Zirkus Zideshow and the End of the World Circus to her current career as one of New Orleans’ best Jazz-singer-with-an-edge, Meschiya Lake is no stranger to the ups and down of showbusiness and, according to Lake, playing at Audubon Zoo definitely falls into the up category, not least because she is excited to bring her four-month-old daughter Saiorse (which means freedom in Gaelic) on her first visit to zoo.
Over the more than ten years that Lake has called New Orleans home, Lake has performed on the streets of the French Quarter, New Orleans music clubs, and even at Celtic Connections, Scotland’s biggest folk music festival held yearly in Glasgow. She was also took home the Big Easy Music Awards “Best Female Performer” of the year for 2010, 2011, and 2012.
In January 2018, she and her band are heading back across the pond to revisit Celtic Connections, something that, she says, she is very much looking forward to.
“I loved Scotland,” said Lake. “I found Scottish people to be funny and down to earth. And they loved to hang out. Really looking forward to going back.”
“Sometimes when I sit down and think about it, it is pretty nuts,” said Lake. “Ten years ago, I was working all kinds of other jobs with bands on the side. I drove a forklift. I did migrant farm work. I worked in a lot of kitchens. In 2007, I started street performing and now I make my living with music and that is pretty cool, but, you know? But I still like to play on the streets. It is all part of the musical experience and as long as people are having a good time, that is what is important to me. It is always seat of the pants, as we say.”
Zoo-To-Do will take place on Friday, May 4, 2017 at Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, 70118.
More information about Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns is available at http://www.meschiyalake.com/
More information about the Audubon Nature Institute is available at http://audubonnatureinstitute.org/zoo