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Paul Longstreth to Serve as Resident Musician at Bistreaux. Chef Farrell's New Eatery

This week Louisiana musical talent Paul Longstreth began entertaining guests Wednesday through Saturday evenings, from 8 p.m. - midnight at Bistreaux, Chef Michael Farrell's newest culinary venture serving inspired comfort foods, boutique wines and creative cocktails in a casual, energetic setting.

Longstreth's contract with Bistreaux allows the celebrated pianist and singer to return home to New Orleans at last following a post-Katrina exile.

"I was in Brazil with John Boutté when the levees failed," Longstreth said. " I wound up in Houston working with Kermit Ruffins and would travel home to New Orleans to work with LeRoy Jones, Bob French, or Trombone Shorty. "

Longstreth eventually made his way to Nashville. He kept his New Orleans ties intact, shuttling back and forth between the two cities constantly as he worked gigs. He was exiled for almost four and a half years.

"Recently, I was in a Memphis piano lounge where another piano player, knowing how I missed New Orleans, suggested a move back home. ‘Why are you continuing to wander?,' she asked. ‘It's so obvious when you play and sing that you want to be in New Orleans!'"
Within hours Longstreth was on the telephone, putting out the word that he was ready to be home. Within days word come to him that Bistreaux was interested in giving him a place to rest his piano.

" Within weeks I was signing a lease for a Mid City apartment and wondering ‘What the heck took me so long?'."

The move home puts Longstreth back where it all began for him, first as a student of Jazz Studies under Ellis Marsalis and later as an in-demand sideman and accompanist to a host of traditional jazz musicians. His resume is vast with performances with such diverse musicians as Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The LeRoy Jones Quintet, Charles Neville, Bob French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, John Boutté, Irvin Mayfield, The Harry Connick Orchestra, Sista Teedy's Bootleg Operation, Jeremy Davenport, Lucien Barbarin, Crönk, UMAMI, The New Birth Brass Band, and A Kind of Lovechild.
In addition to his regular solo spot at Bistreaux, Longstreth will continue to lead bands, write songs and teach piano improvisation. "It's an honor to perform music for a living," Longstreth said. "It is my desire not just to entertain audiences, but to engage, educate, and enlighten both myself and all willing listeners. I know I will find an outlet for all of this in New Orleans. It is so good to be home."

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