ENVISION A CELEBRATION OF TRADITION AND AN EXPLOSION OF INNOVATION (Ok, hold that thought).
A guy named Louis Landry lives in Durham, NC. He holds a B.A. in Music Performance from VCU (Richmond, Va). He writes & records albums, performs on several instruments, and teaches.
Landry’s music celebrates tradition and explores innovation. He works in rock and roll, blues, jazz, classical, and bluegrass; he sings and plays over twenty instruments, including the melodica and the nebulophone. He’s performed with a surprising range of musicians and bands, including Katherine Whalen, Curtis Eller's American Circus, Taylor Mac, Blowfly, Ironing Board Sam, The Invincible Czars, Charlie Robison, Grammy winners Ryan Bingham and Jimmy Dean, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He has toured extensively around Texas, the Southeast U.S., and England.
Landry grew up with music and was especially inspired by his father, New Orleans-born jazz pianist Jimmie Landry. Louis has lived in North Carolina for five years, following stints in Virginia and Texas. In addition to performing, he also teaches private lessons at High Strung School of Music, leads music classes for the Durham Community Preschool, and volunteers with the Durham Jazz Orchestra.
Recently, Landry has ventured into new collaborations in drama and choreography. He contributed music to the Manbites Dog Theater production of The Best of Enemies, the theater's biggest hit of 2013-14; Land & Bodies, an independently produced choreography performance at the Carolina Theater; Maccountant, Way Down in the Hole, and Rubber Peacock, in collaboration with Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern; and served as musical director for Duke University's productions of Bob: a Life in Five Acts and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. The latter featured The LL Orchestra, a group of central NC pros led by LL.
A rock concept album in the tradition of Pink Floyd’s Animals or The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi, Louis Landry’s JJ vs the Digital Whale tells an modern version of the story of Jonah and the Whale. Jonah becomes “JJ,” while the whale—rendered through various electronic instruments, computer programs, and apps—is portrayed as the barrage of technology that surrounds us all. Seeking validation through technology, JJ runs away from both the truth inside himself and true connections with other people, until he’s swallowed whole by the shape-shifting Digital Whale. Through this lens the story transcends its ancient roots in Christian, Judaic, and Islamic culture. Landry’s fourth full-length album in his ten-year career as a professional musician, this is his first work with a narrative arc. He’s joined on the album by an array of collaborators including Curtis Eller, Katharine Whalen, Scott Solter, and his wife, Shea D. Broussard.
"The remarkable thing about JJ is that even though the album has wide-ranging interests, the album never goes awry. Landry is able to corral all the sounds into the sonic framework he’s developed. Now, it’s weird, but it’s a rock opera about a modern re-telling of an ancient tale as understood by our current electronic issues. This never had a small horizon. By the time “Sunbound” rolls around, a six-minute slow-building acoustic-based indie-rock tune with a backing choir, nothing seems out of place at all. If you’ve got an adventurous streak and appreciate musicians with big ideas, then Louis Landry’s JJ vs. the Digital Whale will be right up your alley." - Independent Clauses