BURLESQUE was a main attraction in the French Quarter from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. Bourbon Street was it’s epicenter, and it featured the largest concentration of burlesque clubs than anywhere in the U.S.  It was the home of Lilly Christine the Cat Girl, Blaze Starr, Evangeline the Oyster Girl, and countless stars of striptease.  New Orleans was also the home of jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Al Hirt, and Pete Fountain. In 1995, New Orleans was one of the first cities to participate in the modern-day burlesque revival. Stage shows featured burlesque dancers accompanied by a live jazz band, as it was done in the heyday of burlesque.  This tradition continues today. The New Orleans Burlesque Festival was founded in 2009 to put the spotlight on classic and traditional burlesque, bringing back the glamour, humor, music, and excitement of the golden age of burlesque. The main event is a competition in which the best burlesque dancers in the world compete for the Queen of Burlesque title. Showcases, workshops, panel discussions, and parties, round out the weekend to make this the most high quality, entertaining burlesque festival today.
RICK DELAUP, a New Orleans native, is the founder and producer of the annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival, as well as the long-running Bustout Burlesque, the hit show that performs monthly at House of Blues New Orleans. In 2011, Travel Channel listed Bustout Burlesque as one of the “Top 10 Burlesque Shows” worldwide. Delaup has been involved in bringing burlesque back to the cultural landscape of New Orleans since the mid-1990s, and has not stopped since. In 2010, he premiered STRUT, a male burlesque revue.  Delaup also produced the Burlesque Showcase at The Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas as part of Viva Las Vegas, the world’s largest rockabilly festival in 2012 & 2013.

Delaup has been researching the history of New Orleans burlesque for 15 years, and has interviewed dozens of former dancers, comics, and musicians from the golden age of burlesque. He has spoken on the subject at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage FestivalThe Tennessee Williams Festival, Tease-O-RamaTales of the Cocktail, The Burlesque Hall of Fame, and other events. He has judged burlesque competitions, such as the Miss Exotic World competition in Las Vegas, and at the Kansas City Burleque Festival.

MATT BELL is the bandleader, guitarist, and arranger for the New Orleans Burlesque Festival, as well as the Bustout Burlesque show.  Specializing in vintage music, he harbors a fondness for collaboration with artists of theater and dance.  Matt has participated musically in groups ranging from tribal belly dance to circus, and cabaret.