Bon Bon Vivant

Bon Bon Vivant

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Indie




"Off Beat Magazine"

Singer-songwriter Abigail Cosio and her future husband, saxophonist Jeremy Kelley, moved to New Orleans a decade ago from Los Angeles. In 2013, they formed their gypsy-jazz band, Bon Bon Vivant. The band plays local festivals and tours the nation. It’s released two full-length albums, 2016’s Paint & Pageantry and this year’s Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. A third album is due in May.

Bon Bon Vivant came together soon after Cosio and Kelley provided music for a New Orleans Fringe Festival appearance by drag performer Vinsantos Defonte. Because the couple had so much fun playing that show, they recorded the songs Cosio wrote for it. The material filled Bon Bon Vivant’s debut recording, 2014’s Evangeline.

“Myself and the rest of the boys in the band had been playing jazz around town,” Kelley recalled. “But when Abigail started writing a lot of songs, we learned them and the band got busier and busier. It’s taken over our lives in a way we didn’t expect.”

Cosio’s and Kelley’s choice to play gypsy jazz—a European style of jazz identified with guitarist Django Reinhardt’s and violinist Stéphane Grappelli’s Quintet of the Hot Club of France—came naturally. “Abigail and I are both into that minor-key swing sound,” Kelley said. “The dark energy in gypsy jazz fascinates us.”

Cosio often writes songs in minor keys. “Minor keys lend themselves to interesting topics,” she said. “As a lyricist, I’m drawn to darker songs that have conflict in the storylines.”

Kelley’s wish to live in a city that loves music inspired the couple’s move to New Orleans. “I came for the jazz,” he said. “Being a saxophone player, I was disillusioned by the lack of soul in Los Angeles at the time.”

During a pre-move visit to New Orleans in 2004, the city worked its charm on Kelley. “It felt like home,” he said. “Music is a lifestyle here, instead of music for fame or fortune or business. There are a lot of blue-collar, working musicians raising their children here by playing the clarinet and trumpet. I came here because I wanted to play saxophone in New Orleans.”

Cosio agreed to the change of residence. “It seemed like the right move, to come to a place that embraces music in a different way than any other city in the world,” she said.

In addition to Kelley’s and Cosio’s move to New Orleans, Cosio’s singing sister, Glori, relocated to the city, too. “My sister and I were always drawn to the Boswell Sisters and the Andrews Sisters and the intricate harmonies they sang. So, it’s such a fit for me, to be the songwriter who writes a melody that Glori instinctually sings harmony to.”

Friday, April 13, 11a

WWL-TV Esplanade in the Shade Stage (U.S. Mint) - John Wirt

"WGNO News with a Twist"

The band Bon Bon Vivant describes itself as "indie gypsy" music.

If you're not sure what that is, we're pretty sure you'll like it. They stopped by the Twist Stage to play a couple of songs from their album Paint & Pageantry.

They are performing Saturday (March 10) at the Tricentennial celebration at the New Orleans Jazz Museum called "Minting NOLA Music." The event starts at 6 p.m. Bon Bon Vivant says they will start playing around 8 p.m. - WGNO


Bon Bon Vivant mixes jazz and swing on new album
Frank Etheridge Jul 31, 2017 - 4:00 pm
Early in the evening on Friday, July 14, a long line of Francophiles awaited entrance into the New Orleans Museum of Art and its Bastille Day Fete.

  Inside, the crowd filled the lobby and stairs to the second floor as dancers twirled with celebratory abandon under large French flags hung from balcony rails. Bon Bon Vivant blazed through its bawdy, bluesy blend of jazz and swing music — delivered with a captivating cabaret sensibility — and hit a high note with Edith Piaf's classic ballad "La Vie en Rose."

  "We had a ball," says singer/song-writer/guitarist Abigail Cosio, who learned the French lyrics for "La Vie en Rose" for the gig. "I love inspiring people to dance."

  The band then embarked on a tour of the Northeast and returns to New Orleans for a series of Monday night shows at d.b.a. and other local venues.

  "I grew up around Los Angeles, where jazz is a lot smoother," saxophonist Jeremy Kelley says. "I remember walking into the Spotted Cat (Music Club) for the first time and seeing jazz with a punk-rock feel with tattooed couples swing dancing. It's the first time I ever saw that. New Orleans does trad jazz better than any other city in the country. It has a funky feel. A body feel."

  Now married, Cosio and Kelley moved to New Orleans a decade ago to follow their musical muses. "I wanted to arrive at our music organically after letting the city seep in for a while," Cosio says. "Four years in, I said, 'Maybe it's time we start contributing to the musical community here.'"

  In 2013, the band formed around a drag-show workshop series during the New Orleans Fringe Festival at the invitation of host musician/performer Vinsantos, aka Vincent Defonte. Soon they focused on creating original material and forging their own sound. Bon Bon Vivant now also features Cosio's sister Glori (tambourine/vocals), Ryan Brown (keyboards), Ry D'Antonio (drums) and Mike "Mumbles" Robbins (upright bass).

  "It's a throwback style," Kelley says. "We are looking to throw in old styles, but without being derivative or a replication. We want to have a bit of newness, of rawness."

  That vibe is on surreal display in the video for "The Bones," filmed during the Red Beans Parade during last Carnival season, a tune commissioned by the red beans krewe (of which Cosio is a member) and an example of the fun found at Bon Bon Vivant's intersection of lyricism, rhythm and melody.

  "Empathy is what I try to achieve," says Cosio, who cites as major influences "feminist icons" the Boswell Sisters and Nina Simone. "[I] hear others' stories and experiences and then write how I imagine that would feel."

  Cosio recently self-released a debut album, Paint & Pageantry — recorded with co-producer Jack Miele at Music Shed Studios. The group wrote lyrics and then built each song from the "bones," not specific to any genre. The results are the Louis Prima swagger of "Lost Soul" with its rowdy "I'm a gypsy woman" introduction, and the ragtime romp of "Hard Way of Livin' When You're Dead." Cosio shines on the ballad "Poplar Tree," with her lush vocals awash in gentle guitar strumming and the haunting resonance of Robbins' bow sliding across his bass.

  "Kindness is a revolutionary act these days," Cosio says. "We make music about love and dancing and being human. Bon vivant means to live well — and that's our theme, our message, all encompassed." - Gambit

"Off Beat Live at the Jazz Museum"

Bon Bon Vivant Announces Record Release Party At New Orleans Jazz Museum
The self-proclaimed “Indie-Gypsy Band” of New Orleans, Bon Bon Vivant, will release its newest record Bon Bon Vivant Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on January 12, with a release party at the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Bon Bon Vivant is partnering with the New Orleans Jazz Museum’s record label, Gallatin Street Records, on the event. The band has partnered with the label previously on November 3 with a recorded live performance at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Selections from the band’s album Paint & Pageantry were showcased; a cover of the classic “Shout Sister Shout,” famously sung by the Boswell Sisters, a gypsy jazz twist on “St. James Infirmary Blues,” and a myriad of original work was featured.

The first single off the album is “Jazz Axeman of New Orleans,” inspired by the true story of the city’s most notorious serial killer. “The Bones” narrates the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras, first performed by Bon Bon Bivant at the Red Beans and Rice Parade. In fact, all the tracks resemble a thoughtful storyline: in “Gone Gone Gone,” a woman saves her man from being shanghaied by murdering his abductor, and in “Saints and Sinners,” God and the Devil mull over the fact that man has abandoned them as they converse at a New Orleans bar.

Bon Bon Bivant is comprised of vocalist Abigail Cosio, who writes the band’s original tracks, Jeremy Kelley on saxophone and vocals, Ry D’Antonio on drums, Mike Robins on bass, Ryan Brown on accordion and keys and Glori Cosio on background vocals.

“We are honored to have been asked to cut the first release from Gallatin Street Records in the historic New Orleans Jazz Museum,” comments Kelly, “[in] a performance space created to document and release New Orleans music.”

A portion of the proceeds from the record release party will be donated to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. For more information, visit - Off Beat Magazine

"Country Roads Magazine"

“More love!” is Bon Bon Vivant singer Abigail Cosio’s wish for the world. “We want people to have more love. Love for humanity, and romantic love too.”

The ballads of the indie-gypsy cabaret jazz band Bon Bon Vivant conjure a darker romance than Sinatra ever crooned about, but according to saxophonist Jeremy Kelly, their murky emotions are perhaps closer to the real thing: “Our songs are about a less idealistic romantic love, more actual passion for a person, with all their wonderful-ness and all their flaws.”Recently nominated by Offbeat magazine as Best Emerging Artist of the Year, the New Orleans group, known for their bluesy murder ballads and weirdly danceable swing rock collisions, will preview a new album at our February 14 Supper Club. “We’ll be sharing two or three songs that no one’s heard yet—including a love song … and it’s a happy one!” said Cosio.

Kelly added that he’s eager to see how the band’s responsive energy reacts to the junky cool vibes of Circa 1857, tinged in the heat and light of indulgent romance, mingling scents of Mid City nights and Italian spices. “I’m looking forward to putting a romantic spin on the things we do, and giving our tuba player some big warm solos.” - Country Roads Supper Club

"American Blues Scene"

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jeremy Kelley and Abigail Cosio of Bon Bon Vivant, an up-and-coming Gypsy Jazz band out of New Orleans. I have also included some thoughts on their charming first album, Paint & Pageantry.

Chris Giocondo for American Blues Scene:

Where did the band meet?

Jeremy Kelley and Abigail Cosio of Bon Bon Vivant:

Bon Bon Vivant includes members: Jeremy Kelley, Abigail and Glori Cosio, Ry D’Antonio, Ryan Brown, and Mike Robbins. Glori and Abigail are sisters who grew up singing together in California. In 2004, Abigail met Jeremy, and the two started dating and playing music together in Los Angeles. In 2009, Jeremy, Abigail, and Glori moved New Orleans where they met Ry, Ryan, and Mike making music around town. The six united to form Bon Bon Vivant. Their first show together was a performance during Fringe Festival in New Orleans. The band played on and later produced their first EP, ‘Evangeline.’ In November 2016, Bon Bon Vivant released its first full length album, ‘Paint & Pageantry.’

Where did the name, Bon Bon Vivant come from?

Bon Vivant is French for someone who lives well and enjoys the finer things. The band loves the phrase, as well as the concept of living well and celebrating life’s indulgences, so they chose Bon Bon Vivant as their own spin on the idea.

What large venues has the band played?

Bon Bon Vivant played the French Quarter Festival, South Sounds Festival, New Orleans Film Festival at The Orpheum, Clifton’s in DTLA, and the House of Blues in New Orleans and Boston.

Has the band opened or played with any larger acts?

They’ve shared a bill with Dirty Bourbon River Show, Hydrogen Child, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Is there anything coming up for the band that you would want to share?

The band is currently touring the east coast, which started in Boston, en route back to New Orleans. The month of August will be spent in a residency at d.b.a on Frenchmen Street. In September, Bon Bon Vivant will tour the west coast, with dates and locations still in development. Also in the fall, the band will return to the studio to begin work on their second full length album.

What types of music or what artists do you listen to?

The band members bring a lot of unique influences to the table, rooted in its six individual tastes. Abigail, the songwriter, comes from a folk, Americana background. She and her sister, Glori, were raised on hymnals and church songs, but other strong influences include the Andrew Sisters, Boswell Sisters, Nina Simone, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Jeremy, Ryan, Ry have backgrounds in gypsy jazz, gospel and indie rock.

To follow up on my interview, I had the chance to review the tracks of Paint & Pageantry, the first full length album from Bon Bon Vivant. Here are my thoughts on some of my favorite songs.

The album starts with a bang in the song, “Lost Soul.” This tune has fun saxophone solos and great lyrics to celebrate the glorious dead of New Orleans. In the title track, “Paint and Pageantry,” the momentum slows to a painful ballad of loss and the winding road to healing.

The tempo returns with “Hard Way of Livin’ When You’re Dead,” shouted straight from a sarcophagus of a French Quarter cemetery. It was “Rio Grande” that began my love affair with Bon Bon Vivant. The song is a story of kindred spirits who live like they’re dying, saving souls and spreading joy on the way to their own damnation.

Finally, the album ends with my favorite track, “Poplar Tree.” This tragic tale is filled with a darkness so real, you can feel it in your belly. “Poplar Tree” ends with closure to not only a torn love story but also this lovely album by Bon Bon Vivant.

Paint & Pageantry can be found on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever CD’s are sold (if that place still exists). If you’re looking for an authentic New Orleans sound, then I strongly suggest you give it a listen… You won’t be disappointed. - American Blues Scene

"Gallatin Street Records Review"

Lillian Alford Patterson
Gallatin Records hosts its first album release featuring Bon Bon Vivant
NOV 03, 2017 • MUSIC

On Friday, November 3, Gallatin Street Records will hold a release party for the New Orleans based band Bon Bon Vivant.

The band includes six musicians; Abigail Cosio on lead vocals and guitar, Jeremy Kelly on saxophone, Ry D’Antonio on drums, Mike Robins on bass, Ryan Brown on accordion and keys with backing vocalist Glori Cosio.

Gallatin Street Records began in 2014. Embracing the history of the city, the label honed in on the musical culture, a defining facet of the Crescent City. The record label’s prerogative was, and remains to be, a project directed toward the ongoing preservation and promotion of New Orleans’ music, art, and culture.

Since its inception, Gallatin Street Records has remastered and digitized over three hundred recordings of traditional New Orleans Jazz—some of the greats like Louis Armstrong and the Kid Ory Band—preserving them for both present and future generations.

Through the partnership of the New Orleans Jazz Museum and the University of New Orleans, the record label is striving to publish the vintage recordings of New Orleans musicians, kept in the museum archives, as well as, record the performances put on in the museums state of the art recording space.

It is as part of the latter recording project that Bon Bon Vivant weaves in with Gallatin. The group—referring to their style, as Indie-Gypsy, New Orleans Jazz—is part of the contemporary recording sessions that the museum will be hosting.

Bon Bon Vivant has developed their own form of New Orleans Jazz but are very influenced by the harmonies of the Boswell Sisters, and other New Orleans jazz greats such as Sidney Bachet, Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton, but the music they write is also molded by their contemporaries: Herlin Riley, Brent Rose, Shannon Powel, and Chris Royal, just to name a few.

After giving me a long and diverse list of influences, Jeremy, one member of the six-part group, expounded, “We are lucky to have a history of amazing music and then the evolution of that music playing all over town every night!”

The band is heavily influenced by the musical city and has used the many variations to form their own sound. Jazz musicians interpret the music in a slightly different way from those that came before them. Abigail, the singer and songwriter for Bon Bon Vivant recently heard a story about the Jazz Axe Man of New Orleans. The historic narrative was reflected in the next song she wrote, a bawdy and bluesy swing tune.

As Jeremy succinctly put it, “we are consciously and unconsciously influenced and inspired all the time, by other musicians, the history, and the culture.”

Music is the thread that ties all parts of New Orleans together, which is how Bon Bon Vivant found their way to working with Gallatin Records. The band was invited by the New Orleans Jazz Museum to perform at the exhibition opening for Women in Jazz. They were impressed with the facility, the exhibitions, the great equipment, and the sound they were able to produce in that space.

“Some gigs you bring revelry, folks are dancing and drinking, blowing off steam and getting loose but here we had a chance to play to a listening audience, told stories about our inspiration, and got to connect with them.”

As much as the band loved the space, Greg Lambosy, the director to the New Orleans Jazz Museum and Gallatin Records, was interested and intrigued by Bon Bon Vivant’s distinctive renditions well-known jazz harmonies as well as their own innovative ballads.

Bon Bon Vivant was even more drawn in by the background of the record label. Gallatin was the first red light district in New Orleans, which seemed to fit well with the tone of Bon Bon Vivant: a little wild, a little risqué, and with a great sonorous tone.

The record label had been remastering vintage recordings and doing some contemporary recordings in the new space, but not in an official capacity. Gallatin Records was ready to get the ball rolling and Bon Bon Vivant was the right band to move forward with.

Shortly after the meeting, Greg invited the band to collaborate in an official capacity–doing a live recording at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. This is the release party that will be held this Friday, November 3.

“It would be amazing in another one hundred years what could get collected. We are all so appreciative of the documented music that comes from New Orleans and having an organization dedicated to continuing that tradition is a really cool idea!” I could not agree more with Jeremy. The music and the history of this city are woven, so it is essential that we record our great musical traditions for the inspiration and education of future generations

Bon Bon Vivant will be playing their interpretations of some traditional New Orleans tunes, songs from their record Paint & Pageantry, as well as, some new material that will be part of their next release. The set will include; new recordings of traditional jazz numbers like “Shout Sister Shout,” by the Boswell Sisters and a spin on the classic “St. James Infirmary Blues.” Originals written by Abigail Cosio are “The Bones,” “Odetta,” “USOS,” and “Hell or High Water.” “Saints and Sinners” and “Lost Soul” are from Bon Bon Vivant’s current release of Paint & Pageantry.

The night kicks off at 8:00 PM at The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave). You can purchase tickets here and learn more about the band here. A portion of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Jazz Museum to allow the continued recording and archiving of great New Orleans Jazz. - Via Nola Vie

"Good Times Santa Cruz"

Preview: Bon Bon Vivant to Play at Crepe Place and Michael’s on Main
Bon Bon Vivant likes its gypsy jazz with some extra theatrical flair

Last year, New Orleans gypsy-jazz ensemble Bon Bon Vivant did what a lot of other bands do these days: record a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk contest. The video shows off the group’s mix of seductive old-timey cabaret jazz and modern, dark-tinged songwriting style. But it’s also visually stimulating to watch the group in their natural habitat, performing on the street in the French Quarter. For added measure, they have a snappy dressed guy tap dancing on a small end table with them.

The tap-dancer, Bobby Bonsey, is not an official member of the band, but he does join them from time to time, adding a little extra rhythm and showmanship to the performance by way of his tap-dancing shoes.

“It’s fun to give him solos—especially when we’re outside, because he has total geographical freedom. He ends up on light poles and doing back flips in the street,” says saxophonist Jeremy Kelley.

Bonsey is one of a handful of non-band members that joins Bon Bon Vivant on stage—or in the street—when they are playing hometown shows. There’s also a whole network of swing dancers and burlesque dancers that might join the band.

“It’s neat that we live in a city that is so small creatively that you can call in a number of people to collaborate with you,” says singer/guitarist Abigail Cosio.

It wasn’t always like this for the group. In fact, when the group started some years back, they felt like it was an uphill battle for them to be accepted as part of the local New Orleans scene. Kelley, Cosio and Glori Cosio (backup singer, and Abigail’s sister) moved from L.A. around 2009. The rest of the band that they’d later meet were also transplants, coming from everywhere from Boston to Fresno.

The band got serious around 2014, and recorded its debut EP, which they were able to get played on WWOZ, an important step in gaining local acceptance.

“That’s the culture maker in the city. Unlike any other city I’ve ever seen, they respond to their public radio. WWOZ is kind of the voice of the city in a really neat way,” says Cosio.

It was a big deal to the band members, since they moved to New Orleans to be a part of its rich music scene. In New Orleans, jazz is treated unlike anywhere else in the world; certainly not as a museum exhibit or a high-end background music, as has become commonplace in other parts of the country.

“This music can be played very traditionally, and sometimes it’s portrayed as stuffy. In New Orleans it’s so alive, it’s rowdy. It’s a music that generationally you can kind of misunderstand if you’re not seeing it performed the way that it was first performed. I really felt passion for this music, and it was being played by young people with tattoos and piercings and counterculture lifestyles,” Cosio says.

The songs are primarily written by Cosio, who has a background in Americana. However, most of the musicians in the band are trained in jazz, so they all collaborate together to create music that has a foot in tradition, but also is approached from out of left field in terms of the germs of the songs.

“She lets us put our weird smell on it,” Kelley says. “As she comes to us with the song, maybe the piano player comes up with something that he’s been working on that has a gypsy jazz feel or klezmer feel added to a minor melody that she’s created. Even though Abbie writes all the material, she allows that jazz influence.”

It was just a year and a half ago that the band really connected to the larger local scene that includes its dancers and burlesque performers.

The group started throwing a weekly Sunday brunch at the Ace Hotel, located in the business district, which drew the dancers out.

“We would come in there hungover, and play the best we could from the late-night prior,” Kelley says. “We ended up meeting all these wonderful people in the community. Our friend group tripled. We met an army of fun people and we see them a lot more often.”

If there was any question about whether the group was really part of the city’s jazz scene, having groups of local swing dancers voluntarily performing at the shows pretty much set the record straight. There is occasionally a local that will drill them on what high school they went to to see if they are truly local, but mostly with the support of WWOZ and the local arts scene, they feel like they fit right in, and are happy to deliver that culture in and outside of New Orleans.

“We have hoped to earn that so far. It takes a long time,” Kelley says. “We do a lot for and with that city because we really love it.” - Good Times


Evangeline, 2013

Paint and Paegentry, 2016

Live at the New Orleans Jazz Museum, 2017

Live at the Circus, 2018



Bon Bon Vivant is a genre bending band from New Orleans that pull from singer-songwriter/ pop/ americana/ dark ballads and up-tempo indie dance music…but they would prefer you to just listen to the music. BBVs original music is rooted in storytelling and pays honor to a uniquely New Orleans sound while infusing an indie flavor that leaves a lasting mark on listeners. This band's songs are joyous, fierce, honest and heartbreaking as they chronicle life and all it entails through the sounds of the minor keys. 

Bon Bon Vivant is made up of songwriter /front-woman Abigail Cosio, Saxophonist/ vocalist Jeremy Kelley, on Sousaphone and Bass is Jason Jurzak, drums and percussion by Deacon Marrquin. The bands unique instrumentation is also a thing to watch and leaves listeners reaching to identify what kind of music they are hearing. With brass horns and a rotating cast of New Orleans musicians coming through, this sound is alive and something to experience.  

Locally, BBV  is one of the highlighted acts in the New Orleans music scene, Awarded Best Emerging Artist of 2018 by Off Beat Magazine. BBV plays regularly in New Orleans with upcoming appearances at French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, Bayou Boogaloo and tours regularly spreading the gospel of decadence, reverence and revelry with their infectious live shows. A second full length studio album is coming out soon with a supporting tour.  See them play all over the country in theaters, clubs, festivals, and even the occasional pop-up street busk. This band has a truly timeless and unique sound.

Band Members