Shine Delphi
Gig Seeker Pro

Shine Delphi

New Orleans, LA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

New Orleans, LA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Folk Jazz




""I wanna be like you""

The new Best of Street project launched its interactive technology platform in New Orleans last week, and this week wraps its first volume of music recordings, set for release in April. OffBeat readers have the opportunity here to snag an advance sample of Best of Street Vol.1 with an exclusive free download of the single “I Wanna Be Like You” by Shine Delphi before it’s even available for sale this spring.

The arrival of a small group of innovative women, the “Benevolent Enablers,” in town last year has come at a most appropriate time. One of the city’s oldest traditions, street performance — or busking — has spent time over recent months on the table at City Hall to be considered for government regulation in the form of permits, fees and decibel limitations. While this was happening, the Benevolent Enablers were steadily working on an Internet platform that, similar to the locally-created Digital Tip Jar, would empower street musicians to digitally collect tips and performance compensation from passersby on the spot. This technology combined with the professional studio recordings of New Orleans street musicians participating in the new platform has been dubbed the “Best of Street” project.

With the rapid growth of mobile technology has come the ability of almost anyone to record media of street musicians and share it in multiple ways. However, this has not necessarily meant that the subjects of this (often monetized) media have also benefited from such great technological advances. Best of Street embraces the popularity and ease of mobile devices to make directly supporting musicians you see on the street, or purchasing their recordings, simple and fun. Scan-able QR codes and digital wallets meet to link a new music fan with a street musician’s profile on the Best of Street website via mobile phones.

In addition to supplying the mobile tool for collecting tips or performance fees, Best of Street has also asked a few handfuls of New Orleans street players they’ve met to record one of their songs at the Living Room local recording studio with engineer Chris George for the forthcoming release. The Benevolent Enablers subsidized the studio time for these musicians to record professionally for the first time, and state that they will retain just ten percent of the compilation’s sales for operating costs.

Shine Delphi and Nathan Rivera
Nathan Rivera and Shine Delphi.
Although they are still adding and improving technology, Best of Street project managers went live with the website (and their handy instructional videos) last week and have already distributed the first batch of artist cards to the musicians who recorded for volume one of the Best of Street series. Among these artists is young singer, songwriter and guitarist Shine Delphi. Born near Philadelphia and raised just south of Los Angeles, Shine began traveling to New Orleans to play on the streets seasonally three years ago. He can usually be found playing during the daytime on Royal Street in the French Quarter, and is a self-identified gypsy folk-blues artist. Though he still travels often and just officially registered a residence in the city’s seventh ward last November, he proclaims the Crescent City as his favorite place by far to “not just play music, but to listen to other musicians and be inspired.”

The Royal Street regular was introduced to the ladies of Best of Street by fellow New Orleans street musician Sarah McCoy in October of 2013, but became formally involved in the project after a chance meeting while playing one day with street band Yes Ma’am just before the band was to head into the Living Room studio to record for the Best of Street compilation. Shine and accordionist friend Nathan Rivera were invited to tag along and possibly play on their track.

Yes Ma’am had selected the early 1970s calypso song, “Put the Lime in the Coconut” (or simply, “The Coconut Song”), as their tune for volume one, but once recording sessions began, everyone was feeling Shine’s vocal improv and he soon found himself singing lead on Yes Ma’am’s version of the Harry Nilsson pop hit. Almost immediately, Shine and Rivera were chatting with Best of Street about getting on the project.

One thing led to another and next Shine and Rivera were recording one of Shine’s early favorites, “I Wanna Be Like You” for Best of Street Vol.1. The duo put an upbeat yet pared-down spin on their cover of this song known commonly as “The Jungle Book Song” after its success in the soundtrack of Walt Disney’s 1967 film, The Jungle Book. Shine says the swing number has always been a favorite of his, like many, since childhood. It is also one of his first successful street songs, one for which he gets the most requests after someone has heard his version once.

But “I Wanna Be Like You” has a deeper connection to New Orleans. More than just a fond Disney memory of a singing baboon named Baloo, the song was first performed by New Orleans singer, actor and trumpeter Louis Prima and his band before the Disney film score composer re-recorded and released it with the Jungle Book. Prima was hired for the gig initially because the songwriters were specifically looking for a “New Orleans jazz” or Dixieland style sound. Those southern swing rhythms would go on to keep five year-olds and fifty year-olds alike dancing for generations to come. After all, who hasn’t imagined at some point — while lost in a moment of Jackson Square bliss singling “I Wanna Be Like You” — being like the free, happy street musicians of New Orleans?

Stream or download the single “I Wanna Be Like You” by Shine Delphi featuring Nathan Rivera below until April 1, courtesy of the artists, Best of Street and OffBeat Magazine - Offbeat magazine

"Sights and sounds of Europe"

Ask Nathan Rivera to explain what he’s been up to in recent months and he can sum it up with three statements: “Lots of travel, lots of music, lots of language learning.”
Rivera, an Inland native whose sweet, soulful voice and eclectic folk made him a favorite in the region and far beyond, has been traveling abroad in Europe from early May until mid-July, performing with friends Jessie Andra Smith, of Temecula, and Shine Delphi.
And even though the trio has only been back stateside recently, they’re ready to hit the road again, with a tour that takes them through California in August, including stops in Temecula at Callaway Winery and the Public House, Riverside’s Back to the Grind, and Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace in the coming week.
Delphi and Rivera, who recorded and released an album as The Black Resonators – named after their specialized guitars – while living in New Orleans earlier this year, packed up and headed for Europe after Smith had the idea.
Rivera selected Barcelona, Spain as a starting point because he speaks Spanish and thought it would be easier. Things turned out to be a little more complicated than that.
“Music is so illegal in Barcelona,” he said.
After arriving in Spain, without a guitar that the airline misplaced for a few days, Rivera decided to play his accordion and talked Delphi into accompanying him with his guitar. Within minutes, they were ticketed by police.
Things went much better in France, where they hitchhiked across the country and played in open air markets for families among fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Amsterdam and Berlin were also part of the troubadours’ tour. In Germany, Delphi and Rivera recorded some new tunes, as well.
Expect to hear stories from the trio’s travels at the upcoming shows.
“We love sharing stories. It keeps the crowd entertained,” Rivera said.
Upcoming performances:
�• 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday, Callaway Winery, 32720 Rancho California Road, Temecula, free.
�• 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, Pioneertown, free.
�• 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, Back to the Grind, 3575 University Ave., Riverside, free.
�• 6 p.m. Aug. 10, The Public House, 41971 Main St., Temecula, free. - The press enterprise

"French Quarter street musicians you've got to hear"

In New Orleans music is such a dominant force it cannot be contained to clubs or festivals or concert halls. A number of the city’s most beloved musicians got their start on the corners of Royal or Frenchmen streets or among the artists and tarot-card readers in Jackson Square. Even when a talent is discovered on the streets and put in clubs or on tour, many musicians still crave the immediate audience connection that only busking can provide.

“I learned how to connect my music with the people hearing it on the street,” says Louis Michot, a member of the Grammy-nominated Lost Bayou Ramblers. “It was a huge part of my musical training. The best thing is when you hear a band from blocks away, and you go toward the music, and there’s this whole band playing and owning that corner. That’s just so New Orleans.”

Due to the transient nature of street performers, they can often be hard to pin down; the groups profiled below are just a small sampling of the musicians that can be found around the French Quarter on a fairly regular basis. Keep your ears open for music coming from any and all directions, and don’t be afraid to explore a bit.

Tanya & Dorise
With Tanya on violin and Dorise on guitar, this duet is one of the most popular acts on the streets. It’s believed that Tanya was the inspiration for Annie, the fiddle-playing character on the HBO show Tremé; Dorise is equally famous for playing guitar, banjo and even a Casio keyboard strapped around his back. The two perform a variety of folk, funk, rock, pop and New Orleans classics. In just 20 minutes listeners will experience a range of music—and emotions, from joy to nostalgia and maybe even a tear during a soulful ballad.

Where to find them: Fridays-Sundays on Royal Street, often at the corner of St. Louis Street (weather permitting), from noon into the evening.

Tanya & Dorise
Tanya & Dorise electrify passersby with everything from "Hallelujah" and "Summertime" to "Rock With You" and "Change the World." (©Shawn Fink)

[READ: A Bourbon Street Music Stroll]

Doreen's Jazz
Doreen Ketchens and her family bring traditional New Orleans-style jazz to the streets of the city (as well as clubs, schools and events around the world). Doreen herself is an acclaimed, classically trained clarinet player, while husband Lawrence plays the tuba, trombone and piano. The newest member of the band is their daughter, Dorian Ketchens-Dixon, who plays the drums. Once you hear “Lady Clarinet” belting out beautiful and inspiring music from a few blocks over, you’ll track the source and want to stay all afternoon.

Where to find them: Weekends, from 11 am to 6 pm, at Royal and St. Peter streets, in front of Rouses.

Doreen Ketchens (©Shawn Fink)
A crowd gathers to take in one of Doreen Ketchen's weekend performances. (©Shawn Fink)

[READ: A Jazzed-Up Guide to Experiencing New Orleans]

Kenneth Terry and Friends
Kenny Terry plays trumpet and leads a band of rotating musicians, including regulars from several well-known local bands, such as Julius McKee, Mark “Tuba” Smith, Jerome Jones and Michael Ward-Bergeman. (Keep an eye out during Jazzfest, when you might spot some of the bigger visiting names sitting in as well.) Terry has founded a number of New Orleans brass bands, such the Junior Olympia Brass Band and the New Birth Brass Band, and has been a member of many more. If it’s foot-tapping brass band music you’re looking for, this is the man to find.

Where to find them: In front of the Cabildo at Jackson Square “most days” between 11 am and 3 pm.

Kenneth Terry (©Shawn Fink)
Kenneth Terry brings a ray sunshine to rainy Jackson Square. (©Shawn Fink)

Shine Delphi
Known around town as the "wandering minstrel," Delphi will pair up with just about anyone who wants to play together, as long as he’s able to make music on the streets of New Orleans. He’s most often busy at night playing clubs, but street playing is how Delphi spends his days, picking a good stretch to perform his unique mash-up of ragtime, folk, blues and jazz on the guitar.

Where to find him: Royal Street, anywhere between St. Philip and Conti streets, from 11 am to 4 pm, most days.

Shine Delphi (©Shine Delphi)
Shine Delphi (center, left) jams with a "super band" on Royal Street. (©Shine Delphi)

Tuba Skinny
This seven-piece band stays true to its busking roots, even though they’ve scored plenty of gigs and accolades for their jazz ensemble music. Wherever they go, they attract people who are drawn to their classic jazz and blues riffs that waft through the French Quarter. Tuba Skinny utilizes the clarinet, trombone and cornet to anchor their music and improvise from there, connecting with the emotion behind the music with the addition of soulful vocals.

Where to find them: The Royal Street pedestrian mall on Friday and Monday afternoons.

Tuba Skinny (©Tuba Skinny)
Tuba Skinny corrals a crowd on Royal Street. (©Tuba Skinny) - where magazine

"Shine Delphi - Jamming on a freight train"

This week I offer you an escape from the Mondays forever. A chance to say goodbye to your 9-5 and roam the countryside again: Freight-hopping. Once a much more common occurrence, this practice is now heavily frowned upon and enforced. That hasn’t stopped some musicians from following in the footsteps of Woodie Guthrie, and jamming on freight trains across the land. Of course, if you prefer to live vicariously through others, you can simply watch the video below.

This is one of my favorite “music videos” as it showcases two talented musicians living out their dreams and enjoying every moment of the music they are creating. From the resonator guitar, to the train and scenery, and the kazoo: this performance encapsulates my ideal of American Folk Music. Shine Delphi, also a Pennsylvania native, is the musician on the left. He currently lives in New Orleans and has some new music available with his band The Black Resonators. Support Shine by purchasing his music on his Bandcamp page (you can preview for free). -

"The growing underground"


On a late-summer Saturday morning, at a little coffeehouse in Harrisburg, Shine Delphi performs one last show before leaving on a cross-country, month-long trip to the West Coast and into Canada. He’s got a mellow, jazzy, folksy sound that he couples with witty, original lyrics. It’s the kind of music perfect for both the coffee-sippers as well as a long road trip. He’s also got one of those disarming smiles that flashes uncontrollably, especially when talking about music.

With his brand of music and his friendly demeanor, you’d never guess the genesis of his musical talents. “I loved metal,” he says. “I was huge into Metallica and Slayer and Megadeth. I’d always sit there and rock out with an air guitar. I always loved guitarists for some reason, and my parents bought me one for Christmas one year. I didn’t play it at all, until eventually my neighbor, who was a 16-year-old stoner kid, came over and played Rob Zombie riffs.”

From that moment on, he was hooked.

Delphi “screamed,” as he calls it, for several metal bands before going to music school in Los Angeles. From there, he found his way to The Big Easy. “New Orleans was like music school for real people,” he says. “I just had to learn on the fly in order to make a living out there. I had to be good, even though I wasn’t really ready for it. But people there knew I could do it, so they were like, ‘You’re going to play this gig, and you’ve got to learn this song.’ Before I knew it, it was so much easier – I could pick up a song in a matter of seconds and play it well.”

Delphi made his way to the midstate six years ago because of family in the area.

One of his greatest joys comes from performing live in front of a receptive audience. “It feels great,” he says, “especially when I have the right crowd, and that’s what I love about being on stage. I’m doing what I love to do, and I think that makes people happy. And then they’re dancing and showing me that they’re having a good time, and together we’re just continuing this circle of good energy. It just grows and grows. It’s the best feeling that I know of. I try to find other things that give me that, but there’s nothing like playing a big show for a group of really cool people who are really into it.”

Delphi knows well the struggles of trying to make a living as a songcrafting independent musician, and while the Harrisburg scene is growing, it relies on the support of the community.

“Just support them,” he says of midstate music-makers. “If they have a CD, buy the CD. If they have a t-shirt, buy it. Musicians don’t make a lot of money off of a gig – your guarantee is pretty small, and it’s all about what you can make after that. A lot of us have to do other jobs. If you want to hear other original music, support it.”

Go to or for Delphi’s upcoming tour dates. - Harrisburg Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Shine Delphi is a modern day troubadour travelling through this world with a resonator guitar and a few words to share. Born in Pennsylvania, raised in California, and rebirthed in the crescent city of New Orleans, this wandering minstrel is an act that will leave you feeling good and wanting more. From his technical ability on the guitar to his simple yet touching lyrics, he is an act that spans many genres and all ages. Oh yeah, and there's also that laugh... you can't forget that! 

Band Members