OffBeat (music magazine)
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|Editor-in-chief||Jan V. Ramsey|
|Based in||New Orleans|
OffBeat is a monthly music magazine in New Orleans, Louisiana, first published in 1987. The magazine mainly focuses on the music scene of New Orleans and Louisiana, the region's culture and its cuisine. The magazine covers wide range of local music including R&B, blues, brass bands, jazz, cajun music, zydeco, rock, hip-hop, Mardi Gras Indian, funk, and independent singer-songwriters.
OffBeat's support for the local music community has greatly contributed to the promotion of the scene and music in general in New Orleans and throughout the state of Louisiana. The club listings and disc reviews covering local independent labels are an important information source for New Orleans and Louisiana music-lovers. Publisher and editor-in-chief is Jan V. Ramsey, who created the magazine as a means to promote and market local music and to improve the professionalism of the local music industry. It is published by OffBeat, Inc. OffBeat was the first magazine in New Orleans to return to publishing after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, despite losing all its staff and its printer.
OffBeat is distributed free of charge in metro New Orleans in records stores, hotels, and such, although it is charged elsewhere. The magazine has subscribers all over the United States and in multiple foreign countries. In spring, OffBeat publishes two special issues: its "French Quarter Festival Souvenir Guide" in early April; and a special Jazz Fest issue, the "Jazz Fest Bible", with complete day-by-day schedules of festivals, detailed information on performers and club listings, with in-depth interviews with local musicians and cultural standard-bearers.
In addition to the monthly magazine, OffBeat presents "The Best of the Beat Awards" to celebrate local music and musicians, and also publishes "Louisiana Music Directory", an online directory containing listings of bands, musicians, record labels, clubs, etc. The "OffBeat Weekly Beat" is a free weekly email newsletter with breaking news and current music listings. The magazine's website at OffBeat.com was the first magazine website online in the state of Louisiana, and is popular with lovers of New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture worldwide. In 2010, OffBeat launched an iPhone application (OffBeat Mobile) to keep its readers apprised of events in New Orleans music.
OffBeat is featured in the HBO series Treme. Its editorial resulted in the creation of characters (such as "DJ Davis McAlary", in reality local musician/DJ/writer Davis Rogan), and storylines in the series.