French Quarter Fest 2015 will feature over 1,400 local artists on 23 stages spread throughout the Quarter. You are definitely going to need help to plan your attack. Luckily, we have a comprehensive and definitive guide to this year’s festival.
(ABS) Abita Beer Stage (Riverfront – Berger Great Lawn)
(BB) Popeyes/OffBeat Magazine Stage (Brass Band Jam Stage)
(BMI) BMI Songwriter Stage at Historic New Orleans Collection (533 Royal)
(CAP) Capital One Bank Stage (Jackson Square)
(CHV) Chevron Stage (Cajun & Zydeco Showcase)
(CLS) St. Mary’s at the Ursuline Convent Classical Music Stage (1116 Chartres)
(FMS) French Market Stage (Traditional Jazz Stage)
(GE) GE Capital/TechNO Stage (Big River Stage)
(HOB) House of Blues Stage (Voodoo Garden, 225 Decatur St)
(INT) International Stage (Dutch Alley)
(JD) Jack Daniels Stage (600 Bourbon)
(KID) New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park (Kid’s Stage)
(MAY) Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel (300 Bourbon)
(OMN) Omni Royal Orleans Stage (500 Royal)
(OUT) Outlet Collection at Riverwalk with Harrah’s Stage (Spanish Plaza)
(PAL) Cabaret Stage at the Palm Court Jazz Café
(PH) Preservation Hall Stage (726 St. Peter)
(ROU) Rouses Stage (700 Royal)
(SC) Southern Comfort Stage (700 Bourbon)
(SUP) Supreme Court Stage (400 Royal)
(TRO) Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage (Riverfront – Woldenberg Park)
(WWL) WWL-TV Stage (Esplanade in the Shade Stage)
Adam Crochet, 4/10, GE, 11a: The singer, songwriter, and guitarist blends classic blues, R&B, funk, soul, and roots music into moving arrangements of what he’s dubbed “Louisiana smooth blues.” He also backs the Wild Magnolias and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles. His latest album, Real Good Love, came out this past December.
Alexandra Scott, 4/11, BMI, 1:30p: The quirky, versatile folk guitarist spins out songs that can be heartrending, achingly lovely, and optimistic all at once.
Alexes Aiken, 4/11, BMI, 12p: A local singer, songwriter, and musician with a New Orleans-based band, Aiken serves up high energy music with a country “arena rock” sound. She won the 2013 Tennessee Country and Gospel Music Association CD of the Year award for her self-titled debut album.
Alexis and the Samurai, 4/12, BMI, 4:30p: This is a band led by two of the brighter talents on the local rock scene, singer/songwriter Alexis Marceaux and multi-instrumentalist Sam Craft. Both were in the alt-rock band Glasgow and in Susan Cowsill’s group, and Marceaux was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice.
Allen Toussaint, 4/9, ABS, 3:45p: This New Orleans R&B superstar will headline the festival this year. From the ’60s until today, he has been hugely influential as a singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer.
Amanda Shaw, 4/11, CHV, 7:30p: This Cajun fiddle prodigy has been in the spotlight since age 10. Her sets can jump from teen-friendly pop to straight-up Cajun, with a classic rock cover or two thrown in.
Amy Trail, 4/12, BMI, 3p: This singer/songwriter is equally adept at playing her originals with her own band or fielding requests from the crowds at Pat O’Brien’s.
Anaïs St. John, 4/12, SUP, 3p: St. John is an accomplished singer doing jazz, torch songs, and cabaret tunes. She’s performed an Eartha Kitt tribute and currently plays Saturdays at the Windsor Court Hotel.
Andre Bouvier and the Royal Bohemians, 4/10, OUT, 11a: A classic New Orleans swamp blues band with a smoky, down-and-dirty groove.
Andrew Duhon, 4/11, BMI, 4:30p: This artist won OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Singer/Songwriter in 2011. He worked with Grammy-winning produce John Snyder (Dave Brubeck, Etta James) for his album Dreaming When You Leave.
Andrew Hall’s Society Brass Band, 4/12, BB, 11:15a: Hall is a skilled traditional jazz and rhythm and blues pianist who has performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, and the Olympia Brass Band.
Astral Project, 4/12, WWL, 5:30p: All four members of this band—guitarist Steve Masakowski, saxophonist Tony Dagradi, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich—are bandleaders in their own right. Together, they’ve been one of New Orleans’ premier jazz groups for three decades.
Audacity Brass Band, 4/10, BB, 11:15a: This traditional group formed to play at French Quarter Fest 2008 and includes talented locals Tom Fischer, Charlie Fardella, and Freddie Lonzo.
Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses, 4/10, FMS, 12p: Inspired by Sidney Bechet and Django Reinhardt, singer/saxophonist Nealand is a bright young player whose work is getting more eclectic all the time. She released her latest album with The Royal Roses, The Lookback Transmission, last spring. She is also performing as rockabilly singer Rory Danger on Sunday.
Babineaux Sisters Band, 4/12, CHV, 12:30p: Sisters and songwriters Gracie and Julie Babineaux lead this south Louisiana roots rock band. Their first CD covered “All Along the Watchtower” (“Le Tour de Garde”) was inspired more by the Hendrix version than Dylan’s original and featured lyrics sung in Cajun French.
Bag of Donuts, 4/10, TRO, 7:20p: Known for their outlandish costumes, Bag of Donuts delivers an unusual take on popular songs of the ’60s onward, as well as tunes from TV, film and commercials.
Bamboula 2015, 4/11, SUP, 12:30p: “Bamboula” was originally a form of drum and dance ceremony held in Congo Square. Bamboula 2000 (now 2015) leader Luther Gray brings that spirit into the present with a troupe of players and dancers.
Banu Gibson & the New Orleans Hot Jazz, 4/11, CAP, 12:45p: A singer/dancer who specializes in the Great American Songbook and has been captured by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, Gibson has been instrumental in popularizing the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp.
Barbara Shorts, 4/12, PAL, 3p: Vocalist Barbara Shorts has appeared in One Mo’ Time and fronted the Gospel Soul Children.
Ben Polcer and the Grinders, 4/12, FMS, 11a: Trumpeter and pianist Polcer grew up listening to jazz greats at his father’s New York music club, The Eddie Condon Jazz Club. He is a frequent performer at venues around Frenchmen Street.
Benny Grunch & the Bunch, 4/9, CAP, 3:15p: This jovial crew is responsible for the carnival sendup “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day,” plus a bunch of seasonal albums built around the regional standard “12 Yats of Christmas.”
Bernie & the Party Gators, 4/10, INT, 12p: This German group is led by drummer Bernie Hasel, who also tours in an oompah band, but claims New Orleans music as his true love.
Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. & the Wild Magnolias, 4/11, ABS, 5:25p: Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. carries on the legacy of his father, leading the Wild Magnolias in their impassioned Mardi Gras Indian music.
Big Chief Smiley Ricks and the One Nation Band, 4/9, GE, 2p: A respected singer, songwriter, and producer of Mardi Gras Indian music, Big Chief Smiley Ricks is making his festival debut this year with his One Nation Band.
Big Easy Brawlers, 4/10, HOB, 12p: Trumpeter Ashton Hines formed this young brass band after a spell in Young Fellaz.
Big Easy Playboys, 4/9, CHV, 2p: Locally based Big Easy Playboys take roots rock and blues and add it to their Cajun and zydeco sounds.
Big Sam’s Funky Nation, 4/12, OUT, 5:30p: The charisma of former Dirty Dozen trombonist Sam Williams makes him an able focal point for a musical party that blends brass, Meters-style funk, hip-hop and rock. The band has toured hard and earned a following in the jam-band world.
Blues Masters featuring Big Al Carson, 4/9, TRO, 11a: Carson’s imposing 400-pound frame and equally mighty voice are familiar attractions at the Funky Pirate on Bourbon Street, also familiar is his now-classic carnival song “Take Your Drunken Ass Home.”
Bonerama, 4/10, ABS, 7:15p: Mark Mullins and Craig Klein lead this trombone-centric jazz/funk/rock combo, as comfortable with James Brown as it is with Black Sabbath.
Boogieman’s Friend, 4/10, INT, 1:30p: This electric blues duo from Germany returns to the French Quarter Festival.
Borderland Dixieband, 4/10, INT, 4:30p: Traditional jazz by way of Austria. This band has hit town in the past to play at Fritzel’s.
Bottoms Up Blues Gang, 4/12, WWL, 11a: Hailing from St. Louis, the Bottom Up Blues Gang plays blues and soul with some of Frenchmen Street’s best horn players. Their latest album, Drinking Live At the Shanti, came out in 2014.
Brandon Moreau & His Cajungrass, 4/11, CHV, 12:30p: Moreau formed the group on Bourbon Street in 2011, a unique move in an environment of cover bands. Their spirited bluegrass/Western swing/honky tonk blend is thoroughly infused with the sounds of the southwest Louisiana countryside where Moreau grew up.
Brass-A-Holics, 4/11, GE, 5:30p: Formed by ex-Soul Rebels trombonist Winston Turner, this band created its own genre of “Go-go Brass Funk,” combining the New Orleans elements with the strong grooves of Washington DC’s go-go scene.
Brent Anderson Trio, 4/11, HOB, 12:30p: This smoky-voiced country singer charted on Hot Country Songs with his 2011 debut single, “Amy’s Song.”
Breton Sound, 4/9, HOB, 5:45p: This energetic Crescent City rock quartet recorded their third album, Don’t Be Afraid To Rock and Roll, during a multi-state road trip. It will be released this spring.
Brian Carrick’s Heritage Hall Stompers, 4/12, INT, 12p: Carrick and his Stompers usually play their spirited New Orleans-style jazz across the pond, but here they’ll be back at the site of their musical roots.
Brother Tyrone & The Mindbenders, 4/12, GE, 2p: Charismatic R&B vocalist “Brother Tyrone” Pollard has shared the stage with greats such as Jessie Hill, Ernie K-Doe, and Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, 4/10, CHV, 3:45p: A New Orleans-reared Cajun, this self-taught accordion player has hosted the Sunday Cajun session at Tipitina’s for decades and the Maple Leaf before that. His latest CD Jamais de la Vie was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.
Bucktown All-Stars, 4/12, ABS, 12:35p: This nine-piece rhythm and blues band from Metairie covers the soul classics, adding their own funky grooves. They have won OffBeat’s Best of the Beat for best cover band 9 times, and the last 7 years in a row.
Burris, 4/11, HOB, 8p: Based out of Lafayette and Baton Rouge, this soul/funk/rock band has roots that span from Austin, TX, to Russia.
Calvin Johnson and Native Son, 4/12, PH, 2p: Saxophonist/composer Calvin Johnson, Jr.’s latest CD Native Son includes Bechet’s “Petite Fleur.” He blows from his heart with knowledge of the New Orleans tradition.
Canal Creepers, 4/11, INT, 12p: Another European band in love with traditional New Orleans jazz, this one is from Sweden. They’ve made frequent trips to play here in the past.
Cardinal Sons, 4/12, BMI, 1:30p: The three Shirley brothers serve up catchy, danceable indie rock embellished by three-part harmonies. Their latest EP, The Echo Choir, was released last August.
Carl LeBlanc, 4/12, FMS, 12:45p: Banjo player LeBlanc has played with Preservation Hall and Sun Ra, and he invests himself entirely in whatever music he touches.
Charmaine Neville, 4/11, CAP, 3:50p: This vocalist and bandleader, a part of the famed Neville family, dishes out spicy versions of New Orleans blues and R&B favorites.
Chris Ardoin, 4/10, CHV, 7:30p: The soulful young singer, producer, and zydeco accordionist helped create “nouveau zydeco”, a genre that incorporates rap, hip-hop, and reggae. He’s toured extensively around the world.
Chris Owens, 4/9, CAP, 4:30p: The burlesque queen and New Orleans legend has been running her Bourbon Street club since 1977, and is also famous for her annual Easter parade.
Christian Serpas & Ghost Town, 4/11, TRO, 11a: This band plays “boot stompin’ American music,” with lots of revved-up, high-volume country twang.
Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, 4/12, CHV, 5:30p: One of the most energetic zydeco groups around, Carrier and band won the 2010 Cajun/Zydeco Grammy win for their album Zydeco Junkie.
Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders, 4/11, SC, 3:30p: Known for their lively interpretations of old New Orleans classics by Armstrong, Kid Ory, and others, the members of the Serenaders have been playing together in various musical contexts since the ’60s.
Colin Lake Trio, 4/10, HOB, 5p: With a soulful voice and innovative use of the lap-slide guitar, Colin Lake puts on a captivating blues/roots show.
Colin Lake, 4/11, BMI, 5:15p; 4/12, MAY, 5p: Pacific Northwest native, singer songwriter, and bandleader Colin Lake moved to New Orleans in 2009. Lake incorporates elements of soul, rock and folk on his latest CD The Ones I Love.
Confetti Park Players, 4/12, KID, 11a: Led by songwriter Katy Hobgood Ray, the Confetti Park Players form New Orleans’ own children’s choir. Their material is a mix of traditional New Orleans music, nursery rhymes, and songs by contemporary Louisiana songwriters.
Connie Jones and the FQF All Stars, 4/10, CAP, 11:15a: New Orleans native trumpeter Conrad “Connie” Jones III joined the Basin Street Six with Pete Fountain in 1952. In 1967, he became a full-fledged member of Fountain’s band, departing seven years later to lead the reincarnation of the Dukes of Dixieland.
Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet, 4/12, BB, 5:45p: Trombonist Corey Henry has taken over the long standing Kermit Ruffins run at Vaughan’s on Thursday night. Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet was the winner for Best Emerging Artist at OffBeat’s 2013 Best of the Beat Awards.
Cori Walters and the Universe Jazz Band, 4/12, JD, 3:45p: This spirited trad jazz band is well-known around Bourbon Street and the French Quarter.
Creole String Beans, 4/12, WWL, 2p: Fronted by photographer Rick Olivier and including former Iguanas and Cowboy Mouth members, the Creole String Beans began as a “Yat cover band” doing vintage local gems, and moved on to write similarly-styled originals.
Crescent City Aerial Arts, 4/12, KID, 3p: “Aerial arts” are a combination of dance and creative movement, performed from hanging apparatuses. It’s a great workout, and lots of fun too.
Crescent City Brass Quintet, 4/12, CLS, 12:30p: Comprised of members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, this brass quintet is known for their Christmastime performances at the St. Louis Cathedral.
Cristina Perez, 4/12, SUP, 1:30p: The sultry tones of this smooth jazz vocalist display hints of Ella Fitzgerald and Norah Jones. Her latest album, The Sweetest Thing, was released this fall and features all original compositions.
Dana Abbott, 4/12, HOB, 3p: Abbott cites Tina Turner as one of her biggest influences, and her powerful voice and high-energy rock and soul performances make for one of the most exciting shows on Frenchmen Street. She and her band perform original material and are also perfectly comfortable taking audience requests.
Dancing at Dusk with Tom Saunders and the Tomcats, 4/12, SUP, 6p: Led by Tom Saunders, this classic-model big band does hot jazz and swing from the 1920’s and ‘30s.
Dancing Grounds “Let’s Move,” 4/11, KID, 3p: They have provided dance education in New Orleans since 2012. There performances are educational, accessible, artistically innovative, and socially relevant.
Daria and the Hip Drops, 4/11, BMI, 3:45p: Taking their name from a ‘60s funk nugget, this band has a more modern dance-pop sound. Frontwoman Daria Dzurik is one of the few lead singers who doubles on steel drums.
Dash Rip Rock, 4/12, GE, 3:45p: Known for their high-octane roots rock and founded by front-man and songwriter Bill Davis, Dash Rip Rock brings on a party every time.
Davis Rogan, 4/10, GE, 3:45p: Rogan (who inspired Steve Zahn’s character in HBO’s Treme), plays New Orleans rhythm and blues mixed with topical and political lyrics and witty comments. His latest CD Ex Machina is number 23 in OffBeat’s Best CDs of 2014.
Debauche, 4/10, OUT, 2:15p: In their own words, Debauche is “a Russian Mafia Band that plays great punk rock hooligan Russian street songs with stomping energy.”
Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, 4/11, PAL, 1p: Davis sings blues, jazz, and show tunes with brassy candor and a twinkle in her eye.
Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, 4/11, CAP, 5:20p: Premier trombonist Marsalis recently released The Last Southern Gentleman, an album in collaboration with his father, Crescent City piano-great Ellis Marsalis. He will perform at the festival with his acclaimed modern jazz ensemble.
Diablo’s Horns, 4/9, ABS, 11a: Tuba player Tim Stambaugh leads this funky brass band whose satirical lyrics are well worth catching.
Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, 4/9, CHV, 3:45p: Troy “Dikki Du” Carrier comes from a family of zydeco musicians and now plays with his own funky, innovative krewe.
Dixie Cups, 4/10, ABS, 2:10p: New Orleans’ contribution to the ’60s girl-group sound, they scored nationally with “Chapel of Love,” its even-better follow-up, “People Say,” and the Mardi Gras Indian-derived “Iko Iko.” Founding sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins remain two-thirds of the group.
Doc Houlind’s International All Stars, 4/11, INT, 4:30p: Drummer-turned-trumpeter Houlind leads this Copenhagen group, one of the younger bands playing in the traditional style.
Dog Hill Stompers, 4/10, CHV, 2p: This energetic young zydeco band out of Lake Charles, Louisiana, features three different accordion players that each have a unique style.
Donna Angelle and the Zydeco Posse, 4/10, OUT, 5:30p: This sassy zydeco woman earned some attention in the ‘90s for her musical mash note to Boozoo Chavis, “Old Man’s Sweetheart.”
Don Jamison Heritage School of Music, 4/12, SUP, 11a: Started by Kidd Jordan, this is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s principal education program, open to kids ages 11 to 17 from throughout the city.
Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, 4/11, SUP, 3:45p: This eclectic banjo player has made a career of exploring his Creole heritage through music, whether it’s traditional jazz, island music, or joining bluesmen in the Black Banjo Project.
Doug Kershaw and Steve Riley, 4/9, TRO, 5:45p: This unlikely pairing of 78-year-old violinist Doug Kershaw, the Ragin’ Cajun with accordion virtuoso Steve Riley is pure joy. Their CD release Face to Face has received rave reviews.
Duke Heitger’s Steamboat Stompers, 4/12, SC, 11a: Trumpeter Heitger came to New Orleans from Toledo in 1991 to join Jacques Gauthe’s Creole Rice Jazz Band. Since then he’s toured internationally, led his Steamboat Stompers on the river, and played on a platinum Squirrel Nut Zippers album.
Dukes of Dixieland, 4/10, CAP, 3:50p: Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, the Dukes of Dixieland weave pop, gospel, and country into their own brand of traditional jazz. The group is a staple on dinner cruises aboard the Steamboat Natchez, and they recently released their album Live at Jazz Fest 2014 with Munckmix.
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, 4/11, CHV, 3:45p: This second-generation accordion slinger carries on the blues-infused style of his dad Dopsie Sr., often with a whole lot of added speed and volume.
Egg Yolk Jubilee, 4/10, OUT, 3:50p: This band makes a wild, anarchic mix of brass band, garage rock, vintage New Orleans R&B, Sun Ra-like jazz, and whatever else catches their attention at the time.
Ellis Marsalis, 4/9, CAP, 12:45p: At age 80, the premier pianist and patriarch of one of the city’s top musical families is still an active performer who you can hear every Friday at Snug Harbor and at other venues around the city. Marsalis was this year’s recipient of OffBeat’s Lifetime Achievement in Music Award.
Eric Lindell, 4/10, WWL, 3:45p: Once a California skate-punk, Lindell found more success as a blue-eyed soul and blues man after moving to New Orleans. He has been featured on the cover of OffBeat Magazine.
Erica Falls, 4/11, OUT, 3:50p: R&B vocalist has sung with Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas and was on the cover of OffBeat Magazine last June.
Erin Miley, 4/12, BMI, 12p: Alternative folk singer Miley’s haunting vocals and sparse guitar-work are lovely, gripping, and permeated with melancholy.
Ernie Vincent and the Top Notes, 4/10, GE, 5:30p: Vincent was the wah-wah man behind the ’70s soul collectors’ classic “Dap Walk,” and has backed Ernie K-Doe at the Mother in law Lounge. OffBeat Magazine honored Vincent with a Best of the Beat Lifetime Achievement Award in Music in 2012.
Faith in the Music, 4/12, KID, 4p: Faith Becnel leads this country, blues and alternative pop band from Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Flow Tribe, 4/11, GE, 7:15: “Backbone cracking music” is the chosen genre of this party-friendly funk/rock band, which adds Red Hot Chili Peppers and hip-hop to the Meters on its list of funk influences.
Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One, 4/11, SUP, 11a: This group of talented young musicians from Mandeville was recently named one of 12 finalists to attend the Savannah Music Festival’s Swing City Jazz 2015 this March.
Frank Oxley and the Joint Chiefs of Jazz, 4/12, ZAP, 11:30a: Drummer Oxley has led and performed with many trad jazz bands over the years and frequently plays at such venues as Preservation Hall and the Palm Court Jazz Café. He’s worked with Wendell Brunious, Danny Barker, and countless other greats.
Fredy Omar con su Banda, 4/10, GE, 2p: Once proclaimed the “Latin King of Frenchmen Street” by OffBeat, Omar is a Honduras-born singer with a sizzling band.
Friendly Travelers, 4/12, TRO, 11a: Originally formed in 1959, this New Orleans gospel quartet was signed to the Memphis-based R&B label Malaco during the ’80s, and toured the country in that era with Gladys Knight and Al Green.
Fritzel’s New Orleans Jazz Band, 4/12, SC, 3:30p: The house band at the famous Fritzel’s Jazz Pub on Bourbon Street, this group contains some of the French Quarter’s finest traditional musicians.
Funk Monkey, 4/12, TRO, 12:30p: Featuring Greg Hicks and Bert Cotton (Bonerama), along with Jason Mingledorff (Papa Grows Funk), Rick Fletcher (Smilin’ Myron), David Pomerleau (Johnny Sketch), and Eddie Christmas (John Cleary), this crew of all-stars makes its festival debut with a deep-grooving funk sound that is totally New Orleans.
Funny Bones, 4/12, KID, 1p: This improvisational group works to bring laughter to sick children, their families and caregivers.
Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, 4/10, TRO, 12:30p: Big-voiced Maryland native Vanessa Niemann fronts one of the city’s leading Western swing bands, which plays originals, honky-tonk favorites, and less obvious choices like Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”
Garden District Band, 4/11, JD, 11:15a: Drummer David Hansen’s trio plays traditional and Latin jazz along with standards from the great American songbook.
George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, 4/9, GE, 5:15p: Bassist and funk cornerstone Porter maintains this band between stints with the original and Funky Meters, 7 Walkers and his many guest and session gigs.
Gerald French and Friends, 4/12, OMN, 1:45p: Drummer Bob French led the Original Tuxedo Brass Band for 34 years, schooling young talents like Shamarr Allen and Kid Chocolate. When he retired from the band, French passed the torch to his nephew Gerald, also a talented drummer.
Gina Brown & Anutha Level, 4/11, TRO, 7:20p: Gina Brown bills herself as “New Orleans’ own soul diva,” and she sings blues, jazz, oldies, hip-hop, and funk.
Glen David Andrews, 4/12, GE, 5:15p: This singer/trombonist, cousin of Troy and James Andrews, is a brass traditionalist and a testifying R&B vocalist who honed his entertaining chops in Jackson Square. His album Redemption was named by OffBeat Magazine the number one album of 2014.
Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras, 4/12, CLS, 11a: Directed by Dr. Jean Montes, the goal at GNOYO is to provide every willing young person in the area access to a quality and comprehensive orchestral program.
Guitar Slim, Jr., 4/11, WWL, 2p: Making his debut at French Quarter Fest, this versatile R&B singer and blues guitarist has long been a mainstay on the Bourbon Street and Treme performance circuits. Although he takes his music seriously, he knows how to have a great time with the audience.
Hannah Kreiger-Benson, 4/12, BMI, 2:15p: Kreiger-Benson is a multi-talented pianist, singer, and trumpeter, who’s also been a vocal spokeswoman for MACCNO.
Happy Pals, 4/11, INT, 6p: This Toronto-based seven-piece jazz band plays tunes by Kid Thomas, George Lewis—even adaptation of Hank Williams and Fats Domino.
Harmonouche, 4/11, OMN, 3:30p: This gypsy jazz band was formed by Raphaël Bas, a French guitarist who moved to New Orleans just before Katrina. They approach the music with energy, romance and humor.
Hazy Ray, 4/11, HOB, 3p: Guitarist Joshua Ray leads this Latin/funk/fusion band that moved here two years ago from its central Texas base.
Helen Gillet’s Wazozo Zorchestra, 4/11, OMN, 12p: Belgian-born singer/cellist’s music falls somewhere between French chanson, delicate pop, free jazz and the Velvet Underground. Her new solo CD Bangkok Silver was just released in February, and her multi-player “Wazozo Zorchestra” will release their second album this spring.
Higher Heights Band 4/12, TRO, 3:50p: Higher Heights combines reggae, dancehall and rock steady into a heady mix of Jamaican sounds.
Honey Island Swamp Band, 4/12, TRO, 5:15p: Formed in San Francisco by Katrina exiles who’ve since returned to town, the HISB is a hard-driving rock band with roots in R&B, country, and funk. They won a Best of the Beat Award this year for Best Roots Rock Performer.
Honorable South, 4/9, HOB, 4:30p; 4/11, TRO, 12:30p: This New Orleans rock ’n’ roll band combines soulful roots and Americana-style songwriting with hard-driving electric energy.
Hot 8 Brass Band, 4/11, OUT, 5:30p: The storied Hot 8 is a study in survival, having lost three members in shooting deaths. But the band has endured, and they carry on traditional brass-band sounds and add elements of hip-hop and jazz.
Hot Club of New Orleans, 4/12, ROU, 3:30p: Fronted by skilled and versatile clarinetist Chris Kohl, the Hot Club performs classics of the gypsy jazz songbook.
Hot Rod Lincoln, 4/11, TRO, 2p: Oldies cover band whose members include some prominent figures from the worlds of business and politics.
Hot Stuff featuring Becky Allen, 4/11, PAL, 3p: Allen, known as “New Orleans’ foremost female female-impersonator,” sings show tunes and standards with a great sense of humor and an over-the-top attitude.
Idlewild String Confederation, 4/10, WWL, 11a: Making their French Quarter Festival debut, the Idlewild String Confederation brings original country and bluegrass. They tend to get audiences stomping on the floor.
Iguanas, 4/11, ABS, 3:45p: With Tex-Mex rock ‘n’ roll as their base, the Iguanas can swing freely into jazz, country, garage and Caribbean music. They should be playing some of the newer material from their 2014 album, Juarez.
Ingrid Lucia, 4/11, WWL, 12:30p: A performer since childhood and a local favorite since her days with the Flying Neutrinos, the singer’s latest CD, Living the Life, with the theme, “the exuberance and strength of the human spirit in this crazy journey called life” is one of her best.
Irene Sage Band, 4/12, ABS, 11a: Rock/soul vocalist Sage has been a local presence since fronting Irene & the Mikes in the ’80s. She’s been a featured singer with Allen Toussaint and a collaborator with the late Coco Robicheaux.
Irma Thomas, 4/10, ABS, 3:45p: While she still plays “It’s Raining,” “Time is on My Side,” and the other early hits, she continues to introduce new material.
Irvin Mayfield and NOJO perform the music of Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, and the Grateful Dead, 4/9, ABS, 5:20p: Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his acclaimed New Orleans Jazz Orchestra deliver jazz versions of classic rock songs.
Irvin Mayfield and New Orleans Jazz Orchestra play the music of Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, and Queen: 4/10, ABS, 5:25p: Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra deliver versions of classic rock from Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Queen.
Irvin Mayfield and NOJO: Children’s Songs, 4/11, ABS, 12:35p: The acclaimed trumpeter will lead the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra deliver children’s songs with a jazzy twist.
James Andrews, 4/9, CAP, 5:30p: Grandson of Jessie Hill and brother of Trombone Shorty, Andrews has gone in a funky, expansive direction. A neighborhood’s worth of players have joined the core band onstage.
Jane Harvey Brown Trad Jazz Stars, 4/11, PH, 1p: When she’s not playing with Sugarbear and the Jazzcats or Grand Marshalling for the Storyville Stompers, singer Brown fronts this traditional jazz group.
Jason & Layla, 4/12, KID, 12p: Brother/sister duo doing kid-friendly acoustic rock. Jason Rhein has also played in Rotary Downs and worked with the Imagination Movers.
Jayna Morgan & the Swing Setters!, 4/11, KID, 2p: This fun, lively band was designed especially for kids and plays everything from Disney tunes to Crescent City classics.
Jazz Bears, 4/11, INT, 3p: German traditional jazz band making their French Quarter Fest debut.
Jee Yeoun Ko, 4/11, CLS, 12:30p: Dr. Jee Yeoun Ko, is a Korean cellist who now makes New Orleans her home. Jee Yeoun Ko joined New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 2008 as an artist teacher and was appointed as chair of the classical instrumental department in May, 2009.
Jeffrey Hills and Survivors Brass Band, 4/12, PH, 3p: Raised in New Orleans, Jeffrey Hills was a member of the Preservation Hall Junior Band. Today he is the leader of the Survivors Brass Band while teaching at the New Orleans Roots of Music.
Jeremy Davenport, 4/12, CAP, 2:20p: Schooled as the featured trumpeter in Harry Connick, Jr.’s band, the St. Louis native has carved out a nice career with that aching/tender tone to both his playing and singing on romantic standards and originals.
Jerry Embree’s Jazzman Band, 4/11, SUP, 5:30p: Saxophonist, singer and composer Embree has been a professional musician for over 30 years, recording with Fats Domino, Bobby Charles, and others.
Jimmy Thibodeaux, 4/9, CHV, 12:30p: This spirited accordion player appears with his rockin’ Cajun/zydeco band.
Joe Cabral Trio, 4/12, PAL, 2p: Saxophonist and Iguana Joe Cabral joins bassist James Singleton and drummer Doug Garrison in an exciting melange.
Joe Pass Tribute Band featuring Davy Mooney, 4/12, MAY, 2:30p: Melodic, wistful guitarist/songwriter Mooney has roots in New Orleans and Brooklyn. At the French Quarter Fest this year, he’ll lead a tribute band to acclaimed jazz/bebop guitarist Joe Pass.
Jo-el Sonnier, 4/12, CHV, 2p: The Cajun and country songs of this Grammy Award-winning accordionist uphold his rural Louisiana roots while often incorporating rock and pop influences as well. He took home the Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album this year with his recent release, The Legacy.
John Boutte, 4/10, CAP, 2:20p: Boutte is a versatile jazz singer who has regular gigs at d.b.a. He became even better known after his “Treme Song” became the theme song of the hit HBO show Treme.
John Lisi and the Delta Funk, 4/10, HOB, 7:30p: True to the name, Jersey-born singer/guitarist Lisi crosses his blues roots with funk influences, and plays over 300 gigs a year.
John Mooney & Bluesiana, 4/10, WWL, 2p: Known for his mean slide guitar, Mooney mixes Delta blues with a funky beat straight out of a New Orleans second lines. He’s been playing with his band, Bluesiana, since the ’80s.
John Rankin, 4/11, CLS, 3:30p: Acoustic fingerstyle guitarist in the mold of Leo Kottke or Chet Atkins. When not performing solo, he’s part of the all-star Guitar Masters and collaborates in diverse duos and trios with Alex McMurray, Norbert Slama, Phil DeGruy, Todd Duke, and others.
John Royen’s New Orleans Rhythm, 4/12, OMN, 3:30p: Royen is credited with bringing East-Coast style stride piano to Preservation Hall in the early 1980’s, adding a syncopated ragtime beat to the traditional New Orleans sound.
Johnny J. and the Hitmen, 4/12, OUT, 11a: Rock and roll guitarist Johnny J. delivers raw, stripped down rockers, hard-hitting rockabilly, and dirge-like ballads with equal skill. He’s also a witty lyricist.
Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, 4/10, WWL, 5:30p: Fronted by a cellist turned guitarist, they’re a funky rock band with a few gonzoid touches. The band’s philosophy can best be summed up by the sentiments of the single and video, “Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance.”
Jonno & Bayou Deville, 4/11, CHV, 2p: This fiddler blends Americana and blues with a classic Cajun feel. His résumé includes performances at the Kennedy Center, the White House, and the late, lamented Michaul’s Cajun Restaurant.
Judy Spellman & Company, 4/12, OUT, 12:45p: A local jazz and gospel singer, Spellman is the daughter of acclaimed New Orleans R&B musician Benny “Lipstick traces” Spellman.
Jumonville Staehle Band, 4/11, SUP, 5:30p: Saxophonist Jerry Jumonville and drummer Freddie Staehle have been delivering lively, skillful, improv-heavy jazz together since their high school band in the 50s.
Jump, Jive and Wail, 4/10, CAP, 5:20p: The high-voltage, brass-heavy, 9-piece band is making its festival debut this year with their combination of retro-swing, funk, jump blues, and classic New Orleans Mardi Gras sounds.
June Victory & the Bayou Renegades, 4/11, MAY, 2:30p: An early apostle of Jimi Hendrix, June Victory brings the sounds of the guitar great, as well as those of the Louisiana swamps, to his particularly fiery brand of Indian music and funk.
Karen Waldrup, 4/11, BMI, 12:45p: The young New Orleans native is now making waves in the Nashville country scene when not on tour.
Kat Walker Jazz Band, 4/11, KID, 12p: A painter as well as a jazz singer, Kat Walker has been known create works of art onstage mid-song.
Ken Swartz & the Palace of Sin, 4/12, SUP, 12:15p: A New Orleans band based in roots music and country blues. Swartz bends other folks’ songs to his quietly introspective pastiche of soul, blues and folk. Swartz’s album While I Was Waitin’ was recently released on the blues label Adelphi Records.
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, 4/12, ABS, 3:45p: One of New Orleans’ beloved trumpeters and personalities, Ruffins has also been the proprietor of several New Orleans music venues over the years.
Kevin Sekhani Band, 4/12, HOB, 12:30p: A Folk and Americana band out of Lafayette led by 20-year veteran of the Austin music scene Kevin Sekhani. Sekhani released his new solo album Day Ain’t Done on Louisiana Red Hot Records in early 2015.
Kid Merv & All That Jazz, 4/10, TRO, 4p: This tradition-steeped trumpeter was a protégé of the Treme Brass Band’s Uncle Lionel Batiste. His great uncle Kid Rena replaced Louis Armstrong in Kid Ory’s band.
Kid Simmons Jazz Band, 4/12, JD, 11:15a: Trumpeter Simmons has been active in traditional jazz since he first came to came to New Orleans in 1966. He’s also a musicologist and WWOZ DJ who’s unearthed some overlooked classics of the ragtime era.
Kim Carson and the Real Deal, 4/11, GE, 11a: With her high-energy honky tonk and roots rock, the rural Texas/Oklahoma native and her steel-heavy band tell audiences, “Don’t fear the twang!”
King James & the Special Men, 4/11, OUT, 2:15p: King James and the Special Men play New Orleans R&B and rock ‘n’ roll with horns and a loose, ramshackle attitude that captures beautifully the spirit with which the New Orleans classics were made.
Kristin Diable, 4/12, BMI, 5:15p: This deep-voiced Baton Rouge native made a name in NYC’s singer/songwriter community before returning to New Orleans. She recently appeared on the cover of OffBeat Magazine and released Create Your Own Mythology to critical acclaim.
Lagniappe Brass Band, 4/11, BB, 4p: This bright young crew in the vein of the Soul Rebels is lighting up music clubs and presiding over weddings and parades in the streets of the French Quarter. Their self-titled debut album came out this year and features all original material.
Lars Edegran’s New Orleans Jazz Band, 4/12, ZAP, 4p: This Swedish jazz pianist migrated to New Orleans in the 1960s to learn the traditional music of New Orleans. Now he is an elder statesman and a regular at Preservation Hall and the Palm Court.
Last Straws, 4/12, ZAP, 1:45p: This traditional New Orleans jazz band has been playing together for half a century. The band features Robert Ice on bass, Mo Canert on cornet, Rory Dufour on clarinet, Darryl Barnes on Trombone, Bill Lee and saxophone, Bob Wahers on drums ,and Bruce O’Neil on banjo.
Lena Prima Band, 4/11, TRO, 4p: The youngest daughter of Louis Prima performs her dad’s classics along with her own jazz-pop material. She is compared to the 5th Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo on her CD Starting Something.
Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest, 4/12, CAP, 5:30p: Trumpeter Jones is a protégé of the legendary Danny Barker and at 13 was leading the Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band. In 1991 Jones joined Harry Connick, Jr.’s band and has also appeared with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Dr. John.
Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band, 4/10, BB, 2:15p: Jones draws on his experience with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band to play traditional New Orleans brass band music in this long running group.
Lillian Boutte & Gumbo Zaire, 4/11, GE, 12:30p: Celebrated jazz singer Boutte has performed with giants from James Booker to Patti Labelle. The City of New Orleans honored her as an Ambassador of Music, the only musician since Louis Armstrong to receive this honored title.
Linnzi Zaorski, 4/11, FMS, 2:30p: Called “the Ninth Ward’s torchiest torch singer” by OffBeat, Zaorski is a siren with a voice to match her stage presence
Lisa Lynn, 4/11, JD, 3:45p: Sultry jazz/blues diva is also a published poet who holds a poetry master’s degree from UNO.
Little Freddie King, 4/11, ABS, 2:10p: The Mississippi Delta-born King plays raw juke-joint blues with style, and he’s one of the best dressers you’ll see on any stage. His latest album, Messin’ Around Tha Livin’ Room, came out this past February.
Los Po-Boy-Citos, 4/12, GE, 11a: This funky Latin band made its name doing boogaloo versions of New Orleans favorites and funkified versions of Latin tunes.
LosOtros, 4/11, WWL, 5:30p: Making their festival debut this year, this Brazilian-influenced band formed by bassist Sam Price showcases sultry Latin grooves and percussion.
Lost Bayou Ramblers, 4/11, CHV, 5:30p: As their recent Mammoth Waltz demonstrates, this young Cajun band celebrates its tradition while staying open to new technology and rock-oriented musical influences.
Louis Ford and his New Orleans Flairs, 4/11, PH, 2p: Clarinetist and saxophonist Ford is a second generation New Orleans jazz man dedicated to the preservation of jazz.
Louis Michot’s Melody Makers, 4/12, HOB, 5:30p: Michot is a dynamic Cajun fiddler best known as the frontman of the Lost Bayou Ramblers.
Lynn Drury, 4/10, GE, 12:30p: A singer/songwriter steeped in both her Mississippi heritage and her adopted home of New Orleans. Drury teamed up with veteran British producer John Porter for her latest CD Come to My House. She was nominated for three Best of the Beat Awards in 2014.
Magnetic Ear, 4/12, OUT, 2:15p: A progressive brass band inspired by avant-garde jazz, second line, funk, and European brass music.
Magnolia Brass Band, 4/12, INT, 4:30p: Started in 1972, this Canadian brass band plays in a style known as “Revival Jazz,” which blends classic jazz with rhythm and blues.
Mahala, 4/12, ROU, 12p: Mahala brings Balkan and Bulgarian music to the Big Easy, featuring accordion, drums, and guitar. Their recent, self-titled album was released this past December.
Mahogany Brass Band, 4/12, BB, 4p: Led by trumpeter and scholar Brice Miller, this young brass band stays true the old-time, swingin’ sound of traditional New Orleans brass bands.
Marc Stone, 4/10, TRO, 11a: Blues and gospel singer/guitarist is also a member of Ensemble Fatien and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr’s Zydeco Twisters.
Maynard Chatters & St. Peters Street All Stars, 4/12, PH, 1p: Trombonist Chatters also leads the St. Peters Street All Stars at Preservation Hall.
Mia Borders, 4/9, ABS, 12:35p: A singer, songwriter, and guitarist from New Orleans, her newest release, Quarter-Life Crisis was produced by Anders Osborne and described by OffBeat Magazine as “a record of great music and great intensity.”
Micaela y Fiesta Flamenca, 4/11, ROU, 3:30p: Making their festival debut this year, Micaela y Fiesta Flamenca celebrates Spain’s great flamenco tradition with an ensemble of vocalists, guitarists, and dancers.
Miss Sophie Lee, 4/12, OMN, 12p: One of the proprietors of the restaurant Three Muses and the newly opened Seoul Shack, Lee applies a sultry vocal style to her chosen mixture of swing and traditional jazz. Her CD Love Street Lullaby shows off her songwriting as well as interpretive skills.
Mississippi Rail Company, 4/11, WWL, 11a: This young four-piece band has enjoyed great success in recent years, releasing a new song every month of 2014 as part of their singles project. Making their festival debut this year, they’ll give audiences a modern take on traditional New Orleans roots music and R&B.
Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, 4/10, GE, 7:15p: Local legend Big Chief Monk Boudreaux plays some of the city’s most esteemed Mardi Gras Indian music with his tribe, the Golden Eagles.
Music for All Ages Young Traditional Jazz Band, 4/11, KID, 1p: The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park’s popular Music For All Ages program teaches kids to play traditional New Orleans jazz standards.
Neshia Ruffins & the Young Franchise Band, 4/10, WWL, 12:30p: Making her French Quarter Fest debut this year, Kermit Ruffins’ daughter Neshia will sing backed by her jazz/R&B band.
New Birth Brass Band, 4/12, GE, 12:30p: This long-running band has hornmen Glen David Andrews and Trombone Shorty among its alumni. Their 2012 album On My Way pays tribute to their mentors, the Olympia Brass Band.
New Breed Brass Band, 4/10, BB, 4p: All the members got their starts in high school marching bands, and now they fold hip-hop, funk, and soul into the brass tradition in clubs and second lines around the city. They’re making their festival debut this year.
New Orleans 4T’s, 4/11, INT, 1:30p: This young band from Osaka, Japan, keeps the New Orleans tradition alive on the other side of the globe by playing Dixieland jazz.
New Orleans Classic Jazz Orchestra, 4/11, ZAP, 11:30a: Eddie Baynard leads this group that revives the repertoires of important New Orleans bands from the ’20s, including the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, the first ever recorded jazz band.
New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, 4/10, FMS, 4p: Rulers of the lower French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny, the Cottonmouth Kings play a loose and fun style of traditional jazz.
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Special Guests, 4/10, ABS, 5:25p: The Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, also acclaimed for its many education and outreach programs, will perform with special guests.
New Orleans Jazz Vipers, 4/12, SC, 1:15p: This swinging drum-less quintet brings a mix of still-timely standards like “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and more obscure items.
New Orleans Moonshiners, 4/11, FMS, 11a: The Moonshiners are a pack of young traditional jazz players who got together in 2008 to play swing music. Led by singer, composer and banjo player Chris Edmunds, Frenchmen Street Parade won OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Traditional Jazz Album in 2011.
New Orleans Nightcrawlers, 4/10, BB, 12:45p: This funky brass band represents the genre’s adventurous edge and includes familiar faces from Bonerama and Galactic. Their last album, Slither Slice, combined funk, hip-hop, Indian chants and a general spirit of rejuvenation.
New Orleans Songbook: Featuring Irvin Mayfield, and NOJO, 4/12, ABS, 2:10p: Trumpeter Mayfield and his acclaimed New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will once again grace a French Quarter Fest playing the New Orleans songbook.
New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, 4/11, SUP, 5:30p: The Swamp Donkeys play traditional jazz, blues, vaudeville, modern jazz adaptations, and many other jazz and New Orleans-derived styles. Their frontman, the Louis Armstrong-sounding James Williams, and banjo-strumming Sam Friend will get your foot tapping. They have a new EP currently in post-production.
NOCCA 40th Anniversary Tribute, 4/11, CHV, 7p: NOCCA’s graduates include Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, Trombone Shorty, and the Marsalis brothers.
NOCCA Jazz Ensemble, 4/12, KID, 2p: Student group from the secondary school whose graduates include Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, Trombone Shorty, and the Marsalis brothers.
NOLA Jazz featuring Mari Watanabe, 4/12, PH, 12p: Mari Watanabe is a Japanese-born pianist who now makes New Orleans her home.
Norbert Slama Trio, 4/10, STAGE, TIME: Accordionist and composer Norbert Slama has delighted audiences around the world. His masterful renditions of jazz standards, authentic French musettes, classical and pop tunes on the accordion and piano has earned Norbert Slama the admiration and invitations of musicians including Edith Piaf, Chuck Mangione, and Eva Gabor.
Norbert Slama, 4/12, PAL, 1p: Accordionist and composer Norbert Slama has delighted audiences around the world. His masterful renditions of jazz standards, authentic French musettes, and classical and pop tunes on the accordion and piano have earned Norbert Slama the admiration and invitations of musicians including Edith Piaf, Chuck Mangione, and Eva Gabor.
Onward Brass Band, 4/11, BB, 11:15a: Drummer Paul Barbarin formed this brass band around 1960 and patterned it on the famed group of the same name that existed from around 1880 until 1930. Tradition is the name of the game.
Opera on Tap, 4/11, CLS, 2p: Presented by the New Orleans Opera, “On Tap” features young local and regional singers in casual concerts of opera arias, showtunes, and more.
Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra, 4/11, ZAP, 1:45p: The clarinetist moved from Sweden to New Orleans in 1966. Four years later, he played at Louis Armstrong’s 70th birthday show. He’s best known for his long association with the stage musical One Mo’ Time.
Original Pin Stripe Jazz Band, 4/11, OMN, 1:45p: Part of the ongoing brass band revival that began in the 60s, the Pin Stripes uphold a longstanding New Orleans tradition with fresh energy. Many members got started playing in famed brass bands like Olympia, Chosen Few, and Doc Paulin’s Brass Band.
Original Pinettes Brass Band, 4/10, BB, 5:45p: Billed as “The World’s Only All Female Brass Band,” the Pinettes were formed by a group of students at St. Mary’s Academy in 1991. They won the Red Bull Street Kings brass competition in 2013.
Palmetto Bug Stompers, 4/12, FMS, 2:30p: Traditional jazz sextet with some familiar players, including the ubiquitous Washboard Chaz. They are a dance band staple on Frenchmen Street.
Panorama Jazz Band, 4/9, TRO, 12:30p: Using only acoustic instruments, this hip band takes its style from all over the map, blending New Orleans jazz traditions with klezmer, Latin, and Balkan influences.
Partners N Crime & The Big Easy Bounce Band featuring DJ Jubilee, 4/9, TRO, 3:50p: Legendary local rap “partners” since their days growing up in the 17th Ward, Kango Slimm and Mr. Meana will appear with all-star bounce group that features “King of Bounce” DJ Jubilee.
Patrice Fisher and Arpa, 4/11, SUP, 2p: This Latin jazz ensemble is led by versatile professional harpist Fisher, who has been performing and recording her original compositions since the early ’80s.
Paul Sanchez, 4/11, GE, 2p: Once the relatively quiet guy in Cowboy Mouth, Sanchez has since been a friendly godfather to the local songwriter scene, and the co-writer of the post-Katrina musical Nine Lives. He also appears with the Write Brothers.
Paulin Brothers Jazz Band, 4/11, JD, 1:30p: Ernest “Doc” Paulin founded this band in the 1920s, and his sons now perform strictly traditional brass-band music, complete with the longstanding black-and-white uniforms and spiffy white caps.
Payo, 4/10, ABS, 11a: A force to be reckoned with, Payo is an Afrobeat music and dance ensemble that has its roots in the high-energy percussive traditions of the Ivory Coast.
Peter Novelli, 4/12, BMI, 12:45p: From Syracuse, New York, Novelli now makes New Orleans his home. He has toured with accordionist Sammy Naquin and worked with Dr. John and Buckwheat Zydeco and others. OffBeat Magazine’s Dan Willging on Novelli: “…he’s the master of searing tones and crunchy, mid-tempo grooves.”
Philip Melancon, 4/11, PAL, 12p: Melancon’s humorous cabaret and theatre-oriented pieces reflect the great history of New Orleans.
Playhouse Revue, 4/11, MAY 8p: Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield’s illustrious Jazz Playhouse serves up world-class music time and time again.
Pontchartrain Owls, 4/12, INT, 3p: This international multinational traditional jazz group has made regular appearances at French Quarter Fest.
Preservation Hall Jazz Masters, 4/11, PH, 3p: Taking its name from the venerable French Quarter venue where it’s based, this group of traditional New Orleans jazz masters has been around with varying membership since the 1960s.
PresHall Brass, 4/9, CAP, 11:15a: Featuring bass drummer Tanio Hingle, snare drummer Kerry “Fat Man” Hunter and trumpeter Will Smith, plus a rotating roster of players, Pres Hall Brass aims to serve as the Hall collective’s go-to brass band arm, like the Olympia Brass Band once did.
Rachel Van Voorhees, 4/12, CLS, 2p: The principal harpist of the Louisiana Philharmonic, she performs sacred, Celtic pop and classical material and was once in a jazz group with Charles Neville.
Raw Oyster Cult, 4/12, ABS, 5:20p: The closest thing at FQF to a Radiators reunion, featuring 3/5 of the Rads (Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua) plus Papa Grows Funk’s John Gros and Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes’ bassist Dave Pomerlau.
Rebecca Barry and Songs for Junior Rangers, 4/11, KID, 11a: Saxophonist Rebecca Barry performs songs for children. The music is catchy and easy to sing along with. It is not too cutesy or cloying, so adults will like it.
Rebirth Brass Band, 4/9, ABS, 2:10p: Now entering its fourth decade, Rebirth was one of the first bands to modernize and funkify the New Orleans brass band sound. They won their first Grammy in 2012 for the CD Rebirth of New Orleans and took home three awards at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat 2014 for Best Brass Band, Best Brass Band Album and Album of the Year for Move Your Body.
Red Hot Brass Band, 4/12, BB, 12:45p: One of the youngest brass bands in town, the Red Hots play the standards.
Red Wolf Brass Band, 4/11, BB, 2:15p: This energetic brass band is by music teacher and band director Desmond Venable.
Revealers, 4/11, GE, 3:45p: Long-running reggae band with a funkified New Orleans feel, the Revealers are known for the local hit, “I Like the Sound of That.”
Rhodes Spedale & Live Jazz Group, 4/11, SC, 1:15p: Spedale is a jazz pianist with a long history of performing in New Orleans clubs, hotels, and restaurants. He has hosted a number of popular jazz radio programs over the years.
Riccardo Crespo and Sol Brasil, 4/12, ROU, 1:45p: Brazilian guitarist Crespo makes New Orleans his home. Crespo’s distinctive style is a blend of music popular Brasileira fused with elements of folk, bossa nova, Latin jazz, all with a New Orleans flavor.
Rick Trolsen’s the New Orleans Po-Boys, 4/11, SC, 11a: Virtuoso trombonist Trolsen leads this band playing traditional New Orleans music with conviction and a fiendish sense of humor.
River Jazz & Blues Band, 4/10, INT, 6p: This Danish band plays a mix of traditional jazz, swing, jump, and Latin American rhythms.
Robin Barnes, 4/12, WWL, 12:30p: R&B vocalist first sang in the choirs at St. Phillip and St. David Catholic Churches, and later with her family’s jazz band the Soul Heirs.
Jimmy Robinson, 4/12, PAL, 12p: Guitar master and founder of the progressive band Twangorama and Woodenhead celebrating 40 years.
Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters, 4/12, CHV, 3:30p: One of the few rubboard players to lead a zydeco band, Dopsie Jr. plays it wilder than his accordionist dad, and his sets are guaranteed party-starters.
Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars, 4/10, CHV, 5:30p: Multi-talented accordion player Romero adds roots rock energy to his indigenous South Louisiana sound.
Ronnie Kole Show featuring John Perkins, 4/11, CAP, 2:20p: Kole is a renowned New Orleans jazz piano player whose set harkens back to the wild burlesque days of old time Bourbon Street.
Roots of Music, 4/11, ABS, 11a: This group aims to support, teach, and protect at-risk youth through music education while preserving and promoting New Orleans’ musical heritage. Songwriter Ani DiFranco is on the board of directors.
Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, 4/12, WWL, 3:45p: Making her French Quarter Festival debut, Rory Danger is saxophonist and clarinetist Aurora Nealand’s alter ego. The rockabilly ensemble includes Spencer Bohren, his son, Andre Bohren, Marc Paradis, Casey Coleman, Bill Malchow, and Scott Potts, and their relentless enthusiasm and dedication to their bizarre characters make their performances some of the most fun in town.
Russell Batiste and the Wild Tchoupitoulas, 4/12, OUT, 3:50p: The funky Meters drummer does his own brand of funk with jazz and hip-hop elements with the Wild Tchoupitoulas.
Sarah McCoy, 4/10, HOB, 2:30p: Spotted Cat mainstay Sarah McCoy was featured on OffBeat’s cover this past year and consistently wows audiences with her deep, rich voice and crashing piano chords. She and her band, the Oopsie Daisies, deliver jazz with a dark, cabaret/gypsy flavor.
Sean Bruce, 4/11, BMI, 3p: Bruce plays a heady mix of folk and rock that gathers fans from all over South Louisiana. His newest album, Staring at Maps, pt. 1, was released in 2014.
Seva Venet and his Storyville Stringband, 4/11, PH, 12p: Guitarist and banjo player Seva Venet moved to New Orleans from Los Angeles. He performs with a number of bands including Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band. The Storyville Stringband has recorded with guitarists Lars Edegran, Kerry Lewis, and Matt Rhodie.
Shannon Powell & His Traditional All Stars, 4/11, FMS, 4:15p: Billed as the “King of Treme,” Shannon Powell is a master drummer who began his career with Danny Barker and has since played with Wynton Marsalis and Dr. John and on a few of Harry Connick Jr.’s albums.
Smoking Time Jazz Club, 4/11, FMS, 12:45p: A regular on Frenchmen Street playing at Maison and Spotted Cat they have a deep knowledge and appreciation for early jazz. Their latest album, Everything Is Righteous, was released in 2014.
Some Like it Hot Traditional Jazz Band, 4/11, ZAP, 4p: Trumpeter Kaye Caldwell leads this traditional jazz group, which unlike most ensembles of its type features several female musicians.
Sons of Soul, 4/11, OUT, 12:45p: This funky soul band is based out of New Orleans and Los Angeles. Their latest album, Baby Fat, was released in 2013.
Spencer Bohren and the Whippersnappers, 4/11, PAL, 2p: Guitarist and songwriter Bohren, ubiquitous in bands around the city, appears here with a young, zesty crew of musicians that includes his son Andre on drums.
Spirit of New Orleans Brass Band, 4/9, GE, 11a: A well-travelled and traditionally minded brass band whose name says it all.
St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus, 4/12, BMI, 3:45p: A vocal sextet doing traditional hymns and highly non-traditional material by Duran Duran, Amanda Palmer and others. Solo artists Amy Trail and Alexandra Scott are among the cast. Their Recordings Volume 1 album was released in 2014.
St. Louis Cathedral’s Young Organist in Residence Karol Mossakowski, 4/12, CLS, 3:30p: This young organist began studying piano and organ in his native Poland at age three and has been receiving accolades ever since.
Steve Pistorius & the Southern Syncopators 4/10, FMS, 2p: Pianist Steve Pistorius, whose plays with a dexterous, ragtime piano style, is complemented by a crew of seasoned traditional jazz musicians in a band named after a song by Henry “Red” Allen. The repertoire on this latest album New Orleans Shuffle includes Sidney Bechet, Natty Dominique, Bill Whitmore, Tony Jackson and others.
Steve, Sasha & Martin Masakowski, 4/10, MAY, 5p: World-renowned jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski performs with his daughter Sasha, a bright young vocalist who’s been nominated for numerous awards, and his son Steve, a talented bassist.
Stooges Brass Band, 4/11, BB, 5:45p: Formed in 1996, the Stooges are one of the busiest brass bands on the circuit. They won the Red Bull Street Kings brass competition in 2010 and later cut tracks with Mannie Fresh at Red Bull’s Los Angeles studio.
Storyville Stompers Brass Band, 4/11, BB, 12:45p: This traditional New Orleans brass band formed in 1981, and it performs a number of rarely-played vintage jazz tunes. Its membership includes some of the top players in town, and it’s always in demand for parades.
Sulan City Stompers, 4/12, INT, 1:30p: Sweden’s own Dixieland/barbershop band plays at the French Quarter Festival this year. The seven-piece band has been around since 2001.
Susan Cowsill, 4/9, TRO, 2p: The little sister of the ’60s group the Cowsills, Susan has recorded with Freedy Johnston and Jon Dee Graham as the Hobart Brothers & Li’l Sis, and with Vicki Peterson as the Psycho Sisters. The Cowsills documentary Family Band is a must see.
Sweet Crude, 4/10, ABS, 12:35p: New Orleans indie rock septet Sweet Crude plays an energetic brand of percussion-driven rock sung in French. With energetic dancing crowds at every live show, including at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat party this past January. Sweet Crude is about having fun.
Sydney Boys, 4/10, INT, 3p: Traditional jazz band from Australia.
Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, 4/11, CLS, 11a: The 85-member chorus under the direction of Steven Edwards started in 1981.
Tank and the Bangas, 4/10, TRO, 5:45p: Tank and The Bangas are a soul-based band from New Orleans. Soul, R&B, hip hop and spoken word are combined over a live band led by lead singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball. The band was OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Best Emerging Artist for 2014.
The Ella & Louis Tribute Band, 4/11, MAY, 5p: This group of New Orleans musicians performs the music that Ella and Louis recorded together, as well as tunes they did separately.
The Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste Jr., 4/9, GE, 12:30p: The hardest working keyboard and organ player in the Big Easy, Krown does a classic organ trio with a New Orleans twist alongside two of the city’s best: drummer Batiste and candidate for most soulful musician in the world, guitarist Washington.
The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, 4/10, CAP, 12:45p: The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars have been delighting audiences for decades with their catchy, unorthodox tunes that combine traditional Jewish roots music with the sounds of New Orleans’ streets.
The Pfister Sisters, 4/12, CAP, 11:15a: Inspired by the close harmonies and lively personalities of New Orleans’ Boswell Sisters, the Pfisters have a sound and look that harkens back to the 1930s. They frequently play at the Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street.
The Speakeasy Quartet and the NOLA Jitterbugs, 4/9, CAP, 2p: The vintage-style hot jazz quartet specializing in classics from the 20s and 30s will be partner with the NOLA Jitterbugs, a lively dance organization dedicated to preserving traditional American music.
The Upstarts, 4/11, OUT, 11a: This six-man band delivers brassy, feel-good soul and funk.
The Write Brothers, 4/10, TRO, 2p: OffBeat Magazine March 2015 cover artists New Orleans’ Fab Four—Jim McCormick, Spencer Bohren, Paul Sanchez and Alex McMurray—are the Write Brothers. Their first album First Flight demonstrates the depth of this unique group of songwriters.
Tim Laughlin, 4/11, CAP, 11:15a: Clarinetist Laughlin works within the classic idiom to create music for modern times.
Tin Men, 4/11, WWL, 3:45p: This rocking and swinging trio doesn’t appear together much these days, but with Alex McMurray, Matt Perrine and Washboard Chaz all playing separate sets this year the time is right.
Tom McDermott and His Jazz Hellions, 4/12, CAP, 12:45p: McDermott is a virtuoso pianist who plays everything from New Orleans and blues to Caribbean and jazz. He’s collaborated with a wide range of singers over the years.
Tommy Sancton’s New Orleans Legacy Band, 4/12, JD, 1:30p: This clarinetist hails from a family of writers and served as Time Magazine’s Paris bureau chief for 22 years, but as a child he took music lessons from Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s George Lewis.
Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill and the Heart Attacks, 4/9, GE, 3:30p: Grandson of New Orleans legend Jessie Hill and party of a musical family that includes James Andrews and Trombone Shorty, this young trumpet player and his blazing band can always ignite a crowd.
Travis Matte and the Kingpins, 4/9, CHV, 5:30p: Making their festival debut this year, this zydeco group initially formed with the purpose of creating a CD (Dis Ain’tcha Momma’s Zodico in 2004), and then they began performing live. Last year, they released their tenth album, X.
Travis Meadows, 4/11, BMI, 2:15p: Singer songwriter Travis Meadows received the ASCAP Christian Music Award for this song “I’m A Riser” in 2001. Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lee Ann Womack, and Jake Owen have covered his songs.
Treme Brass Band, 4/12, BB, 2:15p: Led by Benny Jones, the Treme Brass Band is one of the longest-running traditional brass bands in town. The Treme Brass Band contributed to the Carnival repertoire with “Gimme My Money Back.”
Tribute to Al Belletto featuring Leif Pedersen’s 1944 Big Band, 4/12, CAP, 3:50p: Pedersen’s 1940’s-style swingin’ big band will play a tribute to Al Belletto, the acclaimed New Orleans saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader who Pedersen often performed with before the former’s death this past December.
Tricia Boutte & Bootleg Operation, 4/11, TRO, 5:45p: Boutte is one of the most charming and soulful vocalists to come out of New Orleans. Her band “Bootleg Operation” is made of local musicians playing New Orleans R&B, gospel, traditional jazz, and original music.
Tuba Skinny, 4/12, FMS, 4:15p: Tuba Skinny is not an individual, but a band of New Orleans street musicians playing traditional jazz, Depression-era blues, and spirituals. Their latest CD Owl Call Blues was OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Best Traditional Jazz Album of 2014.
Tyler Kinchen and the Right Pieces, 4/11, HOB, 5:30p: This septet from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, makes its French Quarter Festival debut. OffBeat’s Robert Fontenot describes the music as sort of jazzy big-band R&B and sexy due to the vocal talents of Tyler Kinchen.
Vivaz Quartet, 4/12, SUP, 3p: This lively Caribbean/Latin/jazz fusion band highlights the Cuban tres (a double three-stringed Cuban guitar) and the rich sounds of island percussion. They also have roots in flamenco.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, 4/11, ABS, 7:15p: A local institution, the Wolfman puts plenty of hot guitar and tasty horns into his brand of funkified blues. His latest CD Howlin’ Live at d.b.a. New Orleans was Number 22 in OffBeat’s Top CDs of 2014.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington Organ Trio, 4/10, MAY, 8p: The Joe Krown Organ Trio with vocals and guitar of Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Hammond B3 by Joe Krown and the driving drumbeats of Russell Batiste, this time booked as Walter “Wolfman” Washington Organ Trio.
Wanda Rouzan & A Taste of New Orleans, 4/12, TRO, 2p: A lifetime New Orleanian, Wanda cut her first single as part of the Rouzan Sisters and has since distinguished herself as a stage actress, educator and champion of the city’s R&B tradition. She is the recipient of OffBeat’s Lifetime Achievement in Music Education.
Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, 4/11, ROU, 12p: When not tackling Western swing with Washboard Rodeo, rocking acoustically with the Tin Men or presiding at Chazfest, Washboard Chaz airs his blues roots with this group.
Waylon Thibodeaux Band, 4/10, CHV, 12:30p: A Bourbon Street fixture for years, Waylon is an energetic fiddler who specializes in zydeco and Cajun music. He’s also a member of the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars.
Zazou City, 4/11, ROU, 1:45p: Based around the nimble musicality of guitarists Matt Bell and Raphaël Bas, this group performs the classics of gypsy jazz alongside their own compositions.
Zion Trinity Band, 4/10, OUT, 12:45p: Established in 1997 as a prayer group, lends powerful vocal harmonies to reggae, jazz, funk, and African ritual music.
Zohar Israel & the Afro Caribbean Showcase, 4/11, KID, 4p: Zohar Israel leads this African drum and dance company, which presents the art of walking on stilts.