French Quarter Fest 2017 will feature more than 1,700 local artists on 24 stages spread throughout the Quarter. Our comprehensive and definitive guide to this year’s festival will help you plan your attack.
700 700 Bourbon Stage
(ABS) Abita Beer Stage (Riverfront – Berger Great Lawn)
BB Popeyes/OffBeat Magazine Stage: Brass Band Jam Stage (Barrack St side of Old U.S. Mint)
CHV Chevron Stage: Cajun & Zydeco Showcase (Bienville Triangle, Conti, Decatur & N. Peters Streets)
CLS St. Mary’s at the Old Ursuline Convent Classical Music Stage (1116 Chartres)
FMS French Market Stage (Traditional Jazz Stage)
GE GE Digital Stage (Big River Stage near Canal Street entrance to Aquarium Plaza)
HOB House of Blues Voodoo Garden Stage (225 Decatur)
INT French Market International Stage (Dutch Alley at St. Philip)
JAC Jackson Square Stage (Jackson Square)
JD Jack Daniels Stage (Jax Parking Lot at 600 Decatur St)
KID Chevron Children’s HQ (National Park Service Kids Stage)
MB MorrisBart.com Stage (400 Royal)
OMN Omni Royal Orleans Stage (500 Royal)
PAL New Orleans Magazine Cabaret Stage at the Palm Court (1204 Decatur)
PAR Parade (lineup on Iberville St. at Bourbon St., parade to Jackson Square)
PH Preservation Hall Stage (726 St. Peter)
ROU Rouses Stage (700 Royal)
SCH Schoolhouse Stage (1000 Royal)
SON Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel (300 Bourbon)
SS Songwriter Stage at the Arsenal (600 St. Peter)
TJ French Market Traditional Jazz Stage (French Market Place at Gov. Nicholls Street)
TRO Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage (Riverfront – Woldenberg Park)
WWL WWL-TV Stage: Esplanade in the Shade Stage (Esplanade side of the Old U.S. Mint)
ZAP Zapp’s Potato Chip Stage (600 Bourbon)
Performers new to French Quarter Fest this year are marked as NEW
NEW 504Ever All Stars, 4/8, PH, 3p: Preservation Hall presents some of the Crescent City’s best.
NEW Aaron Neville, 4/6, ABS 3:45p: The golden-voiced Neville brother, whose classic “Tell It Like It Is” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame collection for 2015, makes his French Quarter Festival debut. His latest CD Apache won OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Award for Best R&B/Funk album.
Adam Crochet, 4/9, SS, 1:15p: The singer, songwriter, and guitarist blends classic blues, R&B, funk, soul, and roots music into moving arrangements that he’s dubbed “Louisiana smooth blues.” He also backs the Wild Magnolias and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles.
NEW Airpark (ex Apache Relay), 4/7, HOB, 4:30p: Ben Ford and Michael Ford Jr. launched this duo last year after the dissolution of their previous band, Apache Relay. The two brothers newest project offers a minimalist approach to pop-rock.
Alex McMurray, 4/8, GE, 2p: McMurray’s wit-spiked and often gleefully dark songwriting takes centerstage in a band that both showcases new work and harkens back to the guitarist’s Royal Fingerbowl days, lineup and repertoire-wise.
Alexandra Scott, 4/9, SS, 12p: The quirky, versatile folk guitarist spins out songs that can be heartrending, achingly lovely, and optimistic all at once.
Alexis and the Samurai, 4/7, WWL, 12:30p: 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. The two of them also work together in Sweet Crude, and Marceaux was a finalist on NBC’s The Voice.
Amanda Shaw, 4/7, 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. Her latest self-titled CD won OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Singer/Songwriter Album.
Amy Trail, 4/9, SS, 11a: This singer-songwriter is equally adept at playing originals with her own band or fielding requests from the crowds at Pat O’Brien’s.
Anaïs St. John, 4/9, MB, 3p: St. John is an accomplished singer specializing in jazz, torch songs, and cabaret tunes. She currently plays Saturday nights at the Windsor Court Hotel bar.
Andre Bohren, 4/8, CLS, 12:30p: After making a name for himself as a drummer and percussionist with Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Bohren has developed a strong solo career on the piano.
Andrew Hall’s Society Brass Band, 4/9, BB, 11:15a: Hall is a skilled traditional jazz and R&B pianist who has performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Dr. John, and the Olympia Brass Band. He is celebrating his band’s 50th year and is featured in this issue.
Andy J. Forest Treeaux, 4/7, PAL, 12p: Blues master Forest has mellowed out in recent years and the result offers a window into his keen lyric writing skills without compromising the power of his abilities as a harmonica player and guitarist.
Arrowhead Jazz Band featuring Kristina Morales and Sam Kuslan, 4/9, KID, 3p: Pianist Sam Kuslan performs with vocalist Kristina Morales in an all kids program. Kristina Morales can be heard on Frenchmen Street on Friday’s at the Marigny Brasserie and Sundays at the Spotted Cat.
Arrowhead Jazz Band featuring Sam Kuslan, 4/8, KID, 4p: Pianist and vocalist Sam Kuslan performs the great American songbook from Cole Porter to Bob Dylan. You can find Sam performing at the National Park Service every Sunday.
NEW Ashlin Parker Quarter, 4/7, SON, 5p: Ashlin Parker takes charge of a trumpet onslaught as leader of Trumpet Mafia, but his quartet finds him taking a different approach with his horn.
Astral Project, 4/9, WWL, 5:30p: All four members of this band—guitarist Steve Masakowski, saxophonist Tony Dagradi, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich—are influential bandleaders in their own right. Together, they’ve been one of New Orleans’ premiere jazz groups for three decades. Johnny Vidacovich received OffBeat’s Lifetime Achievement in Music in 2016.
The Asylum Chorus, 4/8, GE, 11a: The St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus has shortened their name to just the Asylum Chorus. They are 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.
Audacity Brass Band, 4/7, 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, 4/8, TJ, 11a: Inspired by Sidney Bechet and Django Reinhardt, singer/saxophonist Nealand is a bright young player whose non-Roses work spans performance art-inspired improvisation and the rockabilly of Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers.
Babineaux Sisters Band, 4/9, CHV, 2p: 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, 4/6, TRO, 5:25p: 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. They were named the Best Cover Band at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards.
Bamboula 2000, 4/9, MB, 12:15p: “Bamboula” was originally a form of drum and dance ceremony held in Congo Square. Bamboula 2000’s leader Luther Gray brings that spirit into the present with a troupe of players and dancers.
Banu Gibson & the New Orleans Hot Jazz, 4/7, JAC, 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. Her latest CD By Myself (reviewed in this issue) features standards from the ’30s and ’40s.
Barbara Shorts, 4/8, OMN, 3:30p: Vocalist Barbara Shorts has appeared in One Mo’ Time and fronted the Gospel Soul Children.
Benny Grunch & the Bunch, 4/6, JAC, 2:20p: 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.”
Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. & the Wild Magnolias, 4/8, GE, 3:45p: Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. carries on the legacy of his father, leading the Wild Magnolias’ impassioned, funk-inspired Mardi Gras Indian music.
Big Easy Playboys, 4/6, CHV, 12:30p: Locally-based Big Easy Playboys take roots rock and blues and blend it with their Cajun and zydeco sounds.
NEW Big Frank & Lil Frank and the Dirty Old Men, 4/8, TRO, 12:30p: This father and son singing duo combines modern day hip-hop sensibilities with old school R&B flavors.
Big Sam’s Funky Nation, 4/7, GE, 7:15p: 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.
Bill Summers & Jazalsa, 4/9, GE, 5:20p: Known for his membership in Los Hombres Calientes and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, legendary percussionist Summers explores Latin and world music with his Jazalsa band.
Billy Iuso, 4/9, GE, 11a: Funk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Billy Iuso formed the funk jam band Brides of Jesus in the ’90s. He has collaborated with Anders Osborne, George Porter Jr. and many others. His current band Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives’ latest release, Overstanding, was well received.
Borderland Jazz Band, 4/8, INT, 4:15p: Traditional jazz by way of Austria. This band has hit town in the past to play at Fritzel’s.
NEW Boyanna Trayanova and Divak, 4/8, ROU, 1:45p: Divak is an exciting new Balkan music project from acclaimed drummer Boyanna Trayanova, a native of Bulgaria who has found a lot of love in the Crescent City music scene.
Brass-A-Holics, 4/6, GE, 5:20p: Formed by ex-Soul Rebels trombonist Winston Turner, this band created its own genre of “go-go brass funk,” combining New Orleans music elements with the strong grooves of Washington DC’s go-go scene.
Brian Carrig, 4/9, INT, 12p: From Great Britain, clarinetist Brian Carrig leads his band in traditional jazz favorites.
Brint Anderson Trio, 4/9, HOB, 12p: This smoky-voiced country singer charted on Hot Country Songs with his 2011 debut single, “Amy’s Song.” He has backed legends such as Dr. John, Art Neville, George Porter, Jr., John Lee Hooker, Albert King and many others. His latest release Covered in Earl is homage to Earl King.
Brother Tyrone & The Mindbenders, 4/6, TRO, 3:50p: 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, 4/7, 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 at the Maple Leaf before that. His latest CD Bienvenue Dans le Sud de la Louisiane was released to critical acclaim.
Bucktown All-Stars, 4/9, 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 award for Best Cover Band nine times.
Calvin Johnson and Native Son, 4/9, OMN, 3:30p: 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.
Carl LeBlanc, 4/8, SCH, 3:15p: A versatile banjo player and Preservation Hall regular, LeBlanc has worked closely with the likes of Sun Ra, studied with Kidd Jordan and mentored local jazz guitarists like Jonathan Freilich.
NEW Cary Hudson, 4/8, HOB, 2p: Hudson’s Americana guitar sound blends musical elements from Louisiana and his native Mississippi.
NEW Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, 4/6, CHV, 5:30p: A popular young fiddler, accordionist and singer, this four-time Grammy nominee boasts equal parts star power and skill. His influences range from Creole and Cajun to West African music and beyond.
NEW Cedryl Ballou & the Zydeco Trendsetters, 4/7, CHV, 2p: Led by drummer/accordionist/vocalist Cedryl Ballou of Lake Charles, this five-piece band delivers zydeco tunes that will keep you on your feet.
Cha Wa, 4/6, ABS, 12:35p: Veteran Mardi Gras Indians (Irving “Honey” Bannister, J’Wan Boudreaux, Kerry “Boom Boom” Vessell) and local musicians (Joe Gelini, John Fohl, Wes Anderson) perform a mix of groove-soaked funk and soul.
Chance Bushman and the Ibervillianaires, 4/9, FMS, 11a: Bushman, a tap dancer and singer, leads this small combo through a mix of classic New Orleans jazz tunes like “Bourbon Street Parade” and the occasional rocker.
Charlie Halloran and the Quality 6, 4/9, FMS, 2:30p: Halloran, a prolific trombonist who also plays with the Panorama Brass Band and Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, leads his own traditional jazz septet.
Charmaine Neville, 4/7, JAC, 5:20p: This vocalist and bandleader, a member of the famed Neville family, dishes out spicy versions of New Orleans blues and R&B favorites.
Chegadão, 4/7, GE, 2p: Samba-funk, forró and jazz concepts blend seamlessly in this innovative and unique collective made up of New Orleans-based players from Mexico, Brazil and the U.S.
Chris Ardoin & Nustep, 4/8, 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.
Christian Serpas & Ghost Town, 4/8, 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, 4/6, CHV, 3:45p: One of the most energetic zydeco groups around, Carrier and his band won the 2010 Cajun/Zydeco Grammy for their album Zydeco Junkie. Their latest is Zydeco Stuff, released in 2015.
Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders, 4/9, ZAP, 3p: Known for their lively interpretations of old New Orleans classics by Armstrong, Kid Ory, and others, the members of the Serenaders have played together in various musical contexts since the ’60s.
NEW Cole Williams Band, 4/9, WWL, 12:30p: This soul and rock-loving Pimps of Joytime alum sings, writes, plays piano and percussion, teaches music and—since relocating from Brooklyn to New Orleans in 2015—volunteers as a DJ on WWOZ.
Colin Lake, 4/8, JD, 3:45p: With his soulful voice and innovative use of the lap-slide guitar, Colin Lake puts on a captivating blues/roots show.
Confetti Park Players, 4/8, KID, 12p: 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.
Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet, 4/7, JD, 7:15p: Since founding the influential Lil’ Rascals Brass Band back in the ‘80s, this dexterous trombonist has collaborated regularly with Galactic and Rebirth. He’s come into his own with the Funktet, which now holds down the Thursday night slot at Vaughan’s.
Corey Ledet, 4/9, 5:30p: Ledet was already two years into his music career when he switched from drums to accordion at age 12. His 2013 release Destiny saw him exploring new musical terrain with both his singing and his song choice.
Creole String Beans, 4/9, WWL, 2p: Fronted by photographer Rick Olivier, alongside former Iguanas and Cowboy Mouth members, the Creole String Beans began as a “Yat cover band” doing vintage local gems before moving on to write similarly-styled originals.
Crescent City Hot Six Jazz Band, 4/8, PH, 2p: Clarinetist and saxophonist Louis Ford leads this Preservation Hall presentation.
Cullen Landry and the Midnight Streetcar Band featuring Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, 4/7, ABS, 11a: Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Cullen Landry (original bassist for the Jokers) and his band team up with Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee Al “Carnival Time” Johnson for set of old-fashioned R&B and rock ’n’ roll.
Cupid, 4/7, ABS, 7:15p: Born and raised in Lafayette, this R&B singer—whose given name is Bryson Bernard—has released four studio albums, but he’s best known for spawning a dance craze with the 2007 hit “Cupid Shuffle.” You may not think you know it, but you probably know it.
Dancing at Dusk with Tom Saunders and the Tomcats, 4/9, MB, 6p: Led by Tom Saunders, this classic-model big band does hot jazz and swing from the 1920’s and ‘30s.
Darcy Malone & the Tangle, 4/6, GE, 12:30p: Led by the daughter of the Radiators’ Dave Malone, husband-and-wife team Darcy Malone and Christopher Boye blend their tastes for soul and indie rock.
Dash Rip Rock, 4/8, WWL, 5:30p: Known for their high-octane roots rock and founded by frontman and songwriter Bill Davis, Dash Rip Rock brings on a party every time.
Dayna Kurtz, 4/7, PAL, 2p: Singer and guitarist Kurtz’s big, warmly textured voice seems to stretch for miles in whatever direction she dares to take it – a powerful addition to her proclivity for sharing intimate truths, no matter how raw.
Debauche, 4/7, WWL, 3:45p: In their own words, Debauche is “a Russian Mafia Band” that plays great punk rock hooligan Russian street songs with stomping energy;” the recent addition of multi-reedist Rob Wagner adds a new layer of depth.
Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers, 4/7, PAL, 1p: Davis sings blues, jazz, and showtunes with brassy candor and a twinkle in her eye. Her collaboration with pianist Josh Paxton will soon be released.
NEW Dick Deluxe, 4/8, SS, 1:15p: Guitarist, singer and songwriter Dick Deluxe is a troubadour worthy of the title. He’s played everything from blues and punk rock to modern jazz and Grateful Dead covers over the years, but these days he’s focused on his own new material, much of which was just released on his Best of the Beat Award-nominated 2016 album Turning 61 on Highway 61.
Dixie Cups, 4/7, 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.
Don Jamison Heritage School of Music, 4/9, MB, 11a: These student players aged 11 to 17 hail from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s principal education program and study under the artistic direction of Kidd Jordan.
Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, 4/9, MB, 4:30p: This eclectic banjo player and singer 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.
Dr. Michael White, 4/6, JAC, 12:45p: Clarinetist and jazz scholar White frequently fuses traditional and modern styles. He recently produced an album’s worth of new recordings tracing the history of modern New Orleans brass band music for Smithsonian Folkways.
Dukes of Dixieland, 4/8, JD, 2p: More than 40 years after their debut, the Dukes of Dixieland continue to weave pop, gospel, and country into their own brand of traditional jazz. The Grammy-nominated group is a staple on dinner cruises aboard the Steamboat Natchez.
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, 4/8, CHV, 5:30p: 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. Dwayne Dopsie was named the Best Zydeco Artist at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards.
Ecirb Muller’s Twisted Dixie, 4/8, MB, 3:45p: Trumpeter Dr. Brice Miller pays homage to fictional jazz pioneer Ecrib Muller as he leads this band through updated renditions of New Orleans’ trad jazz repertoire.
Ellis Marsalis, 4/6, JAC, 5:30p: The premier pianist, educator 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.
NEW Eric “Benny” Bloom, 4/7, SON, 8p: Best known as a member of Brooklyn-based funk powerhouse Lettuce, trumpeter Eric “Benny” Bloom’s colorful personality and masterful horn playing have been fully embraced by the New Orleans music scene since he moved down here a few years ago.
Eric Lindell, 4/8, WWL, 3:45p: Once a California skate-punk, Lindell had more success as a blue-eyed soul and bluesman after moving to New Orleans. His tight backing band explores the slightly country-influenced edges of Louisiana roots rock on albums such as his new one, Matters of the Heart.
Erica Falls, 4/8, GE, 5:30p: This soulful R&B vocalist has sung with Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas but her chops and songwriting skills demand attention on their own merit.
Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road, 4/6, JAC, 3:50p: As the name suggests, Big Easy-by-way-of-California clarinetist Evan Christopher is at the center of this project. With a versatile style that takes its cues from early greats like Sidney Bechet and Barney Bigard, Christopher offers a fresh take on traditional New Orleans jazz.
NEW Fortifiers, 4/8, HOB, 2:15p: Founded in 2016, this New Orleans band performs jump, swing, blues, rock, reggae and soul. At the Best of the Beat Awards they performed with Grammy winner Bobby Rush. Former House of Blues talent buyer Sonny Boy Schneidau is featured on vocals and harmonica.
NEW Fred Leblanc of Cowboy Mouth, 4/9, HOB, 6:30p: Drummer Fred Leblanc of Cowboy Mouth becomes a singer-songwriter and guitarist playing some of his truly infectious tunes.
Fredy Omar con su Banda, 4/7, WWL, 2p: Once proclaimed the “Latin King of Frenchmen Street” by OffBeat, Omar is a Honduras-born singer with a sizzling band.
The Friendly Travelers, 4/9, 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.
Funk Monkey, 4/9, JD, 2p: This hard-grooving crew of local funk experts was conceived of by Bonerama’s Greg Hicks and Bert Cotton. It features Jason Mingledorff (Papa Grows Funk), Rik Fletcher (Smilin’ Myron), David Pomerleau (Johnny Sketch), and Eddie Christmas (John Cleary).
NEW G and the Swinging Three, 4/7, TJ 2p: This swing quartet is fronted by vocalist Giselle Anguizola, who incorporates tap dancing and other forms of dance from the first half of the 20th century into their show.
Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue, 4/7, 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, 4/9, 700, 12:45p: Drummer David Hansen’s trio plays traditional and Latin jazz along with standards from the Great American Songbook.
George & Gerald French, 4/8, SON, 2p: As a bassist, French played on some landmark ’60s sessions with Earl King, Red Tyler and Robert Parker. As a vocalist, he brings a silky touch to jazz and blues standards. He is joined by nephew drummer Gerald French.
Gertrude Ivory (Storyteller), 4/9, KID, 2p: After retiring from Charlottesville’s public school system, former assistant superintendent and teacher Gertrude Ivory returned to her hometown, New Orleans, to find a way to stay connected to education. Her love for teaching is evident in her skills at storytelling.
Gina Brown & Anutha Level, 4/7, TRO, 7:20p: Gina Brown bills herself as “New Orleans’ own soul diva,” and sings a mix of blues, jazz, oldies, hip-hop and funk.
Gravy, 4/8, ABS, 11a: Gravy serves up a funk-rock mix in the traditional New Orleans style. Their 2008 debut, Said & Done, saw them joined by Ben Ellman of Galactic and Corey Henry of the Rebirth Brass Band. Their latest CD Get Busy Living was produced by Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman.
Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras, 4/9, 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.
NEW Gregory Agid Quartet, 4/8, OMN, 1:45p: Arguably the most impressive young clarinetist in New Orleans today, Gregory Agid elevates his instrument every time he surrounds himself with this top-notch group of New Orleans players. OffBeat named the band’s latest album, Words Are Not Enough, one of the 50 best albums of 2016.
Gumbo JazzBand, 4/8, INT, 12p: Hailing from Maastricht in the Netherlands, their repertoire is New Orleans jazz from the 1920s and ’30s.
Gypsy Elise and the Royal Blues, 4/7, HOB, 12p: Gypsy Elise’s rich contralto voice fronts this funk-informed, ballad-friendly blues act.
Hannah Kreiger-Benson, 4/9, SS, 3:45p: Kreiger-Benson is a multi-talented pianist, singer, and trumpeter who’s also been a vocal spokeswoman for MACCNO.
Harmonouche, 4/9, ROU, 1:45p: 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.
Helen Gillet’s Wazozo Zorchestra, 4/8, MB, 12:30p: The Belgian-born singer/cellist’s music falls somewhere between French chansons, ethereal pop, free jazz and the Velvet Underground, though she leans more toward quirk with the Wazozo Zorchestra big band.
Higher Heights Band Revue featuring Zion Trinity, Raging Rebelz and Early Brooks, Jr., 4/7, TRO, 5:45p: Higher Heights combines reggae, dancehall and rocksteady into a heady mix of Jamaican sounds.
Honey Island Swamp Band, 4/8, GE, 7:15p: 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.
Hot Club of New Orleans, 4/8, ROU, 12p: Fronted by skilled and versatile clarinetist Chris Kohl, the Hot Club performs classics of the gypsy jazz songbook.
Hot Rod Lincoln, 4/8, TRO, 2p: Oldies cover band whose members include some prominent figures from the worlds of business and politics.
Hot Stuff featuring Becky Allen, 4/7, PAL, 3p: Allen, a charismatic female impersonator, brings the hot stuff in the form of showtunes and standards with a great sense of humor and an over-the-top attitude.
The Iguanas, 4/8, 3:45: With Tex-Mex rock as their base, the Iguanas can swing freely into jazz, country, garage and Caribbean music.
Ingrid Lucia, 4/6, JD, 11p: 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. She also put together a group of New Orleans finest women singers called the New Orleans Nightingales.
Irene Sage Band, 4/9, 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, Soul Queen of New Orleans, 4/7, ABS, 5:25p: With a career that spans more than 50 years, Thomas earned her royal nickname through innumerable contributions to the development of soul and R&B. While she still plays early hits like “It’s Raining” and “Time is on My Side,” she continues to introduce new material.
NEW Jake Landry, 4/9, HOB, 4:30p: This singer-songwriter hails from South Louisiana and is also a member of the Right Lane Bandits.
James Andrews, 4/9, TRO, 5:25p: 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.
Jamey St. Pierre & the Honeycreepers, 4/9, HOB, 2:30p: Frenchmen Street’s singer-songwriter and guitarist Jamey St. Pierre is joined by the Honeycreepers’ Kyle Cripps on saxophone and Dave Freeson on guitar. Jamey’s interpretations of Bill Withers, Nina Simone and Ray Charles, along with his original compositions, are soulful and exciting.
Jane Harvey Brown Trad Jazz Stars, 4/9, PH, 2p: When she’s not playing with Sugarbear and the Jazzcats or Grand Marshalling for the Storyville Stompers, singer Brown fronts this traditional jazz group.
Jee Yeoun Ko, 4/9, CLS, 3:30p: Dr. Jee Yeoun Ko, is an award-winning Korean cellist who now makes New Orleans her home and has held an assistant chair position at NOCCA for nearly a decade.
Jeremy Davenport, 4/9, JAC, 2:20p: Schooled as the featured trumpeter in Harry Connick, Jr.’s band, the St. Louis native has carved out a solo career with a tender tone to both his playing and singing on romantic standards and originals.
Joe Cabral Thrio, 4/9, OMN, 1:45p: Saxophonist and Iguanas co-founder Joe Cabral plays baritone and sings music from a wide-ranging, light-hearted repertoire that spans rock (both Latin American and otherwise), jazz, New Orleans R&B and reimagined pop. He’s joined by his Iguanas cohort Doug Garrison and bassist James Singleton.
Joe Krown, 4/6, GE, 2p: The hardest working keyboard and organ player in New Orleans. He frequently performs with drummer Russell Batiste and guitarist Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
John “Papa” Gros, 4/6, ABS, 5:20p: New Orleans funk scene stalwart “Papa Gros” took his music in a new direction after disbanding Papa Grows Funk in 2013; the powerhouse keyboardist, singer and French horn player recently released River’s On Fire.
John Boutte, 4/9, JAC, 11:15a: A local favorite with a high and haunting voice, Boutte is an inspired, passionate interpreter of songs. His acclaim spread widely after his tune “Treme Song” became the theme of the hit HBO series, “Treme.”
John Mooney & Bluesiana, 4/9, WWL, 3:45p: 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, 4/8, 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 Band, 4/9 700, 2:15p: Royen is credited with bringing East-Coast style stride piano to Preservation Hall in the early ’80’s, adding a syncopated ragtime beat to the traditional New Orleans sound.
Johnette Downing, 4/9, KID, 11a: Children’s author and guitarist Downing, who often performs a medley of Louisiana roots music dubbed “Swamp Romp” with Grammy-winning producer Scott Billington, presents a solo kids program.
Johnny Sansone, 4/6, GE, 11a: A multi-instrumentalist who draws from swamp-rock, blues and zydeco, Sansone has two aces in the hole: his songwriting and his gut-shaking harmonica solos.
Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, 4/7, 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.”
Joint Chiefs of Jazz featuring Frank Oxley, 4/8, PH, 1p: 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.
Jon Roniger Gypsyland, 4/9, SS, 2:30a: Singer-songwriter Roniger explores melodic roots rock in both quiet acoustic and up-tempo electric modes.
NEW Jonathon “Boogie” Long (Trio), 4/7, HOB, 2:30p: This soulful Baton Rouge-based blues guitar slinger has opened for B.B. King and performed with Dr. John, Kenny Neal and many others.
NEW Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band, 4/8, SCH, 1:45p: Frenchmen Street’s trad jazz all stars are more like one big, incestuous family than a collection of separate bands, and the particular combination known as Jumbo Shrimp Jazz Band fronted by trombonist/vocalist Colin Myers is one of the best.
Kelcy Mae, 4/8, SS, 12p: Mae’s alt-country folk rock is shot through with bluegrass influences and propelled by creative lyrics that would stand on their own in print and an evocative voice. She’s been nominated multiple times in recent years at the Best of the Beat Awards.
NEW Kenneth Terry Jazz Band, 4/8, ZAP, 11a: Trumpeter and vocalist Kenneth Terry, the Satchmo of the Seventh Ward, has been performing and teaching for over 30 years. He can be found mentoring the next generation of New Orleans musicians on Frenchmen Street.
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, 4/8, JAC, 12:45p: One of New Orleans’ most beloved trumpeters and personalities, Ruffins also runs the Mother-In-Law Lounge.
Khris Royal and Dark Matter, 4/8, GE, 12:30p: Best of the Beat Award-winning saxophonist Khris Royal keeps things funky and fresh with a stellar group of local talent whose high-energy jams offer something special for the body and the mind. If this is the future of New Orleans funk, then count us in!
Kid Merv & All That Jazz, 4/7, TRO, 2p: 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, 4/9, 700, 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
Kim Carson and the Real Deal, 4/6, ABS, 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!” which is the title of her latest CD.
Kinfolk Brass Band, 4/9, PH, 3p: Formed in 2006, the Kinfolk are true to the traditional brass-band sound and perform “Bourbon Street Parade,” “I’ll Fly Away” and other standards along with their originals.
King James & the Special Men, 4/8, JD, 5:30p: 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.
NEW KIPP Central City Academy Band, 4/9, SCH, 11a: Located on 3rd Street in Central City, the mission of KIPP Central City Academy is to empower each student with the knowledge, habits, character strengths and academic abilities to succeed. The school marching band was founded in 2007.
NEW KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School Band, 4/8, SCH, 11:15a: Winners of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation’s “Class Got Brass” Competition in 2011, this school brass band beat out 15 other New Orleans area high schools.
Kris Tokarski, 4/9, 700, 4:45p: A Berklee School of Music grad whose interest shifted from classical and Hungarian folk to bop and early New Orleans jazz, this pianist’s first recording, Drop Me Off in Harlem, features clarinetist Evan Christopher and tenor saxophonist James Partridge.
Kumasi, 4/8, HOB, 8:30p: New Orleans’ only Afrobeat orchestra brings high-energy dance music in the form of West African-inspired originals and Afro-funk, along with some Fela covers.
Lagniappe Brass Band, 4/7, BB, 2:15p: This bright young crew in the vein of the Soul Rebels got extra cred last year, courtesy of the all-original material on their self-titled debut album.
Lars Edegran’s New Orleans Jazz Band, 4/8, PAL, 2p: This Swedish jazz pianist migrated to New Orleans in the 1960s to learn the traditional music of the city. Now he is an elder statesman and a staple performer at the Palm Court.
Last Straws, 4/9, ZAP, 11a: 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.
Lastie Family Gospel, 4/8, PH, 12p: Preservation Hall drummer Joe Lastie Jr. is joined by the Lastie family for classic Southern gospel music.
Latasha Covington, 4/8, KID, 2p: Rubboard player Latasha Covington demonstrates all the uses of the rubboard. You can frequently find Latasha performing around New Orleans.
Lawrence Cotton and the Legendary Experience, 4/8, OMN, 12p: Guitar Slim’s longtime piano player and an alum of Dave Bartholomew’s band, among many others. At 90, Cotton remains devoted to his art and full of great stories.
Leif Pedersen’s 1944 Big Band, 4/9, JAC, 5:30p: Pedersen leads his vintage-styled group through selections from the Great American Songbook, with a focus on the Swing Era.
Lena Prima Band, 4/6, JD, 2p: The youngest daughter of Louis Prima performs her dad’s classics along with her own jazz-pop material, which she performs regularly at the Hotel Monteleone.
Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest, 4/9, JAC, 12:45p: 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; he’s also appeared with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Dr. John.
Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band, 4/7, BB, 4p: Jones draws on his experience with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band to play traditional New Orleans brass band music in this historic group. He was a big winner at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards taking home Best Traditional Jazz Album for I’m Talkin’ Bout New Orleans and for Best Trumpeter.
Let’s Move! With Ranger Chandra Teddleton, 4/8, KID, 11a: Park Ranger Chandra Teddleton brings her jazz bounce aerobics to the kids stage. Who says being healthy can’t be fun?
Lillian Boutte & Gumbo Zaire, 4/8, ABS, 12:35p: 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 the title.
Linnzi Zaorski, 4/9, OMN, 12p: Dubbed “the Ninth Ward’s torchiest torch singer” by OffBeat, the charismatic Zaorski mixes Betty Boop phrasing with a solid sense of ‘30s-style swing.
Little Freddie King, 4/9, 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, You Make My Night, came out last month.
Los Po-Boy-Citos, 4/9, GE, 12:30p: This party-friendly Latin band specializes in boogaloo versions of New Orleans favorites and funkified versions of Latin tunes.
Lost Bayou Ramblers, 4/8, CHV, 3:45p: As their acclaimed Mammoth Waltz demonstrates, this young Cajun band celebrates its genre’s tradition while staying open to new technology and rock influences – including a recent collaboration with the Pogues’ Spider Stacy.
Louis Ford and his New Orleans Flairs, 4/8, TJ, 4:15p: Clarinetist and saxophonist Ford is a second generation New Orleans jazz man dedicated to the preservation of the genre.
Louisiana Funky Butts Brass Band, 4/8, INT, 2:15p: Based in Stuttgart, this modern New Orleans Funk styled band includes musicians from Germany and Switzerland.
NEW Louisiana LeRoux, 4/7, ABS 3:45p: Founded in 1978, these Baton Rouge natives released minor hits like “Take a Ride On a Riverboat,” “New Orleans Ladies” and “Nobody Said It Was Easy (Lookin’ For the Lights)” in the late ’70 and early ’80s. They continue to tour with original members Tony Haselden and Rod Roddy.
NEW Love Evolution, 4/6, TRO, 2p: Comprised of singer Semaj and and guitarist Mr. Lorrius, this duo delivers the message that peace will triumph over destruction. The pair blends a variety of styles into a sound they call “urban-folk.”
Luke Spurr Allen, 4/8, SS, 3:45p: Luke Spur Allen’s raw and literary approach to songwriting, along with his perfectly rasp-tinged voice, front this New Orleans-style alt-country pack of Bywater rock all-stars.
NEW Luxley, 4/7, HOB, 6:15p: Ryan Gray’s one-man electro-rock onslaught is sure to bring a party to any stage.
Lynn Drury, 4/7, JD, 2p: A singer-songwriter steeped in both her Mississippi heritage and her adopted home of New Orleans, this frequent Best of the Beat Awards nominee teamed up with veteran British producer John Porter for her latest CD.
Magnetic Ear, 4/9, BB, 2:15p: A progressive brass band inspired by avant-garde jazz, second line funk and European brass music. Their spirited new album Live at Vaughan’s was nominated for a Best of the Beat Award.
Mahogany Brass Band, 4/6, PAR, 10a: Led by trumpeter, scholar and DJ Brice Miller, this young brass band stays true the old-time, swinging sound of traditional New Orleans brass bands.
MainLine, 4/7, BB, 5:45p: Having dropped the “brass band” moniker in recent years, this eight-piece credits Soul Rebels sousaphonist Edward Lee with inspiring the funk, rock and jam band-style approach they layer onto their brass band horns instrumentation.
Marc Stone, 4/7, TRO, 11a: Blues rock singer, songwriter and slide guitarist Stone is celebrating this tenth anniversary performing at French Quarter Festival. His latest release, Live in Europe, will be released on April 8 with a show at 30/90 on Frenchmen Street.
Mario Abney, 4/7, SON, 2p: Born and raised in Chicago, trumpeter Mario Abney’s contemporary jazz sound and penchant for extended solos have made him a fixture of the New Orleans scene.
Mark Brooks, 4/9, ZAP, 4:30p: An acoustic bassist specializing in the classic New Orleans jazz repertoire as well as blues, gospel and modern jazz. Brooks has worked with Dr. John, the Neville Brothers and Fats Domino.
Mason Ruffner, 4/9, JD, 3:30p: When he first came to New Orleans in the late ‘70s, this Texas-born, blues-obsessed guitarist backed the likes of John Lee Hooker and Memphis Slim. He went on to work with Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois and U2 while maintaining an acclaimed solo career.
Mayumi Shara & New Orleans Jazz Letters, 4/9, SCH, 12p: This master of Japanese taiko drumming has become equally adept at historically New Orleanian music styles ranging from traditional jazz to blues to R&B.
Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, 4/7, JD, 12:30p: Once a Royal Street performer, she’s now a marquee name in the local traditional jazz scene. Lake and friends are getting more attention worldwide thanks to her vintage sass, great storytelling and gorgeously raw New Orleans feel.
NEW Messy Cookers Jazz Band, 4/8, MB, 5:30p: This group keeps things vintage with a dedication to early New Orleans jazz and swing.
Mia Borders, 4/6, GE, 3:30p: A singer, songwriter, and guitarist from New Orleans, her newest release, Fever Dreams was highly acclaimed. She was a big winner at the 2016 OffBeat Best of the Beat Awards.
Micah McKee & Little Maker, 4/9, GE, 2p: Micah McKee and friends delve into rock’s folk and jazz heritage to arrive at their violin and horn-driven orchestral pop sound.
Michael Watson, 4/9, SON, 8p: From Canton, Ohio Michael Watson started playing trombone at an early age. He has Jazz Studies degrees from both Cuyahoga Community College and the University of New Orleans. He is currently a member of Magnetic Ear and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
Michaela Harrison, 4/8, PAL, 12p: Harrison’s slightly husky voice is well suited for her mix of jazz, blues, and Brazilian.
Michot’s Melody Makers, 4/8, HOB, 6:30p: Louis Michot is a dynamic Cajun fiddler best known as the frontman of the Lost Bayou Ramblers. He performs here with his wife, Ashlee, and a slew of other popular musicians from the Lafayette scene.
NEW The Mid-City Aces, 4/7, CHV, 12:30p: 18-year-old accordion prodigy Cameron Dupuy and his father, guitarist Michael Dupuy, teamed up with fiddler Gina Forsyth to form this traditional Cajun music trio.
Miss Sophie Lee, 4/7, TJ, 12p: One of the proprietors of the restaurant Three Muses (which has a second location open on Maple Street), Lee applies a sultry vocal style to her chosen mixture of swing and traditional jazz. Her latest CD, Traverse This Universe, shows off her songwriting as well as her interpretive skills. Her video for “Lovely In That Dress” was nominated for a Best of the Beat Award.
NEW Mo’Fess, 4/6, TRO, 11a: Drummer Earl Gordon and Professor Longhair disciple Tom Worrell lead this tribute to New Orleans legend—no, music legend—Professor Longhair. Orleans Records’ Carlo Ditta first put the band together for the release party for Professor Longhair – Live in Chicago 1976. Gordon and guitarist Billy Gregory both backed Longhair in the 1970s.
NEW Mollie Pate and the LPO Horn Section, 4/9, CLS, 12:30p: Principal hornist for the Louisiana Philharmonic since 1996, Mollie Pate has performed all over the world. Here she leads the horn section of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in a sure-to-be-exciting program. “I truly believe our brass section is one of the best in the country and I am honored to be a part of it.”
Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles, 4/7, ABS, 12:35p: Local legend and reggae aficionado Big Chief Monk Boudreaux plays some of the city’s most esteemed Mardi Gras Indian music with his tribe, the Golden Eagles.
The Mr., 4/8, TRO, 5:45p: This five-piece’s progressive approach to R&B helps lift them above the fray.
Muevelo, 4/8, JD 12:30p: Muevelo means “move it” in Spanish. This band, which specializes in Cuban music, has become a New Orleans Latin sensation. Members include Margie Perez on vocals, Brent Rose on saxophone and flute, Eric Lucero on trumpet, Gabriel Velasco on percussion and many others.
Music Collaborative Roots and Wings Rhythm Band, 4/9, KID, 1p: Comprised of kids ages 10 and up, this vocal and instrumental ensemble’s repertoire draws from blues, jazz, world music and pop favorites. Some original student compositions may also be heard.
Music for All Ages with the Red Hot Brass Band, 4/9, KID, 12p: The New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park’s popular Music For All Ages program teaches kids about traditional New Orleans jazz with the help of the young Red Hots.
Musieu Bainjo featuring Seva Venet, 4/9, PH, 1p: Guitarist and banjo player Seva Venet moved to New Orleans from Los Angeles and performs with many bands. His latest release Musieu Bainjo includes performances by Dr. Michael White, Orange Kellin, Greg Stafford, Kerry Lewis and many others. The CD is reviewed in this issue.
Muzik Jazz Band, 4/9, SCH, 1:45p: Drummer Sullivan Dabney has led different lineups of this band since 1972. Three years ago he was Grand Marshall of the Newark Jazz Festival in Central England.
Naughty Professor, 4/6, JD, 3:30p: This New Orleans-based six-piece plays a blend of funk, soul and rock that’s earned them a solid following on the jam band scene. Recently featured on OffBeat’s February 2017 cover, their excellent new album Identity is set for release later this year.
Naydja CoJoe, 4/8, WWL, 11a: Singer and New Orleans native Naydja CoJoe’s sound dabbles in the vintage and the more recent mainstream, while her lovely voice is bolstered by her confident stage presence.
NEW The Nayo Jones Experience, 4/7, WWL, 11a: Kermit Ruffins’ go-to guest vocalist hails from Chicago, attended Spelman and brings plenty of fire to her mix of jazz standards and R&B hits.
New Birth Brass Band, 4/6, JD, 12:30p: Featuring trumpeter Will Smith and other former students of the famed Olympia Brass Band, this long-running ensemble boasts Glen David Andrews and Trombone Shorty among its alumni.
New Orleans Classic Jazz Orchestra, 4/8, 700, 11:15a: Led by Eddie Baynard, this septet performs the music of influential ‘20s-era New Orleans bands like the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.
New Orleans Cottonmouth Kings, 4/7, TJ, 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 Vipers, 4/9, ZAP, 12:30p: This swinging drum-less quintet brings a mix of still-timely standards like “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and lesser known swing tunes to their long-running weekly gigs at the Spotted Cat.
New Orleans Moonshiners, 4/8, ZAP, 12:30p: These young, traditional jazz players—led by singer, composer and banjo player Chris Edmunds—first got together with swing on the brain back in 2008.
New Orleans Nightcrawlers, 4/8, BB, 4p: This funky brass-meets-rock outfit 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.
The New Orleans Po’ Boys, 4/8, ZAP, 4:30p: Virtuoso trombonist Trolsen leads this band playing traditional New Orleans music and originals with conviction and a fiendish sense of humor.
New Orleans Rhythm Devils, 4/9, WWL, 11a: Lead by drummer Michael Paille, the New Orleans Rhythm Devils are comprised of a group of talented musicians that can frequently be heard on Frenchmen Street.
The New Orleans Suspects, 4/8, ABS, 5:25p: Although Radiators bassist Reggie Scanlan has retired from the road, and is replaced by bassist Charlie Wooton, he may perform at French Quarter Festival this year. This funky all-star band also includes Dirty Dozen guitarist Jake Eckert, keyboardist CR Gruver and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, who was James Brown’s late-career bandleader.
New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, 4/8, MB, 5:30p: The Swamp Donkeys’ creative mix of traditional jazz, blues, vaudeville and modern jazz styles gained a worldwide legion of fans when a video of their rendition of the Game of Thrones theme went viral online.
Opera on Tap, 4/8, CLS, 11a: Presented by the New Orleans Opera, “On Tap” features young local and regional singers in casual concerts of opera arias, show tunes, and more.
Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra, 4/8, 700, 4:45p: Clarinetist Kellin has been helping to keep the traditional New Orleans jazz scene alive in the Crescent City since he moved here from Sweden in 1966. A longtime associate of pianist Lars Edegran, Kellin’s also known for his central involvement in the musical One Mo’ Time
Organic Trio, 4/7, GE, 11a: Brian Seeger, who holds the Alvin “Red” Tyler Professorship chair at the University of New Orleans, is one of New Orleans’ best jazz guitarists. Here he joined by Jean-Yves Jung on organ and Paul Wiltgen on drums. The Organic Trio is well named, as there’s such a natural feeling to whatever direction these intuitive musicians choose to go.
Original Pinettes Brass Band, 4/8, 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.
Otra, 4/6, JD, 5:15p: Led by bassist Sam Price, this local Afro-Cuban band stands out from the crowd with its strong, original compositions. They also do a heavily rearranged “Nature Boy.”
Ovi-G and the Froggies, 4/9, JD, 12:30p: Ovidio Giron leads this third generation riff on the Guatemalan marimba band Los Ranas. Along with his three children, Giron performs a mix of soca, marimba and tropical styles of Central American music.
Palmetto Bug Stompers, 4/9, FMS, 12:45p: Traditional jazz sextet with some familiar players, including the ubiquitous Washboard Chaz. They are a dance band staple on Frenchmen Street.
Panorama Jazz Band, 4/7, JD, 11a: Influenced by styles from around the globe, this hip band comprised of top local instrumentalists blends New Orleans jazz traditions with klezmer, Latin and Balkan sounds. Enjoy the music all year long by becoming a subscriber to their song-of-the-month club.
NEW Papa Mali, 4/9, ABS, 3:45p: Best known as frontman for 7 Walkers (a band that includes Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and the Meters’ founding bassist, George Porter Jr.), Papa Mali is an accomplished singer-songwriter and guitarist who picked up two Best of the Beat Awards in 2015: Best Roots Rock Performer and Best Roots Rock Record for Music Is Love.
Partners N Crime & The Big Easy Bounce Band featuring DJ Jubilee, 4/7, GE, 5:30p: Legendary local rap “partners” since their days growing up in the 17th Ward, Kango Slimm and Mr. Meana appear with an all-star bounce group featuring the self-professed “King of Bounce” DJ Jubilee.
Party Gators, 4/7, 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.
Patrice Fisher and Arpa, 4/8, MB, 11a: 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 & the Rolling Road Show, 4/9, TRO, 3:50p: Sanchez has blossomed as a songwriter since parting company with Cowboy Mouth, co-writing the post-Katrina musical “Nine Lives” and taking the lead on a number of projects, including the Rolling Road Show, Minimum Rage and the Write Brothers.
Paulin Brothers Jazz Band, 4/8, SCH, 12p: Ernest “Doc” Paulin founded this band in the 1920s. His sons now perform strictly traditional brass-band music, complete with the longstanding black-and-white uniforms and spiffy white caps.
NEW The Pentones, 4/9, TRO, 12:30p: This trio led by guitarist and vocalist Mark Pentone plays original blues and funk and is frequently performing at the Funky Pirate on Bourbon Street. The other members are bassist Thomas C. McDonald and drummer Eddie Christmas. Dan Willging said of Penton “it would not be an exaggeration to rate him among the top 10 lead guitarists in a city that has no shortage of them.”
NEW Perdido Jazz Band, 4/8, MB, 5:30p: This trad jazz group takes its name from the tunes they play. It’s the kind of music that would have been heard at the intersection of New Orleans’ Perdido and Rampart Streets a century ago.
Peter Novelli, 4/8, SS, 11a: OffBeat’s Dan Willging once wrote Novelli is “the master of searing tones and crunchy, mid-tempo grooves.” He has toured with accordionist Sammy Naquin and worked with Dr. John and Buckwheat Zydeco, among others.
The Pfister Sisters, 4/8, MB, 2p: Inspired by the close harmonies and lively personalities of New Orleans’ Boswell Sisters, these Spotted Cat regulars are all about the ‘30s in both sound and look.
Players Ella and Louie Tribute Band, 4/8, JAC, 3:50p: Featuring some of New Orleans finest musicians—including Mitchell Player, Todd Duke, Gerald French, Leslie Martin, Eileina Dennis and trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown—their CD was considered for a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Producer of the Year.
Pontchartrain Owls, 4/9, INT, 2:15p: This multinational traditional jazz group has made regular appearances at French Quarter Fest.
NEW The Porter Trio, 4/6, ABS, 2:10p: Led by beloved bassist George Porter Jr., this funky three-piece has been holding down a Monday night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar for over three years.
PresHall Brass, 4/6, JAC, 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.
Quiana Lynell, 4/9, SON, 5p: Vocalist and songwriter, Quiana Lynell blends jazz, blue and R&B into an amazing gumbo of sounds. She is the vocal coach at Loyola University New Orleans.
Raw Oyster Cult, 4/9, ABS, 5:20p: The closest thing at FQF to a Radiators reunion. Raw Oyster Cult features 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.
Red Hot Brass Band, 4/9, BB, 12:45p: Student musicians from the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, the Red Hots play standards from the traditional New Orleans jazz repertoire.
Red Wolf Brass Band, 4/8, BB, 2:15p: Music teacher and band director Desmond Venable leads this energetic young band of music students who recently released their first album, 7th Period.
Reed Minders, 4/8, PH, 4:30p: A Preservation Hall presentation of New Orleans’ clarinetists.
NEW Remedy, 4/9, JD, 11a: Teen-friendly rock band comprised of actual teens, 14 and up.
Retread Brass Band, 4/8, KID, 1p: Kid-friendly brass band comprised of local young talent.
Rhodes Spedale & Live Jazz Group, 4/9, SCH, 3:15p: In addition to performing as a jazz pianist in and around New Orleans since the mid-‘60s, Spedale has worked as a jazz journalist, authoring a guide to New Orleans jazz in the ‘80s and hosting numerous radio programs over the years.
Ricardo Pascal Orchestra, 4/9, SON, 2p: Marcus Roberts “The Modern Jazz Generation” incorporates a core group of very talented younger musicians at the beginning of their careers. In that number was tenor and soprano saxophonist Ricardo Pascal now leading his own orchestra.
Robin Barnes, 4/8, TRO, 4p: Steeped in R&B, this self-professed “soul pop” vocalist first sang in the choirs at St. Philip and St. David Catholic Churches, and later with her family’s jazz band the Soul Heirs.
Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters, 4/9, 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.
NEW Roland Guerin, 4/8, WWL 12:30p: Over the past couple of decades Roland Guerin has earned a worldwide reputation as one of New Orleans’ preeminent bassists. He was recently named musical director for Dr. John’s band after a long stint with the late Allen Toussaint, but that’s only scratching the surface of his resume.
The Ronnie Kole Show featuring John Perkins, 4/8, JAC, 2:20p: This award-winning jazz pianist, old-school Bourbon Street staple and protégé of Al Hirt has been performing Great American Songbook classics and Big Band tunes in New Orleans for decades.
Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, 4/9, GE, 3:30p: 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. Their relentless enthusiasm and dedication to their bizarre characters make their performances some of the most fun in town.
Royal & Dumaine Hawaiians, 4/8, ROU, 3:30p: The alter-ego of stringband David Roe & the Royal Rounders, this quintet plays ukulele-driven tunes including “Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian” and Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles.”
Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs, 4/9, JD, 5:15p: Jazz-funk-hip-hop trumpeter Allen resists categorization, having performed with Willie Nelson and written the local anthem “Meet Me on Frenchmen Street.”
Shannon Powell’s Traditional All Star Band, 4/7, JAC, 2:20p: Billed as the “King of Treme,” Shannon Powell is a master drummer and Preservation Hall staple who began his career with Danny Barker and has since played with Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John and Harry Connick Jr.
Shotgun Jazz Band, 4/8, ZAP, 3p: Trumpeter Marla Dixon and six-string banjoist John Dixon began as a busking duo before expanding to their current seven-piece, traditional New Orleans jazz incarnation.
Smoking Time Jazz Club, 4/8, TJ, 12:45p: A regular at Frenchmen Street’s Maison and Spotted Cat, they have a deep knowledge and appreciation for early jazz. Their latest album, Ain’t We Fortunate is reviewed in this issue by Tom McDermott.
Some Like it Hot Traditional Jazz Band, 4/8, 700, 2:15p: Trumpeter Kaye Caldwell leads this traditional jazz group, which unlike most ensembles of its type features several female musicians.
Songs for Junior Rangers featuring Richard Scott, 4/8, KID, 3p: Pianist Richard Scott 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.
Sons of Jazz Brass Band, 4/8, BB, 11:15a: Playing a range of brass band music that runs the gamut from traditional to contemporary, the Sons of Jazz hit the streets earlier this year with the new Femme Fatale Mardi Gras krewe.
NEW Soul Brass Band, 4/9, BB, 4p: Drummer Derrick Freeman leads the Soul Brass Band, which was formed in 2015. The band was the winner of Best Emerging Artist this year at the Best of the Beat Awards.
Soul Project NOLA, 4/8, JD, 11a: Young devotees of old-school funk, and inspired by vintage Nevilles and Meters. Guitarist/singer Jon Cristian Duque played for a time with Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
The Soul Rebels, 4/8, JD, 7:15p: After the international success of their Rounder debut Unlock Your Mind, this funk-inspired brass band released Power = Power, an OkayPlayer mixtape of reimagined hip-hop hits. New arrangements of D’Angelo and Marvin Gaye have popped up in recent live shows.
St. Cecilia’s Chorus, 4/9, PH, 12p: This is not the famous St. Cecilia Chorus that performed Mahler’s Third Symphony in New York in 1906, but an offshoot of the St. Cecilia’s Asylum Chorus that shortened their name to just the Asylum Chorus. Apparently choral director Lucas Davenport has resurrected the name for the French Quarter Festival. We understand that the performance by the Asylum Chorus will have a completely different program.
Steve Pistorius & the Southern Syncopators 4/9, FMS, 4:15p: Pianist Steve Pistorius, who 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. Their repertoire includes tunes by Sidney Bechet, Natty Dominique, Bill Whitmore, Tony Jackson and others.
Stooges Brass Band, 4/9, BB, 5:45p: Formed in 1996, the Stooges are one of the busiest brass bands on the circuit. They frequently add unexpected elements like reggae to their tight sound, drawing high-profile devotees like Trombone Shorty to their fanbase.
Storyville Stompers Brass Band, 4/7, BB, 12:45p: This long-running and prolific traditional New Orleans brass band has a knack for reinvigorating rare, vintage jazz songs.
Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, 4/7, CHV, 5:30p: Accordionist and harmonica player Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, who grew up surrounded by blues masters like Sonny Boy Williamson in Arkansas, infuses plenty of R&B into his brand of contemporary Zydeco.
Susan Cowsill, 4/7, TRO, 4p: The little sister of ’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.
Sweet Cecilia, 4/8, CHV, 12:30p: Sisters Laura Huval and Meagan Berard, along with their cousin Callie Guidry make up this trio of multi-instrumentalist Louisiana roots rockers from Acadiana.
Sweet Crude, 4/8, ABS, 2:10p: New Orleans indie pop septet Sweet Crude plays an energetic brand of percussion-driven, sparkly rock, often sung in French. The band features vocalist Alexis Marceaux.
Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, 4/9, CLS, 2p: The 85-member chorus under the direction of Steven Edwards started in 1981.
NEW T’Monde, 4/9, CHV, 12:30p: A trio of rising star Cajun music players—Kelli Jones-Savoy on fiddle, Drew Simon on accordion and Megan Brown on guitar—founded this South Louisiana-based band, which mines regional traditions and each member’s’ own creativity for its sound.
Tank and the Bangas, 4/8, TRO, 7:20p: This high-energy ensemble led by powerhouse singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball combines elements of soul, R&B, hip hop and spoken word. Out of over 6,000 entries, Tank and the Bangas were this year’s unanimous NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners.
NEW Ted Hefko and the Thousandaires, 4/8, SS, 2:30p: Wisconsin native Ted Hefko took a bus down to New Orleans at the age of 18 and never looked back. The saxophonist/clarinetist/guitarist and his band deliver some good old American roots music, with more than a little bit of New Orleans flavor thrown into the mix.
Terrance “Hollywood” Taplin leads the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, 4/8, JAC, 5:20p: Trombonist Terrance Taplin leads the Uptown Jazz Orchestra founded by trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis. They frequently perform at Snug Harbor. The Uptown Jazz Orchestra’s latest CD Make America Great Again! with Delfeayo Marsalis was the best contemporary jazz album at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards.
Thais Clark and her JAZZsters, 4/8, TJ, 2:30p: Hailing from New Orleans’ Seventh Ward, Clark often hews to the ribald, fun, old-school blues of Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith and has worked with Wynton Marsalis, Dr. Michael White and the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra.
Tim Laughlin, 4/8, JAC, 11:15a: Clarinetist Laughlin’s compositions fit within the classic traditional jazz idiom, but his skill in bringing traditional New Orleans jazz into the 21st Century gives them a more modern feel. His latest release The Trio Sessions, Vol. 2 is reviewed in this issue.
The Tin Men featuring Jason Jurzak, 4/7, JD, 3:45p: Stripped-down melodies, a wry sense of humor, deep funk sousaphone grooves and blues-soaked washboard scratches are what to expect from this trio. Alex McMurray on guitar is joined with washboard player Washboard Chaz and sousaphonist Jason Jurzak (who is replacing regular sousaphonist Matt Perrine).
Tom Hook and the Wendell Brunious Quartet, 4/8, SON, 5p: Pianist Tom Hook and trumpet master Wendell Brunious have been performing together for a number of years, but this time they’re joined by two extra players.
Tom McDermott and His Jazz Hellions, 4/8, PAL, 3p: McDermott is a virtuoso pianist whose skill and deep knowledge of music history allow him to play everything from New Orleans jazz and blues to Caribbean and classical music.
Tommy Sancton’s New Orleans Legacy Band, 4/8, 700, 11:15a: This clarinetist served as Time Magazine’s Paris bureau chief for 22 years. As a child, he took music lessons from Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s George Lewis, an experience he documents in the book Song for My Fathers.
Tony Green and Gypsy Jazz, 4/9, ROU, 12p: Green is not only a popular gypsy jazz guitarist and ardent conspiracy theorist, but one of New Orleans’ best known painters. The official French Quarter Festival poster is his creation. See interview in this issue.
NEW Tonya Boyd-Cannon, 4/7, JD, 5:30p: This New Orleans-based singer boasts powerful pipes, lots of soul and a near-winning run on The Voice. Her latest CD Muzic Is Life garnered much praise.
Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony, 4/7, JAC, 3:50p: Topsy Chapman leads the all-female group with a gospel-inspired vocal blend called Solid Harmony.
Treme Brass Band, 4/8, BB, 12:45p: 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.”
Tub, Jug and Washboard Band, 4/7, INT, 2:15p: This group has brought traditional jazz and jug band music to their native Switzerland for a number of decades, but they’ve made a few stops in New Orleans over the years too.
Tuba Skinny, 4/7, JAC, 11:15a: This band of New Orleans street musicians specialize in traditional jazz, Depression-era blues and spirituals. They recently released their seventh album, Blue Chime Stomp.
Tyler Keith & the Apostles, 4/8, HOB, 4p: Garage rock songs about “big rigs, trains and murder”—plus some seriously infectious melodies—are what you can expect from this Oxford, Mississippi outfit.
Tysson, 4/7, HOB, 7:50p: Bandleader and prolific songwriter John Michael Rouchell fronted the nationally popular alt rock band MyNameIsJohnMichael before transitioning to this new alternative pop project with Dumpstaphunk/Pretty Lights drummer Alvin Ford Jr.
NEW Valerie Sassyfras, 4/8, PAL, 1p: Valerie Sassyfras’ eclectic one-woman show transcends any easy classifications. Suffice to say, her off-kilter performances are as sassy as her name suggests, blending disparate styles like zydeco and electro-pop with a heavy dose of showmanship.
NEW The Versipel Collective, 4/8, CLS, 2p: A project of the Versipel New Music organization, this group of musicians comes together to perform very contemporary—which is to say, brand new—chamber music and solo compositions.
The Vettes, 4/7, GE, 3:45p: This band takes its name from the surname shared by all of its members, who happen to be siblings (well, one of them was “adopted” when the group formed). Fronted by singer/guitarist Rachel Vette, the band is known for its energetic blend of new-wave and alternative rock.
Vivaz, 4/9, MB, 1:30p: This energetic and dance-inspiring Caribbean/Latin jazz fusion band is led by the Bolivian-born guitarist Javier Gutierrez and highlights the Cuban tres (a double three-stringed Cuban guitar).
Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, 4/8, ABS, 7:15p: A local institution, the Wolfman puts plenty of hot guitar and soulful horns into his funky brand of blues.
Wanda Rouzan & A Taste of New Orleans, 4/9, 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.
Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, 4/9, ROU, 3:30p: When not tackling Western swing with Washboard Rodeo, rocking acoustically with the Tin Men or presiding over Chazfest, Washboard Chaz airs his blues roots with this group.
NEW Washboard Rodeo, 4/7, GE 12:30p: When not rocking acoustically with the Tin Men or with his blues trio, Washboard Chaz presents Washboard Rodeo a Western swing band.
NEW Water Seed, 4/8, WWL, 2p: Keen to steer clear of the genre label, “neo-soul,” the band’s five to eight pieces create the thick, rich sonic fabric only true soul groups possess. Perhaps R&B is a more appropriate label for their sound—original R&B, that is.
Waylon Thibodeaux Band, 4/6, CHV, 2p: 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.
NEW Wayne and Same Ol’ 2 Step, 4/8, CHV, 2p: While lots of young Zydeco acts have tinkered with the genre’s traditional sounds in recent years, Wayne Singleton has kept things steeped in the music of his heritage.
Wendell Brunious, 4/9, JAC, 3:50p: Trumpeter Brunious took over as the leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in 1987 and remained a Hall regular for many years. Brunious has played regularly with Lionel Hampton, Linda Hopkins and Sammy Rimington.
The Whiskey Penguins, 4/6, TRO 12:30p: A few New Orleans lawyers round out the lineup for this four-piece, which includes former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Jim Letten. Some bands worry about where they set the bar, but these guys have already passed it.