How do you choose from the variety of cultures, rhythms and sounds available at Jazz Fest? Our guide should help. Happy Jazz Fest! Remember that performance information is subject to change.
ACU = Acura Stage
AM = Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage
BLU = Blues Tent
CON = Congo Square Stage
CUB = Cuba Pavillion
ECO = Peoples Health Economy Hall Tent
FDD = Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage
GEN = Gentilly Stage
GOS = Gospel Tent
J&H = Jazz & Heritage Stage
JAZ = Zatarain’s/WWOZ Jazz Tent
KID = Kids Tent
LAG = Lagniappe Stage
NAT = Native American Pow Wow
PAR = Parades
101 Runners, 5/4, J&H, 5:50p: Carrying on the proud tradition of fusing Mardi Gras Indian chants with funk, this group includes Chris Jones with War Chief Juan Pardo of the Wild Comanches and a star cast of players.
21st Century Brass Band, 5/5, PAR, 4:15p: This young, Treme-based group finds room in its repertoire for New Orleans jazz standards as well as modern R&B hits.
610 Stompers, 5/6, KID, 5:15p: The good nature, mustaches, red satin jackets and blue short-shorts of the men parading in the 610 Stompers represent the finest in the city’s new-school Carnival swagger, a treat hailed from Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade in New York City.
79rs Gang, 5/5, J&H, 2:20p: Big Chief Jermaine and Big Chief Romeo from the 7th and 9th Wards come together to form the 79rs Gang. Jermaine’s baritone voice combines with Romeo’s alto voice as they since about the Mardi Gras Indians’ unique culture. They released their first CD, Fire on the Bayou, in 2015.
7th Ward Creole Hunters, 5/4, PAR, 4:10p: Big Chief Jermaine Bossier leads this 7th Ward-based Mardi Gras Indian gang.
Aaron Neville, 4/28, BLU, 5:45p: The golden-voiced Neville brother, whose classic “Tell It Like It Is” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame collection for 2015, brings originals from his latest effort, Apache (Best R&B/Funk Album winner at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards), mixed in with some hits from his prolific career.
Adella Adella the Storyteller and Amber Zu the Conductor, 5/5, KID, 12:40p: This kids’ performer aims to bring animals to life, make history real, turn ancestors into wise friends and open the imaginations and hearts of her listeners.
Adonis y Osain del Monte of Cuba, 5/5, CON, 2:05p, CUB, 4:30p; 5/6, CUB, 1:45p, 3:10p; 5/7, BLU, 2:20p, CUB, 4:30p: Havana, Cuba’s Adonis y Osain del Monte offers a modern interpretation of traditional Afro-Cuban folklore, blending it with timba, Havana’s Conga parade rhythms, and beats from Cuba’s contemporary popular music. This is their first U.S. appearance.
Alabama Shakes, 4/29, GEN, 5:15p: Brittany Howard’s raw, soul-rattling vocal power has become the star of this top-notch southern blues-rock outfit, but her bandmates Zac Cockrell, Steve Johnson and Heath Fogg deliver plenty of fire too. They came out of 2016 with three Grammy awards, including Best Alternative Music Album for Sound & Color.
Alex McMurray, 4/28, GEN, 11:20a: This songwriter’s sharp eye, gravelly voice and wicked sense of humor have been well displayed in the Tin Men, Royal Fingerbowl and his current solo career. His song “You’ve Got to Be Crazy to Live In This Town” was a fitting choice to close the third season of HBO’s Treme.
Alexey Marti, 4/28, J&H, 4:15p: After relocating to New Orleans, Cuban-born conga player and percussionist Marti has become a key fixture on the local Latin scene, performing a mix of jazz, funk, salsa, son, rumba and more.
Algiers Warriors, 5/5, PAR, 2:10p: The West Bank-based Big Chief of the Algiers Warriors came out in sky blue with orange patchwork at this year’s Super Sunday.
Alia Shawkat and James Williams with the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band, 5/5, ECO, 4:25p: Alia Shawkat is best known for starring roles in TV shows like Arrested Development and Search Party, but she’s also an impressive jazz singer. Her collaborative EP with trad jazz outfit the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys finds her and James Williams knocking out a series of Ella & Louis-style duets. See feature in this issue.
Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, 5/5, BLU, 12:10p: This Grammy-winning singer, guitarist and mandolin player was inspired in his youth by the sound of Mississippi country blues, which he makes his own by adding elements of roots rock and a deep knowledge of folk and Americana.
Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, 5/6, GEN, 11:20a: 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.
Amos Lee, 4/29, GEN, 3:25p: Amos Lee has opened for Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Norah Jones, Van Morrison, John Prine, Adele and many more. Those endorsements should be enough to draw fans of the old school singer songwriter style to his blend of soul and folk.
Anders Osborne, 5/5, GEN, 3:35p: New Orleans’ Swedish-rooted guitar hero and songwriting titan has won Best Guitarist three years in a row and Best Songwriter twice at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards. Tim McGraw had a number one hit with the Osborne song “Watch the Wind Blow By.” Other artists that have covered Osborne’s compositions include Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang and Kim Carnes.
Andre’ Simmons-Franklin, 4/28, GOS, 5:10p: Although gospel artist Andre Simmons Franklin’s first love is old school gospel, he has created something unique by incorporating urban R&B grooves into the mix. His single “I’m Expecting” is highly regarded by Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee, Diane Barrino and others.
Andrew Duhon, 4/28, LAG, 3:05p: With his achingly tender voice and penchant for lyrical depth, folk-pop singer songwriter Duhon taps into personal experience to tug at listeners’ heart strings while strumming his way through original music that echoes the blues.
Andrew Hall’s Society Brass Band, 5/6, ECO, 1:35p: 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.
Anya Hollingsworth and ARTS, 5/7, KID, 11:30a: Violinist Anya Hollingsworth is an eighth grade honor student at Wilson Middle School. She believes music tells personal and historic stories that connect humanity. ARTS consist of three singers and songwriters Kir’ Ondria Woods, Jamilla Johnson, and Harper Jones. They are accompanied by pianist Carolyn Donnell and drummer Larry Donnell II.
Apache Hunters, 5/7, PAR, 1:45p: Big Chief Preston Whitfield leads this Uptown-based Mardi Gras Indian tribe, headquartered at Third and LaSalle Streets.
Archdiocese of New Orleans Gospel Choir, 5/6, GOS, 1:55p: The Archdiocese represents the largest religious demographic in New Orleans. Its choir represents a tradition of Crescent City Catholicism dating back to 1793.
Arthur and Friends Community Choir, 5/6, GOS, 12:05p: This New Roads, Louisiana-based gospel choir, founded by Arthur Gremillion, focuses on fostering a spirit of togetherness through music.
Ashé Cultural Arts Center Kuumba Institute, 4/29, KID, 11:30a: This Central City community group brings storytelling, poetry, music, dance, photography and visual art to schools and neighborhoods throughout New Orleans.
AsheSon, 5/7, J&H, 4:25p: Local guitarist Javier Olondo leads this ensemble primarily through the songs of his native Cuba while drawing on the traditions of other Latin American countries, including Guatemala and Puerto Rico.
Astral Project, 4/28, JAZ, 6p: The members of this modern jazz quartet—saxophonist Tony Dagradi, guitarist Steve Masakowski, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich—have active musical lives outside of the group, but as Astral Project they evince a rare chemistry that results from playing together for nearly four decades.
Audrey Ferguson and The Voices of Distinction, 4/30, GOS, 11:10p: The “traditional foot-stomping, hands-clapping gospel” of this Baton Rouge-based quartet has been a Jazz Fest regular since before the storm.
Baby Boyz Brass Band, 5/7, PAR, 3p: One of the younger brass groups on the second line and festival circuit, Baby Boyz is led by trumpeter Glenn Hall III, kin to the musical Andrews family.
Bamboula 2000, 5/4, J&H, 11:20a: “Bamboula” was originally a form of drum and dance ceremony held in Congo Square. Bamboula 2000 leader Luther Gray brings that spirit into the present with a troupe of players and dancers.
Batiste Fathers & Sons, 4/28, ACU, 11:25a: The Batistes of New Orleans have had music in their blood for many generations. The family band includes David on the keyboard, Jamal, Ryan and Russell on drums and percussion, with Damon on vocals.
Batture Boys, The 5/6, LAG, 3:40p: Helmed by the lead guitarists for the Subdudes (Malone) and Continental Drifters (Ganucheau), this new Americana-focused act released its debut EP, Muddy Water, in April 2016.
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, 5/6, FDD, 2:45p: Fiddler Doucet’s venerable Cajun band was the first of its genre to win a Grammy in 1998. Their sound draws on eclectic influences ranging far beyond Acadiana, from bluegrass to West African music and more.
Beloit Memorial Jazz Orchestra, 4/29, JAZ, 11:10a: Under the leadership of Mr. Chris Behrens, the Beloit Memorial High School from Beloit, Wisconsin introduces young people to the jazz traditions of such big bands as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Thad Jones. This is their first appearance at Jazz Fest.
The Bester Gospel Singers and The Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers of Slidell, 5/5, GOS, 1p: A cappella gospel harmonies are the specialty of The Bester Singers, a Slidell, Louisiana-based group. Evangelist Rosa Lee Smooth founded the Dynamic Smooth Family group three decades ago, and her daughter Cynthia Smooth Plummer now leads the group.
Betty Winn & One A-Chord, 4/28, GOS, 1:55p: Formed in 1995 by Betty Winn and her husband Thomas, this sprawling choir traces the history of gospel from slave spirituals to new compositions. They perform with as many as 40 singers.
Big Chief Bird and the Young Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/4, J&H, 12:40p: Coming out of the Carrollton neighborhood each year since 1995, this tribe is led by Big Chief “Bird.”
Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. & the Wild Magnolias, 5/6, J&H, 5:45p: Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. carries on the legacy of his father, leading the Wild Magnolias’ impassioned, funk-inspired Mardi Gras Indian music.
Big Chief Donald Harrison, Jr., 5/4, CON, 2p: Saxophonist Harrison is a New Orleans Renaissance man who has explored reggae, funk and Mardi Gras Indian music through the filter of jazz. His last CD, This is Jazz, is a trio set with Billy Cobham and Ron Carter.
Big Chief Juan & Jockimo’s Groove, 5/7, J&H, 11:20a: Skillful Golden Comanche Chief Juan Pardo, who grew up with the sounds of elder statesmen Indians like Monk Boudreaux and Bo Dollis, updates classic and original Mardi Gras Indian songs with a mix of funk and R&B.
Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, J&H, 11:20a: Singer and Big Chief Kevin Goodman, who’s called Austin home since evacuating during Hurricane Katrina, leads this tribe and stage band.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, J&H, 5:55p: Boudreaux, who performed for many years alongside Big Chief Bo Dollis in the Wild Magnolias, is one of the most prominent Indian performers and a soulful vocalist. The Golden Eagles’ reggae-heavy performances often get into heady, near-psychedelic territory.
Big Chief Trouble and the Trouble Nation, 5/6, PAR, 1:30p: This tribe’s Big Chief Markeith Tero also rolls with the Revolution SA&PC.
Big Freedia, 5/6, CON, 1:55p: The self-professed Queen Diva put bounce music on the map nationally with her quick-fire rhymes, sweat-inducing rhythms and booty-shaking grooves.
Big Nine SA&PC, 4/28, PAR, 4p: Listen for cries of “way downtown” on the parade from this social aid and pleasure club.
Big Sam’s Funky Nation, 5/6, ACU, 12:15p: 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.
Big Steppers SA&PC, 4/30, PAR, 2:30p: Steppers hold one of the season’s most popular Sunday parades.
Bill Summers & Jazalsa, 5/7, J&H, 1:50p: 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.
Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, PAR, 12:10p: This 7th Ward-based tribe has been masking Indian for more than 20 years.
Black Lodge Singers, 4/28, NAT, 12:05p, 1:15p, 4p; 4/29, NAT, 12p, 1:15p, 4:05p; 4/30, NAT, 12p, 1:15p, 3:50p: Black Lodge Singers are a northern style drum group on the pow-wow circuit. The group includes Kenny Scabby Robe (Blackfeet), his wife Louise (Yakama), and his 12 sons. Kenny is noted on the circuit as one of the leading pow-wow song makers. They have received several Grammy nominations.
Black Mohawk and Blackfoot Hunters, 4/28, PAR, 1:20p: Big Chief Byron Thomas and Big Chief Donald lead this twofer Mardi Gras Indian parade.
Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, 4/28, PAR, 2:45p: This popular tribe was led by the Cyril “Big Chief Ironhorse” Green until his unexpected passing in 2013.
Blodie’s Jazz Jam, 4/29, JAZ, 12:15p: Blodie is better known as Dirty Dozen trumpeter Gregory Davis, whose jamming partners include other members of Dirty Dozen, Trombone Shorty’s Orleans Avenue and other horn men who will be on the Fair Grounds that day.
Blue Lu Barker Remembered featuring Meschiya Lake and Quiana Lynell, 4/28, ECO, 5:30p: Singers Meschiya Lake and Quiana Lynell remember Danny Barker’s wife, the jazz and blues singer Blue Lu Barker, who passed away in 1998 at age 84. Expect the program to include “Don’t You Feel My Leg?,” “Look What Baby’s Got For You” and “A Little Bird Told Me,” which peaked at number four on the Billboard chart in 1948.
Blues Traveler, 5/7, BLU, 5:35p: This New Jersey group briefly entered the mainstream with their harmonica-laden 1994 hit “Run-Around,” but they’ve been a beloved staple of the jam band scene for a very long time. Expect plenty of improvisational rock and creative song segues during their set.
Bobby Lounge, 5/7, LAG, 5:20p: A one-of-a-kind mix of barrelhouse piano, Tom Waitsian poetics, Southern-gothic storytelling and just plain out-there-ness.
Bonerama, 5/5, ACU, 12:30p: What began as a novelty—a multi-trombone band playing jazz, funk and classic rock—has turned into a local and national favorite. Their renditions of rock classics like Led Zeppelin’s “The Ocean” and the Grateful Dead-associated “Turn On Your Love Light” are full-tilt affairs.
Boney James, 5/5, JAZ, 5:40p: Saxophonist and songwriter Boney James has sold over 3 million albums, making him one of the most commercially successful artists in contemporary jazz.
Boyfriend, 4/30, GEN, 12:45p: Part rapper and part performance artist, Boyfriend’s “rap cabaret” shows are entertaining and intellectually-engaging experiences that make destroying gender norms fun for everyone. See feature in this issue.
Brother Tyrone & the Mindbenders, 4/29, BLU, 11:10p: Tyrone Pollard, a.k.a. Brother Tyrone, is a deep-soul vocalist whose original songs could pass for long-lost vinyl tracks.
Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, 4/30, FDD, 1:35p: 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.
The Bucktown Allstars 25th Anniversary, 4/30, LAG, 5:20p: This nine-piece R&B band from Metairie is a consistent Best Cover Band winner at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards.
Buddy Guy, 5/7, GEN, 3:30p: This Louisiana-born, Chicago-bred luminary of the blues and rock worlds continues to tour, record and inspire new generations of musicians with his blazing guitar style. He recently teamed up with Junior Wells for the two-disc Buddy Guy and Junior Wells Play the Blues.
Buffalo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/7, PAR, 4:15p: The Buffalo Hunters tribe is led by Big Chief Spoon.
C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, 5/4, FDD, 6p: Zydeco king Clifton Chenier’s son has long emerged as a bandleader in his own right. His latest album, Can’t Sit Down has a killer version of Tom Waits’ “Clap Hands.”
The Caesar Brothers Funkbox, 4/29, J&H, 4:20p: Solid, Uptown funk from keyboardist and drummer Norman and Rickey Caesar, whose musical family members include an assortment of Nevilles.
Capoeira New Orleans, 5/7, KID, 4:10p: Participants and students from this local Afro-Brazilian arts program show off their moves.
Carsie Blanton, 5/4, LAG, 4:20p: Singer songwriter Carsie Blanton has taken her talents for writing, voice, guitar and piano from the streets of her adopted hometown of New Orleans to acclaim with her seven albums and relentless touring (including a slot opening for Paul Simon in 2014).
CC Adcock + The Lafayette Marquis, 4/30, ACU, 12:25p: A bona fide South Louisiana icon, the multi-talented, free-wheeling CC Adcock has earned Grammy nods as a composer for film and is considered one of the finest present-day players of the swamp-rock sound, melding the electric blues, zydeco and Cajun styles.
Cedric Burnside Project, 5/4, BLU, 1:30p: Undeniably influenced by his grandfather R.L.’s sound, Burnside brings a powerful, fierce energy to the stage. Switching back and forth between acoustic guitar and drums, the project provides blues in its most essential form, as well as intense upbeat dance tunes.
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, 5/5, FDD, 11:10a: 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.
Cha Wa, 5/4, ACU, 11:20a: Mardi Gras Indian singer Eric “Yettii” Boudreaux (Monk Boudreaux’s brother) formed this band to fuse Indian chants with blues. They’re joined by singer, guitarist and producer Papa Mali, an alum of the 7 Walkers with Bill Kreutzmann and George Porter, Jr.
Changüí Guantánamo of Cuba, 5/4, CUB, 1:30p, 3:10p; 5/5, CUB, 1:35p, J&H, 4:45p; 5/6, CUB, 11:20a, KID, 1:15p; 5/7, CUB, 11:30a, 12:40p: Changüí is the precursor to son, and eventually salsa, and is one of the oldest rhythms in Cuba. It originated in the eastern region of Guantánamo Province. Founded in 1945 by tres player Chito Latamblet, Changüí Guantánamo maintains the original Changüí music style and instrumentation. Although they have toured extensively Changüí Guantánamo’s last appearance in the U.S. dates back to 1989.
Charlie Gabriel & Friends, 5/4, ECO, 2:55: Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s clarinetist and vocalist Charlie Gabriel makes his Jazz Fest debut under his own name. The band includes Kyle Roussel on piano, Ben Jaffe on bass, Shannon Powell on drums, Kevin Lewis on trumpet and Craig Klein on trombone. Though the band will focus on traditional New Orleans music, Gabriel often credits the vitality of jazz with its unique ability to reflect the modern experiences of those who interpret it along with the history in which it’s rooted. See feature in this issue.
Charmaine Neville Band, 4/29, BLU, 12:05p: An exuberant jazz singer whose influences run the gamut of New Orleans music styles, Neville has long been a staple of the city’s scene, particularly at Snug Harbor.
Cheyenne Mardi Gras Indians, 5/4, PAR, 4:10p: This Mardi Gras Indian tribe takes its name after one of the most famous tribes of the Great Plains.
Chilluns & Dads with Cranston and Annie Clements, Dave and Darcy and Johnny Malone, and Spencer and Andre Bohren, 5/4, GEN, 12:45p: The “Chilluns” showcase is being picked up from Tipitina’s which presented the program last December. This two-generation show will feature the Malones (siblings Johnny and Darcy of Darcy Malone and the Tangle and father Dave Malone of the Radiators), the Clements (daughter Annie Clements of Sugarland and father Cranston), and the Bohrens (father Spencer and son Andre).
Chocolate Milk, 4/30, GEN, 1:50p: Inspired by the music of Kool & the Gang, saxophonist Amadee Castenell formed this funk, soul and disco outfit in the late ‘70s in New Orleans. They went on to replace the Meters as Allen Toussaint’s house band before breaking up in 1983. Their occasional reunion shows are a treat for old school soul-loving Fest-goers.
The Chosen Ones Brass Band, 4/28, PAR, 4p: Just now reaching their 20s, the rock-steady members of the nine-piece Chosen Ones bring a hip hop-infused, high-energy style to traditional New Orleans back beats and horn sections.
Chris Clifton & His Allstars, 5/4, ECO, 11:20a: Trumpeter Clifton met and had an association with Louis Armstrong, playing with the great trumpeter’s second wife Lil Hardin. He still honors the traditional sounds of Satchmo.
Chris Owens, 4/30, ECO, 5:35p: An old-school burlesque queen and beloved local character, Owens runs the closest thing to a PG-rated club on Bourbon Street. Her Jazz Fest shows tend to include the liveliest version of “YMCA” you’ll ever hear.
Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band, 4/28, FDD, 1:35p: This third-generation bandleader won the last Best Zydeco or Cajun Album Grammy for his Zydeco Junkie in 2010. Carrier teamed up with Chris Ardoin in 2015 for Zydeco Stuff.
Chucho Valdés Quintet, 5/7, JAZ, 5:45p: Over the past 50 years, the pianist has affirmed himself as one of the prime figures in the Cuban jazz world. Founding member of staple band Irakere with Paquito D’Rivera, the multi-Grammy winner brings his quintet to spice up this year’s Cuban-flavored Jazz Fest.
The Clark Sisters, 4/30, GOS, 3:55p: This gospel vocal group consists of five sisters: Jacky Clark Chisholm, Denise Clark Bradford, Elbernita “Twinkie” Clark-Terrell, Dorinda Clark-Cole, and Karen Clark Sheard. They are the daughters of legendary gospel musician and choral director Dr. Mattie Moss Clark. Their biggest hit “You Brought the Sunshine” was awarded a gold record. They have won three Grammy awards.
Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders with Butch Thompson, 5/4, ECO, 1:40p: 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.
Comanche Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, J&H, 11:20a: Big Chief Keith Keke Gibson leads this Ninth Ward gang, performing traditionals like “Indian Red” and Monk Boudreaux’s “Lighting and Thunder.”
Conga Los Hoyos of Cuba, 4/30, CUB, 11:30p; 5/4; CUB, 11:30a, 5/5, CUB, 11:30a: From the Los Hoyos district of Santiago, Conga Los Hoyos dates back to 1902. The group is fully ingrained in the culture of Santiago de Cuba, each year closing the traditional carnival parades and participating in the annual Festival del Caribe. The hallmark of conga, the corneta china—or Chinese Cornet—leads a riotous mix of percussions including a pilón (bass drum), bocúes (small conga drums), quinto and requinto drums, redoblantes (snare drums) and llantas (car brake drums struck with a metal rod). This is their first time in the U.S.
Connie & Dwight Fitch with St. Raymond & St. Leo the Great Choir, 4/29, GOS, 12:05p: Seventh Ward couple, Connie and Dwight Fitch, have done romantic R&B as well as gospel; she has sung in the past with Ray Charles and Dr. John.
CoolNasty ft. Assata Jones and Ray Wimley, 5/5, CON, 11:25a: The young neo-soul jazz band, who hosts the weekly jam sessions, at the Jazz Market back up Chicago R&B singer Jones and New Orleans MC Ray Wimley.
COOT, 5/4, LAG, 11:30a: This local five-piece has been putting out original rock music for over two decades.
Corey Henry & Treme Funktet, 4/29, CON, 12:30p: Galactic trombonist Henry’s highly energetic funk band has quickly become one of the must-see groups around town in the last few years.
Corey Ledet & His Zydeco Band, 5/7, FDD, 12:15p: Ledet was already two years into his music career when he switched from drums to accordion at age 12. He released his latest work, Standing on Faith, last March.
Corinne Bailey Rae, 5/4, CON, 3:35p: English singer Corinne Bailey Rae has won two Grammy Awards with her beautiful voice and contemporary approach to soul and R&B. You may recognize her hits “Put Your Records On” and “Like A Star.”
Cowboy Mouth, 5/7, ACU, 12:30p: Singer/drummer Fred LeBlanc and guitarist John Thomas Griffith have led this anthemic rock band through a few lineups and any number of full-tilt live shows.
Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise, 4/30, GOS, 6:05p: Hammond player and Houston/New Orleans native Adams leads this dynamic, 16-piece gospel group.
Creole Osceola Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, PAR, 3:15p: Mardi Gras Indian parade.
Creole String Beans, 5/7, FDD, 1:25p: Fronted by photographer Rick Olivier and featuring former Iguanas and Cowboy Mouth members, the Creole String Beans began as a “Y’at cover band” doing vintage local gems, and moved on to write similarly-styled originals.
Crescent City Lights Youth Theater, 4/29, KID, 4:10p: With performers aged 9 to 16, this group plays each summer at Gallier Hall in downtown New Orleans. In 2012, they won Most Outstanding Achievement in Acting at the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta.
Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Company with Stilt Walkers, 5/7, KID, 5:15p: Founded in 1988, this New Orleans-based company has toured the US and performed for Winnie Mandela.
Curtis Pierre & the Samba Kids, 4/30, KID, 5:20p: The self-professed “samba king of New Orleans” leads the Afro-Brazilian troupe he founded in 1987 on a series of parades and performances.
Cynthia Sayer & Her Joyride Quartet, 5/6, ECO, 4:05p: Banjoist and vocalist Cynthia Sayer is joined by Dennis Lichtman on clarinet and violin, Mike Weatherly on bass and vocals and Larry Eagle on drums. Sayer first rose to international prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band. She is considered one of the top 4-string jazz banjoists in the world today.
Cyril Neville & SwampFunk, 4/29, BLU, 2:40p: In addition to stints playing with the Meters and the Neville Brothers, reggae-loving percussionist and singer Cyril has helmed funk outfit the Uptown Allstars and conducted a successful solo career.
Da Knockas Brass Band, 4/30, PAR, 2:30p: Formed in 2014, this eight-piece act plays contemporary brass band music, traditional New Orleans jazz and go-go funk.
Da Truth Brass Band, 5/6, PAR, 1:30p: Da Truth’s high-energy, tight renditions of New Orleans second line classics and originals have made them one of the best new brass bands in the streets on Sundays.
Dale Watson and His Lone Stars, 5/4, FDD, 4:25p: Alabama-born Austin denizen Dale Watson carries a punk-rock energy into his take on Texas country swing, playing guitar behind original numbers formed by his maverick streak and grooving to his melodic long-time backing band, the Lone Stars.
Darius Rucker, 5/4, GEN, 5:30p: Best known as the frontman for Hootie & The Blowfish, Charleston native Darius Rucker has spent the last decade developing a very successful career as a country music artist.
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, 5/5, ACU, 5:25p: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds have been collaborating for over 25 years, though Reynolds has only been an official member of the massively popular Dave Matthews Band since 2008. As an acoustic duo, the pair primarily sticks to the DMB catalog. However, choice covers and Tim Reynolds originals are often part of the equation.
Davell Crawford, 5/5, BLU, 2:45p: Grandson of the late New Orleans R&B great James “Sugarboy” Crawford, Davell is an energetic keyboardist and soulful singer whose repertoire draws on R&B, jazz and gospel.
David & Roselyn, 5/5, 1:50p: Local duo David Leonard and Roselyn Lionheart’s blues and jazz sounds have been a French Quarter staple for years. They’ve also performed on the Smithsonian Institute’s PBS “River of Song” documentary.
David Batiste Sr. and the ReNEW Schools Turnaround Arts Choir, 5/5, KID, 5:15p: Louisiana Music Hall of Famer, David Batiste, Sr. has been working in ReNEW schools since their inception. His students even performed for Michelle Obama when she was First Lady.
David L. Harris, 4/28, JAZ, 11:15a: Baton Rouge native, trombonist, vocalist and composer David L. Harris will be joined by an A-team of young up-and-comers on the New Orleans jazz scene—pianist Shea Pierre, bassist Jasen Weaver and drummer Miles Labat. His debut CD Blues I Felt has been very well received.
Dawes, 5/7, FDD, 4:15p: Having cut their teeth creating a unique, atmospheric sound through years of heavy touring on the festival circuit, Los Angeles-based folk-rockers Dawes also have remarkable songwriting chops, as shown on their new album, We’re All Gonna Die.
Daymé Arocena of Cuba, 5/7, BLU, 11:15a, CUB, 1:50p: Singer composer and choir director, Daymé Arocena, approaches jazz, soul and classical influences with an innate sense of rhythm. Born and raised in Havana, Arocena’s music draws inspiration from the Caribbean island’s different rhythms and styles from Guantanamo’s fast-paced changüí, to guaguancó and ’70s-style ballads.
Deacon John, 4/28, BLU, 4:15p: The singer/guitarist’s long history in New Orleans music includes leading the band at debutante balls, performing at the Dew Drop Inn and playing on some of the city’s classic records like Aaron Neville’s “Tell It Like It Is” and Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-In-Law.”
Deak Harp, 5/7, BLU, 1:10p: A protégé of James Cotton, this harmonica player performs a mix of Mississippi and Chicago blues; he also makes custom harmonicas at his store in Clarksdale, Miss.
Debbie Davis & the Mesmerizers, 5/6, ECO, 5:35p: Vocalist and ukulelist, Debbie Davis, stands out in the crowd of vocalists like a bird-of-paradise in a roomful of parakeets. Her voice is a magnificent, near-operatic instrument and her theatrical instincts are the stuff of Broadway musical-level performance. The Mesmerizers include her husband, bassist Matt Perrine, pianist Josh Paxton and guitarist Alex McMurray. See a review of Debbie Davis’ latest CD in this issue.
Deitrick Haddon, 4/29, GOS, 3:55p: Singer songwriter, music producer, pastor, and actor, Deitrick Haddon is best known for progressive gospel and contemporary styles of music. He is also one of the cast members in Oxygen’s reality television show Preachers of L.A.
Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, 4/29, JAZ, 6p: The trombonist, composer and producer recently intrigued with his release Make America Great Again!, his energetic UJO sets balance humor and fun with tight ensemble interplay and memorable solos.
The Deslondes, 5/5, LAG, 3:45p: Formerly the Tumbleweeds, this earthy songwriters ensemble describes itself as “country-soul swamp boogie.” The band’s leader is Sam Doores, a former traveler and companion of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra. Three players share composing duties; fiddle and pedal steel player John James is also a standout.
Di Filippo Marionette, 4/30, KID, 1:50p: Italian marionette maker and actor Remo di Fillipo returns after a successful performance at last spring’s New Orleans International Puppet Festival.
Dillard University’s VisionQuest Gospel Chorale, 5/5, GOS, 6:05p: This choir’s homebase is the religious life department at Dillard, a local historically black liberal arts college that dates back to 1869.
Dirty Bourbon River Show, 4/29, LAG, 5:30p: This self-described “NOLA big brass circus rock” quintet is heavy on the rhythm—and the humor. They released their ninth studio album, Important Things Humans Should Know, in 2015.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 4/29, ACU, 1:55p: This band was formed in 1977 by Benny Jones and introduced bebop and funk into the brass band sound They’ve continued to evolve by adding drum kit and electric guitar, and will celebrate their 40th anniversary this year.
Divine Ladies SA&PC, 4/29, PAR, 11:45a: This Uptown social aid and pleasure club’s annual parades generally kick off in serious style at St. Charles and Jackson Avenues.
DJ Captain Charles, 5/7, CON, 5p: The self-proclaimed “most renowned DJ in New Orleans,” Captain Charles has been spinning and fortifying his collection for more than 20 years.
DJ Raj Smoove, 5/6, CON, 4:55p: The New Orleans hip-hop DJ has worked extensively with Li’l Wayne and the Cash Money crew. He even performed for Stevie Wonder during a National Urban League conference.
DJ Shub, 4/28, J&H, 3p: Formerly of A Tribe Called Red (he parted ways in 2014), DJ Shub is an award winning music producer. His album Nation II Nation contains the popular singer “Electric Pow Ow Drum.”
The Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music Band, 5/7, LAG, 11:30a: Students from this Kidd Jordan-directed, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation-sponsored free music program.
Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders, 5/7, ECO, 3p: An eclectic banjo player and singer, Vappie has made a career of exploring his Creole heritage through music, whether it’s traditional jazz, island music, or with Otis Taylor, Keb’ Mo’, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Corey Harris as part of the Black Banjo Project.
Donald Lewis, 5/5, KID, 4:10p: Local actor and educator Lewis teaches drama and storytelling and performs regularly with the group Young Audiences of Louisiana.
Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans, 5/5, ECO, 5:55p: Clarinetist Doreen Ketchens and her band perform traditional New Orleans jazz all over the world, and have played for Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton.
Doyle Cooper Jazz Band, 5/4, ECO, 5:50p: Alexandria, Louisiana native, trumpeter and vocalist Doyle Cooper started in 2006 playing sousaphone with the Red Hot Brass Band. He is a frequent performer at the Bourbon O Bar.
Dr. Brice Miller & Mahogany Brass Band, 5/7, J&H, 5:45p: Trumpeter and ethnomusicologist Miller leads this long-running traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble, his go-to band when he’s not delving into other pursuits like avant-garde jazz and electronic music.
Dr. John and the Gris-Gris Krewe, 4/30, ACU, 3:15p: New Orleans piano icon Dr. John has received six Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dr. John’s zydeco, boogie-woogie rock ’n’ roll has had New Orleans and the rest of the world enamored since the late ’60s.
Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band featuring Thais Clark, 5/6, ECO, 2:45p: Clarinetist and jazz scholar White frequently fuses traditional and modern styles in his Liberty Jazz Band. He recently produced an album’s worth of new recordings tracing the history of modern New Orleans brass band music for Smithsonian Folkways. Clark, his regular Jazz Fest guest, adds a vocal component to the set.
Dukes of Dixieland, 5/4, LAG, 12:40p: The Dukes are one of the most storied names in traditional jazz. This incarnation of the venerable jazz band was formed in 1974. For a few years afterward they ran their own club atop the Hotel Monteleone, taking the space over from Louis Prima.
Dumaine Street Gang, 4/29, PAR, 11:45a: The Treme-based Dumaine Street Gang Social Aid and Pleasure Club hits the Sixth Ward’s hottest spots during its annual parade.
Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, 4/30, FDD, 6p: 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.
L. S., 5/4, CON, 12:35p: A three-piece singing group with a multi-decade repertoire that includes classics from Aretha Franklin, the Supremes, Sister Sledge, Petti Labelle, Bonnie Raitt, Whitney Houston and more.
E’Dana and Divinely Destin, 4/29, GOS, 1p: Gospel singer and stage actress E’Dana has been touring and recording since she was 15. She hits the Fairgrounds with her Louisiana-based group, Divinely Destin.
Earth, Wind & Fire, 5/5, CON, 5:25p: Classic R&B group made Jazz Fest history a few years ago when they filled in for Aretha Franklin on less than 24 hours’ notice. Leader Maurice White no longer tours with the group, but Philip Bailey’s trademark tenor is still upfront.
Ed Volker’s Quintet Narcosis, 4/30, LAG, 3:50p: The former Radiators keyboardist remains a fine and prolific songwriter. These days he usually performs acoustically with sax and percussion, still doing many of the trademark Rads tunes.
Eddie Cotton & the Mississippi Cotton Club, 5/4, BLU, 2:55p: Eddie Cotton is an electric blues guitarist from Clinton, Miss. He grew up singing and playing gospel music at church and playing the music of blues legends, especially B.B. King.
Egg Yolk Jubilee, 5/4, LAG, 5:30p: Currently celebrating their 20-year anniversary, Egg Yolk Jubilee last played Jazz Fest in 2008. The hard-to-describe, yet consummately New Orleans band, are “too rock for the jazz crowd and too jazz for the rock crowd” says trumpeter Eric Belletto. See our feature in this issue.
Eleanor McMain “Singing Mustangs,” 5/4, GOS, 11:20a: The McMain Secondary School Gospel Choir, a.k.a. the McMain Singing Mustangs, return for their seventh Jazz Fest performance under the guidance of Clyde Lawrence.
The Electrifying Crown Seekers, 5/7, GOS, 12:05p: Keep an ear peeled for this Marrero, Louisiana-based group’s rendition of “Walk Around Heaven,” featuring a soloist whose falsetto voice won’t preclude him from topping out on the tune’s highest-register notes.
Elle King, 4/30, GEN, 3:50p: Last year, this singer, guitarist and banjo player with a penchant for rocking out released her debut, Love Stuff, which quickly rose to number one on Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and earned her two Grammy nods.
Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Jazz Ensemble, 4/28, KID, 1:50p: Located in the Musicians’ Village, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music offers opportunities for underserved children, youth, and musicians. The Center provides afterschool and Saturday music lessons for children ages 7-18. The students in the Ensemble practice once a week for 90 minutes and perform a varied repertoire that explores all genres of jazz, from traditional New Orleans music to the music of the Swing Era and the Blues.
Ellis Marsalis, 5/7, JAZ, 1:30p: The legendary modern jazz pianist and patriarch of the Marsalis family still holds court Friday nights at Snug Harbor. He recorded The Last Southern Gentlemen last year, his first full-length album with his son, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis.
Eric Lindell, 5/4, BLU, 4:15p: 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 last one, Matters of the Heart.
Erica Campbell of Mary Mary, 5/4, GOS, 3:45p: Contemporary gospel and R&B recording artist started her music career in 1998 with her younger sister, Tina Campbell, as part of the gospel group, Mary Mary. Her solo music career began in 2013 and has won a Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album. She is the host of Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell with comedian Griff, that airs on the Radio One show Urban Gospel.
Erica Falls, 5/7, CON, 11:20p: This soulful New Orleans R&B vocalist has sung with Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas but her chops—and songwriting skills—warrant recognition on their own merit.
Family Ties Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 4/29, PAR, 11:45a: This popular Social Aid and Pleasure Club is based downtown, generally strutting down Basin Street on its annual Sunday parade.
Feufollet, 5/5, FDD, 12:10p: This Grammy-nominated crew of young Cajun musicians helmed by Chris Stafford recently expanded their sound by adding violinist, singer songwriter, Kelli Jones-Savoy, who co-wrote much of their 2015 release, Two Universes, and keyboardist Andrew Toups.
Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors, 5/6, J&H, 11:20a: The Fi Yi Yi tribe of Mardi Gras Indians uses African instead of the traditional American Indian themes. Big Chief Victor Harris marched for 25 years with legendary Indian Tootie Montana.
First Baptist Church of Vacherie Mass Choir, 4/29, GOS, 11:15a: Minister of Music Joseph B. Warrick leads this Vacherie, Louisiana, based gospel choir whose homebase is the town’s First Baptist Church, which dates back to 1866.
First Emanuel Baptist Church Mass Choir, 5/6, GOS, 6:05p: This choir is based in the Central City Church on Carondelet Street and is one of New Orleans’ most celebrated church singing groups.
Flow Tribe, 4/30, ACU, 11:15a: “Backbone cracking music” is the chosen genre of this party-friendly funk/rock band, which has Red Hot Chili Peppers, hip-hop to the Meters on its list of funk influences.
Franklin Avenue Music Ministry, 5/7, GOS, 6:05p: One of New Orleans’ largest and most powerful church choirs, and a former winner for Best Gospel Group at OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards.
Free Agents Brass Band, 5/4, J&H, 1:40p: Bass drummer Ellis Joseph formed this band in September 2005 with other musicians who’d returned to New Orleans after Katrina before their regular bands did; don’t miss their moving hit, “Made It Through the Water,” a modern riff on the spiritual “Wade In the Water.”
Free Spirits Brass Band, 5/4, PAR, 12:30p: A local festival favorite, the young and heavy-hitting Free Spirits are known for a bringing a rock edge to the typical brass-band sound that proves a dance-friendly fan favorite.
The Furious Five SA&PC, 4/30, PAR 2:30p: This acclaimed division of the Young Men Olympian, Jr. Benevolent Association is largely credited with changing the dance style of the SA&PC community’s annual parades, although its members look to Rebirth for providing the music that inspired them to innovate.
Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, 5/4, GEN, 11:20: 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.”
Galactic, 5/7, ACU, 1:45p: Brass band elements, old-school soul and hard rock figure as prominently as the funk these jam band scene stalwarts are known for. Their high-energy Fest sets often feature a little percussion lagniappe in the form of Mike Dillon.
Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, 4/28, FDD, 6p: Originally the drummer in his late father John Delafose’s band, Geno took to accordion and became a popular bandleader specializing in country-styled zydeco, when not raising horses and cattle at his Double D Ranch outside Eunice, Louisiana.
Gente de Zona, 4/30, GEN, 3:35p: Havana, Cuba’s Gente de Zona was founded by Alexander Delgado in 2000. The group combines reggaeton rhythms with more traditional forms of Cuban music. They have collaborated with Enrique Iglesias on “Bailando”. The track was awarded three Latin Grammy awards.
George Benson, 4/30, JAZ, 5:40p: The singer/guitarist practically invented crossover jazz with his smash 1976 album Breezin’. His music remains a mix of jazz and smooth R&B. Benson invited New Orleans’ Wynton Marsalis to play on his 2 album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole.
George French & the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band, 5/7, ECO, 5:40p: 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.
George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, 5/4, ACU, 1:35p: As a founding Meter and a jamming partner to just about everybody, bassist Porter is one of the cornerstones of New Orleans funk. The band’s 2011 full-length album Can’t Beat the Funk applies fresh spins to lesser-known nuggets from the Meters catalogue.
Gerald French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, 4/29, ECO, 5:50p: The late drummer and colorful WWOZ personality Bob French led this 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 drummer.
Germaine Bazzle, 5/5, JAZ, 1:35p: This locally prized jazz singer can caress a ballad or scat-sing an up-tempo number with the best. Her history includes a stint playing bass on Bourbon Street with Alvin “Red” Tyler; both OffBeat and the Jazz Journalism Association recently honored her 50-plus-years of work in music education with awards.
Glen David Andrews and the Treme Choir, 4/30, GOS, 1:55p: 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 the number one album of 2014 by OffBeat Magazine. Here, he explores his gospel roots with a full choir.
Glen David Andrews Band, 5/6, BLU, 12,15p: Andrews (see above), performs material from his go-to repertoire.
Go Getters Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 4/28, PAR, 4p: A parading branch of the Krewe of Zulu.
Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indians, 5/5, PAR, 1p: One of the most in-demand young Indian vocalists, Big Chief Juan Pardo, leads this uptown Indian tribe.
Golden Sioux Mardi Gras Indians, 4/28, PAR, 2:45p: Mardi Gras Indian parade.
Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys, 5/6, FDD, 11:15a: This accordion and fiddle-centric band, formed in 1946, plays a form of music called Creole La La, an early American roots style that became one of the components of zydeco.
The Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, 4/28, GOS, 11:15a: These Gospel Tent regulars, formed in 1979 by David Diggs Jr. and Kevin Drake, perform music of the spirit. Not related to the local Boutte singing family, the ensemble’s name derives from their hometown of Boutte, Louisiana.
The Gospel Soul of Irma Thomas, 5/7, GOS, 3:55p: If you heard 1993’s Walk Around Heaven, you know how stirring Thomas can be as a gospel singer. She has a personal rule against singing gospel during a secular set, but her sacred side feeds into everything the Soul Queen of New Orleans sings.
GrayHawk presents Native American Lore, 5/4, KID, 12:40p: This Houma, Louisiana resident shares stories from his Choctaw heritage.
Gregg Martinez & the Delta Kings’ Swamp Pop Revue feat. GG Shinn, T.K. Hulin & Tommy McLain, 5/5, FDD, 1:20p:: A trio of celebrated swamp pop stars—Boogie Kings alum Shin and pals—revisit material from their storied pasts.
Gregg Stafford & His Young Tuxedo Brass Band, 5/7, ECO, 1:45p: Trumpeter Stafford made his Bourbon Street performing debut in 1970; he has led the Young Tuxedo Brass Band for over three decades.
Gregg Stafford’s Jazz Hounds, 4/29, ECO, 1:35p: Stafford’s other traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble, the Jazz Hounds, have been under his direction since the death of Danny Barker in 1984.
Gregory Agid Quartet, 5/6, JAZ, 11:15a: Arguably the most impressive young clarinetist in New Orleans today, Gregory Agid elevates his instruments 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.
Grey Seal Puppets, 4/29, KID, 12:40p: North Carolina-based puppetry group Grey Seal performs prolifically, creating stories that feature members of their wide-ranging character crew.
Grupo Caury of Cuba, 4/28, CUB, 11:30a, 2:05p; 4/29, CUB, 11:30a, J&H, 1:45p; 4/30, J&H, 12:25p, CUB, 3:15p: Grupo Caury was founded in 2015 in Santiago de Las Vegas, a small community near Havana, Cuba. Its members are musicians and practitioners of Abakuá, a secret mutual aid fraternal society. Grupo Caury presents the percussive rhythms, songs, visual arts, theater and dances of Abakuá, while incorporating other Afro-Cuban traditions unique to Cuba.
Grupo Sensacion, 5/6, LAG, 11:30a: Jaime Perez and Yenima Rojas founded this energetic, pan-Latin ensemble in 2006 after working together in Ritmo Caribeno; both their members and their influences span a variety of Latin American countries.
Hardhead Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/7, J&H, 3:15p: This Mardi Gras Indian tribe hails from the 7th Ward.
Harry Connick, Jr., ACU, 5:25p: Talk show host, actor, Mardi Gras krewe founder and, of course, formidable jazz pianist and singer, Harry Connick Jr. needs no introduction. He’s one of New Orleans’ favorite sons and we’re excited to have him back at the Fair Grounds.
Helen Gillet, 4/28, LAG, 1:50p: This Belgium-born cellist and singer performs avant-garde jazz and French chansons with gusto. She’s become a cornerstone of the city’s music scene in recent years, lending her skills to multiple improvisational projects.
Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band, 5/6, BLU, 4p: Butler brings a mix of James Booker’s Chopin-esque classical virtuosity, Jelly Roll Morton’s theatricality and Professor Longhair’s sense of humor to bear to his deeply funky and jazz-influenced sense of blues piano. Though he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, the staple pianist continues to perform.
Henry Gray, 5/4, BLU, 12:25p: Hailing from just outside Baton Rouge, Gray is a key architect of the Chicago blues piano sound. In addition to playing with Howlin’ Wold for a dozen years, he recorded with the Rolling Stones, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Robert Lockwood, Jr. and many others.
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, 5/4, JAZ, 6p: Herb Alpert, the trumpet-playing leader of the Tijuana Brass and co-founder of the enormously successful A&M Records, makes his Jazz Fest debut. Singer Lani Hall, Alpert’s wife and former member of Brasil ’66 joins him. See Backtalk interview in this issue.
Herbert McCarver & the Pin Stripe Brass Band, 5/5, J&H, 3:25p: One of the best young bands playing traditional brass band music in town, the YPS represents a new generation of the Original Pin Stripes, founded by McCarver’s father.
High Performance, 4/28, FDD, 12:25p: Although committed to other bands, fiddlers Kevin Dugas and Steve Riley have created a powerful Cajun dance hall vibe. Besides Dugas and Riley, High Performance includes Jamey Bearb, Jason Bergeron, Richard Comeaux and Brazos Huva.
High Steppers Brass Band, 5/5, J&H, 11:15a: This young local brass band mixes traditional New Orleans brass sounds with plenty of hip-hop influences.
Higher Heights Reggae, 4/30, CON, 11:20a: Performing an array of Studio One classics and other hits, this New Orleans-based reggae act is a staple of Frenchmen Street’s small but growing reggae scene.
Hobgoblin Hill Puppets, 5/7, KID, 3p: Humor and satire are priorities in performances by this Louisiana-based puppetry group, which features hand-carved and sculpted puppets.
Honey Island Swamp Band, 4/29, BLU, 3:55p: 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.
The Iguanas, 5/4, FDD: 2:55p: With Tex-Mex rock ’n’ roll as their base, the Iguanas can swing freely into jazz, country, garage and Caribbean music. Their rock-heavy 2014 release was Juarez.
Irma Thomas, 5/6, ACU, 3:05p: 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.
Irvin Mayfield, 5/4, ACU, 12:25p: Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield is the founding artistic director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. He and NOJO recently opened The Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. His latest record captured the NOJO’s performance at Newport. See review in this issue.
ISL Circus Art Kids, 5/4, KID, 5:15p: Students from the International School of Louisiana in New Orleans make up this young group of acrobats, stilt walkers and clowns.
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk with Art Neville, 5/6, ACU, 1:40p: The well-travelled keyboardist makes some of the deepest funk of his career with this band, which features two bass guitars, giving it a seriously fat bottom.
Ivoire Spectacle feat. Seguenon Kone, 5/5, J&H, 5:55p: Percussionist and Ivory Coast native Seguenon Kone made New Orleans his home in 2008. L’Ivoire Spectacle features African rhythms with his virtuoso associates.
Monque’D & Lil’ Creole Wild West, 5/6, BLU, 11:10a: The song and album title “Chitlin Eatin’ Music” best describes the output of this longtime harmonica wailer and Uptown character.
Jambalaya Cajun Band with D.L. Menard, 5/7, FDD, 11:10a: This group was founded in 1977 by fiddler Terry Huval. They’re joined by Menard, who’s often called the “Cajun Hank Williams.”
James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars, 4/28, BLU, 2:55p: Nicknamed “Satchmo of the Ghetto,” trumpeter Andrews (the grandson of Jessie Hill and brother of Trombone Shorty) has gone in a funky, expansive direction with his Allstars, although Louis Armstrong remains a key influence.
James Rivers Movement, 4/30, JAZ, 1:30p: Perhaps the city’s only jazz/funk saxophonist who doubles as a bagpipe player, Rivers was also known for a longtime (now discontinued) Sunday brunch at the Hilton, and for scoring Clint Eastwood’s The Bridges of Madison County.
Jamil Sharif, 4/28, ECO, 12:30p: This local trumpeter studied with Ellis Marsalis at NOCCA and went on to do a number of soundtracks, including the Ray Charles biopic Ray, for which he was music coordinator.
Jamison Ross, 5/7, JAZ, 2:40p: Florida native Jamison Ross has become one of New Orleans premier jazz drummers since earning his Masters of Music at UNO. His debut album, Jamison, was nominated for a Grammy in 2016.
Jason Marsalis, 5/5, JAZ, 2:45p: This young Marsalis brother began as a vibraphonist but spends more time behind the drums these days. In both situations, he expertly matches agile displays of technique with a deep sense of groove.
Javier Gutierrez & Vivaz!, 4/29, J&H, 12:20p: Afro-Caribbean rhythms meet Latin jazz and Flamenco in this spirited, New Orleans-based quintet.
Javier’s Dance Company, 4/30, KID, 12:45p: Dancers from Javier’s Dance Studio in Slidell perform under the tutelage of Javier Juarez, Melissa Juarez and Muriel Santana.
The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya and Hugh Masekela, 4/29, JAZ, 4:15: South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and his Ekaya Chamber Ensemble, are joined by master trumpeter Hugh Masekela to share the story of The Jazz Epistles. This album produced only 500 copies in 1959 and remained hidden during the terrors of Apartheid.
Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys, 5/5, FDD, 2:50p: Once a member of the funky Zydeco Force, singer/accordionist Broussard turns to old-school Creole and zydeco with this group.
Jeremy Davenport, 5/6, JAZ, 12:20p: Schooled as the featured trumpeter in Harry Connick, Jr.’s band, this St. Louis native has carved out a solo career with a tender tone to both his playing and singing on romantic standards and originals.
Jermaine Landrum & the Abundant Praise Revival Choir, 5/6, GOS, 2:50p: Landrum, the director of this New Orleans-based choir, has been leading gospel groups since the age of 9.
Jesse McBride Big Band, 5/4, JAZ, 1:45p: Pianist Jesse McBride has led The Next Generation for more than ten years, taking over for his mentor Harold Battiste who passed away in 2015. McBride remains focused on contemporary jazz performing compositions by Harold Battiste, James Black, Clyde Kerr Jr., Ellis Marsalis, Alvin “Red” Tyler and others.
Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste, Jr., 4/28, BLU, 1:40p: Three instrumental powerhouses join forces in this organ/guitar/drums trio that has become a full-time band, cutting three CDs, and writing some fine originals including their anthem “You Can Stay But That Noise Gotta Go.”
Joe Louis Walker, 4/30, BLU, 3:55p: Electric blues guitarist and singer Walker blends elements of the psychedelic music scene from his hometown of San Francisco and a bit of gospel into his prolific body of work. His 2014 release, Hellfire, features an eclectic range of tracks including a pair of Springsteen and Stones covers.
The Joey Alexander Trio, 4/28, JAZ, 4:25p: This Indonesian 13 year-old became an Internet sensation by interpreting complex jazz compositions from Coltrane, Monk and Corea. The young prodigy was then taken in by masters of the music like Herbie Hancock or Wynton Marsalis and has been touring around the world.
John Boutté, 4/30, JAZ, 4p: 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 HBO series Treme.
John Mahoney Big Band, 4/28, JAZ, 12:25p: Trombonist, pianist and Loyola music professor Mahoney leads this large modern jazz ensemble, featuring a slew of the city’s top horn players.
John Mooney & Bluesiana, 5/6, BLU, 1:20p: Once a protégé of the late blues great Son House, this blazing blues guitarist has been a local fixture since the mid-’70s, when he arrived from the Mississippi Delta and began sitting in with Professor Longhair and Earl King.
Johnette Downing and Scott Billington, 4/29, KID, 3p: This local duo, comprised of children’s author and guitarist Downing and Grammy-winning producer Billington, present a medley of Louisiana roots music dubbed “Swamp Romp.”
Johnny Sansone, 4/28, BLU, 11:20a: 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.
Johnnyswim, 4/29, FDD, 4:35p: After emerging as a rising star duo with huge potential, Los Angeles-via-Nashville singer songwriters Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano Ramirez signed with Sony/RED-distributed Big Picnic Records and have released four albums in the past two years. Their unusual combination of boleros, folk, R&B and rock made them a standout at last year’s Bonnaroo festival.
The Johnson Extension, 4/29, GOS, 5:10p: New Orleans spiritual leader and matriarch Rev. Lois Dejean leads four generations of family members in sacred song.
Jon Batiste & Stay Human, 4/29, ACU, 3:25p: This charismatic, New Orleans-born pianist was already at work redefining the boundaries of jazz and performance art with his band’s “love riots” and “social music” when Stephen Colbert tapped him for The Late Show. His Stay Human Band performs interactive shows fueled by audience participation and positivity. See feature in this issue.
Jon Cleary, 4/29, GEN, 1:40p: Since moving over from the UK in the ’80s, Cleary’s earned a place in the frontline of New Orleans blues singers and keyboardists. He won a Grammy Award for his CD GoGo Juice. His latest CD Live at Chicke Wah Wah was just released in time for Jazz Fest.
Jonathon “Boogie” Long, 5/7, BLU, 12:05p: This soulful Baton Rouge-based blues guitar slinger has opened for B.B. King and performed with Dr. John, Kenny Neal and many others.
The Jones Sisters, 5/4, GOS, 1:50p: Grade school-aged sisters Kayla, Kiera, Dalia and Dejon Jones comprise this gospel quartet, which first performed when the youngest sister was only two.
Jonny Lang, 4/29, BLU, 5:25p: Lang’s first taste of musical success came when he released a hit record at 15. Since then, the guitarist has widened his scope beyond blues and expanded his songwriting skills, tapping into personal experience and social injustice on his new album, Fight For My Soul.
Jonte Landrum and the Gentlemen, 5/7, GOS, 1:55p: This powerful young voice comes from a long line of gospel singers; Landrum’s grandmother Rev. Lois DeJean sang lead for the popular Johnson Extension.
Josh Kagler & Harmonistic Praise Crusade, 4/28, GOS, 1p: The members of this New Orleans gospel group range from age 17-30 and claim they are “radical for Christ.”
Jr. Hebert & the Maurice Playboys, 5/4, FDD, 11:15a: Accordionist Jr. Hebert has won Accordionist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Best First CD, Best Traditional CD of the Year and Band of the Year at the Annual Le Cajun Music Awards in Opelousas, Louisiana. Although his dad gave him his first accordion when he was in his late 20s he didn’t start playing it until he was in his mid-40s.
Judith Owen & Krewe de Jude, 5/6, LAG, 5:15p: Singer songwriter and pianist Judith Owen is known for her musical variety, which she melds into a stylistic gumbo all her own. She says of her partner Harry Shearer, “I’m with somebody who makes me laugh.” Her latest recording, Somebody’s Child, was released in March.
Julio y Cesar Band, 4/30, LAG, 12:55p: These local brothers do Latin-American music on twin classical guitars, and have lately expanded from duo to band.
Kai Knight’s Silhouette Dance Ensemble, 5/7, KID, 1:50p: New Orleans troupe that aims to teach young African-American woman about positive image and self-expression through dance.
Kamau & Spirit of the Drums, 5/4, KID, 11:30p: The story of the African drum, the tambourine, and the bass drum in the street rituals and celebrations of New Orleans is told with original poetry and songs.
Kat Walker Jazz Band: Scat with Miss Kat, 5/5, KID, 11:30p: Kids learn the art of scat singing with a live band, live-action jazz karaoke style.
Kathy Taylor and Favor, 4/28, GOS, 3:55p: Taylor is a singer and choir leader from the Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston.
Keep N It Real SA&PC, 4/28, PAR? 12:20p: This young Bayou St. John-based parade club features solid dancers and parades with some of the best brass bands in town.
Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, 5/4, FDD, 1:40p: Frank leads his hard-driving zydeco band, which formed in 1990.
Kenny Barron Trio, JAZ, 4:05p: Giant of modern jazz, this pianist made a name for himself backing Dizzy Gillespie in the 1960s. Since then, Barron’s presence on the jazz scene has been almost uninterrupted. With hundreds of records as both leader and sideman under his belt, he is considered onw of the most influential jazz musicians of his era.
Kenny Bill Stinson & the Ark-LA-Mystics, 5/7, LAG, 3:50p: Guitarist and singer Stinson performs a range of Western Louisiana-rooted rock, country and rockabilly.
Kenny Neal, 4/29, BLU, 1:10p: Local guitar-slinger and multi-instrumentalist Neal’s brand of laid-back swamp blues landed him an induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, 5/6, BLU, 5:40p: Shepherd has been impressing audiences with his blues guitar prowess since he was 13. Nearly three decades later he’s earned a reputation as one of the finest guitarists in blues, with seven number one blues albums and five Grammy nominations to his name.
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, 5/7, ACU, 3:30p: One of New Orleans’ most beloved trumpeters and personalities, Ruffins digs swingin’, smokin’ and partyin’ … traditional style.
Kermit Ruffins’ Tribute to Louis Armstrong, 5/7, ECO, 4:20p: Ruffins shows off his more serious side in this set devoted to his hero, Satchmo.
Khari Allen Lee & the New Creative Collective, 5/7, JAZ, 12:20p: This jazz-trained saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist performs spiritually-inspired music from the collective’s third album New Earth. Lately, Lee has recorded with Dr. John, Terence Blanchard, Bobby Rush and Delfeayo Marsalis.
Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars, 4/28, ECO, 11:15a: An early devotee of George “Kid Sheik” Cola, trumpeter Simmons has been active in traditional jazz since his arrival in New Orleans in 1966 and cut his teeth in Harold Dejean’s Olympia Brass Band and the Young Tuxedo Brass Band.
KID smART Student Showcase, 4/28, KID, 12:40p: This organization brings arts initiatives to a range of public schools in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, and its student groups have been a fixture at the kids’ tent.
Kim Carson and the Real Deal, 4/28, LAG, 4:20p: A longtime New Orleans local who now resides in Houston, Carson is a classic-model honky-tonk angel, able to charm with bawdy humor and then break hearts with a ballad.
Kim Che’re, 5/6, GOS, 1p: This local gospel singer (via New York) has worked as Minister of Music for groups including New Home Full Gospel Ministries, Beacon Light of Hammond and Greater Mount Calvary Church; she’s contributed to the Gospel Music Workshop of America since 1978.
Kinfolk Brass Band, 5/6, J&H, 1:40p: Formed in 2006, the Kinfolk are true to the traditional brass-band sound, performing classics like “Bourbon Street Parade” and “I’ll Fly Away” along with their originals.
King James & the Special Men, 5/5, LAG, 5:20p: These purveyors of classic New Orleans R&B are known for digging up and reinvigorating rare gems from the ‘40s and ‘50s in their high-powered, soul-soaked live shows.
Kings of Leon, 5/7, ACU, 3:35p: Comprised of three brothers and one cousin (or maybe one man and three cousins depending on how you look at it) Kings of Leon first rose to prominence with a gritty Southern rock sound. Incorporating alternative and stadium rock into the mix has only increased their popularity, making headlining slots at major festivals a regular occurrence.
Kristin Diable & the City, 4/28, GEN, 11:20a: This deep-voiced Baton Rouge native made a name for herself in New York City’s singer songwriter community before returning to New Orleans. NPR likened her singing on 2015’s Create Your Own Mythology to that of a lighter hearted Amy Winehouse.
Kumbuka African Dance & Drum Collective, 4/28, J&H, 11:20a: Founded in 1983 and based in New Orleans, this troupe brings African music and dance to grade schools throughout Louisiana; members range from ages 10 to 55.
Ladies of Unity SA&PC, 4/28, PAR, 4p: These lady steppers hail from Uptown and call the famous Sportsman’s Lounge on 2nd and Dryades their HQ.
Lady & Men Rollers SA&PC, 5/5, PAR, 12:10p: Uptown-based social aid and pleasure club.
Lady Jetsetters SA&PC, 5/7, PAR, 1:45p: Uptown’s Lady Jetsetters Social Aid and Pleasure Club recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.
Lake Area High School “Singing Leopards”, 5/4, GOS, 12:10p: The Singing Leopards are led by choir director Jessica Harvey who also fronts her own gospel group. Lake Area New Tech Early College High School is in the Gentilly area of New Orleans and was established in 2011.
Lake Street Dive, 5/5, GEN, 2:05p: Gifted singer Rachel Price leads this outfit, and her considerable talents are bolstered by three incredible backing musicians. It’s really no surprise that this group, whose pop-tinged sound is reminiscent of ’60s favorites likeMotown and the Beatles, was trained at the prestigious New England Conservatory. See feature in this issue.
Lakou Mizik of Haiti, 4/30, J&H, 2:55p: Lakou Mizik is a collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and the world.
Landry Walker Charter High School Choir, 5/4, GOS, 1p: A 40-plus member gospel choir from the West Bank school whose brass band recently won $10,000 in the Class Got Brass competition.
Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, 5/5, ECO, 12:30p: Formed in 1967 by Swedish-born pianist Lars Edegran, this band plays rags, cakewalks and other classic pieces from the original ragtime era.
The Last Straws, 4/29, ECO, 11:15: This local seven-piece has been playing traditional New Orleans jazz for more than 50 years.
Lawrence Sieberth presents Estrella Banda, 4/30, JAZ, 2:40p: New Orleans-based pianist and composer Sieberth has a knack for blending classical and world music with modern jazz. When he’s not leading his own projects, he performs regularly with Germaine Bazzle, Lena Prima and Gerald French.
Leah Chase, 5/6, JAZ, 1:30p: A classically trained opera singer who turned to jazz, Chase is also the daughter of two of New Orleans’ most famous restaurateurs.
Lee Konitz Quartet, 5/4, JAZ, 3:05p: The saxophonist has played through all jazz ages since the big band era, notably recording on Miles Davis’ Cool sessions. At 89 years old, Konitz released Frescalato in 2017, his 131st record as a leader. See feature in this issue.
Leila Phillips Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians, 4/28, KID, 3p: From Mandeville, Louisiana, 15 year old jazz vocalist Leila Phillips is inspired by the repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse. Accompanying her will be a band coordinated by Damon Batiste.
Leo Jackson & the Melody Clouds, 4/28, GOS, 2:50p: This family group was formed in 1965 and is now led by founder Leo Jackson’s son. It’s known for its rousing vocals and synchronized steps.
Leon Bridges, 4/28, GEN, 3:10p: Leon Bridges’ brings ’50s and early ’60s-style soul and R&B to a younger audience with his captivating voice and confident stage presence. It doesn’t hurt that his mother’s hometown of New Orleans gets plenty of shout outs on his debut album, Coming Home.
Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest, 4/28, ECO, 3p: Jones draws on his experience with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band to play traditional New Orleans brass band music in a variety of popular bands around town, most of which perform regularly at Preservation Hall.
Leyla McCalla, 5/5, LAG, 2:20p: This talented multi-instrumentalist and singer draws on the traditions of Haitian, Creole, Cajun and French music on her latest album, A Day For the Hunter, A Day for the Prey. It’s a socially aware and politically minded follow-up to her widely praised 2013 debut.
Lil’ Buck Sinegal Blues Band with special guest Barbara Lynn, 4/30, BLU, 1:20p: Sinegal once led an R&B band that included a young Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural on organ. The blues guitarist seems to slip effortlessly into soulful grooves.
Lil’ Nathan & The Zydeco Big Timers, 4/30, FDD, 12:20p: This young accordion player from Lafayette scored a regional hit with “That L’Argent,” a hip-hop flavored zydeco tune about the power of money. His dad is Nathan Williams of the Zydeco Cha Chas.
Lisa Amos, 5/6, CON, 11:15a: New Orleans R&B, hip hop and pop singer Lisa Amos brings her soulful sound to Jazz Fest. Expect to hear her hit single “You Used to Love Me.”
Little Freddie King Blues Band, 4/30, BLU, 12:10p: The Mississippi Delta-born King is a rocking juke-joint bluesman, a cousin of Lightnin’ Hopkins, one of the snappiest dressers you’ll see onstage, and a true Fest perennial.
Little Freddie King Blues Band, 4/30, BLU, 12:10p: The Mississippi Delta-born King is a rocking juke-joint bluesman, a cousin of Lightnin’ Hopkins, one of the snappiest dressers you’ll see onstage, and a true Fest perennial.
The Lone Bellow, 5/6, FDD, 4:15p: Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Brian Elmquist comprise this popular Brooklyn-based alt-country trio.
Lorde, 4/30, ACU, 5:45p: New Zealand native Lorde was only 16 when she scored a number one hit with her debut single “Royals” in 2013, making her the youngest solo artist to ever pull off the feat. With her 20th birthday now behind her, she’s gearing up to release her sophomore album in June, so expect some new material.
Los Van Van, 5/6, CON, 3:35p: One of the best musical gifts of this year’s Cuban cultural focus, Los Van Van still reigns today as the island-nation’s most popular band of post-revolution era. They’re still going strong even after the death of bassist/bandleader Juan Formell in 2014.
Lost Bayou Ramblers, 4/29, GEN, 11:15a: As their acclaimed Mammoth Waltz demonstrated, this young Cajun band celebrates its genre’s tradition while staying open to new technology and rock influences.
Louis Ford & His New Orleans Flairs, 5/5, ECO, 11:20a: Clarinetist and saxophonist Ford’s father was Clarence Ford, who played with Fats Domino. He leads his old-time New Orleans jazz band through a set of traditional music
Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble, 4/29, ECO, 12:25p: Fred Star leads this local traditional jazz septet with a focus on tight arrangements of tunes by Sam Morgan and other music from the turn of the century.
Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, 5/4, JAZ, 11:20a: Students from Loyola’s jazz program—the oldest in the city—make up this group.
Luke Winslow King, 5/7, LAG, 12:50p: A Michigan native who studied music at UNO, Winslow-King is both a performer and musicologist, combining the sound of early 20th century New Orleans with the street smarts of a modern songwriter.
Luther Kent & Trickbag, 4/30, BLU, 2:40p: This Southern-fried soul man, who fronted Blood, Sweat & Tears for a short stint in the ’70s, is best known for leading the funky Trickbag, which returned in 2013 after a few years’ hiatus.
Lyle Henderson & Emmanu-EL, 4/30, 5:10p: A former radio DJ at R&B station FM98 and gospel station WYLD, Lyle Henderson also coordinates the gospel brunches at the House of Blues.
Maggie Koerner, 5/6, GEN, 11:20a: Koerner earned plenty of new fans when she held down the vocal role during a series of Galactic tours a few years back, but her powerful voice and intense stage presence make her solo shows equally exciting. See interview in this issue.
Magnificent 7 with Dave Malone, John Papa Gros, Tommy Malone, Mark Mullins, Robert Mercurio, Raymond Weber, and Michael Skinkus, 4/30, ACU, 1:35p: Members of The Radiators, Galactic, Bonerama and Papa Grows Funk make this supergroup a funky force to reckoned with.
Major Handy and the Louisiana Blues Band, 5/5, BLU, 11:10a: Blues and zydeco expert Handy hails from Lafayette, where he developed his accordion, bass, piano and singing chops.
Marc Broussard, 4/29, ACU, 12:30p: The Lafayette singer/guitarist grew up around vintage swamp-pop, but has since found his niche with a mix of soulful roots music and adult-contemporary pop. He’s opened tours for both the Dave Matthews Band and Maroon 5.
Marcia Ball, 5/4, GEN, 2:15p: A Jazz Fest perennial, the singer/pianist from Texas was recently nominated for the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year award at the 2014 Blues Music Awards.
Margo Price, 5/5, FDD, 4:15p: Considered by many to be the hottest new thing in country music, Margo Price has real-deal roots. The daughter of a Midwestern farmer, she made that identity the title of country’s biggest debut album of 2016. Now she’s a globally touring, Grammy-nominated artist.
Mariachi Jalisco US, 5/5, J&H, 1:15p: Baton Rouge-based alumni of Cuba’s Mariachi Real Jalisco reunite to perform music from their hometown of Havana.
Mark Braud’s New Orleans Jazz Giants, 4/30, ECO, 1:40p: The musical director of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, this trumpeter and vocalist leads a different cast of traditional jazz players for a change of pace.
Maroon 5, 4/29, ACU, 5:15p: One of the biggest pop rock bands of the last 15 years, Maroon 5 has been a perennial festival headliner for some time now. The group has sold over 20 million albums, and has featured New Orleans native PJ Morton on keys since 2010. Their sixth studio album is currently in the works.
The Mavericks, 4/30, FDD, 4:20p: During the ‘90s the Mavericks were one of the most successful groups in the country/Americana world, showcasing Raul Malo’s soaring voice on a string of hits like “O What a Thrill” and “There Goes My Heart.” After splitting for a over a decade, the band reunited and have produced two studio albums since.
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, 5/7, CON, 5:35p: Regular last-set headliner at Congo Square, this classic Philadelphia soul group’s connection with New Orleans goes back to at least 1981, when their live album was recorded at the Saenger Theatre.
McDonogh 35 High School Gospel Choir, 5/4, GOS, 2:45p: Thursdays at Jazz Fest traditionally feature high-school choirs in the Gospel Tent, and this Treme school has been a regular. Directed by Veronica Downs-Dorsey, the choir has been the recipient of OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Award for Best Gospel for the last three years.
Meghan Trainor, 5/6, GEN, 5:45p: The “All About That Bass” singer earned three top 10 singles with her 2015 debut, and one more with her 2016 follow-up.
Men Buckjumpers SA&PC, 5/4, PAR, 1:20p: The Original New Orleans Lady Buckjumpers and Men Buckjumpers have been rolling for more than 30 years.
Men of Class SA&PC, 5/4, PAR, 12:30p: This Uptown-based social aid and pleasure club has been parading for 12 years and counting.
Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, 4/28, ACU, 2:10p: Once a Royal Street performer, 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.
The Meters, 5/7, GEN, 5:30p: The Jazz Fest Meters reunion took place in 2015. Remember the caricatures on the cover of the Jazz Fest Bible? Leo hated his. Formed in 1965 with Art Neville, George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli and Zigaboo Modeliste, this band developed the sound that we know today as funk. The Meters acted as the house band for Allen Toussaint’s New Orleans soul classics of the ’60s and are responsible for bringing New Orleans’ second line grooves into popular music.
Mia Borders, 4/30, GEN, 11:20a: A singer songwriter, and guitarist from New Orleans, Borders was named Best Female Vocalist at the last Best of the Beat Awards. She’s an impressive guitarist too.
Michael Skinkus & Moyuba, 4/28, LAG, 11:30a: Percussionist Michael Skinkus explains that “Moyuba means to give thanks or praise.” The band will play music inspired by the Santeria ceremonies of Cuba. See feature in this issue.
Midnite Disturbers, 4/30, J&H, 4:30p: It took drummers Kevin O’Day and Stanton Moore to corral a dozen of New Orleans’ busiest players into one wild brass band. Ben Ellman, Kirk Joseph, Trombone Shorty, Big Sam, Matt Perrine, Skerik and Mark Mullins should all be familiar names to Fest-goers.
Millisia White’s New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies, 4/30, KID, 4:15p: This performance troupe is passionate about continuing the legacy of doll-masquerading during Mardi Gras. The City Of New Orleans honored Millisia White’s New Orleans Baby Doll Ladies’ with an official Mardi-Gras Day Walking Parade.
Miss Sophie Lee & the Parish Suites, 5/6, LAG, 12:55p: One of the proprietors of the Three Muses restaurants, 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 interpretive skills. Her video for “Lovely In That Dress” was nominated for a Best of the Beat Award in 2016.
Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/6, PAR, 1:30p: When he’s not sewing or masking, this tribe’s Big Chief, Tyrone Casby, serves as the Principal of the Youth Study Center at Orleans Parish Prison.
Mokoomba of Zimbabwe, 4/28, CON, 3:40p: Hailing from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Mokoomba performs a unique mix of traditional tonga and pan with dashes of rap, ska, soukous and Afro-Cuban music. The members include Mathias Muzaza (lead vocals), Ndaba Coster Moyo (drums), Trustworth Samende (guitar), Donald Moyo (keys), Miti Mugande (percussion) and Abundance Mutori (bass).
Monogram Hunters, 4/30, PAR, 3:30p: Big Chief Tyrone “Pie” Stevenson recently returned to the Indian nation after a 15-year break.
Motel Radio, 5/5, GEN, 11:20a: This young local quintet performs Americana with an indie rock streak. Their debut album Desert Surf Films was released last September.
Mount Hermon Baptist Church Praise Delegation Choir, 5/5, GOS, 1:55p: Singers from this North Broad Street-based congregation have become Jazz Fest regulars in recent years.
Mr. Sipp, 4/28, BLU, 12:30p: Singer songwriter and guitarist Castro Coleman, a.k.a. Mr. Sipp, is from McComb, Mississsippi. He started playing the guitar at age six. He has won several awards for his Malaco recordings and was featured in the James Brown movie Get On Up.
Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, 5/4, BLU, 5:45p: Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton’s music is an organic gumbo of progressive rock, psychedelic soul, and African, Middle Eastern, Caribbean rhythms and classical influences. Fischer is featured in the documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom, which shows a live performance of the song “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger. Keith Richards says of Fischer, “has an amazing power, energy, and projection.” She won her first Grammy in 1991.
Muévelo feat. Margie Perez, 5/4, LAG, 1:50p: Muevelo, which means “move it” in Spanish, is a nine-piece Latin music ensemble led by singer Margie Perez and saxophonist Brent Rose. Perez is a versatile singer who performs with many bands and embodies the energy and spirit of Celia Cruz. See food feature with Margie Perez in this issue.
Muggivan School of Irish Dance, 4/29, KID, 1:50p: The Muggivan School of Irish Dance is under the direction of Joni Muggivan. The dancers at the Muggivan School are trained in competitive style Irish dancing, which allows them to compete on local, national, and international stages.
The Mulligan Brothers, 4/29, LAG, 2:20p: This Americana-meets-country trio emphasizes strong melodies and original narratives. Their eponymous 2013 album earned high marks from critics in their hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
NAS with guests The Soul Rebels, 4/28, CON, 5:30p:
Combining one of the most respected names in rap with one of the most respected bands in New Orleans brass music was always a great idea. This exciting collaboration made its debut at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival in Nas’ hometown, so it’s only natural that its second stop comes in The Soul Rebels’ hometown. See feature in this issue.
Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas, 5/5, FDD, 6p: Nathan Williams sprung from his brother’s club, El Sid O’s in Lafayette, to become one of zydeco’s biggest names—and to write its two greatest hog songs, “Zydeco Hog” and “Everything on the Hog is Good.”
Native Nations Intertribal, 5/5, NAT, 12:55p, 2:30p, 5:35p; 5/6, 12:05p, 1:15p, 3:45p; 5/7, NAT, 1p, 2:20p, 3:45p: The late Barry Langley of Louisiana’s Coushatta Tribe founded this Native American dance troupe and educational collective, which performs Northern and Southern Plains-style dances. The hoop dance is particularly fun to watch.
Naughty Professor, 5/5, ACU, 11:20a: 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. Their recent collaborations with Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, The Revivalists’ David Shaw, Mike Dillon and many more will be compiled in their upcoming album, Identity.
Naydja CoJoe, 4/30, LAG, 11:30a: A New Orleans vocalist inspired by Billie Holiday and Patsy Cline, Naydja CoJoe performs jazz, country and R&B material. She’s also made a few TV appearances, includingone in the made-for-TV movie Christmas Angel where she portrayed Della Reese’s daughter.
New Birth Brass Band, 4/29, GEN, 12:25p: Formed in the mid-’80s and led by bass drummer Cayetano “Tanio” Hingle, this band has made CDs with both Allen Toussaint and George Porter, Jr. Horn men Glen David Andrews and Trombone Shorty are alumni.
New Breed Brass Band, 4/29, J&H, 2:45p: These high school marching band alums fold hip-hop, funk, and soul into the brass tradition at clubs and second lines around the city.
New Generation Brass Band, 5/5, PAR, 12:10p: New Generation Brass Band will be parading with Lady & Men Rollers and Scene Boosters Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs.
New Generation SA&PC, 5/6, PAR, 1:35p: The New Generation Social Aid and Pleasure Club’s annual Sunday parades roll through Uptown.
New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra, 4/30, ECO, 11:20a: A multi-generational, always-entertaining large ensemble that plays only ’90s music—as in the 1890s, when the shipboard dance music and early jazz they favor was first created.
New Look SA & PC, 4/30, PAR, 4:20p: Kids aged 3-16 make up this branch of the Young Men Olympian, Jr. Benevolent Association.
New Orleans Classic R&B Revue feat. Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, and Robert Parker with the Bobby Cure Band, 5/7, GEN, 11:20a: A few years ago OffBeat’s Best of the Beat Awards featured an R&B revue with Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Robert Parker and many others. Although Robert Parker looked frail, he was amazing when he got on stage and sang his hit “Barefootin’.”
New Orleans Gospel Soul Children, 5/6, GOS, 5:10p: Led by Craig Adams, this long-standing local gospel group delivers energetic and choreographed renditions of gospel standards.
The New Orleans Groove Masters featuring Herlin Riley, Shannon Powell, and Jason Marsalis, 5/6, JAZ, 2:45p: Three of New Orleans’ finest jazz drummers make it look easy with this ensemble.
The New Orleans Guitar Masters with Cranston Clements, Jimmy Robinson, and John Rankin, 5/5, LAG, 12:55p: Started six years ago, this group plays original music and unique versions of New Orleans rock hits. The band consists of guitarists Cranston Clements currently performing with Cyril Neville’s Swamp Band, music teacher at Loyola University John Rankin, and Jimmy Robinson of Woodenhead.
The New Orleans Hip Hop Experience ft. Sqad Up, Denisia, Roca B and T – Ray The Violinist and Dreams 2 Reality, 4/30, CON, 12:30p: An assortment of New Orleans hip-hop artists come together to give outsiders a taste of what the city has to offer.
New Orleans Jazz Vipers, 4/30, ECO, 5:35p: 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 Klezmer Allstars 25th Anniversary with special guests Henry Butler, Frank London and more, 5/7, FDD, 6p: Innovators of a funked-up localized take on traditional Jewish music, this band’s past and present members include scions of the city’s jazz and funk scenes. They’ll celebrate their anniversary with prestigious guests.
New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Rhythm Section, 5/5, PAR, 2:10p: Mardi Gras Indian parading ensemble.
New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band, 5/4, J&H, 4:25p: 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 R&B Divas featuring The Dixie Cups & Wanda Rouzan, 5/5, BLU, 1:20p: New Orleans’ contribution to the ’60s girl-group sound, the Dixie Cups scored nationally with “Chapel of Love,” the follow-up, “People Say” and the Mardi Gras Indian-derived “Iko Iko.” They are joined by singer, actress and educator and champion of New Orleans’ R&B tradition Wanda Rouzan.
New Orleans Spiritualettes, 4/30, GOS, 1p: Founded a half-century ago by still-current leader Ruby Ray, the Spiritualettes are the longest-active female gospel group in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Suspects, 4/28, ACU, 12:50p: The New Orleans Suspects were formed in 2009 for a jam session at the Maple Leaf. At the time the band consisted of Radiators bassist Reggie Scanlan, Neville Brothers drummer “Mean” Willie Green, Dirty Dozen guitarist Jake Eckert, James Brown’s bandleader saxophonist Jeff Watkins and keyboardist CR Gruver. Recently bassist Eric Vogel has replaced Scanlan, but at last year’s Jazz Fest, Reggie joined the band, so he’ll probably be back this time around. Their latest CD Kaleidoscoped placed number seven in OffBeat’s Top CD of 2016.
New Wave Brass Band, 4/28, PAR, 12:20p: Snare drummer Oscar Washington is at the helm of this updated traditional New Orleans brass band.
Nicholas Payton & Afro-Caribbean Mixtape, 5/7, JAZ, 4:05p: In recent years, the #BAM proponent has shifted from trumpet to the keyboard chair, from which he often plays both instruments together. A savvy producer, he’s been delving into electronic music with an R&B sensitivity lately. The Afro-Caribbean Mixtape has influences of bebop, swing, Mardi Gras Indian and Afro-descended dialects. See feature in this issue.
Nigel Hall, 4/29, CON, 1:55p: Soulful funk keyboardist and singer Hall moved to New Orleans from Maine in 2013 and was quickly welcomed as an ideal match for the sounds of the city. He’s worked with a slew of contemporary jam and funk acts including Soulive, Lettuce and the Warren Haynes Band.
Nine Times Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 5/6, PAR, 11:45a: The women’s section of the Upper Ninth Ward parade club, the Nine Times.
Nine Times Social Aid & Pleasure Club, 4/29, PAR, 4:15p: Formed in the 1980s, this downtown-based parade club is comprised of the 9 Times Men, 9 Times Ladies and Original 9 Times Ladies divisions.
Nineveh Baptist Church Mass Choir, 5/4, GOS, 5:55p: Led by Reverend Sam Baker, this choir out of Metairie, Louisiana sings a unique blend of traditional gospel with contemporary songs set to a Caribbean beat.
Ninth Ward Black Hatchet Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, PAR, 3:15p: Mardi Gras Indian parade.
Ninth Ward Hunter Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, PAR, 3:30p: Big Chief Robbe, who has led four Indian tribes, created this Lower Ninth Ward-based group in the 1940s.
NOCCA Jazz Ensemble, 4/30, JAZ, 11:10a: Student group from the secondary school whose graduates include Harry Connick, Jr., Nicholas Payton, Trombone Shorty and the Marsalis brothers.
Ole & Nu Style Fellas Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 5/7, PAR, 12:15p: The Ole & Nu Style Fellas roll through the Sixth Ward each April, coming out at the Ooh Poo Pa Doo Bar.
Omosede Children’s Dance Theatre, 4/30, KID, 11:30a: The group, created by local choreographer, performer, and educator, Mama Baderinwa Rolland, has performed at Jazz Festival’s Kids Tent for many years. Omosede is a Nigerian word that translates to “A child is worth more than a king.” Their work is based on the Haitian Folktale “I’m Tipingi,” and is an interactive performance that integrates theater, music, song, and dance.
One Love Brass Band, 4/28, LAG, 5:40p: This sprawling ensemble mixes the street-parade soul of New Orleans’ brass-band traditions with the Rastafarian vibe of Jamaica, playing a horn-heavy hybrid of reggae with originals and covers of Bob Marley and others.
OperaCréole, 5/4, KID, 1:50p: This vocal ensemble focuses on lost or rarely performed operatic and classical music, often spotlighting the contributions of African-American and Creole artists throughout New Orleans’ history.
Orange Kellin’s New Orleans DeLuxe Orchestra, 5/7, ECO, 12:30p: The clarinetist moved from Sweden to New Orleans in 1966; four years later he played at Louis Armstrong’s 70th birthday show. His group plays classic early jazz by King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and others.
Original Big Seven SA&PC, 5/5, PAR, 4:15p: The Original Big 7s formed in 1995 in the St. Bernard housing development. Today, the Big 7 Cultural Heritage Division provides a creative and social center for the community’s youth.
Original CTC Steppers SA&PC, 5/7, PAR, 12:15p: Named for their tradition of parading over the Industrial Canal, the CTC (Cross The Canal) Steppers hold one of the season’s most popular Sunday parades.
Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 5/6, ECO, 12:25p: Bandleader and trumpeter Nick LaRocca leads this traditional New Orleans jazz band, founded nearly a century ago by his father.
Original Four SA&PC, 5/5, PAR, 4:15: Founded in 1986, this social aid and pleasure club takes a unique and long route on its annual parade, marching from downtown all the way uptown through Central City.
Original Lady Buckjumpers SA&PC, 5/7, PAR, 3p: The Original New Orleans Lady Buckjumpers and Men Buckjumpers recently celebrated their 32nd anniversary parade.
Original Pinettes Brass Band, 5/6, J&H, 4:15p: 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.
Palm Court Jazz Allstars with Sammy Rimington, 4/30, ECO, 2:55p: The house band from the Palm Court, long the HQ of trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, brings their brand of traditional New Orleans jazz to the Fest along with English reedman Rimington, a longtime proponent of the genre’s revival.
Palmetto Bug Stompers, 4/28, ECO, 4:15p: Heavy-hitters like trumpeter Will Smith join the inimitable Washboard Chaz Leary in his traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble.
Panorama Jazz Band, 5/6, J&H, 12:20p: 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.
Papo y Son Mandao, 5/4, J&H, 3:05p: Born in Cuba, guitarist Alexis Muñoz Guevara “Papo” is self-taught. He began working as a professional musician in 1993 when he joined the group Trio En Sueño. In 2012 he immigrated to Louisiana. His repertoire encompasses multiple musical genres, including Latin Jazz, salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha and more.
Pastor Douglas Noel & Friendz, 4/29, GOS, 6:05p: From Hazlehurst, Mississippi, Pastor Douglas Noel & Friendz formed the gospel group in the ’90s. They have received numerous awards and recognitions, from President Obama, Governors and more.
Pastor Jai Reed, 5/5, GOS, 5:10p: New Orleans Baptist minister Reed is a soulful singer in the Stevie Wonder tradition, approaching gospel with a contemporary R&B influence.
Pastor Terry Gullage & the Greater Mt. Calvary Voices of Redemption, 4/28, GOS, 6:05p: From a young age, Elder Terry Gullage knew he had a gift for music. He leads the choir from this church in Marrero.
Pastor Tyrone Jefferson, 4/28, GOS, 12:05p: This New Orleans native is the Senior Pastor of the Abundant Life Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Church and the CEO of Abundant Life Ministries. His extensive work serving the community has included efforts to improve voting rates, feed the hungry and get more young people enrolled in college.
Pat McLaughlin’s New Orleans Outfit, 4/29, LAG, 3:55p: Born in Waterloo, Iowa singer songwriter Pat McLaughlin was drawn to New Orleans in the ’90s working with drummer Carlo Nuccio. McLaughlin’s compositions have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Trisha Yearwood, Nanci Griffith and many others.
Patti LaBelle, 5/7, CON, 3:40p: Singer Patti LaBelle began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer for the Bluebelles. In 1974 she formed the band Labelle, which was signed to Epic Records and recorded the Allen Toussaint-produced single, “Lady Marmalade” while backed by Louisiana musicians. The song sold over a million copies. She has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was named one of the 100 Greatest Singers of all time by Rolling Stone.
Paul Porter, 5/5, GOS, 3:55p: Singer songwriter Paul Porter is a founding member of the gospel group the Christianaires. Hailing from Detroit, Porter’s influences include Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and others.
Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show, 4/28, GEN, 1:45p: Sanchez has blossomed as a songwriter since parting company with Cowboy Mouth, co-writing the post-Katrina musical Nine Lives and launching a number of projects as a leader, including the Rolling Road Show, Minimum Rage and the Write Brothers.
Paulin Brothers Brass Band, 5/4, ECO, 12:30p: 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.
The Pedrito Martinez Group, 4/28, CON, 2:10p; 4/28, CUB, 4:30p; 4/29, CUB, 12:35p, JAZ, 2:40p; 5/4, CUB, 12:10p, 4:30p; 5/5, CUB, 12:15p, 2:55p; 5/6, CUB, 12:30p, J&H, 3p: Formerly of the popular Afro-Cuban band Yerba Buena, singer/drummer Martinez plays a complex but infectious fusion of Afro-Cuban rumba, African Yoruba chants, and Western funk. The group’s latest album, Habana Dreams, was recorded in Cuba and New York.
The Perfect Gentlemen SA&PC, 4/28, PAR, 12:20p: This Uptown social aid and pleasure club celebrated its 25th year in 2016.
Pigeon Town Steppers SA&PC, 5/6, PAR, 4p: Based way (way) Uptown in the Leonidas neighborhood, this club’s annual Sunday parade follows a unique route.
Pine Leaf Boys, 4/28, FDD, 1:35p: This young band has spearheaded the latest revival of Cajun music, bridging new and traditional music and snagging four Grammy nominations. Leader Wilson Savoy is the son of Cajun music’s first couple, Marc and Ann Savoy.
Pitbull, 4/30, CON, 5:35p: Having given up his reggaeton roots for bigger sales as a crossover club music hitmaker, first generation Cuban-American rapper Pitbull is big on shout-outs to ladies, shots, booties and “Mr. Worldwide” (that’s him).
PJ Morton, 5/5, CON, 3:30p: New Orleans gospel singer Peter Morton’s R&B-minded son has made a splash on Lil Wayne’s Young Money label, thanks to his debut album New Orleans. He’s also a keyboardist and backup singer with Maroon 5, and has collaborated with Stevie Wonder, India.Arie and Juvenile, among others.
Pocket Aces Brass Band, 4/28, J&H, 5:45p: This Bridge City brass-hop band began as a few friends who got together for an annual Mardi Gras jam before expanding to a full-time touring outfit.
The Preservation Brass, 4/30, ECO, 12:30p: 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.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 5/7, GEN, 1:55p: With its 50th anniversary in the rearview mirror, this New Orleans music institution’s profile is higher than ever thanks to heavy touring, and their new release, So It Is. Their guest-heavy Jazz Fest sets are always festival highlights.
Preston Frank and Ed Poullard and Family, 4/28, FDD, 11:15a: Fiddler Ed Poullard and accordionist Preston Frank are vibrant elder statesmen of old-time Creole zydeco. Together with the Family they always have a good time.
Prince of Wales SA&PC, 5/7, PAR, 3p: Uptown’s Prince of Wales is among the oldest parade clubs in the city; their annual Sunday second line struts through the Irish Channel.
Quiana Lynell and the Lush Life Band, 5/4, JAZ, 12:30p: A graduate of LSU’s music program, Lynell is adept at singing both jazz and classical as well as blues. She’s been tapped to perform with artists ranging from Herlin Riley and Don Vappie to the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
Ray Abshire Cajun Band, 4/29, FDD, 11:15a: A Louisiana Folk Artist Hall of Famer, Abshire’s accordion career began in the late ‘60s with the Balfa Brothers; today, his bandmates include his sons, Travis and Brent.
Real Untouchable Brass Band, 4/28, J&H, 1:30p: This local brass crew adds congas to its otherwise street-centric sound.
Rebirth Brass Band, 4/29, CON, 3:25p: Now entering its fourth decade, Rebirth was one of the first bands to modernize and funkify the New Orleans brass band sound. Most of the younger brass bands you hear in town style themselves after the Rebirth, although there are no duplicates for founding bass drum and tuba players Keith and Phil Frazier, or snare drummer Derrick Tabb. They earned a Grammy in 2012.
The Revealers, 4/28, CON, 11:20a: DeRoc Debose and Don Williams lead this long-running New Orleans reggae band, which continues to write new music with drummer Kerry Brown. See feature in this issue.
The Revelers, 4:30, FDD, 2:50p: An Acadian supergroup made up of founding members of Jazz Fest perennials the Red Stick Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys. See feature in this issue.
The Revivalists, 5/5, ACU, 3:30p: This increasingly popular New Orleans band has solid songs for the rock ’n’ rollers and free-flowing grooves for the jam band crowd. They were big winners at the most recent OffBeat Best of the Beat Awards.
Revolution SA&PC, 5/4, PAR, 1:20p: One of the biggest parade clubs, the Revolution SA&PC is known for mind-blowing dance moves and multiple costume changes along their annual Sunday parade route.
Rhiannon Giddens, 5/5, BLU, 5:40p: Giddens unleashed a successful solo project after years singing with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a longtime Fest favorite. A multi-instrumentalist well-versed in multiple American roots music forms (including New Orleans jazz—check out her big-band “St. James Infirmary” collaboration with Tom Jones) her 2015 debut was recorded by T-Bone Burnett.
Richard Smallwood & Vision, 5/6, GOS, 5:10p: Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and pianist Richard Smallwood’s progressive, contemporary sound is known world-wide. His songs have been recorded by Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Kelly Price, Gerald Levert, Ruben Studdard and others. Aretha Franklin, recorded Smallwood’s “Faithful,” on her latest CD.
Rising Dragon Lion Dance Team, 5/6, KID, 12:35p, 3:30p: Marrero-based traditional Vietnamese lion dancers display a colorful and acrobatic part of Vietnam’s cultural heritage. Often performed at festivals and holiday events, some say the dance wards off evil spirits.
The Robert Pate Project, 5/4, GOS, 5p: New Orleans born singer Pate and his choir return for their second Jazz Fest appearance.
Robin Barnes, 5/7, JAZ, 11:15a: This 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. Her 2016 album Songbird Sessions marked a true coming of age for the vocalist.
Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, 5/6, FDD, 5:55p: One of the few rubboard players to lead a zydeco band, Dopsie Jr. plays it wilder than his accordionist dad. His sets are guaranteed party-starters.
The Rocks of Harmony, 5/7, GOS, 11:15a: New Orleans gospel in its purest form, this all-male group has been singing praises and spirituals for half a century.
Roddie Romero & the Hub City All Stars, 5/7, FDD, 2:40p: This eclectic Cajun, zydeco, swamp pop and rock ‘n’ roll band is built around accordionist/guitarist Romero and pianist Eric Adcock. Their double album The La Louisianne Sessions was nominated for a Grammy.
The Ron Holloway Band, 5/5, JAZ, 12:25p: Tenor saxophonist Ron Holloway has been a member of the Warren Haynes Band, the Susan Tedeschi Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, Gil Scott-Heron’s band and many others. Holloway has also been featured as a guest with Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, Grace Potter, Taj Mahal, Widespread Panic, Dumpstaphunk, Devon Allman, Royal Southern Brotherhood and many others.
The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, 5/4, PAR, 3p: Rebirth snare drum player Derrick Tabb’s program 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.
The Royal Boys Choir, 5/7, KID, 12:40p: Reginald Varnado, Jr. directs this singing choir, which has called Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church its home base since the closing of McCoy Miller Academy, where the group was formed.
Royal Teeth, 5/6, GEN, 3:45p: This young indie rock outfit’s melodic yet danceable pop, highlighted by the pure vocals of Nora Patterson, has been racking up national buzz for a few years.
The RRAAMS, 5/6, KID, 4:05p: The River Road African-American Museum Society in Donaldsonville presents an educational program for kids.
Rumba Buena, 4/28, CON, 12:45p: This popular New Orleans Latin band is a 12-piece group with four singers, four percussionists, horns and rhythm to spare.
Salute to Louis Armstrong featuring Hugh Masekela and Dr. Michael White, 5/4, ECO, 4:15p: South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, composer, and singer Hugh Masekela collaborates with one of New Orleans’ premier clarinetist and composers, Dr. Michael White, in a program paying tribute to Louis Armstrong
Sarah Quintana & the Miss River Band, 5/7, LAG, 2:20p: Water and the Louisiana region’s natural beauty provide the inspiration for this ambitious, dreamy and innovative project from one of the city’s top vocalists.
Savoy Family Cajun Band, 5/6, FDD, 12:25p: Marc and Ann Savoy have done as much as anyone to celebrate and preserve Cajun music and culture. This group finds the couple with their sons Wilson (of Pine Leaf Boys) and Joel.
Scene Boosters SA&PC, 5/5, PAR, 12:10p: The Scene Boosters traditionally roll with the Original Pinstripe Brass Band during their annual Sunday parades.
Second line Jammers Social Aid & Pleasure Club, 5/4, PAR, 12:30p: This social aid and pleasure club often teams up with the Undefeated Divas SA&PC for their Sunday parade.
Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, PAR, 3:15p: Big Chief Keith “Keitoe” Jones leads this Ninth Ward-based tribe.
Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians, 4/28, J&H, 12:30p: Big Chief Yam, a.k.a. James Harris, created this Uptown gang after stints with the Creole Wild West and the Wild Magnolias.
Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñero of Cuba, 4/28, CUB, 12:45, 3:15p; 4/29, FDD, 12:25p, CUB, 3:20p; 4/30, CUB, 12:20p, 1:55p; 5/6, CUB, 4:30p, 5/7, CUB, 3:10p: Ignacio Piñeiro was a Cuban musician, bandleader and composer whose career started in rumba and flowered in the rise of the son. He started the band Septeto Nacional in 1927. Piñeiro’s composition “Échale salsita” influenced George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture. The fourth generation of Septeto National are all excellent instrumentalists and inspired soneros, who play the fresh-sounding arrangements, as if a time machine had catapulted the original Septeto to this century.
Septeto Santiaguero, 5/6, FDD, 1:35p; 5/7, GEN, 12:45p: From the famous Casa de la Trova club in their hometown Santiago de Cuba, the cradle of son and bolero, Septeto Santiaguero is the foremost son music ensemble on the current Cuban scene. Founded in 1995 by tres guitar virtuoso Fernado Dewar, Septeto has taken their contemporary perspective to the septeto format.
Sequoia Crosswhite, 4/28, KID, 4:10p: Sequoia Crosswhite is of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a descendant of Chief War Eagle and Chief Swift Cloud. An accomplished musician, grass dancer and historian much of his music is a fusion of hip-hop, rock, and lyrics about Indian heritage and contemporary life.
Seva Venet’s New Orleans Banjo, 5/7, ECO, 11:15a: 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.
SFJAZZ Collective Plays the Music of Miles Davis, 5/6, JAZ, 5:40p: This jazz ensemble residing at the prestigious SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco counts as members some of the most gifted young modern jazz musicians on today’s scene. Headed by the dynamic saxophone duo of Miguel Zenon and David Sanchez, the powerful octet pays homage to the most celebrated character in the history of this music.
Shades of Praise, 5/5, GOS, 12:05p: This gospel choir is integrated across race, gender and denomination, and had its first scheduled performance on September 12, 2001. T-hey’ve since been dedicated to spreading a message of hope.
Shaun Ward Xperience, 5/4, CON, 11:25p: Shawn Ward is the son of jazz violinist Michael Ward. He started playing the violin at a young age and has opened for R. Kelly, Anthony Hamilton, Tyrese and others. Misunderstood do to his instrumentation and musical genre choice Shaun continues to explore how to merge all his passions into one cohesive body.
Shining Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, PAR, 3:30p: The Shining Star Hunters are led by Big Chief Jimmie Ricks, a veteran Spyboy and Second Chief for Larry Bannock’s Golden Star Hunters.
Single Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 4/29, PAR, 4:15p: The Single Ladies SA&PC have been parading through Uptown for two decades.
Single Men SA&PC, 4/29, PAR, 4:15p: Uptown parade club the Single Men was established in 1995.
Smitty Dee’s Brass Band, 5/6, PAR, 11:45a: This band was formed in 1991 by former Olympia Brass Band sousaphonist Dimitri Smith. They play regularly at Preservation Hall and on the Creole Queen riverboat.
Snoop Dogg, 5/6, CON, 5:30p: It’s been 25 years since Dr. Dre’s seminal album The Chronic introduced the world to Snoop Dogg’s laid back flow, but these days his legacy is much greater than one LP. His 2016 set at the Congo Square Stage was called off due to inclement weather, so we’re looking forward to his triumphant return.
The Soldiers Brass Band, 4/29, PAR, 11:45a: The Soldiers Brass Band will parade with Dumaine St. Gang, the Divine Ladies and Family Ties Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs.
Sonny Landreth, 5/5, ACU, 1:55p: A thoughtful songwriter and scorching slide guitarist, Landreth can claim the likes of Clapton, Buffett, Hiatt and John Mayall as collaborators and fans.
Sons of Jazz Brass Band, 4/29, PAR, 4:15p: This local brass band often provides the soundtrack for parades by the Ladies of Unity and Revolution Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs.
Soul Brass Band, 4/28, LAG, 12:40p: Named 2016’s Best Emerging Artist at the Best of the Beat Awards, this group of locals—led by Derrick Freeman—has imposed its presence on the New Orleans scene with yet another fresh take on the ever-evolving brass band sound.
The Soul Rebels, 5/6, CON, 12:30p: 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. They been collaborating with some of hip-hop’s most respected names in recent years.
The Southern Sons of Memphis, 4/29, GOS, 2:50p: The Southern Sons of Memphis are committed to singing traditional gospel music. Their lead vocalist is Bob Holloway.
Sporty’s Brass Band, 5/4, PAR, 1:20p: Sporty’s Brass Band will be parading with the Sudan, Revolution, and Men Buckjumpers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs.
Square dance with Lost in the Holler, 4/30, KID, 3:10p: The Swamp Lilies String Band gets kids and grown-ups moving to the sounds of old-time fiddle tunes and a variety of uptempo blues while caller Dan Wally Baker shouts out invitations to swing yer partner.
St. Joseph the Worker Music Ministry, 5/7, GOS, 1p: The choir of this New York-based church plays a key role in their community’s daily activities.
Stanton Moore, 4/29, JAZ, 1:25p: Best known for his long tenure as Galactic’s drummer, Moore also maintains a successful modern jazz career, showcasing his prodigious chops and unmatched sense of rhythm. His 2014 solo effort, Conversations, featured David Torkanowsky on piano and James Singleton on bass.
Stephanie Jordan Big Band, 4/28, JAZ, 3p: This popular New Orleans jazz singer hails from the esteemed Jordan family (her father is the award-winning saxophonist Kidd Jordan).
Stephen Foster’s Family Music Program, 5/6, KID, 11:30a: No relation to the early American composer, this family foundation is dedicated to music education in New Orleans.
Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, 4/29, FDD, 1:40p: The venerable band is equally capable of playing straight-up Cajun music as they are of going progressive. Some recent gigs have even included a ten-minute jam on Neil Young’s “Down By the River” in French.
Stevie Wonder, 5/6, ACU, 4:50p: One of the most beloved artists of all time, Stevie Wonder needs no introduction. We’re just happy he’s back after last year’s headlining set was cancelled due to a torrential downpour. That “Purple Rain” in the rain was pretty incredible though.
Stooges Brass Band, 5/7, ACU, 11:20a: One of the busiest brass bands on the second line circuit, and one of the best. They’ve also performed in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as musical ambassadors on US Embassy tours, as well as throughout Europe.
Stoop Kids, 4/30, LAG, 2:20p: This eclectic group was nominated for a Best New Artist award at the 2016 Best of the Beat Awards. It was probably their top-notch showmanship and seamless blend of disparate genres that impressed us.
Storyville Stompers Brass Band, 4/29, J&H, 5:40p: 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.
The Sudan SA&PC, 5/4, PAR, 1:20p: The Treme-based Sudan Social Aid and Pleasure Club rolls with elaborate, ribbon-bedazzled baskets at their annual parades.
Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots with guest Pascal Danae, 4/29, FDD, 3:05p: Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes is dedicated to the Creole music traditions. With the Louisiana Sunspots, he plays a slightly urban version of zydeco with an emphasis on the R&B elements.
Sweet Cecilia, 5/5, LAG, 11:30p: 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, 5/5, GEN, 12:35p: New Orleans indie pop septet Sweet Crude plays an energetic brand of percussion-driven, sparkly rock that is often sung in French.
Sweet Olive String Band, 4/29, LAG, 12:45p: This self-described “old tyme” string trio performs country, blues and bluegrass from eras past.
The Swing Setters, 5/4, KID, 4:10p: Singer Jayna Morgan’s spirited new band covers standards, folk tunes and Disney songs with a jazz lilt.
Tab Benoit, 5/7, BLU, 3:45p: The Bayou guitar slinger is equally adept at swamp grooves and sizzling blues. As a Voice of the Wetlands founder, he has also been one of the most outspoken advocates for preserving Louisiana’s wetlands.
Tank and The Bangas, 5/6, GEN, 2:15p: This band, led by electrifying spoken word artist and soulful vocalist Tarriona Tank Ball, broke out on the national scene this year after winning NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.
TBC Brass Band, 5/7, J&H, 12:30p: If a brass band on Bourbon Street ever stopped you in your tracks, it was probably TBC Brass Band.
Telmary y Habana Sana of Cuba, 4/29, CUB, 1:55, 4:35p; 4/30, GEN, 2:15p, CUB, 4:30p: The “street poet” Telmary Diaz is a leader of hip-hop and urban music in Cuba. As a rapper she promotes a message that contrasts with the genre’s commercial norm. She participated in a tribute to Louis Armstrong with Dr. John at the Hollywood Bowl in 2013.
Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective, 5/5, JAZ, 4:10p: This Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and film score composer—whose acclaimed new album Breathless was largely inspired by Eric Garner’s death and the events that followed it—creates ambitious conceptual pieces such as the Katrina-inspired A Tale of God’s Will and Champion: An Opera in Jazz.
Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience, 4/29, FDD, 6:10p: One of zydeco’s ambassadors and one of its most energetic performers, Simien has been present on the Jazz Fest stage for over three decades.
Theatre on Tap, 4/28, KID, 5:15p: New Orleans’ premier rhythm tap dance company, whose mission is to celebrate, promote, and preserve America’s indigenous dance form. Emmy Award-winning founder, artistic director and principal choreographer Heidi Malnar leads the company.
Tim Laughlin, 5/5, ECO, 3p: Clarinetist Laughlin’s compositions fit within the classic idiom, but his skill in bringing traditional New Orleans jazz into the 21st Century gives them a more modern feel.
Tin Men, 4/30, BLU, 11:10a: Stripped-down melodies, a wry sense of humor, deep funk sousaphone grooves and blues-soaked washboard scratches, strums and dings fuel Alex McMurray, Matt Perrine and Washboard Chaz’s long-running trio.
Tom McDermott & Friends, 5/4; LAG, 3:05p: 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.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 4/30, ACU, 5:00p: Tom Petty returns after five years for his second Jazz Fest appearance. The Heartbreakers’ last album, Grammy-nominated Hypnotic Eye, was Petty’s first album to reach the top of the Billboard charts.
Tommy Sancton’s New Orleans Legacy Band, 4/28, ECO, 1:45p: This clarinetist took music lessons from Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s George Lewis as a child, an experience he documents in the book Song for My Fathers.
Tonia Scott & The Anointed Voices, 5/5, GOS, 2:50p: Primarily comprised of women, this local gospel choir has become a Jazz Fest regular.
Tonya Boyd-Cannon, 5/6, ACU, 11:15a: This New Orleans-based singer boasts powerful pipes, lots of soul and a near-winning run on The Voice.
Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, 5/6, ECO, 11:15a: Once a singing waitress on Bourbon Street, Topsy Chapman appeared in the musical One Mo’ Time and now appears at home between European tours. Solid Harmony is a five-woman group with a gospel-inspired vocal blend.
Torkestra: The Great American Songbook featuring Germaine Bazzle, Kermit Ruffins, Clint Johnson and more, 5/4, JAZ, 4:25p: A special project formed by New Orleans pianist David Torkanowsky, Torkestra is a super group that paints a masterpiece of rhythms and melodies. Included are singer Germaine Bazzle, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and many others.
Tornado Brass Band, 4/30, PAR, 4:20p: Darryl Adams leads this local New Orleans brass band through a mix of tunes from the traditional and modern brass band repertoires.
Tower of Power, 5/4, CON, 5:30p: It doesn’t get much funkier than Tower of Power. Nearly five decades after the group’s formation, this horn-centric band is still touring the world on a regular basis. With this much brass, they should feel right at home in New Orleans.
The Travelin’ McCourys, 4/28, FDD, 4:25p: Sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury (mandolin) and Rob McCoury (banjo) continue their father’s work. With fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful.
Travers Geoffray, 4/29, ACU, 11:20a: Singer songwriter and keyboardist, Travers Geoffray, infuses a youthful vigor into classic New Orleans roots music. Once billed as Mississippi Rail Company, Travers is now performing under his actual name.
Treme Brass Band, 4/29, ECO, 2:55p: 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.”
Trey Anastasio Band, 4/28, GEN, 5p: Trey Anastasio last performed at Jazz Fest when his other band, Phish, headlined back in 2014. He’ll be flanked by a different set of musicians when he headlines the Acura Stage this time around.
Tribute to Buckwheat Zydeco featuring Nathan Williams, C.J. Chenier, Corey Ledet and the Ils Sont Partis Band, 5/6, BLU, 2:35p: Stanley Joseph Dural, Jr.—better known as “Buckwheat Zydeco”—passed away last September after a long battle with lung cancer. “Jazz Fest is good about honoring its fallen musicians. They honored my dad (Clifton Chenier),” says longtime friend C.J. Chenier. “Buckwheat did a lot for the zydeco community. It’s fitting for them to recognize him for what he did.” See feature in this issue.
Tribute to Jo “Cool” Davis, 4/30, GOS, 12p: Gospel singer, and Central City’s pride and joy, Jo “Cool” Davis passed away in August 2016. Davis programed and co-hosted the popular Gospel Brunch at House of Blues. He was a tireless advocate for New Orleans, its culture and gospel music.
Tribute to Pete Fountain featuring Tim Laughlin, Evan Christopher, Wendell Brunious, Banu Gibson and Izzy Harrell, 4/29, ECO, 4:15p: Pete Fountain passed away from heart failure last August. When Fountain retired in 2014, Tim Laughlin wrote in OffBeat: “Many see you as the always-swinging New Orleans clarinet player on stage, with Pouilly-Fuissé in his blood. Just a lucky few know you as that humble, funny, generous and loving man. I am blessed to be one of them.”
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, 5/7, ACU, 5:35p: Trombonist, trumpeter and singer Troy Andrews has become a member of New Orleans music royalty. His “supafunkrock” sets now close out Jazz Fest’s Acura Stage every year.
Trout Fishing in America, 5/6, KID, 2:25p: The guitar duo of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet has been performing together for 40 years. They’ve received four Grammy nominations and are considered one of the 100 most influential independent artists of the past 15 years.
Trumpet Mafia, 4/28, JAZ, 1:40p: Skilled local trumpeter Ashlin Parker, of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, brings a hip-hop sensibility to the modern jazz-rooted approach of his forward-thinking, multi-trumpet ensemble.
Tucka, 5/7, CON, 2p: This R&B swing singer started out as a member of Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band before taking a turn for the smooth and soulful.
Tyler Kinchen & The Right Pieces, 5/5, CON, 12:35p: Singer songwriter Tyler Kinchen hails from Ponchatoula, Louisiana. His band’s energetic style of R&B/Funk is eclectic, electric, soulful, and smooth. Their newest album, Acoustic Disdrometer, has established them as a regional favorite with national and international fan bases sprouting up and growing everywhere.
Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, 5/7, GOS, 5:10p: These Jazz Fest regulars formed in 1987 when Foster started working with St. Joan of Arc Youth and Young Adult Choir. In 1992, they opened their ranks to singers from all denominations.
Undefeated Divas and Gents SA&PC, 5/6, PAR, 4p: This downtown club paraded with the Young Fellaz Brass Band at their 2015 annual Sunday parade.
University of New Orleans Jazz Allstars, 5/5, JAZ, 11:20a: Student group from UNO’s jazz program, which was established by Ellis Marsalis in 1989.
Untouchables SA&PC, 4/30, PAR, 2:30p: The Untouchables represent a division of the historic Young Men Olympians.
Uptown Swingers SA&PC, 4/29, PAR, 2:55p: Parade club hailing from way Uptown.
Uptown Warriors, 5/6, PAR, 2:50p: One of the younger Mardi Gras Indian tribes.
Usher & The Roots, 4/29, CON, 5:25p: What happens when you combine one of the most popular R&B singers in the world with one of the most respected bands in the business? We can’t wait to find out when Usher and The Roots team up for a rare collaborative performance.
Val & Love Alive Mass Choir, 4/30, GOS, 2:50p: Few things sound more spirited than 100 school-age kids singing praises. Valentine Bemiss-Williams directs this large choir.
Valley of Silent Men SA&PC, 5/6, PAR, 11:45a: This Uptown parade club has been hitting the streets for three decades.
Versailles Lions Dance Team, 4/30, KID, 12:25p, 2:50p: Strength, endurance, motivation and respect are the calling cards of this local performance group, specializing in traditional Vietnamese lion dance.
VIP Ladies SA&PC, 5/4, PAR, 12:30p: This Uptown social aid and pleasure club usually rolls with all women and children at its annual Sunday parade.
Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, 5/4, ACU, 2:50p: Guitarist and activist Tab Benoit leads a troupe of environmentally conscious musical heavyweights, including Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Cajun fiddler Waylon Thibodeaux and more.
Voices of Peter Claver, 4/29, GOS, 1:55p: This adult choir is based at St. Peter Claver Church on St. Philip Street.
Walter “Wolfman” Washington & the Roadmasters, 5/7, CON, 12:35p: A local institution, the Wolfman puts plenty of hot guitar and soulful horns into his funky brand of blues. His singing is emotional and heartfelt. His guitar work is intricate, intimate, and full. There is a little Bobby Blue Bland, a little Kenny Burrell, a little George Benson, a little church, and a lot of New Orleans charm. Walter celebrated 30 years in April 2017.
Walter Mouton & the Scott Playboys, 4/30, FDD, 11:15a: Considered a musician’s musician, the venerable Walter Mouton is the stuff legends are made of. For the past 65 years, he has led the Scott Playboys, and he has played La Poussiere Cajun Dancehall for 45 years, 30 straight on Saturday nights.
Washitaw Nation Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, PAR, 12:30: This Indian tribe takes its name from a group of multi-cultural, yet traditionally black, Americans who claim Native American sovereignty over their nation.
Wayne Toups, 5/4, GEN, 3:45p: This Crowley singer/accordionist was one of the first Cajun/zydeco artists to sign with a major label in the ‘80s. While his band draws strongly from rock onstage, Toups has also embraced his roots, most recently on a trio album with Wilson Savoy and Steve Riley.
We Are One SA&PC, 4/28, PAR, 12:20p: We Are One Social Aid and Pleasure Club is based Uptown.
Wendell Brunious & the New Orleans Gentlemen of Jazz, 5/5, ECO, 1:45p: 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.
Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson Quartet, 4/30, JAZ, 12:15p: Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson plays alto and soprano saxophones. He began playing the saxophone at age 14 and studied with Frank Wess, Frank Foster, and Charles Davis. Anderson is an Assistant Professor instructor at Loyola University in New Orleans. His quartet includes Mark Rapp on trumpet, David Ellington on organ and Chris Burroughs on drums. His latest CD Natural History was just released in time for Jazz Fest.
Westbank Steppers SA&PC, 5/6, PAR, 11:45a: This social aid and pleasure club hails from New Orleans’ West Bank just across the river.
White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/5, J&H, 12:15p: The White Cloud Hunters’ smooth-voiced Big Chief Little Charles Taylor counts his uncle, Thomas Sparks Sr., Big Chief of the Yellow Jacket Mardi Gras Indian gang, as a key mentor.
Widespread Panic, 5/4, ACU, 4:30p: Athens’ famous neo-hippies return with hours of extended jams for their massive following. This sextet can really soar when guitarist Jimmy Herring cuts loose. Actually, they can soar when pretty much anyone in the band cuts loose.
Wilco, 5/5, GEN, 5:20p: Jeff Tweedy could have been a first-rate singer songwriter but instead he decided to form one of the most enduring American bands of the last two decades. Wilco combines poetic lyricism with an off-kilter approach to rock music and a group of musicians who are good enough to pull it off. Co-founder and bassist John Stirratt was born in New Orleans and grew up in Mandeville, so this is a hometown show for him.
Wild Mohicans Mardi Gras Indians, 4/29, PAR, 12:30p: A family tribe founded in 1996 by Big Chief Kentrell and Big Queen Zen, the Mohicans added Wild Man Ivory to their crew after his near-death experience in combat in North Korea left him determined to mask Indian upon his return home.
Wild Red Flame Mardi Gras Indians, 5/6, PAR, 2:50p: This tribe made its Jazz Fest debut just a few years ago with Big Chief Thunder and the Cherokee Hunters.
Wild Squatoulas, 5/7, PAR, 4:15p: This Mardi Gras Indian tribe has gotten multiple musical shout-outs from the likes of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.
Wild Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians, 5/7, PAR, 4:15p: Allen Toussaint recorded the original eponymous album by the tribe led by Big Chief Jolly. Today, their call and response remains influenced by that early funk-steeped disc, which featured appearances by members of the Meters and the Neville brothers.
William Bell, 5/5, BLU, 4:10p: His 1961 hit “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” a landmark development in Southern Soul, did more than any other song to put the fledgling Stax label on the map, and he practically defined soul-blues with “Born Under a Bad Sign.” See interview in this issue.
Willie Sugarcapps, 5/6, LAG, 2:20p: Grayson Capps, Will Kimbrough, Corky Hughes and Sugarcane Jane’s Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford formed this country-styled blues rock outfit at Alabama’s Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm.
The Wimberly Family Gospel Singers, 5/6, GOS, 11:15a: This Marrero family group has been singing traditional gospel for nearly four decades.
Xavier University Jazz Ensemble, 4/29, LAG, 11:30a: Student group from one of New Orleans’ great jazz training grounds.
Young Audiences African Dance and Drum Ensemble, 5/4, KID, 3p: Young Audiences of Louisiana is the leading provider of arts education programs and services in Louisiana. Young Audiences African Drum and Dance Ensemble is a fusion of students grades three through 12 from many of the schools in YALA’s network.
Young Audiences Performing Arts Showcase, 4/28, KID, 11:30a: This top arts education and integration program offers a review of its latest work.
Young Brave Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 5/6, PAR, 2:50p: Big Chief James Battiste leads this Indian tribe.
Young Cherokee Mardi Gras Indians 5/5, PAR, 1p: Parading Mardi Gras Indians.
Young Fellaz Brass Band, 5/7, PAR, 12:15p: One of the city’s newer brass bands, the Young Fellaz add plenty of youthful swagger to traditional brass-band instrumentation.
Young Guardians of the Flame, 4/29, KID, 5:15p: Big Queen Cherice Harrison Nelson, co-founder of the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, tailors this educational look at Indian culture to a kids’ audience.
Young Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians, 5/1, KID, 2:45p: Eric Yetti Boudreaux’s flexible rhythm section frequently backs Gerard “Lil Bo” Dollis and his Young Magnolias during pre-Mardi Gras Indian practices Uptown.
Young Men Olympia Aide SA&PC, 4/30, PAR, 4:20p: The Aide or first division of the Young Men Olympian Jr. Benevolent Association handles the governing responsibilities for the organization.
Young Pinstripe Brass Band, 4/30, J&H, 1:25p: Formed in 2009 and led by fourth-generation musician Herbert McCarver IV, the group puts a funk and hip-hop spin on the brass band sound.
Young Seminole Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, 4/30, PAR, 12:10p: These Ninth Ward-based newcomers to the Indian scene profess to connect today’s Indian generation with historic tribes.
Yvette Landry, 5/4, FDD, 12:20p: Singer/guitarist Landry is part of the Cajun supergroup Bonsoir Catin, and her own sets are solid, swinging honky tonk with Richard Comeaux on pedal steel guitar.
Zena Moses & Rue Fiya, 4/29, CON, 11:20a: A soulful R&B voice in the tradition of Chaka Khan, Moses does soul with a funky New Orleans flavor. She is the daughter of saxophonist Reggie Houston, a longtime mainstay of Fats Domino’s band.
The Zion Harmonizers, 5/7, GOS, 2:50p: This venerable group has been a Jazz Fest favorite since the beginning. The group’s history goes back to 1939, when the first lineup was formed in the Zion City neighborhood.
Zulu Ensemble, 5/5, GOS, 11:15p: Zulu Ensemble incorporates saxophones, drums and guitar into their gospel repertoire.