Tag Archives: Jazz Fest

2015 Jazz Fest Preview

web_013Officially known as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, Jazz Fest 2015, set for April 24-26 and April 30-May 3, has released its lineup. Particularly top heavy in talent, this year’s lineup looks like one of the strongest in the forty-six year history of the event. Elton John, The Who, Jimmy Buffett, Steve Winwood, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Chicago, John Legend, Ryan Adams, The O’Jays, Jerry Lee Lewis, Keith Urban and Delbert McClinton lead the charge of house hold names.

The list of acts that will fill the eleven stages over seven days doesn’t slow down there. Widespread Panic, Wilco, Jimmy Cliff, Buddy Guy, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal Trio, Jimmie Vaughan and Tilt A Whirl Band feat. Lou Ann Barton, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Pitbull and Ed Sheeran help fill out a strong out of town guest list.

web_033Jazz Fest was built on the wonderful local talent of New Orleans and much of that talent will be on hand. Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John will play a tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong and for the first time since 2005 the original Meters, Art Neville, George Porter Jr, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste will reunite for a set at the festival. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue have closed out the main Acura stage for the last two years and will be playing on the final Sunday again. The Radiators, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Aaron Neville, Galactic featuring Macy Gray, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk with guest Art Neville, Anders Osborne, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tab Benoit, Rebirth Brass Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Big Freedia “Queen of Bounce” will all be there.

The Jazz Fest experience however, extends far beyond the easily recognizable music listed above. The food at the Fair Grounds is unlike most other festivals anywhere. For $6-$8 you can get a bowl of duck/pheasant/ Andouille sausage gumbo or crawfish/spinach/zucchini bisque, crawfish Monica or a Cochon de Lait Poboy and top it off with bread pudding with white chocolate sauce.

The visual aspect of Jazz Fest completes the assault on your senses. There are colorful flags and totems everywhere, especially in front of the three main stages, Acura, Gentilly (no longer the Samsung Galaxy Stage) and Congo Square. The Jazz and Heritage stage feature many of the Mardi Gras Indian groups in their hand made costumes that will stop many fans in their tracks, and multiple times a day there is a second line parade around the Fair Grounds.

The party doesn’t stop when the festival closes for the day either, as perhaps no city is better positioned to host the music and web_094food extravaganza that continues all night long. Famous spots like Tipitina’s, The Howlin’ Wolf, The Maple Leaf, One Eyed Jack’s and all the clubs along Frenchmen St. will be packed night after night with established bands and special Jazz Fest one off bands that combine players from all the bands in town.

Jazz Fest is a two week party that should be on every music fans bucket list, and on the strength of this year’s lineup, it might just be time to cross this one off your list.


Check out Honest Tune’s coverage of the 2011 Jazz Fest: Heritage Reigns Supreme, Beyond the Fairgrounds:A Look Back Jazz Fesatival 2001 Nights

Photo Gallery of past Jazz Fest’s by Bob Adamek:


Dancing To Architecture: The Mystical, Mythical World of Hurray For The Riff Raff

My annual pilgrimage to New Orleans for Jazz Fest is often accentuated by post-festival nighttime concerts. You know, the concerts in every available venue in town…the ones that stretchHurray for the Riff Raff until the morning light, the “early” shows that start at 10 or 11, the late shows that start at 2 a.m., the riverboat shows, the sidewalk shows, the impromptu jam sessions and sit-ins. I remember a few years that one club was even promoting “breakfast shows” that started about 7 – in the morning.

All of it is, of course, calculated to extend the revelry of the all-day festivities and provide an exuberant transition of the musical gluttony from one venue to another to yet another. It’s fun and exhausting, and I’m an eager participant in this ridiculous ritual.

Looking over the calendar year after year, it’s often a case of the usual suspects offering hip-shaking funk, raucous rock and roll and various permutations of jambandery. These shows are typically a boisterous affair, with crowds of beer-soaked sweaty festivarians extending their benders with bad dancing and occasional whoops and hollers, yours truly often counted in that number as well.

But this year, I found a something else entirely in a small theater tucked into the back of the Always Lounge.

In the Marigny neighborhood, a few long blocks from the bustling Frenchman street clubs and alongside other tourist-resistant clubs like the Hi Ho, a hushed crowd sat (sat!) attentively as a young ingénue and her compatriots unearthed haunting and seductive songs rendered with steel and strings and voice. We were captivated.

The group was called Hurray For The Riff Raff, and their mesmerizing set was remarkable, not just for the fact that they managed to keep a roomful of music lovers utterly stunned in silence. After all, this crowd was not made up of 40-something jazzfesters wearing ridiculous floral print shirts and cargo pants (okay, maybe one of those); these were hipsters, and the silence and the attendant shushing of talkers is part of the hipster code. No, the remarkable thing was not just the reverence or the gravitas of the deliver. It was that just the week before they had graced the Acura stage at Jazz Fest – the largest one reserved for the Jimmy Buffets, Bruce Springsteens and Neville Brothers of the world – and won the crowd over with a stunning set that earned them rave front-page reviews in the Times Picayune.

Here was a group capable of captivating 200 people, or 20,000 people. At Jazz Fest, they did it with a sense of aw-shucks humility in the stage banter, a full band and some well-chosen ballsy cover tunes. At the Allways, they did it mostly with the ethereal voice of Alynda Lee Segarra and a cavalcade of instrumentalists who meandered on and off the stage during the course of the one-hour set.

In fact, Hurray for the Riff Raff is essentially Segarra herself—her vision, her voice. She’s a true vagabond, a twenty-something Puerto Rican from the Bronx who traveled the American highways before landing in New Orleans. There, she released two solo folk records under the name of Hurray For The Riff Raff. She eventually met up with a group called the Tumbleweeds, whom she then assimilated into the Hurray for the Riff Raff alter-ego/band/collective.

After touring the country with the group, and earning adoration from the UK press (where a compilation of those first two records earned her media worship and a nod as one of the “top albums of 2011” from The Times of London), she’s now completed a proper full-band debut release called Look Out Mama. The record includes the full band, and was produced by Alabama Shakes producer Andrija Tokic.

Look Out Mama is a gorgeous, timeless work of wonder. Segarra and company deftly mingle Americana sounds from all over the map, while hearkening to times gone by.  The songs are seamless, like a singular voice, yet the parts are drawn from otherwise incongruous sources. The opening track “Little Black Star” incorporates fiddle, handclaps and a swaying freak-folk beat while “Lake of Fire” bounces on surf-guitar jubilancy. “Look Out Mama,” with Segarra’s emotive high yodel, could be a dustbowl field recording even as the waltzy “What’s Wrong With Me” comes from another time and place.

Perhaps its the juxtaposition of folkie balladry and indie modernity that gives these songs and performances their punch. But whatever it is, it’s old and it’s new and Hurray For The Riff Raff occupies its own world—a mythical bohemian world where any time and any place is just around the corner and welcomed with open arms.

Hurray indeed.



NOLA Jazz Fest announces lineup



Well, here it is the lineup for the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and it is long. We have broken it down by weekends to hopefully make it easier to take in, let alone easier on the eyes in general.

Weekend One: April 27-29, 2012

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

John Mayer

Al Green

Trombone Shorty

Bon Iver

Jill Scott

Allen Toussaint

Janelle Monae

Dr. John

Iron & Wine

Yolanda Adams

Pete Fountain


Steel Pulse

Dianne Reeves


Carolina Chocolate Drops

Dave Koz


Israel & New Breed

Tab Benoit

Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Cowboy Mouth

Bobby Rush

Chuck Leavell & Friends

Amanda Shaw

Sonny Landreth

Gary Clark Jr.

Cubano Be

Cubano Bop: Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Band feat. Terence Blanchard

Papa Grows Funk

Ellis Marsalis

Walter “Wolfman” Washington

Cheikh Lô (Senegal)

Buckwheat Zydeco

Evelyn Turrentine-Agee

Voice of the Wetland Allstars

The Texas Tornados feat. Flaco Jimenez, Augie Myers and Shawn Sahm

Nicholas Payton

Ironin’ Board Sam

The New Orleans Bingo! Show

Soul Rebels

Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs

Eric Lindell

Irma Thomas’ Tribute to Mahalia Jackson

Corey Harris

James Andrews & the Crescent City Allstars

Lindigo (Reunion Islands) feat. Fixi (France)

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots

Pine Leaf Boys

Luther Kent

The Dixie Cups

Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas


Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes

Sasha Masakowski

New Orleans Klezmer Allstars

C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles

Khris Royal & Dark Matter

Los Po-Boy-Citos

Butch Thompson

Treme Brass Band

Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark

Savoy Music Center of Eunice Saturday Cajun Jam

Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie

Leyla McCalla

Roddie Romero & the Hub-City Allstars

Midnite Disturbers

Bill Summers & Jazalsa

Peter Martin

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

Jewel Brown & the Heritage Hall Jazz Band

Tribute to Alex Chilton feat. Dave Pirner

Alex McMurray

Susan Cowsill and Rene Coman

Stephanie Jordan

Stooges Brass Band

Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band

The Classic New Orleans Revue feat. Frankie Ford

Al “Carnival Time” Johnson

Tribute to Wardell Quezergue feat. Jean Knight and Robert “Barefootin” Parker with Blue Eyed Soul

The Dixie Cups and more

Bucktown Allstars

Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue

Lil’ Buck Sinegal

James Rivers Movement

Victor Goines

Fredy Omar con su Banda

Kristin Diable & the City

Washboard Rodeo

Panorama Jazz Band

Kirk Joseph’s Tuba Tuba

Leah Chase

The Batiste Brothers

Brice Miller & Mahogany Brass Band

Shades of Praise: New Orleans Interracial Gospel Choir

Lars Edegran’s New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra

Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders

Betty Winn & One A-Chord

Guitar Lightnin’ Lee & the Thunder Band

City of Love Music & Worship Arts

Tim Laughlin

Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band

The Revivalists

Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone

Empress Hotel

Brother Tyrone & the Mindbenders

Cindy Scott

Watson Memorial Music Ministry

The Electrifying Crown Seekers

Bamboula 2000

Ivoire Spectacle feat. Seguenon Kone

Ingrid Lucia

Paulin Brothers Brass Band

The Courtyard Kings

Dukes of Dixieland

Kevin Bryan

D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces

Real Untouchables Brass Band

Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians

Clive Wilson’s New Orleans Serenaders

High Ground Drifters Bluegrass Band

Beth Patterson & Potent Bathers

Marc Stone

Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys

Erika Flowers

Tonia Powell & the Left Field Band

Henry Gray & the Cats

Women in Jazz

Ernie Vincent & the Top Notes

Hadley J. Castille Family & the Sharecroppers Cajun Band

Chris Clifton

Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns

Tom McDermott & Friends

Jeremy Lyons & Members of Morphine

Leo Jackson & the Melody Clouds

Gospel Soul Children

Cameron Dupuy & the Cajun Troubadours

Louis Ford & His Dixie Flairs

Riccardo Crespo & Sol Brasil

101 Runners

Creole Wild West and Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

Storyville Stompers Brass Band

Jamil Sharif

Pastor Jai Reed

Tonia Scott & the Anointed Voices

Secondline Jammers

Men of Class

Family Ties

Dumaine Gang and Divine Ladies Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Lois Dejean Gospel Diva

Pat Casey & the New Sound

DJ Soul Sister

E’Dana & Company

Black Mohawk

Black Foot Hunters and Geronimo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

Northwestern University Jazz Ensemble

Young Pinstripe Brass Band

The Heavenly Melodies Gospel Singers

New Wave Brass Band

Red White & Blue

Wild Mohicans

Golden Comanche and Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians

Loyola University Jazz Ensemble

Keep N It Real

We Are One

Zulu and Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Johnette Downing

Morning Star Mass Choir

The Bester Singers

The Sammy Rimington International Band

The Dynamic Smooth Family Gospel Singers

Tulane University Jazz Ensemble

Tornado Brass Band

Carrollton Hunters

Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows

Ninth Ward Hunters and Ninth Ward Navajo Mardi Gras Indians

Archdiocese of New Orleans Gospel Choir

Golden Voices Community Choir

Olympia Aid

New Look and The First Division Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Bishop Sean Elder & the Mount Hermon BC Mass Choir

The Wimberly Family Gospel Singers

Josh Kagler & Harmonistic Praise Crusade

Big Steppers

Untouchables and Furious Five Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indians

Reverend Jermaine Landrum & the Abundant Praise Revival Choir

Miss Claudia & her Biergartners

Asociacion de Peruanos en Louisiana

Ayla Miller

Young Band Nation Blues Project

The Jones Sisters


Alana Villavaso

N’Fungola Sibo West African Dance Company…

Weekend Two: May 3-6, 2012 

The Neville Brothers

The Eagles

Foo Fighters

Zac Brown Band

Herbie Hancock

My Morning Jacket


Bunny Wailer

Bonnie Raitt

Paulina Rubio

Irma Thomas

Maze feat. Frankie Beverly

Florence & the Machine

Rodrigo y Gabriela


Esperanza Spalding

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

Levon Helm Band with special guest Mavis Staples

Steve Earle

Little Anthony & The Imperials

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Ani DiFranco

Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk

Bruce Hornsby

Asleep at the Wheel

Funky Meters

Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s 50th Anniversary Jam

David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers


Aaron Neville

Rebirth Brass Band

Better Than Ezra

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Marcia Ball

Big Sam’s Funky Nation

The Bounce Shake Down feat. Big Freedia, Katey Red, Keedy Black and DJ Poppa

Sarah Jarosz

Pedrito Martinez

Anders Osborne

Charmaine Neville Band

Jon Cleary

Deacon John

Bombino (Niger)

Donald Harrison

George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners


Rockin’ Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters

Glen Hansard

John Mooney & Bluesiana

Theresa Andersson

Honey Island Swamp Band

Regina Carter’s “Reverse Thread”

Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias

James Cotton “Superharp” Band

Mia Borders

John Boutte

Wayne Toups & ZyDeCajun

Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic



Bill Miller

Joints Jumpin’

Astral Project

Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience

Jeremy Davenport

Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Orchestra

Glen David Andrews

Boutte Family Sunday Praise

Wycliffe Gordon

Ruby Wilson’s Tribute to Bessie Smith & Ma Rainey

Little Freddie King Blues Band


Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Gregg Stafford’s Jazz Hounds

Hot Club of New Orleans

Germaine Bazzle

Andrew Duhon

Rotary Downs

Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove

New Orleans Nightcrawlers

Bobby Lounge

Cheick Hamala Diabate

Silky Sol

Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste Jr.

Leroy Jones & New Orleans Finest

New Birth Brass Band

The Malone Brothers

Marlon Jordan Quartet

Roland Guerin

Zion Harmonizers

Wendell Brunious & the Music Masters

Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band

Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show


Mac Arnold & Plate Full o’ Blues

Amina Figarova Sextet


Banu Gibson

Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans

The Stars of Heaven

Red Stick Ramblers

Rumba Buena

Magnolia Jazz Band of Norway feat. Topsy Chapman

Kipori “Baby Wolf” Woods

Lil’ Nathan & the Zydeco Bigtimers

Jambalaya Cajun Band

Flow Tribe

Free Agents Brass Band

Spencer Bohren

Guitar Masters feat. Jimmy Robinson

Phil DeGruy

John Rankin and Cranston Clements

George French & the New Orleans Storyville Jazz Band

Mariachi Jalisco

Jim McCormick Band

The Revealers

Black Feathers

Black Seminoles and Red Hawk Mardi Gras Indians

Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys

Hot 8 Brass Band

The Raymond A. Myles Singers 30th Anniversary

Mas Mamones

Jo “Cool” Davis with Sugarboy Crawford

Mem Shannon

Blodie’s Jazz Jam



A Living Tribute to Harold Battiste

Creole String Beans

Michael Ward

Golden Blade and Fi Yi Yi Mardi Gras Indians

Original Pinettes Brass Band

Forgotten Souls Brass Band

Casa Samba

Patrice Fisher & Arpa & the Garifuna Connection

The Johnson Extension

Joe Hall & the Cane Cutters

Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra

Mark Braud

Nayo Jones

Reggie Hall & the Twilighters feat. Lady Bee

Belton Richard & the Musical Aces

Phillip Manuel

Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band

New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra

Pinstripe Brass Band

New Orleans Spiritualettes

Jockimo’s Groove feat. War Chief Juan

Ted Winn

Courtney Bryan

Sam Doores & the Tumbleweeds


Young Tuxedo Jazz Band

Tommy Sancton’s New Orleans Legacy Band

Kim Che’re

Kid Simmons’ Local International Allstars

Robert Jardell

Tarriona “Tank” Ball & the BlackStar Bangas

Erica Falls

Baritone Bliss

Kumbuka African Dance & Drum Collective

TBC Brass Band

The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders

Lesa Cormier & the Sundown Playboys

Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers

Donnie Bolden & the Spirit of Elijah

Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble

Cha Wa

Cynthia Girtley

Rocks of Harmony

Val & Love Alive Fellowship Choir

Connie Jones & the Crescent City Jazz Band

Julio y Cesar

Brass Bed

Lynn Drury

Kora Connection feat. Morikeba Kouyate and Thierno Dioubate

Kelcy Mae

Connie & Dwight with the St. Raymond/St. Leo the Great Gospel Choir

McDonogh 35 High School Gospel Choir

The Mighty Supremes

Lyle Henderson & Emmanu-El

Yvette Landry Band

VIP Ladies

Original Big 7 and Original Four Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Zulu Male Ensemble

Zazou City

John Lawrence & Ven Pa’ Ca Flamenco Dancers

Guitar Slim Jr.

Big Al Carson & the Blues Masters

Wild Tchoupitoulas

Wild Apaches

Cherokee Hunters and Young Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians

Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble

Forever Jones

Trombone Woodshed

J. Monque’D Blues Band

Kristi Guillory & the Midtown Project

Ceasar Elloie


Ladies of Unity

Scene Boosters

Ole N Nu Style Fellas and Lady Jetsetters Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Kenneth Terry Brass Band

Gregory Agid

Brother Dege

Palmetto Bug Stompers

Kid Chocolate

Seva Venet & the Storyville String Band

Kinfolk Brass Band

St. Joseph the Worker Choir

DJ Captain Charles

Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony

Golden Sioux

Young Cherokee

Big Chief Trouble & Trouble Nation and Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

Voices of Peter Claver

Pastor Terry Gullage & the Greater Mount Calvary Voices of Redemption Choir

Pastor Tyrone Jefferson

New Orleans Indian Rhythm Section

Gospel Inspirations of Boutte

Jeffery Broussard & Creole Cowboys

O. Perry Walker Charter High School Choir

Eleanor McMain Singing Mustangs

The Pfister Sisters

First Emanuel Baptist Church Mass Choir

Wild Red Flame

Buffalo Hunters and Apache Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

High Steppers Brass Band

Tanya & Dorise

Matthew Davidson

Westbank Steppers

Valley of Silent Men

Pigeon Town Steppers

New Generation and Undefeated Divas Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Culu Children’s Traditional African Dance Company

14 and Under Cajun Band

David & Roselyn

Smitty Dee’s Brass Band

N’Kafu African Dance

Baby Boyz Brass Band

New Orleans Hispano America Dance Group

Versailles Lion Dance Team

Young Fellaz Brass Band

Judy Stock

Eulenspiegel Puppets

Lady Rollers

Original C.T.C. Steppers

Nine Times Ladies

Prince of Wales and Original Lady Buckjumpers Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs

Opera a la Carte

Young Guardians of the Flame

Stephen Foster’s Foster Family Program