Originally from Portland, Oregon, blues guitarist Colin Lake found his way to the Crescent City in 2008 and has become a fixture of the local music scene. In addition to opening for Gary Clark Jr. and Dr. John, he is a regular presence in New Orleans clubs and a frequent performer at festivals including Austin City Limits and Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The Honorable South
"I don't always get what I want," muses Charm Taylor on The Honorable South's single "Waves," her voice layered over a warm guitar and drum loop. Self-described as "electric soul rock 'n' roll," the alternative rock band takes local musical influences and filters them through a kaleidoscope of genres. Borrowing from reggae, hip-hop, country and electronica, the group creates sonic landscapes that are elevated by Taylor's expressive vocals. It released the album Faithful Brave & Honest in 2014, which contains some of the band's strongest work to date, including the electric- and R&B-infused "Overdue."
11:20 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
Panorama Jazz Band
The Panorama Jazz Band can be seen regularly at gigs at Gasa Gasa and the Spotted Cat, but draws inspiration for its spirited, eclectic jazz from the streets of Eastern Europe and South America. Clarinetist Ben Schenck leads a crew featuring saxophonist Aurora Nealand, trombonist Charlie Halloran, sousaphonist Matt Perrine and others. Songs like "Sous Les Tropiques" draw upon French and Latin influences, with Schenck's eloquent clarinet dancing over Patrick Mackey's rhythmic banjo.
1:40 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage
With her retro style and throaty vocals, Paloma Faith invites comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Duffy. Her 2014 album A Perfect Contradiction carries her most successful single to date, the deeply soulful "Only Love Can Hurt Like This." Faith has drawn numerous nominations for Brit Awards, Britain's equivalent of the Grammy Awards, and she won the 2015 award for British Female Solo Artist.
1:45 p.m.-2:55 p.m.
With two albums under her belt, including 2013's well-received Neutral Ground, Shreveport native Maggie Koerner reached new audiences in 2014 as the lead singer for Galactic. Her commanding vocals and dynamic stage presence were a boon to the veteran New Orleans jazz-funk group, and she received critical acclaim for live performances of classics such as The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter." Striking out on her own again in 2015, Koerner has turned her attention to more politically charged material — she recently cited the impact on her songwriting of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer.
2:15 p.m.-3:25 p.m.
Folk musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu belongs to the indigenous Australian Gumatj clan of the Yolngu, which comes from Elcho Island, off the country's northern coast. Born blind, he's learned to play guitar, keyboards and drums, and he sings primarily in the Yolngu language and occasionally in English. His voice is highly regarded for its pitch and clarity. His most recent album, Gurrumul and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra: His Life and Music, was recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in 2013 and was nominated for an Australian Recording Industry Association award.
2:35 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Galactic with Macy Gray
After months of speculation about the addition of a big-name female vocalist, New Orleans mainstay Galactic announced Grammy Award winner Macy Gray would replace Maggie Koerner in the band's latest iteration. Gray is best known for her 1999 debut album On How Life Is, which contained the smash hit "I Try." She won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001 for the song, which also was nominated for Song and Record of the Year. She joins Galactic for a series of spring dates, as the band prepares for the release of a new album that promises to return Galactic to its funk and R&B roots. Local singer Erica Falls also is slated to join the group onstage at Jazz Fest.
3:25 p.m.-4:40 p.m.
British chanteuse Estelle first reached the American mainstream in 2008 with the single "American Boy" featuring Kanye West. West first discovered Estelle when she introduced herself to him at a Los Angeles restaurant, eventually leading to a collaboration between her and John Legend. Legend produced two songs on Estelle's debut album The 18th Day, leading her to become the first signee on his Homeschool label. With a vocal range and style reminiscent of Mary J. Blige, Estelle recently was featured on the Fox TV show Empire, where she performed her single "Conqueror" with Jussie Smollett. Estelle released True Romance in February.
3:30 p.m.-4:40 p.m.
Congo Square Stage
Gospel Soul of Irma Thomas
Fifty-five years since the release of her first single "(You Can Have My Husband But) Don't Mess With My Man," the Soul Queen of New Orleans is still one of the Crescent City's finest musical ambassadors. While most famous for the R&B records she cut with Allen Toussaint, Thomas (then Irma Lee) grew up singing gospel music in a Baptist church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. She recorded the gospel album Walk Around Heaven: New Orleans Gospel Soul in 1993 as a tribute to these roots. On it, her powerful voice sounds just as at home on tracks like "Where We'll Never Grow Old" and "Careful Hands" as it does on her R&B hits "It's Raining" and "Wish Someone Would Care." In 2007, Thomas won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy Award for After the Rain, her 18th studio album.
3:50 p.m.-4:50 p.m.
One of the Delta's rising blues singers and guitarists, Jarekus Singleton grew up in the gospel community of his hometown of Clinton, Mississippi. A former college basketball star at the University of Southern Mississippi, Singleton's sports career was put on hold by an ankle injury, a story he details on the autobiographical "Keep Pushin." The International Blues Foundation recently nominated his sophomore album Refuse to Lose for three Blues Music Awards including Album of the Year. Signed to Alligator Records in 2014, Singleton's songs are marked by the legacies of Southern gospel, hip-hop and soul. A standout tune on Refuse to Lose, "Gonna Let Go" combines the get-on-up attitude of James Brown with guitar work similar to Robert Randolph.
3:55 p.m.-4:55 p.m.
Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars
Formed in 2004 by blues guitarist and Baton Rouge native Tab Benoit, the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars is a socially conscious Louisiana supergroup featuring Cyril Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, George Porter Jr., Dr. John, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Vidacovich, Anders Osborne and Johnny Sansone. The all-star lineup straddles an array of Louisiana music while raising money and awareness for the protection and preservation of the state's eroding coast. Benoit received the Governor's Award for Conservationist of the Year in 2009 from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in recognition of his efforts.
5:35 p.m.-7 p.m.