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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

Buddy Guy
8 p.m. Fri., April 27
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Living legend Buddy Guy's blistering guitar style has made him as much of an integral part of the history of contemporary rock 'n' roll as he is a cornerstone of the blues. He recorded his first demo in Baton Rouge in 1957, when rock 'n' roll's tidal wave had just soaked the United States. Then he promptly rode the City of New Orleans north to Chicago, where he spent the next 50 years writing the book on electric blues. Right on time for the psychedelic '60s, Guy's style was a formative influence on the young Jimi Hendrix. He was also a favorite of formidable blues fans like the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. This year, when Guy turned 70, Legacy/Silvertone Records put out Can't Quit The Blues , a comprehensive box set of Guy's work, with liner notes from Anthony DeCurtis. It traverses Guy's diverse career, from covers of primitive Southern blues to far-out improvisational explorations. Susan Tedeschi opens. Tickets $45. — Alison Fensterstock

MUSIC

Lonnie Smith, Stanton Moore, Donald Harrison and Will Bernard
9 p.m. Sun.-Mon., April 29-30
Blue Nile, 532 Frenchmen St., 948-2583; www.boomboomtickets.com

Like Rick's Café in Casablanca , everyone comes to Jazz Fest, which also makes all-star onstage match-ups and jam sessions in the clubs the going thing. The Blue Nile, long an anchor of Frenchmen Street's jazz corridor, is hosting a blowout series (organized by San Francisco's Boom Boom Room) of nearly 20 jazz jams between the two Jazz Fest weekends. This prime combination of jazz experimentalists is anchored by jazz and funk drummer Stanton Moore and mystical, turban-topped organ scientist Dr. Lonnie Smith on the Hammond B-3, Grammy-nominated Bay Area guitarist Will Bernard and New Orleans contemporary saxophone star Donald Harrison Jr. All four have pushed their respective envelopes into the furthest reaches of the sonic universe. Onstage together, the universe might just implode from mathematically unquantifiable funkiness. Tickets $20. — Fensterstock

MUSIC

WWOZ Piano Night
7:30 p.m. Mon., April 30
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

From Jelly Roll Morton to James Booker to Dr. John, New Orleans has always been a piano town. For 19 years now, WWOZ-FM listeners from all over the world make their annual pilgrimage to Jazz Fest, Brass Passes in hand, ready to hit the Fair Grounds. On the Monday between the two weekends, they descend on the House of Blues for Piano Night, when the voices they hear on the radio year round convene onstage for an all-star session to benefit the community radio station. The lineup includes straight-up legends of the past, new faces and even a few WWOZ DJs pounding out jazz, R&B and blues on the keys. This year's confirmed participants to date include junker-style legend Eddie Bo (pictured), funkmaster John Gros, trad-jazz from quirky composer Tom McDermott, blues from Marc Stone, David Torkanowsky and Jon Cleary, boogie-woogie and honky-tonk from Marcia Ball, plus Herlin Riley, Henry Gray, Jesse McBride, Topsy Chapman, Renard Poche, Larry Sieberth, Joe Krown and many more. Tickets $30, a $75 "Piano Heaven" pass gets you access to a special early pre-show patron party in the Parish and VIP upstairs seating during the show. — Fensterstock

EVENTS

Big Easy Music Awards
7 p.m. Tue., April 24
The Sugar Mill, 1101 Convention Center Blvd., 483-3130; www.bestofneworleans.com

The year's most innovative performers and biggest contributors to New Orleans' musical rebirth will be honored at the 2007 Big Easy Music Awards. The 19th annual gala combines live music, food and awards presentations. Allen Toussaint will be honored as Entertainer of the Year for his contributions to the city after Hurricane Katrina despite the loss of his home. Toussaint is also nominated with Elvis Costello for best album of the year, River in Reverse . Musician and jazz educator Ellis Marsalis will receive the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Other honorees include Wynton Marsalis, Lillian Boutté, Dr. John (pictured), Lars Edegran, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, who will all be named Big Easy Music Ambassadors. Entertainment will include performances by Toussaint and Irma Thomas, the Benjy Davis Project, Baby Boy, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars and others. There is a special brass band jam finale featuring the Pin Stripe, Rebirth, Soul Rebels and Hot 8 brass bands. The event is sponsored by Gambit Weekly , Harrah's New Orleans Casino & Hotel, John Jay, Pernod Ricard, Abita Beer, Coleman Adler & Sons and WWOZ 90.7 FM. Tickets are $125 or $1250 for tables for ten. Prices include a buffet dinner and open bar. — Emily Hohenwarter

click to enlarge BRAD EDELMAN
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click to enlarge ae_feat-15303.jpeg
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