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Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival 

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Legendary bluesman Taj Mahal headlines the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, one of the Jazz and Heritage Foundation's annual free events. With more than 40 years of globetrotting blues under his belt, Taj Mahal has embraced music of the Caribbean and West Africa to add to his arsenal of dirty, heavy blues and American roots and folk. The lineup of blues heavyweights performing on two stages in Lafayette Square for two days includes 2009 Grammy-nominee Ruthie Foster, 1960s R&B guitar slinger Barbara Lynn, Li'l Ed & the Blues Imperials (pictured) and Otis Taylor with Don Vappie.

  New this year is an artist interview stage at the NORD Theater at Gallier Hall.

  Barbecue diehards The Joint and Walker's Southern Style Bar-B-Q join Ba Mien Vietnamese Restaurant, Vaucresson's Sausage Company, Boswell's Jamaican Grill and others. Abita sponsors a sports bar, so Saints fans can keep an eye on the game Sunday while Joe Krown with Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Russell Batiste shred.

Visit the website for a complete schedule. Free admission. — Alex Woodward

Oct. 16-17

Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

10:30 a.m.-8:15 p.m. Sat.; 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun.

Lafayette Square, 580 St. Charles Ave.; www.jazzandheritage.com/blues-fest

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