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THURSDAY, APRIL 24

Parades:
3 p.m. Family Ties and New Orleans East Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs with Olympia Brass Band

Providence Tones of Joy
11 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
The first notes of the 2003 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival come courtesy of this family gospel ensemble from LaPlace, led by the Rev. Wilson. The nine-member group has been active locally for a quarter of a century, bringing a kitchen-sink mix of traditional and contemporary gospel sounds to pulpits and bandstands.

Red House Singers and Dancers
11:15 a.m., Acura Stage; 2 p.m. & 5:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Consisting of members from Native American nations such as the Athabascan, Mohawk and Navajo, this ensemble performs hand-drum round dances as part of its performances.

Porgy Jones & the Porgy Jones Quartet
11:15 a.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Porgy Jones has been active on the New Orleans scene for decades, playing on albums from the likes of late R&B legend Tommy Ridgley, and Jones has also played with national icons such as Horace Silver and Ray Charles. His Jazz Fest sets are often marked with his reverence for trad jazz, and memorable original compositions informed by his wealth of experience.

June Gardner & the Fellows
11:15 a.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Drummer Gardner is one of those veteran New Orleans musicians who didn't learn to play by listening to records; he learned first-hand at venues like the Dew Drop Inn, traveling with chitlin'-circuit legends including Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke and playing on albums such as Albert King's 1978 scorcher New Orleans Heat. He's an immaculate timekeeper with a sense of economy and style, and always leads a stellar group for some swinging trad jazz.

Kumbuka Drum & Dance Collective
11:15 a.m., Congo Square Stage, African
Long a Jazz Fest favorite, Kumbuka Drum & Dance Collective is the perfect kick-off to Congo Square, as this New Orleans ensemble illustrates the connection between African and Caribbean culture and rhythms. Brilliant, authentic African dancing driven by indigenous percussion always highlights its sets.

Kerry Grombacher
11:15 a.m., Lagniappe Stage, Folk
Singer/songwriter Grombacher's specialty is old-timey Western songs -- not contemporary country and western, but hardscrabble cowboy folk songs. Grombacher's a fine mandolinist and acoustic guitarist as well, as heard on his most recent CD, Sands Motel.

Dillard University Jazz Ensemble
11:30 a.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Jazz
This university ensemble is directed by Maynard Chatters, and offers a glimpse into the next generation of New Orleans jazz performers.

Goldman Thibodeaux & the Lawtell Playboys
11:30 a.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Zydeco
In 2000, Creole accordionist Goldman Thibodeaux recorded the lovely album Les Miseres Dan Le Coeur with fiddler Calvin Carriere; Carriere passed away last year and Thibodeaux now performs with the Lawtell Playboys, a name synonymous with old-style Creole zydeco. A set at last fall's Zydeco Festival in Plaisance -- with fiddler D'Jalma Garnier at Thibodeaux's side -- included extended versions of classics by the likes of Amede Ardoin; expect a similar work-out here.

Carolina Tuscarora Stomp and Smoke Dancers
11:30 a.m.; 4:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
These Native American dancers hail primarily from North Carolina, offering traditional Iroquois dances, and northern stomp dances unique to the region.

Paula & the Pontiacs
11:45 a.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Multi-talented frontwoman Paula Rangell is a signer, songwriter, saxophonist and harmonica player rooted in New Orleans R&B and Chicago blues, and leads a roadhouse-worthy band of New Orleans vets through choice covers and original songs from albums such as Cadillac Love and 30 X 90. And while blues is her forte, Rangell is also a fan of Charlie Parker-bop, and can full-out burn on the sax when inspiration strikes.

Hack Bartholomew & Spread the Word
11:45 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This small but strong Kenner-based group spreads the gospel with its contemporary gospel sound.

Bag of Donuts
12:05 p.m., Acura Stage, Variety
"Cover band" is usually a dreaded term in the creative riches of the New Orleans music scene, but the wild antics and humor of this local outfit at least keeps things interesting. Their stage show is equal parts KISS, Gunsmoke and the WWF, and they eschew rote readings of classic songs with twisted new interpretations. Best Led Zeppelin pun for the title of a Bag of Donuts album: Glazed and Confused.

Christian Scott
12:20 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
The nephew of acclaimed saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., Scott is one of New Orleans' rising young trumpet stars. When he isn't hitting the books and bandstands at Boston's Berklee College of Music, Scott can be found sharing the stage in his uncle's band or leading his own ensemble through his readings of classics such as Ellington's "Caravan" or fresh compositions from his own pen. He's particularly fearless, and a few years ago played trumpet on Harrison's Miles Davis-inspired Kind of New album -- at the age of 17.

Otra
12:20 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Latin/ Contemporary Jazz
Otra started making a splash on the New Orleans music scene in 2002 with its blend of Afro-Cuban jazz and grooves, a perfect fit for gigs at hopping Frenchmen Street outposts such as the Blue Nile. Led by bassist Sam Price, the band can hit on mambo, cha-cha-cha and boogaloo and also features a full horn section and the deft rhythms of veteran New Orleans percussionist Pupi Menez.

Andrew Hall's Society Jazz Band
12:25 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Drummer Hall is dedicated to preserving the traditions of traditional New Orleans jazz, and leads a brass band that hews strictly to the dirges and standards played at New Orleans jazz funerals. For a good representation of Hall's talents, his recent CD, New Orleans Jazz Is Alive in 2000, features Hall's reverent versions of classics such as "In the Sweet Bye 'n' Bye" and the Krewe of Rex's Mardi Gras theme, "If Ever I Cease to Love."

Wild Tchoupitoulas
12:25 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Mardi Gras Indian
This legendary Mardi Gras Indian gang is best known for the late Big Chief Jolly, who helped convince the Neville Brothers to come together in the mid-70s and contribute to the landmark Wild Tchoupitoulas album. After going on hiatus in the mid-90s, the tribe was revived by its current Big Chief, Roderick Sylvas, who'll mask in an all-red costume today. Big Chief Jolly's nephew, Justin Harris, is also a member of the current Wild Tchoupitoulas.

Friendly Five Gospel Singers
12:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
For more than four decades, this Uptown quintet has shaken pews and raised roofs with its traditional call-and-response vocal style. Besides interpreting hymns and standards, the Friendly Five also offer their own original testimonials.

Doug Duffey
12:40 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, R&B/Rock
Singer/songwriter/pianist Duffey is a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and has a substantial European fan base, though wider fame has been more elusive in the States. Duffey pumps out a blend of New Orleans R&B and rock 'n' roll, funk and soul that's best experienced live; his appearance with a big band at last year's Louisiana Folklife Festival still has attendees buzzing.

Kostini
12:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
This Native American outfit makes a return appearance at Jazz Fest after making quite an impression last year. Native Peoples magazine raved, "local Native funk band Kostini was perhaps the biggest surprise of this year's Native American Village, presenting a terrific set."


The Hackberry Ramblers
12:55 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Western Swing/Cajun
Celebrating its 70th (!) year, the Hackberries ramble on with the same border sounds of Louisiana Cajun and Texas swing that founding members Luderin Darbone and Edwin Duhon helped forge on the bandstand and over some of the earliest music shows on radio. They're still riding high with a recent National Heritage Award and an upcoming tour to France. Expect anything from waltzes to Cajun blues, with a little Hawaiian tune or Bob Seger thrown in for good measure.


Kenny Neal
1:10 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
One of last year's Blues Tent highlights was Kenny Neal engaging in a good old-fashioned cutting contest with fellow guitarist Deborah Coleman. But Neal can put out plenty of sparks on his own, no surprise considering he's the son of Baton Rouge blues patriarch Raful Neal. Whether it's swamp blues, Chicago blues, a flat-out rocker or a simmering shuffle, Neal's a singer and guitarist of uncommon power and taste, evidenced on his multiple albums for the Alligator and Telarc labels. He can blow some mean Jimmy Reed-style harmonica, too.

Family & Friends Gospel Ensemble
1:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This large New Orleans choir's membership is culled from various local churches, and is backed by a full band for a contemporary sound.



Dash Rip Rock
1:20 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
The songs on Dash Rip Rock's 2000 CD, Sonic Boom (marketed under the abbreviated moniker "Dash"), showed a gentler side of Bill Davis, as the Dash frontman crafted a tidy batch of heartfelt alt-country and pop songs. However 'round these parts, Davis and his cohorts will always be Louisiana's penultimate party band, the hellraisers that stormed the bayou in the '80s like a mix of Hank Williams and the Ramones. The band's fluke novelty hit single "Let's Go Smoke Some Pot" got the most attention, but Dash is a blazing live act and one of the funniest bands around, thanks to anthems with choruses like "I wanna be locked inside a liquor store with you."

Los Sagitarios
1:25 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Latin
While the Latin scene on New Orleans Frenchmen Street receives the lion's share of the attention, the power and sway of local Latin groove machine Los Sagitarios is evident in the packed crowds at regular Saturday night gigs at Vesper's Bar & Grill in Metairie.

Kim Prevost Band featuring Bill Solley
1:30 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Songbird Solley is one of New Orleans' esteemed jazz vocalists, with a multi-octave range and seductive delivery that matches her alluring stage presence. She first made her mark on the scene with her contemporary jazz vocals and CDs such as I Would Give All My Love, but her 2002 CD, Talk to Me, was a departure into contemporary urban R&B territory. No matter what the format, her husband and guitarist Bill Solley is an understated virtuoso, helping make the pair sound like New Orleans' answer to Tuck and Patti.

Tommy Wildcat
1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Wildcat plays traditional Cherokee flute music, and is a highly respected historical lecturer, artist and flute maker. In addition to appearing in media outlets including the Discovery Channel, Wildcat was recently honored as the Flutist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards.

Soul Remedy
1:35 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary R&B
With a positive blend of reggae and funk and a touch of hip-hop, New Orleans' Soul Remedy maintains a devoted local fan base and draws grooving crowds to its regular shows at Cafe Brasil. Lead singer Marla B. has confident and arresting stage presence, and her passionate vocals remain a focal point.

New Orleans Spice Jazz Band
1:40 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
This trad-jazz outfit featuring the likes of trumpeter Jimmy La Rocca and drummer David Hansen has been swinging since 1994, dedicated to the classic New Orleans songbook. The band's latest CD is titled Parade of Classics, an aptly named effort featuring versions of "Bourbon Street Parade," "St. James Infirmary" "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," and, of course, "When the Saints Go Marching In."


Bonerama
1:55 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Brass
This ain't your grandfather's brass band. Bonerama is a young and eclectic outfit featuring an all-trombone front line backed by a driving rhythm section. It makes for a rocking brass sound pumped up with a plethora of effects and sizzling arrangements, especially evidenced when the band breaks out songs such as Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein." To hear Bonerama blowing up a storm, check out its debut CD, Live at the Old Point Bar.

True Believers
2 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This local group sings a blend of traditional spirituals and contemporary gospel as the mood strikes.

Tish Hinojosa
2:20 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Folk/Tex-Mex
San Antonio native and bilingual singer-songwriter Hinojosa is one of the Lone Star State's shining stars, boasting an angelic voice, moving lyrics and a rich catalog of recorded work. From the sweeping Latino survey of 1995's Frontejas to her most recent CD, Sign of Truth, Hinojosa has earned the respect of mainstream peers such as Linda Ronstadt (who's covered Hinojosa compositions) and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, who produced Hinojosa's 1989 CD, Homeland.

Rare Connexion Band featuring Big Al Carson
2:35 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Vocalist Big Al Carson came up playing tuba in the streets, and now his booming, bluesy voice commands big crowds at the Funky Pirate on Bourbon Street, as well as other clubs around town. He is an engaging and humorous singer, and he wrote one of the best local singles of the past few years, the impatient, defiant anthem of bartenders everywhere: "Take Your Drunken Ass Home."

Louisiana's LeRoux
2:40 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
Best known for its 1978 power-pop ballad "New Orleans Ladies," this Louisiana rock band enjoyed a sizable following in the late '70s and early '80s, bringing a dash of local attitude to mainstream outlets such as MTV and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. A succession of solid FM radio-geared albums for Capitol and RCA won more converts, but the band broke up by the late '80s. The founding members recently reformed and released a comeback effort, Bayou Degradable.


Quintology
2:45 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Once known primarily as a band of UNO jazz alums, Quintology has opened up its sound lately. Two-thirds of the lineup boasts new players, as bassist Brady Kish and drummer Marc DiFlorio left town and keyboardist Charlie Dennard secured a slot with Cirque du Soleil. New bass-and-drums combo Tommy Sciple and Simon Lott have quickly mastered the in-the-pocket groove, and Brian Coogan's keyboards often take on retro-psychedelic patterns with plenty of surprise accents. Original reedsman Brent Rose jumps from soprano to alto sax and back, and guitarist Brian Seeger is known to reach the outer limits with whirring slide stylings.

New Orleans Blend Chorus
2:45 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Approximately 35 members fill this joyful a capella chorus directed by Sue Galliano. Listen for a few surprises in this set, as 10 singers from Texas will join the ensemble, and pianist Rev. Regina Hickman will also sit in to spice up the Blend.

Scotty Hill's French Market Jazz Band
2:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
New Orleans trombonist and bandleader Hill leads this spry trad-jazz ensemble through favorites like "Bogalusa Strut" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." On Hill's 2000 CD, Makin' Market, those songs came along through a core band of pianist David Torkanowsky, drummer Herlin Riley, saxophonist David Lastie, and late great bassist Erving Charles.

Joe Blakk and II Fire Records' China Redd
2:50 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Rap
In stark contrast to the peace and sunshine vibe that permeates the Fair Grounds, listen for New Orleans rapper Blakk to throw down some of his hardest and most explicit rhymes: songs from albums like Blood, Sweat and Tears such as "Think I'm BullShittin'," "Life's a Bitch" and "Talkin' Mo' Shit."

Patrice Fisher & Arpa with guests Chiko & Rogerio
2:55 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Latin
While she's primarily known for her dazzling Latin-fused work, harpist Fisher's extensive discography includes forays into Celtic music, classical music and contemporary jazz, illustrating her voracious musical curiosity and virtuosity on her instrument. On her recent CD, Wanderings, Brazilian musicians from the Chiko & Rogerio group -- her special guests on today's set -- join in on two of Fisher's original contributions, as well as shine on their own vocal piece, "Luz Do Sol."

Butch Mudbone
3:15 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Blues
Pennsylvania native Mudbone sings with raspy authority and plays guitar in the spirit and style of his early heroes such as Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. While he currently travels and tours extensively in Europe, a long stint busking in the Quarter has made him a perennial choice to perform at Jazz Fest.


Ivan Neville's Dumpsta Phunk
3:30 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Funk
After years of working in Los Angeles and New York -- playing with everyone from Keith Richards to the Spin Doctors -- Ivan Neville has been spending some extensive time on his home turf the last few years, and he's funkier than ever. Besides cutting the best album of his career in 2002, the criminally overlooked Saturday Morning Music, Neville's soul- and syncopation-drenched keyboard work and fiery vocals have lit up local clubs in recent months. This promises to be one of the hardest-hitting sets of this year's Fest.

Emerson Chapman & the Chapman Family
3:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
The Chapman Family makes its Jazz Fest debut this year, and Emerson Chapman directs this young male and female choir.

La Volee D'Castors of Canada
3:50 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Folk
This Canadian folk band is revered in its home country, scoring a 2001 Juno nomination (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Roots and Traditional album for its self-titled third release, after being named Best New Folk Artists in 1999-2000. La Volee D'Castors play spirited modern reels and jigs interspersed with traditional favorites and should be a natural fit for the Fais Do-Do Stage.

Bob Margolin Allstar Jam featuring Pinetop Perkins & Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
4 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
If you're looking for authentic Chicago blues, look no further. Guitarist Margolin, pianist Perkins and drummer Smith all logged time as bandmembers for Muddy Waters, and it shows in their impeccable timing and deep, soulful readings of blues classics. Both Margolin and Perkins (who's now 92 years old) have acclaimed solo careers and Smith is an in-demand session drummer, but the kinship when they share a stage is something special.

Luther Kent & Trickbag
4:05 p.m., Acura Stage, Blues
For aficionados of rough-and-tumble R&B with a full horn section, the annual pairing of Luther Kent and Trickbag is a can't-miss set. Kent's one of New Orleans most powerful blues belters, and continues to spread the gospel of classic R&B through his work with bands like the Fabulous Chickenhawks. Trickbag is the brass-heavy ensemble perfectly suited for Kent's booming voice, and saxophonist Charlie Brent's horn charts are superb.

Allen Toussaint Jazz Project
4:15 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
This is shaping up as one of the most intriguing sets of Jazz Fest. Toussaint is famed as one of New Orleans' greatest songwriters and producers; he wrote classics such as "Mother-in-Law" and "Working in a Coal Mine," as well as manning the boards for legendary albums from the likes of the Meters and Lee Dorsey. This is the Jazz Fest debut of Toussaint's long-awaited jazz project. One thing's for sure: Toussaint is a perfectionist, and the band and material should be rehearsed tight as a glove.


Wendell Brunious
4:15 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
The always dapper Brunious ranks in the top tier of New Orleans trad-jazz trumpeters. His expertise and commanding stage presence regularly leads the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, no surprise considering Brunious is the son of esteemed trumpet player John Brunious. On CDs such as We'll Meet Again, Brunious brings his sense of swing and history to songs like "Dippermouth Blues" and "Shake it and Break it." In his live performances, Brunious also shows he's a superb whistler; listen for his sweet whistle intro to the Professor Longhair anthem "Go to the Mardi Gras."

The Revealers
4:15 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Reggae
Since its 1996 inception, the Revealers has steadily become one of New Orleans' most popular reggae bands, evidenced by repeat Big Easy Awards for Best Reggae Band. With three independent CDs under their belt, the band continues to pack in crowds thanks to the dual lead vocals of Chris "DeRoc" DeBose and Teresa "Ms. T" Williams and a rock-steady rhythm section anchored by bassist and arranger Norman Nails. Dub, dancehall, rap and funk are all part of the Revealers mix.

Famous Rocks of Harmony
4:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
New Orleans is home to this quartet that offers up traditional vocal gospel; its sound and dignity is reminiscent of legendary New Orleans outfit the Zion Harmonizers.

The James Andrews Band
4:25 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Traditional Jazz/R&B
The "Satchmo of the Ghetto" nickname is a tad overblown, but there's no denying that trumpeter James Andrews possesses some of the charismatic charm of Louis Armstrong. Andrews knows his way around trad jazz, but he's just as apt to pull out New Orleans R&B, funk and brass numbers, no surprise considering he's the nephew of the late Jessie "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" Hill and a member of the Newbirth Brass Band. The Allen Toussaint-produced Satchmo of the Ghetto CD is a fine representation of Andrews' talent.

Southern Sons
5:10 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This Alabama-based contemporary gospel vocal group uses keyboards and modern production on its versions of songs such as "My God is a Mighty God." Sons member Jonathan Burton is also very active in the Southern gospel community and is the founder of Black Gospel Connection magazine.


Lucinda Williams
5:25 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Rock
After the long-delayed release of her multi-platinum 1996 CD Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, word finally got out to the mainstream that Lucinda Williams is one of the best singer-songwriters in America. Her local appearances are always notable, as Williams has Louisiana roots: she's a Baton Rouge native, lived in New Orleans in the '80s, and has paid tribute to Louisiana in songs such as "Crescent City," "Lake Charles" and "Lafayette." She arrives in town supporting her brand-new CD, A World Without Tears (Lost Highway Records).


New Orleans Klezmer Allstars
5:30 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Contemporary Klezmer
With a core membership that includes eclectic guitarist Jonathan Freilich and saxophonist Rob Wagner (known for their scintillating jazz work), it's no surprise that the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars (NOKAS) take traditional klezmer music and marry it with everything from second-line beats to swampy funk. The band's live sets are renowned for their frenetic pace and audience participation, and the band ups the ante even more during its Jazz Fest sets. NOKAS' sizable discography just got bigger, as the band has a new CD, Borvis.

Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets featuring Sam Myers
5:35 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Anson Funderburgh and Sam Myers have been tirelessly bringing the blues to the world for more than two decades. Funderburgh plays in the Texas guitar-slinger style, but with an economy that's more Jimmie Vaughan than Stevie Ray. When frontman and vocalist Sam Myers lets his voice loose, it's like the entire Mississippi Delta opens up. The band can be heard to excellent effect on their multiple CDs for the Black Top and Bullseye record labels.


Fats Domino
5:45 p.m., Acura Stage, R&B
New Orleans legend Fats Domino just turned 75 this year, but in his rare live performances (Domino only plays once or twice a year currently), he plays with the enthusiasm and strength of a teenager. To hear him belt out his cavalcade of hits -- the ones that helped him 75 million records and were a profound influence on everyone from Elvis Presley to the Beatles -- and see him belly-bump his piano is a rock 'n' roll experience not to be missed. For proof, check out the new companion CD and DVD, Fats Domino Live From the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2001.


Lizz Wright
5:45 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Twenty-three-year-old Lizz Wright looks poised to be jazz's next big star. Next month, Verve Records releases her debut CD, Salt, a neo-soul infused gem helmed by legendary producer Tommy LiPuma and featuring backing from the likes of drummer Brian Blade and pianist Danilo Perez. Wright possesses a strong contralto informed by her childhood gospel roots. She also has contemporary and retro tastes; the title track of her new CD is a tribute to Donny Hathaway.

Jelly Roll with Vernel Bagneris and Morten Gunnar Larsen
5:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Conceived as an alternative to Jelly's Last Jam, which many critics felt was an unfair portrayal of New Orleans legend Jelly Roll Morton, Jelly Roll combined the talents of New Orleans actor Vernel Bagneris with the deft piano work of Morten Gunnar for a more humanistic view of Morton. Bagneris plays Morton brilliantly, while Larsen pours himself into Jelly Roll classics like "Winin' Boy Blues," "The Crave" and "Fingerbreaker." (See this week's A&E feature.)


Manuel Obregon y la Orquesta de la Papaya of Costa Rica
5:50 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Contemporary Jazz/World
Obregon is a fantastic pianist from Costa Rica who synthesizes indigenous Central American melodies and rhythms with modern jazz technique. One of his most compelling CDs features Obregon's solo piano nestled alongside recordings from the Costa Rican rain forest. He'll have a big and diverse band, his Orquesta de la Papaya, with him for today's set. (See feature story.)


Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris and Friends
5:55 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Jazz/Vocals
Beloved New Orleans singer Leigh "Little Queenie" will have a whole load of superstars onstage with her this Jazz Fest. Pianist Michael Wolff (former keyboard man for Cannonball Adderley and Cal Tjader) joins her from New York, as well as this crew of Louisianans: saxophonist Rebecca Barry, guitarists Jimmy Robinson and C.C. Adcock, percussionist Michael Skinkus, and the sauciest backup singers around, the Wahini Dahinis. Listen for Queenie classics and new originals in this set.

The Violinaires
6:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Leonard Williams leads this small Jackson, Miss.-based vocal group that rolls into town boasting strong harmonies and a full backing band.

FRIDAY, APRIL 25


Gregg Martinez
11 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
South Louisiana native Martinez was influenced by Louisiana soul singer G.G. Shinn and national figures like Marvin Gaye and channels those roots into gospel. His discography includes the albums Wonders Never Cease, Love Has a Voice, They That Wait and For the Ages.

Willie Metcalf & the World Peace Movement
11:10 a.m., Congo Square Stage, Contemporary Jazz
For almost 30 years, pianist and Detroit native Metcalf has been a fixture on the New Orleans contemporary jazz scene. Whether playing solo or with varied ensembles, he's equally adept at bop and ballads. He's a renowned educator, and former students include luminaries such as Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. He's also the founder of the Academy of Black Arts and regularly works with area youth on social issues.

LSU Jazz Ensemble
11:15 a.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Jazz
William Grimes is the director of this university ensemble and brings his considerable experience (performing with the likes of Joe Pass and McCoy Turner) to the band's repertoire and arrangements.

Carolina Tuscarora Stomp and Smoke Dancers
11:15 a.m., Acura Stage; 2 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
These Native American dancers hail primarily from North Carolina, offering traditional Iroquois dances and Northern stomp dances unique to the region.


Moise & Alida Viator with Eh, La-Bas!
11:15 a.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Cajun/Traditional Jazz
Calling themselves a "traditional New Orleans Creole music band," the eight-piece Eh, La-Bas! is celebrating its Jazz Fest debut and the new CD, Mermaids of the Canary Islands. Including brother-sister team Moise and Alida Viator -- as well as their dad, Etienne Viator -- the band energetically and skillfully recreates the era when Louisiana was the happy collision point of Caribbean, Cajun and myriad other music traditions. (See feature story.)

Al Belletto Big Jazz Band
11:15 a.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Alto saxophonist Belletto's resume speaks volumes. He backed Mel Torme, was discovered by Stan Kenton, was musical director for the New Orleans branch of the Playboy club in the '60s, and was a longtime fixture in Al Hirt's band. That's just scratching the surface, but it all comes through in Belletto's big sound, capable of burning or blowing elegantly. His 1997 CD, Jazznocracy, features Belletto playing with the cream of the crop of New Orleans' contemporary jazz scene.


Panorama Jazz Band
11:15 a.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz/eclectic
They offer "jazz, klezmer, biguine, Balkan and more," and they aren't kidding. With the Panorama Jazz Band, any genre is fair game, thanks to their stellar musicianship and unique instrumentation -- an accordion pumps up trad-jazz fare and allows for polkas and habaneras, too. The band's a regular on the hoppin' scene at the Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street and also gets hopped up on their recent CD, Another Hot Night in February.


David & Roselyn
11:15 a.m., Lagniappe Stage, Blues
David Leonard and Roselyn Lionhart used to be fixtures on the Jackson Square street-singing scene, but their vibrant versions of blues, folk, jazz and New Orleans classics, not to mention some spry originals, have taken them around the world. Leonard's a nimble guitarist with a deep baritone, while Lionhart's percussion and complementary vocals make this duo a treat not to be missed. Their talented daughter, vocalist Arlee Leonard, will probably sit in with her parents today.

Red House Singers and Dancers
11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Consisting of members from Native American nations such as the Athabascan, Mohawk and Navajo, this ensemble performs hand-drum round dances as part of their performances.

Charles Jackson & the Jackson Travelers
11:45 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This longtime Jazz Fest Gospel Tent favorite hails from Kenner, and keeps receiving return invitations to the Fest thanks to their spirited versions of traditional gospel classics.

J. Monque'D Blues Band
11:45 a.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Local bluesman J. Monque'D is known for his "mouthful of gold and his heart full of soul." His harmonica playing and singing combine Chicago blues and New Orleans funk on original, often humorous songs like his answering machine diatribe "After the Beep," along with a requisite number of blues warhorses. His band is full of seasoned veterans of the New Orleans circuit, and his Jazz Fest appearances usually include a cameo from the Little Pats of Butter, a group of children back-up singers.

NewBirth Brass Band
12:10 p.m., Acura Stage, Contemporary Brass
Led by charismatic singer and trumpeter James Andrews, NewBirth Brass Band ranks as one of the city's hottest modern brass bands, following the lead of veterans like the Dirty Dozen and ReBirth. Contemporary funk and hip-hop inform the NewBirth's sound, and the band's 1998 debut CD, D-Boy, was produced by Allen Toussaint. For a great taste of the band's current high-octane sound, check out NewBirth's "Show Me How Ya Do That Dance," featured on the superb new brass band compilation CD, Straight From the 6th Ward.

Jambalaya Cajun Band
12:20 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Cajun
It was Hank Williams Sr. who penned the Louisiana-themed hit "Jambalaya" and set it to a traditional Cajun tune. Fittingly, Jambalaya frontman Terry Huval is a talented fiddler who has been keeping south Louisiana dance floors packed for more than two decades -- and performs in a tribute to Williams each Christmas at the Liberty Theater in Eunice. For today's set, expect dancer-friendly Cajun tunes spiced with classic country.

Doc Paulin's Original Dixieland Jazz Band
12:20 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
The Paulin family is another New Orleans music dynasty; patriarch trumpeter and nonagenarian Doc Paulin ensures that the family name and traditional jazz are carried on in this band filled with his sons. Their 1996 CD, The Tradition Continues, features trombonists Scott and Dwayne Paulin, and in recent years saxophonist Roderick Paulin has emerged as a solo artist.

Tondrae
12:20 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Contemporary Soul
Singer Tondrae has been active in the local spoken-word and television industry in recent years, but it's his voice and lyrics that led to recent collaborations with Bass Heavy, known for his work with N'Dea Davenport and Master P (and as the bass player with local favorites Soul Remedy). Expect progressive neo-soul with New Orleans flavor.

Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians
12:20 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Mardi Gras Indian
Led by Big Chief Larry Bannock since 1979, this Mardi Gras Indian tribe never disappoints with its brilliant plumery, costumes and authentic chants. Bannock's old-school leadership paves the way; he survived being shot in the leg by another Mardi Gras Indian in 1981 but continues the tradition undaunted.

Michael Ward
12:25 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Jazz
Jazz violinist Ward is an electrifying performer that throws touches of funk and R&B into his repertoire. While he's well versed in the full spectrum of jazz, Ward's most recent CDs find him moving more in the smooth jazz direction.


Leroy Jones and New Orleans Finest
12:25 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Leroy Jones was discovered by the late great New Orleans banjo/guitar player, singer and raconteur Danny Barker in the '70s, who recruited the teenager Jones for his Fairview Baptist Church brass band. Since then, Jones has become one of New Orleans' brilliant trad-jazz trumpeters, informing the tradition with his own soulful vocals and playing on albums like Props for Pops, a Louis Armstrong tribute. His most recent CD, Back to My Roots, showcases Jones' composition skills with some rollicking brass-band compositions.

Morning Star Baptist Church Choir
12:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This large local choir is known for its traditional gospel and is a perennial Jazz Fest favorite.

Treater
12:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, R&B
This South Louisiana-based band with Native American heritage has become a popular act on the local circuit, playing swamp-pop, R&B and zydeco and backing acts such as Johnnie Allan and Joe Barry.

Lil' Buck Sinegal Blues Band
1:10 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
South Louisiana guitar slinger Sinegal is equally versed in blues and zydeco, having logged many musical miles with Clifton Chenier and Rockin' Dopsie. Sinegal's solo debut, The Buck Starts Here, was produced by Allen Toussaint and featured smoking Sinegal originals like "Winding Roads and Pine Trees." For serious B.B. King single-note style playing informed by Creole rhythms, Sinegal's the man.

Jay East & Power
1:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
On their 2002 CD, Raise in the Praise, leader East commands this polished ensemble through a contemporary gospel set featuring funky bass lines, powerful female back-up vocals, and strong call-and-response harmonies and choruses.

Irie Vibrations
1:25 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Reggae
The multicultural musical landscape of the Congo Square stage is a perfect spot for Irie Vibrations, one of New Orleans' most popular reggae bands.

Renee McCrary
1:30 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Rock
Baton Rouge-based singer-songwriter McCrary recently released her debut CD, Wide Awake, a polished and soulful contemporary rock album. McCrary has a powerful, multi-octave range, and never succumbs to vocal excess a la Alanis Morissette, instead delivering just the right amount of assured braggadocio on songs like "Got to Be."

Tommy Wildcat
1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Wildcat plays traditional Cherokee flute music and is a highly respected historical lecturer, artist and flute maker. In addition to appearing in media outlets such as the Discovery Channel, Wildcat was recently honored as the Flutist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards.


Lil' Band o' Gold featuring Warren Storm, Steve Riley, C.C. Adcock & the St. Martin Horns
1:35 p.m., Acura Stage, Swamp pop/Rock
Legendary swamp-pop vocalist and drummer Warren Storm anchors this South Louisiana supergroup along with young guns Steve Riley on accordion and C.C. Adcock on guitar. A who's-who from the likes of BeauSoleil, the Mamou Playboys and File rounds out the band, which plays well-crafted originals and classic Louisiana R&B, swamp pop and rock 'n' roll. The band's superb self-titled debut CD came out in 2000 on Shanachie Records.


Alison Brown Quartet
1:35 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Bluegrass
Called by USA Today a "jazz-classical-pop-folk-Latin mix," the Grammy-winning Brown has also received nods from traditionalists such as the International Bluegrass Music Association, which pegged her Banjo Player of the Year. She has a taste for quirky song titles, including "The Devil Went Down to Berkeley," "My Favorite Marsha" and the Jazz Fest-appropriate "Etouffee Brutus?"


The Pfister Sisters
1:35 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz/Vocals
The Pfister Sisters pay tribute to the legendary New Orleans ensemble the Boswell Sisters, whose creative and intricate arrangements changed vocal jazz forever. Individually, Pfister Sisters' vocalists Holly Bendsten, Yvette Voelker-Cuccia and Debbie Davis are great singers, and together their harmonies are positively heavenly. A number of local luminaries fill the Pfister Sisters band, including longtime pianist Amasa Miller.


Garage a Trois
1:40 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Funk/Jazz
This contemporary jamband "supergroup" of sorts features guitarist Charlie Hunter, saxophonist Skerik, vibist Mike Dillon and Galactic drummer Stanton Moore. Together they create an intoxicating sound tapestry that's equal parts jazz- and funk-inspired. The band just released its debut CD, Emphasizer, on Tone-Cool Records. (See feature story.)

The Troy Andrews Band
1:40 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
You might know young trumpeter Troy Andrews by his other moniker, Trombone Shorty. Andrews is the younger brother of trumpeter James Andrews, and has made great strides in the last two years, leading his own band and releasing his debut CD, Swingin' Gate. (The CD features Andrews' original material and spirited versions of New Orleans classics.) Wynton Marsalis is one of Andrews' biggest supporters and fans.



John Lee & the Heralds of Christ
2 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Classic old-style quartet gospel singing is the specialty of this New Orleans group, which has enthralled Jazz Fest audiences for years.



Jeremy Lyons
2:35 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Guitarist Lyons apprenticed with legendary folk and blues guitarist Martin Simpson and has complemented that education with a healthy dose of New Orleans-informed greasy slide guitar playing. With his band the Deltabilly boys, Lyons effortlessly moves between rockabilly, Delta blues, surf music, country tunes and Piedmont rags. He's also a humorous songwriter, evidenced by the title track of his cookin' 1999 CD, Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch. Lyons' brand-new CD, Live at the Dragon's Den, captures a typically incendiary performance at local club the Dragon's Den.


Jimmy and Syl Johnson
2:40 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Blues
This dynamic brother duo has produced some incredible American music throughout their careers: Jimmy's known for his authentic Chicago blues, while Syl's mix of soul and blues is best encapsulated in his own stellar '70s version of "Take Me to the River," which Johnson says Al Green wrote for him. Both men continue to record, perform and craft quality albums on their own, and the prospect of seeing these two underground legends together on stage is thrilling.

Voices of Distinction
2:45 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This relatively new all-female vocal group is an offshoot of the popular female gospel group the New Orleans Spiritualettes and is led by Audrey Ferguson.

Javier Tobar & Elegant Gypsy
2:50 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Latin
Guitarist and vocalist Tobar is a Jazz Fest fixture and respected figure on the New Orleans Latin-music scene. His 1999 CD, Gitano Elegante, shows why, featuring Tobar's original songs and nimble flamenco work surrounded by fellow virtuosos such as percussionists Michael Skinkus and Pupie Menez, and timbales player Hector Gallardo.


Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen
2:55 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Funk/R&B
After more than a decade of being one of New Orleans' best-kept secrets (despite being tapped by Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal for his piano work and songwriting), Jon Cleary finally broke through to wider acclaim last year with his masterful self-titled CD. Cleary's a soulful singer and dazzling keyboardist rooted in R&B and the New Orleans piano tradition, and his band the Absolute Monster Gentlemen is one of the city's finest funk outfits. Whether it's one of his own catchy original songs or a devastating cover of the Meters' "Just Kissed My Baby," Cleary's a top-flight musician and showman.

James Rivers Movement
2:55 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz/R&B
Saxophonist James Rivers also doubles on the bagpipes, and boasts one of the most diverse repertoires in New Orleans. His latest CD, Songs People Love to Hear, features the blues, R&B and bagpipe standards that his fans demand at every performance. Rivers is also an ace jazzman, and jazz aficionado Clint Eastwood enlisted Rivers to contribute music to his movies Bird (the Charlie Parker tribute) and Bridges of Madison County.


Clive Wilson's New Orleans Serenaders featuring Butch Thompson
2:55 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Wilson leads his six-piece trad jazz ensemble the New Orleans Serenaders, which shows a particular affinity and flair for Louis Armstrong compositions. Wilson isn't afraid to tackle Armstrong tongue-twisters such as "Potato Head Blues," and "West End Blues," and is also a fine interpreter of the Kid Ory canon. The added bonus of this set is the presence of stellar trad and ragtime pianist Butch Thompson, best known in mainstream America for his frequent A Prairie Home Companion appearances.

Jerry Beach Band
3 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Blues
Shreveport-based guitarist and singer Beach and his band play barroom blues aimed at the dance floor, leavened with touches of R&B and gospel. Beach's daughter also helps out with tough-as-nails vocals. Blues history note: Beach is the writer of the blues standard "I'll Play the Blues for You," best known as an Albert King anthem.

Jo-El Sonnier
3:05 p.m., Acura Stage, Country/Cajun
What other Rayne native has recorded with Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello and the Indigo Girls, shared the stage with Bob Dylan, and had his songs recorded by Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis? Through his session work in Nashville, accordionist Sonnier has proven his musicianship and versatility -- yet in his recent recordings he's demonstrated his continuing mastery and respect of traditional French Cajun music as well.


Butch Mudbone
3:15 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Blues
Pennsylvania native Mudbone sings with raspy authority and plays guitar in the spirit and style of his early heroes like Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. While he currently travels and tours extensively in Europe, a long stint busking in the Quarter has made him a perennial choice to perform at Jazz Fest.

Therrow Scott & Tehillah
3:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This young, small ensemble is composed of members of New Orleans' Beacon Light church, and leader Scott directs their spirited contemporary gospel sound.


Duke Robillard Blues Band
4:05 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
New England blues legend Robillard is no stranger to New Orleans; he recorded extensively with the late great Johnny Adams, and as co-founder of Roomful of Blues, Robillard carried on the legacy of New Orleans horn-fueled R&B with takes on Smiley Lewis, Fats Domino and more. He's also an underrated jazz guitarist and just released another lyrical jazz album, titled More Conversations in Swing Guitar. Simply put, whether he's playing classic or contemporary blues, Robillard's one of the genre's greatest six-stringers.


Marce et Toumpak of Martinique
4:10 p.m., Congo Square Stage, World
French Antilles band Marce et Toumpak play in a scintillating pop style called "zouk chouv'," a unique blend of traditional hand-drumming, bamboo flute and unusual staccato singing mixed with electric guitars, keyboards and trap drums. (See feature story.)


St. James African Methodist Episcopal Combined Choir
4:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This contemporary gospel ensemble is culled from the oldest AME church in the city and is led by the young and talented Roland Jack.




Dirty Dozen Brass Band
4:20 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Brass
After a quarter of a century, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- originator of the modern brass band movement -- is still going strong. Last year, the band released Medicated Magic, featuring guest performances by rising young stars Norah Jones and Robert Randolph. The Dozen remains one of the hardest-touring New Orleans bands, constantly playing clubs and festivals across the world. From Monk to hip-hop, funk to traditional marches, the Dozen churns it all up into its signature progressive sound.


Lady B.J. Crosby
4:20 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz/R&B
Outside of New Orleans, Lady B.J. Crosby is best-known as the Broadway Tony Award-winning actress from Smokey Joe's Cafe, as well as her work in Dreamgirls and One Mo' Time, not to mention television appearances on The Bill Cosby Show. But to locals, Crosby is simply one the Crescent City's finest singers, and her local appearances at clubs like Snug Harbor are always packed with fans eager to hear a hometown hero who can sing the daylights out of jazz, gospel, R&B and blues.


Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds
4:20 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Former Danny Barker sideman Stafford is one of New Orleans' finest trad-jazz trumpeters. Whether leading his own Hounds, the Preservation Hall Band, or recording with the likes of clarinetists Dr. Michael White and Reed Carrick, Stafford's supreme taste and economy of style -- and the ability to uncork a 13-minute long "Tin Roof Blues" when inspiration strikes -- make him always worth listening to.

Freestyle Nation
4:20 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Soul/Hip-Hop
This Atlanta-based quintet fuses acoustic sounds and positive hip-hop attitude with live musicianship, a la India.Arie. The blend of male and female lead vocals from Paul Morton Jr. and Li Li Wilson makes for a nice contrast, while drummer and native New Orleanian Ed Clark knows how to make it funky. The band recently released its debut CD, Freeversation.


Belton Richard & the Musical Aces
4:25 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Cajun
Good news: Belton Richard's comeback is still going strong. The popular Cajun accordionist/singer/bandleader had many local hits throughout his decades-long career, especially the sultry "Un autre soir ennuyant," when he retired in 1987. Popular demand brought him back to festivals and other stages, where he accompanies his nimble and soulful accordion work with a voice that rings clear and sincere; he's been called a Cajun George Jones, and it's an apt comparison.


Bob Dylan

4:50 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
The legendary bard of rock 'n' roll returns to Jazz Fest for the first time since 1993. Now in his fifth decade of writing, recording and performing, Dylan continues to amaze on recent albums like 2001's Love and Theft, writing songs that mine his encyclopedic knowledge of the American roots music canon and show his incomparable way with imagery and metaphors. And as anybody who's seen a Dylan performance in the last decade can attest, Dylan's dedication to his live shows in unflagging, and he's constantly revisiting classics such as "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Highway 61 Revisited" with fresh arrangements.



Spencer Taylor & the Highway QCs
5:10 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Since 1945, the Highway QCs have been one of the biggest and most respected names in gospel. The group's early days were marked by lead singer and tenor Sam Cooke, an indication of the kind of vocal talent that has always filled the ranks of the ensemble. Leader Taylor has maintained the band's commitment to superb gospel harmonies for more than five decades now, and the QCs continue to record and perform with the same fervor and passion that has always been its hallmark.


Chico Hamilton & Euphoria
5:45 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Eighty-one year old drummer Chico Hamilton started playing drums back in the 1940s with jivester/singer Slim Gaillard, and he's also manned the skins for Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Lester Young and other jazz legends. His bands are famous for having hungry, up-and-coming youngsters who push Hamilton's playing. Hamilton's also an underrated and warm vocalist who might sing a standard or two, and in honor of his New Orleans appearance, don't be surprised if he offers up a swinging version of "When the Saints Go Marching In," a frequent selection in Hamilton's sets.

Cyril Neville & the Uptown All-Stars
5:45 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Reggae
Cyril Neville has always cited Bob Marley's message of activism and social consciousness as a primary inspiration, so it's not surprising that the youngest Neville Brother fronts his own reggae band. Billed as the world's only "second-line reggae band," Neville throws New Orleans rhythms into the Jamaican mix, and his hybrid version of "Big Chief" is eminently funky.

Galactic
5:50 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Funk
New Orleans nouveau-funksters Galactic combine the best of several worlds. They improvise with a funk base and sense of journey that distinguishes them from the typical jam band noodlers, then Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet joins the band with his down-home raspy voice that adds a big dose of soul. Besides the band's cache of jazz-inflected originals, recent cover tunes Galactic sets have included are Led Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Saturday Night Special." For a sampler of the band's sound, check out its new Best Of CD on Volcano Records.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown with Gate's Express
5:50 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Approaching the age of 80, Louisiana blues legend Brown shows no sign of slowing down. Well, he has cut back his national touring schedule a tad, but still plays with a fire and inventiveness that puts men half his age to shame. Brown fingerpicks an incredible array of Western swing, big band, country, jazz and even bluegrass licks on his guitar, and sings with the learned authority of a man who got his start by upstaging T-Bone Walker at a Texas nightclub. Brown's backing band Gate's Express is a rock-solid unit as well, able to stop on a dime and deftly follow Brown's ever-changing lead(s).


New Orleans/Chicago Express featuring Franz Jackson & Sammy Rimington
5:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Talk about two legends sharing the same bandstand. Since 1926, Franz Jackson has been one of the world's preeminent clarinetists, having recorded and/or played with Albert Ammons,
Jimmie Noone, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines and Fats Waller. Rimington emerged on the trad jazz scene in the early '60s, and has recorded with the likes of Chris Barber, Kid Thomas Valentine and Captain John Handy. Both men pay homage to the classic sound of George Lewis, but with their own respective style and flair.

Percussion, Inc.
5:50 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, African
Under the direction of local percussionist Kenyatta Simon, Percussion, Inc. explores the rhythms of Africa and the Caribbean.

Poncho Chavis & Magic Sounds
5:55 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Zydeco
The passing of zydeco king Boozoo Chavis and his son/rubboard player Charles was felt most of all by his family, and heir-apparent Poncho Chavis has set out to keep the Chavis songbook alive and on the bandstand. Approaching the stage from across the Fair Grounds, you'll think you're hearing Boozoo again: Poncho is a skilled accordionist who plays and sings his two-steps and waltzes in short bursts of soul and fire, launching into the next number before the dust settles.


UNO Gospel Choir
6:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This large choir culled from the University of New Orleans boasts almost 40 members, and director Roland Julian harnesses those voices into a booming contemporary gospel sound. The choir also throws in bits of traditional gospel, backed by a full band.




SATURDAY, APRIL 26

Parades:
11:30 a.m. in Economy Hall: Nine Time Ladies
Noon Original Step n' Style, Valley of Silent Men, Single Men and Old & Nu Style Fellas with Paulin Brothers Brass Band
1 p.m. Wild Apache, Geronimo Hunters and Yellow Jackets Mardi Gras Indians
2 p.m. Devastation, Undefeated Divas, Men Rollers and Lady Rollers SAPCs with Mahogany Brass Band

Providence Baptist Church Male Chorus of LaPlace
11 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This 15-member ensemble from LaPlace has been singing traditional gospel filled with exquisite harmonies for more than a decade.


Chevere
11:15 a.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Jazz/Latin
Not to be confused with the Cajun band Charivari, Chevere is a Latin music ensemble led by versatile keyboardist Dave Ellington. With Ellington's syncopated parts supplying the main color, percussionists Michael Skinkus and Hector Gallardo bring in traditional Brazilian rhythms. The band's independent CD, Bailar Mi Ritmo, is well worth seeking out.

Rockie Charles
11:15 a.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Soul
Last decade he was working as a tugboat captain, but local record label Carlo Ditta discovered that shipman Rockie Charles has one of the world's great unsung soul voices. With a falsetto quiver that suggests Al Green with New Orleans phrasing, Charles' 1997 debut CD, Born For You (Orleans Record), was filled with brand-new soul anthems that sounded like they'd been cut at Stax in 1968.

190 Express
11:15 a.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Folk/Bluegrass
This three-piece acoustic band from Elton, La., plays old-timey gospel, bluegrass and country with style. Its recent CD, Back to Basics, offers a glimpse into the band's typical repertoire with tracks such as "You Are My Flower," "Jimmy Brown," "Take Your Shoes Off Moses" and "Hadacol Boogie."

UNO Big Band
11:15 a.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Jazz
This university ensemble is directed by pianist Doug Bickel, a jazz heavy hitter who's worked with the likes of saxophonist Ed Petersen. As a result, Bickel's students (featuring 20 full-time pupils) always deliver innovative and challenging arrangements. For example, this set will feature big band arrangements of Pat Metheny compositions, along with an innovative second-line piece by Bickel.


Bamboula 2000
11:20 a.m., Congo Square Stage, Reggae/World
Renowned percussionist Luther Gray leads this popular New Orleans world-music ensemble, which incorporates traditional West African rhythms, reggae, New Orleans beats, contemporary jazz and funk into its mix. The band is a past Big Easy Award honoree for Best World Music Band, and its latest CD is the progressive and intoxicating New Society.

Andi Hoffman & B-Goes
11:25 a.m., Acura Stage, Pop/Rock
Ever since producer Daniel Lanois left town, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Andi Hoffman and his band the B-Goes have come up with their own haunting, acoustic-based and atmospheric albums reminiscent of Lanois. Hoffman has a number of intriguing and excellently produced CDs under his belt, the latest of which is the brand-new Living in the Big Wide World.


Rob Wagner Trio
11:30 a.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Saxophonist Rob Wagner plays it all, from funk with Iris May Tango to Cuban son with Los Vecinos. However, he's at his best with his own trio featuring bassist James Singleton and drummer James Alsanders, an outfit that's honed its sound with weekly gigs at d.b.a. on Frenchmen Street. Wagner's compositions run the gamut from pretty ballads to walk-the-bar honkers. He will be playing tunes from two superb albums: his eponymous debut and his new sophomore effort, Walking, Crying, Laughing, Running. (See feature story.)


Onward Brass Band
11:30 a.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz/Brass Band
This annual all-star traditional brass band performance is always a celebration, but this year its tone will be much different. Legendary Onward leader Placide Adams, a renowned drummer and bassist, died last month, and Onward was one of his great loves. Expect some spirited musical and personal tributes to Adams from his bandmates at today's set.

Red House Singers and Dancers
11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Consisting of members from Native American nations such as the Athabascan, Mohawk and Navajo, this ensemble performs hand-drum round dances as part of its performances.


Gospel Inspirationals
11:45 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Gloria Lewis leads this Kenner-based ensemble that has performed at Jazz Fest since 1985. The Gospel Inspirationals has recorded two albums: 1988's Jesus, I Love What You're Doing for Me and 1992's At the River.

Henry Gray & the Cats
12:20 a.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Baton Rouge-based pianist Gray is a living link to the giants of Chicago blues, having played with both Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. He's recorded extensively for labels such as Blind Pig, and his CDs are textbook examples of deep 12-bar blues informed with touches of boogie-woogie. Gray was also the 2002 recipient of Music Heritage Award at the Big Easy Awards.


Jim McCormick
12:20 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Country
Veteran Fest-goers might remember McCormick as the lead singer of the now-defunct New Orleans rock band the Bingemen. In the past few years, McCormick's blossomed into one of New Orleans' most visible singer/songwriters and last year he released a self-titled debut solo CD that captures his robust baritone voice on a set of rootsy country-flavored material. McCormick often performs solo, but his full band will be on hand today for added sonic color and texture.

NOCCA Jazz Ensemble
12:20 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Jazz
Long a haven for fostering up-and-coming jazz players, the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts' music program this year is directed by veteran New Orleans musicians Mike Pellera (piano) and bassist Chris Severin. Listen for approximately 18 students performing in a variety of combos, with an emphasis on bebop.

The Lighthouse Gospel Singers
12:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Baton Rouge is home to this acclaimed ensemble, which takes the trek on I-10 East to bring New Orleans some moving traditional gospel, backed by a full band.


Motorway
12:30 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Rock
After years of slugging away on the New Orleans and southern circuit, New Orleans rockers Motorway finally seemed poised for a breakthrough. The band's recent SXSW showcase generated considerable buzz, and its most recent album, a self-titled sophomore disc, landed on a number of local Top 10 lists in 2002. With a nod toward the Kinks and R.E.M., Motorway plays polished rock with pop melodies.

Ytre Suloens Jass-ensemble of Norway
12:40 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
This Norwegian ensemble has been playing New Orleans traditional jazz for more than two decades and received the local stamp of approval early in its career. The group's 1976 album With Friends From New Orleans featured guest appearances from esteemed local trumpeter Wallace Davenport and pianist Olivia Cook, on songs such as "Milneberg Joys" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye."

Star Nayea
12:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
This Native American singer boasts a powerful bluesy voice equally capable of delivering contemporary rock styles or traditional Native American vocals. She was also recruited by The Band's Robbie Robertson for contributions to his Contact From the Underworld of Red Boy album.


Batiste Brothers Band
12:50 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Funk/R&B
While they're not as well known as the Meters, this longrunning New Orleans musical family dynasty grew out of the same musical circles, and also throws down some serious funk. Percussionist Damon Batiste and drummer Russell Batiste are the band's rhythmic heartbeat. Its early 45s such as "Freeze" and "Can't Get You Off My Mind" are still sought-after collector's items for funk and soul vinyl aficionados.

American Indian Dance Theatre
12:55 p.m., Acura Stage, Native American
More than 20 Native American dancers, singers and drummers from a variety of North American tribes formed this troupe in 1987. They perform a variety of traditional Indian dances, staged as theatrical pieces.


Kidd Jordan ­ Al Fielder & I.A.Q.
12:55 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan is a tireless educator at Southern University of New Orleans, and also one of the most accomplished creative, avant-garde players on the planet. When he and his band the Improvisational Arts Quintet hit the Jazz Tent, listen for a creative and intense musical hurricane that's 180 degrees removed from smooth jazz. For this set, Jordan will be accompanied by bassist extraordinaire William Parker, and frequent collaborator Joel Futterman on piano.

Crown Seekers
1:15 p.m., Gospel Tent, Gospel
The Crown Seekers is a venerable traditional gospel quartet based in Marrero.

Henry Butler
1:30 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Piano virtuoso Butler is as eclectic a genius as it gets, playing everything from stride, contemporary jazz, funk, classical, R&B, and even trad jazz of late. However his most steady incarnation of late has been bluesman; he recorded the Vu-Du Menz collaboration with Corey Harris, and last year released The Game Has Just Begun, a collection of uptempo blues and moody atmospheric pieces that Butler dubs "new-age blues."


John Rankin
1:30 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Blues/Folk
Acoustic guitarist Rankin released one of 2002's best New Orleans albums, Guitar Gumbo. That long-awaited offering from this spirited performer presented Rankin offering idiosyncratic, moving takes on "Iko Iko" and "Junko Partner," all expertly delivered on Rankin's collection of vintage guitars. For fans of folk, blues, New Orleans music and gorgeous guitar tones, this often-overlooked instrumentalist shouldn't be missed.

Tommy Wildcat
1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Wildcat plays traditional Cherokee flute music, and is a highly respected historical lecturer, artist and flute maker. In addition to appearing in media outlets such as the Discovery Channel, Wildcat was recently honored as the Flutist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards.

Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band
1:35 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Cajun
A hot accordion player with rich tenor vocals, Daigrepont has legions of local fans who fill up the dance floor at Tipitina's, where for years he has hosted a popular Sunday fais do do from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. (For novices, it's recommended as the best place in town to get a spontaneous dance lesson.) Daigrepont, last year's Cajun music Big Easy Awards winner, fronts a band that includes local folk mainstay Gina Forsyth on fiddle.

Theresa Andersson
1:45 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Funk/Pop
She's been tagged for bigger things ever since she was a featured member of Anders Osborne's band in the mid-90s, but songbird and violinist Theresa Andersson is really starting to cook these days. She's fronting her own hand-picked band that includes Neville Brothers drummer Willie Green, and taking on a harder-edged funk and rock sound. Her weekly gigs at Red Eye Grill in the CBD have been generating considerable buzz of late.

New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra
1:55 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
For more than three decades, this unique New Orleans band modeled after the '20s band the S.S. Leviathan Orchestra has been musically and visually captivating. Taking its musical cue from its namesake's era, New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra plays a wide range of classics from Sousa marches to Joplin rags and Jelly Roll blues. Complementing the music is the band's period attire: they perform decked out in ship uniforms and matching hats.

Butch Mudbone
2 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Blues
Pennsylvania native Mudbone sings with raspy authority and plays guitar in the spirit and style of his early heroes like Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. While he currently travels and tours extensively in Europe, a long stint busking in the Quarter has made him a perennial choice to perform at Jazz Fest.


Pastor Woodrow Hayden & the Shiloh Baptist Church Mass Choir
2 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
It's a testament to the power and vocals of Pastor Hayden that he attracted renowned gospel figures Chester D.T. Baldwin and Pastor Norman Hutchins to collaborate on the latest live album from the Shiloh Mass choir. The rousing effort was recorded at the Alario Center in Westwego, and features Hayden and the choir raising the roof on songs such as "I Know It Was the Blood" and "Look Unto Jesus."

Allen Toussaint
2:15 p.m., Acura Stage, R&B
One of the (too) few New Orleanians enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, famed songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint made an indelible mark on pop music in the '50s, '60s and '70s. Through songs like "Mother-in-Law" and "Working in a Coal Mine," he made stars out of Ernie K-Doe and Lee Dorsey, and he gave Glen Campbell a massive hit with his song "Southern Nights." His production work for everyone from the Meters to Dr. John makes him one of the architects of the New Orleans R&B sound, while his Professor Longhair-inspired piano playing is still impeccable.


Phillip Manuel
2:20 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
New Orleans vocalist Manuel is one of the city's finest jazz singers, evidenced when the Motown imprint record label MaxJazz inked Manuel for his 2000 CD, Love Happened to Me. Manuel has a graceful, smooth delivery that can swing low or fly high, and like his peer John Boutte, Manuel is equally versed in R&B, gospel and standards, and his backing band is always stacked with top-flight musicians.


Plastic System Band of Martinique
2:20 p.m., Congo Square Stage, World
The Plastic System Band is a marching band of horns, drums, percussion and traditional Martinique Carnival characters. Long medleys of Carnival classics are interspersed with their original music.


Betty Winn & One-a-Chord
2:45 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Vocalist Winn & One-a-Chord is one of New Orleans' most formidable gospel bands, and winner of the 2002 Big Easy Award for Best Gospel Artist. Their 2001 CD, Shout Hallelujah, mixed traditional gospel with African and contemporary rhythms, and was produced by Grammy-winning producer Jerry Brock.

Otis Taylor
2:50 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Winning the 2002 W.C. Handy Award (the blues industry's Grammy equivalent) for Best New Artist must have been surprising to Otis Taylor, considering he's played music since 1964. But after a long hiatus from 1977 to the mid-90s, guitarist and banjo player Taylor reemerged as one of the most socially conscious and provocative bluesmen on the circuit. His songs are minimalist blues that unflinchingly look at racism, justice and suffering, as heard on his '98 "comeback" album, When Negroes Walked the Earth.

Glenys Rogers
2:50 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Soul
Singer and percussionist Rogers is a singular talent whose soulful vocals and dexterous rhythm work have been tapped by both Tracy Chapman and Beck for touring and recording. Rogers has harnessed those experiences for her solo career, and in 2000 she released her debut CD, the unfortunately titled Goatskinwishes. Name aside, the album shows a rising young soul star incorporating contemporary R&B, funk and world rhythms into her original songs.

Terrance Simien
3 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Zydeco
Whether performing kids' shows or entertaining grown-ups with his signature melding of high-energy zydeco, reggae and R&B, Terrance Simien is a zydeco ambassador. With vocals reminiscent of Sam Cooke and Aaron Neville, he puts his own stamp on zydeco standards and crossover covers, and is a crowd-pleasing performer who dashes across the stage and even stage dives, accordion in hand, into his crowd.

Kenny Bill Stinson & the Ark-LA Mystics
3 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, R&B
Bandleader Stinson leads this outfit of Shreveport-based devotees of all things rootsy from the '50s and '60s. Their sets are liberally dosed with covers of songs from icons such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Slim Harpo and Carl Perkins. Multi-talented Stinson holds it all together with his boogie-woogie piano, electric guitar and vocal skills.

Walter Payton & the Snapbeans
3:15 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz/R&B
Bassist Payton is the father of acclaimed trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and his large repertoire of trad jazz, modern jazz, R&B and standards obviously filtered down to his equally talented son. Payton plays upright acoustic bass with a gentle and warm touch, and always gives his bandmates plenty of room to solo.

Carolina Tuscarora Stomp and Smoke Dancers
3:15 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
These Native American dancers hail primarily from North Carolina, offering traditional Iroquois dances, and Northern stomp dances unique to the region.


Greater King David Adult Music Ministry
3:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
More than 100 voices offer praise in this Baton Rouge ensemble named after its church. Adding to the huge, full sound is a full band with a contemporary flair.


The subdudes
3:45 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
They're back. After disbanding on the heels of their 1996 farewell tour, beloved New Orleans roots rockers the subdudes have dusted off their trademark harmonies and added a few new wrinkles to the mix. Original bassist Johnny Allen isn't on board this time, but they've added three new members for added percussion and melodic possibilities, invigorating 'dudes staples like "All the Time in the World" with fresh arrangements. Bassist Allen sat in for their most recent local performance; here's hoping he appears today, too.


Donald Harrison Group presents Indians Blues Revisited
3:50 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Brilliant alto saxophonist Donald Harrison calls his approach "nouveau swing," and that just scratches the surface of his diverse sound. He's released straight-on contemporary jazz albums and hip-hop influenced work, but today's set is a sound near to his heart: Mardi Gras Indian rhythms mixed with modern jazz. It's a reprise of Indian Blues, the classic album Harrison recorded with his father Donald Harrison Sr., the late Big Chief of the Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians.

Lil' Romeo with Very Special Guest
3:50 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Hip-hop
If Count Basin was a betting man, he'd look to Lil' Romeo's family ties to guess the identity of the "very" special guest on Lil' Romeo's set. The teenage rapper, who so far has concentrated on danceable pop-inflected hip-hop without gangster imagery (in addition to starring in a few genial movies), is the son of Louisiana rap mogul Master P.

Star Nayea & Aniyu
4:10 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Native American
This Native American singer boasts a powerful bluesy voice equally capable of delivering contemporary rock styles or traditional Native American vocals. She was also recruited by The Band's Robbie Robertson for contributions to his Contact From the Underworld of Red Boy album. For this big-stage show, she'll be backed by a full band for contemporary material.

Marva Wright & the BMWs
4:15 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Gospel-raised Marva Wright has been knocking out local, national and international audiences with her powerhouse blues ever since opening for Etta James once in the 1980s. The "Blues Queen of New Orleans" has recorded a number of fine albums for labels such as Aim and Virgin/Pointblank, and her most recent CD, Marva, includes a cover of The Band's "The Weight," featuring guest turns by Terrance Simien, Charmaine Neville and Bo Dollis on guest vocals.

Ebenezer Gospel Choir
4:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Led by Rev. Landrum, this New Orleans choir has approximately 30 members, and focuses on traditional gospel selections with accompaniment from a full band.

Clarence "Frogman" Henry
4:20 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, R&B
The pride of Algiers can still sing like a bird and sing like a frog. Best known for those vocal feats on his classic hit "Ain't Got No Home," the Frogman is a New Orleans R&B legend, and he continues to earn national recognition: this year the Rhythm and Blues Foundation is honoring Henry with its prestigious Pioneer Award.

Anders Osborne
4:25 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Rock
Since moving to New Orleans in the late '80s, guitarist and singer/songwriter Anders Osborne has become one of the city's favorite musical sons. His slide guitar playing and soulful vocals frequently draw comparison to late Little Feat leader Lowell George, and Osborne's open-ended live shows feature bluesy funk and psychedelic jams with brass bandmates Kirk Joseph (sousaphone) and Tim Green (saxophone). Last year, Osborne released a superb Mardi Gras Indian collaboration with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux titled Bury the Hatchet.

Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band with Juanita Brooks
4:30 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Drummer and vocalist French hails from the musical French family (brother George is a terrific singer), and is a local icon of sorts thanks to his no-holds-barred DJ work with 90.7 WWOZ FM. French is a trad jazz champion, and his two recent CDs, Livin' the Legacy and The Legacy Lives On, feature French guiding a band of local all-stars including vocalist Tricia Boutte.


Women of Excellence Mass Choir
5:10 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Deborah Morton, the wife of Bishop Paul Morton, leads this fantastic all-female choir filled with more than 100 voices. They recorded a superb album in 1999 titled Where There's a Will There's a Way, featuring standards and originals captured live at Greater St. Stephens church.

Crosby, Stills & Nash
5:30 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
Too bad Neil Young isn't with them, but Crosby, Stills & Nash's trademark vocal harmonies are sure to be a huge hit closing out the Acura stage. They're easy to dismiss as an irrelevant baby-boomer act, but the trio has been touring steadily in the past few years (including dates with Young), and have chiseled hits and hidden gems from their storied songbook into rock-solid arrangements. Best of all, your Fair Grounds ticket lets you see them for approximately $100 less than they charge anywhere else in the country.


Cassandra Wilson
5:35 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
One of contemporary jazz's reigning queens of jazz vocals, Wilson's recent CDs such as Blue Light 'Til Dawn and Belly of the Sun vaulted her to mainstream success. She made her mark there and on stages everywhere by forsaking standards for highly personalized versions of songs from the likes of Robert Johnson and Robbie Robertson, earning her crossover appeal with blues and rock fans.

Al Jarreau
5:35 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Pop
Legendary vocalist Jarreau successfully underwent neck and back surgery last fall, and is now back commanding bandstands with his signature blend of pop, jazz and R&B. (Jarreau is the only artist in history to win Grammy Awards in all three of those categories.) Whether singing his classic hits including "We're in This Love Together" or more modern material, Jarreau's smooth style and impeccable phrasing still rank him as one of American music's great song interpreters.


Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas
5:40 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Zydeco
Hailing from St. Martinville, Nathan Williams follows in the piano-key accordion tradition of Clifton Chenier and Buckwheat Zydeco, but he's set his own path as an innovative player and songwriter. With brother Dennis on guitar and other family members in the band and behind the scenes (brother Sid runs the popular El Sid O's dance club in Lafayette), the Williams are a true dynasty -- and Nathan plays some of the hottest zydeco you'll hear all Jazz Fest.


Los Vecinos
5:40 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Cuban
Los Vecinos, meaning "the neighbors," features stellar New Orleans musicians such as percussionist Michael Skinkus, bassist Andy Wolf, saxophonist Rob Wagner and guitarist Jonathan Freilich showing their appreciation and devotion to Cuban music. The band plays diverse son material and additional favorites from the Cuban canon, as heard on its most recent CD, Guajira en Cyber Space.


The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson
5:45 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Harmonica virtuoso and lead vocalist Kim Wilson is the only original member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds with the current line-up, but the band is still one of the hottest contemporary blues bands on the circuit. Expect a reprise of smash '80s hits such as "Tuff Enuff," but more importantly, the T-Birds have always been well-versed in Louisiana Gulf Coast blues, mining songs from the likes of Slim Harpo and Clifton Chenier in its high-octane sets.

American Indian Dance Theater
5:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
The American Indian Dance Theater was founded in 1987, and is a dance theater based on traditional and indigenous performances and dances. The Theater recruits the best dancers at pow-wows across the country.



Sam Butera & the Wildest
5:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, R&B/ Traditional Jazz
Legendary 75-year-old saxophonist, New Orleans native and swing legend Butera made his Jazz Fest debut last year, and didn't disappoint. Butera still has all the indelible musical qualities that led Louis Prima to tap him as bandleader and arranger for all of Prima's classics, including "Jump, Jive and Wail" and "Black Magic." Music aside, Butera's Las Vegas showman skills aren't to be missed, and his tried-and-true Viagra jokes still kill.



Buckwheat Zydeco
5:55 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Zydeco
Most recently seen on national TV during Craig Kilborn's week of broadcasting from New Orleans, Buckwheat Zydeco is a veteran of such unlikely zydeco venues as the Boston Pops and the Olympics. But take a listen to his recent album, Down Home Live, recorded at El Sid O's in Lafayette, and you'll hear a zydeco accordionist who's most at home in front of a sweaty dance floor filled with people boogying to his zydeco/soul/funk hybrid. Buckwheat's big sound always sounds great on the Jazz Fest stage.


Franklin Ave. Baptist Church Mass Choir
6:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This huge choir's stellar 1998 live CD offers a glimpse of the gigantic sound set to close out the Gospel Tent today. Featuring 170 members, that CD featured multiple soloists (under the direction of Rene Byron Johnson) all soaring in front of an impeccable harmonic blend.



SUNDAY, APRIL 27

Parades:
Noon: Olympia Aid, Uptowner's Hobo Clowns and Divine Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs with Pinstripe Brass Band
1 p.m. Young Magnolias, Comanche Hunters and Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians
2 p.m. Perfect Gentlemen, New Look & Avenue Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs with Original Thunderstorm Brass Band
3 p.m. Ninth Ward Hunters, New Orleans Mardi Gras Rhythm Indians, and White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians
4 p.m. YMO-Untouchables 4th Division, Furious Five and Single Ladies Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs with Hot 8 Brass Band

Jo "Cool" Davis
11 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Jo "Cool" Davis is a fixture on the New Orleans music scene, thanks to his long-running job as Tipitina's doorman and emcee. Davis has taken the lessons he's learned in that role and incorporated them into his strong stage presence, which he uses to deliver in his sets of original and traditional gospel.

Son del Pantano
11:10 a.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Cuban
Son del Pantano translates to "they are from the swamp," an apt moniker for a New Orleans band dedicated to traditional Cuban music. Cuban son music is represented soulfully, thanks to ensemble work from guitarists David Greengold and Alen Kapulski, supported by a percolating rhythm section and violin.

Little Freddie King Blues Band
11:15 a.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Rough-and-tumble electric Louisiana blues with a John Lee Hooker-type groove is Little Freddie King's specialty. He's recorded two recent CDs for Orleans Records, Swamp Boogie and Sing Sang Sung.

Last Straws
11:15 a.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
This trad-jazz ensemble has been a New Orleans staple for more than four decades. In 1965, the New Orleans Jazz Club broadcast one of its performances on the weekly WWL broadcast, a popular radio program that also featured the likes of Louis Armstrong and Pete Fountain.

Semolian Warriors
11:15 a.m., Congo Square Stage, Mardi Gras Indian
Dedication to sewing and making brilliant, resplendent costumes, along with soulful Mardi Gras Indian chants, makes this Mardi Gras Indian gang a recurring favorite on the Fair Grounds.

Betsy McGovern & the Poor Clares
11:15 a.m., Lagniappe Stage, Celtic
McGovern's rich vibrato vocals lead this New Orleans Celtic ensemble, which keeps Irish and Scottish folk traditions alive in the Crescent City. When they're not at home base O'Flaherty's in the French Quarter, the Poor Clares bring reels, jigs and ballads across the country.

Loyola University Jazz Band
11:30 a.m., Acura Stage, Contemporary Jazz
New Orleans composer, bandleader and trombonist John Mahoney directs this university ensemble, and as his frequent gigs at Snug Harbor attest, Mahoney writes and performs intricate, challenging material and urges his students to follow his lead.


The Bluerunners
11:30 a.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Rock/Cajun
The Bluerunners burst onto the scene in the mid-80s as south Louisiana punk rockers with Cajun attitude, or vice-versa. They mixed traditional waltzes with thrash anthems, and signed a major label deal with Island Records. They were dropped, but the Bluerunners have survived and blossomed into one of Louisiana's best rock bands, period. Their most recent album, Le Grand Bleu, was the south Louisiana equivalent of Lucinda Williams' Car Wheels on a Gravel Road -- smart, heartfelt, and full of memorable melodies both tender and tough.

Karin Williams
11:30 a.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
This talented New Orleans vocalist incorporates diverse genres into her alluring sound, bringing elements of African music, trad jazz, contemporary jazz and standards into her sets.

Carolina Tuscarora Stomp and Smoke Dancers
11:30 a.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
These Native American dancers hail primarily from North Carolina, offering traditional Iroquois dances and Northern stomp dances unique to the region.

Voices From the Mount
11:45 a.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Approximately 25 members compose this traditional choir from New Orleans, known for its traditional gospel supplemented by a pianist.

Escola de Samba Casa Samba
12:05 p.m., Congo Square Stage, African/Brazilian
New Orleans troupe Casa Samba's performances combine dance, theater, vocals and drumming in an authentic sound celebrating Carnival in Brazil. Leader/percussionist Curtis Pierre also incorporates elements of African and New Orleans culture and rhythms, and the group's shows often culminate with a full-blown recreation of a Brazilian Carnival parade.

American Indian Dance Theater
12:15 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage; 4:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
The American Indian Dance Theater was founded in 1987 and is a dance theater based on traditional and indigenous performances and dances. The Theater recruits the best dancers at powwows across the country.

Spencer Bohren
12:20 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues/Folk
Bluesman Bohren is a masterful slide guitar player with a master's knowledge of diverse blues style and brings those attributes to his own moving compositions. He first made his mark on the New Orleans scene in the late '70s, and after leaving town for a long traveling hiatus, he moved back in the late '90s to put down roots again. He boasts a diverse and soul-packed discography, and his most recent CD is Solitaire, a typically down-home affair featuring versions of "Hard Time Killing Floor" and "Broke Down Engine."


Placide Adams' Original Dixieland Hall Jazz Band
12:25 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
This set will be a tribute to Adams, the esteemed drummer, string bass player and trad jazz bandleader, who died last month at the age of 73. He had a genial spirit and was devoted to this band, so this will be an emotional and moving sendoff to Adams from his surviving bandmates.


John Fohl
12:25 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Blues
Guitarist Fohl recently landed the gig as six-stringer for Dr. John, for good reason. Since quitting the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and moving to New Orleans in the mid-90s, Fohl's become one of the Crescent City's most in-demand sidemen. He plays groove jazz and blues with the Joe Krown Organ Combo; barrelhouse and deep blues with Sansone, Krown, and Fohl; swing and country and Western with Amy & the Hank Sinatras; and everything in between on his solo gigs. His most recent CD, Time Ain't Waitin', showcases Fohl's brilliant fingerpicking and direct, affecting vocals.

The Bester Singers
12:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This local family ensemble was formed by a group of sisters more than 20 years ago, and has continued its mission ever since (expanding to include other family members), with spirited versions of traditional gospel favorites.

Red House Singers
12:45 p.m., Acura Stage, Native American
Consisting of members from Native American nations such as the Athabascan, Mohawk and Navajo, this ensemble performs hand-drum round dances as part of its performances.

Butch Mudbone
12:45 p.m. & 3:15 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Blues
Pennsylvania native Mudbone sings with raspy authority and plays guitar in the spirit and style of his early heroes such as Muddy Waters and Lead Belly. While he currently travels and tours extensively in Europe, a long stint busking in the Quarter has made him a perennial choice to perform at Jazz Fest.


D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces

12:55 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Cajun
Menard is called "the Cajun Hank Williams" -- as in Hank Williams Sr., a hero to this Cajun singer/guitarist/songwriter. With a crooning voice and a knack for penning songs like "The Back Door" and "Under a Green Oak Tree," Menard combines the same good humor and pathos that's evident in Williams' best compositions. He's a living legend whose Jazz Fest shows provide rare opportunities to see him in New Orleans.


Germaine Bazzle
12:55 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Simply put, Bazzle is one of New Orleans' finest jazz vocalists and a model of dignity and class. Besides being a longtime educator, Bazzle is a scatter supreme, investing even the most well-known standards with her own stamp and formidable stage presence. Her CD Standing Ovation was recorded for legendary producer Harold Battiste's AFO label, while New New Orleans Music found Bazzle in the company of the likes of Ellis Marsalis and Lady BJ Crosby. Her most recent effort, 1996's Mood Indigo, features Bazzle with the CAC Jazz Orchestra and vocalists George French and the late Johnny Adams.

Los Calientes
1:15 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Latin
Since 1996, salsa has reigned supreme with this New Orleans ensemble. The group recently recorded its debut CD, Dale Rumbero, for the New York-based Nuevo Mondo Music and has logged some serious time in the Big Apple of late. Now, led by conga player Jose Vázquez-Cofresi and timbale player Julian Silva, the group brings its modern salsa sound to its perennial Jazz Fest performance.

Golden Wings
1:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This choir makes regular appearances locally at Saint Michael Missionary Baptist Church and St. Paul Spiritual Church in Harvey, and today brings its uplifting arrangements and material to the Fair Grounds.


Yerba Buena
1:30 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Latin/Funk
This New York-based Afro-Cuban funk ensemble has turned some serious heads in the last year. The groups has opened arena dates for Dave Matthews Band and played the Newport Jazz Festival, and now its debut CD, President Alien, just hit record stores. The album features guest spots from Yerba Buena admirers Meshell Ndegeocello, Roy Hargrove and Money Mark. The band's waves of percussion and horns with blazing modern arrangements should make this afternoon set a scorcher.

Tommy Wildcat
1:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Wildcat plays traditional Cherokee flute music and is a highly respected historical lecturer, artist and flute maker. In addition to appearing in media outlets such as the Discovery Channel, Wildcat was recently honored as the Flutist of the Year at the Native American Music Awards.

Eddie Bo
1:35 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, R&B
Eddie Bo is one of New Orleans' mighty piano professors, a keyboard wizard who's been throwing down his magic on the 88s for more than five decades. Whether it's the '50s R&B sounds of "Check Mr. Popeye," or his rip-roaring '60s and '70s funk such as "Hook and Sling" -- serious syncopation ranking up with the Meters' instrumental work -- Bo always brings a tireless enthusiasm to the piano bench. In recent years, he's recorded everything from Indian funk to jazzy compositions.


Tim Laughlin

1:35 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Clarinetist Laughlin is a reedman extraordinaire. He's enjoyed a prolific touring and recording career, blowing sweet on CDs such as Blue Orleans, Straight Ahead (a CD featuring modern jazz leanings), and duet CDs with mentor, friend and legend Jack Maheu. His superb new CD, Isle of Orleans, shows Laughlin's creative composing skills, as he introduces original songs rooted in the trad jazz tradition.

Danzig & Wooley
1:40 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Folk
The husband-and-wife duo of Kevin Danzig and Cat Wooley bill themselves as "dysfunctional folk," a good indicator of their good-natured approach to acoustic music traditions. Their latest CD, The Key, features guest appearances by New Orleanians Mike West and Gina Forsyth, fellow devotees of challenging folk music. Wooley's bells and mandolin work sweetly complement Danzig's blues and pop-informed guitar work.

Paul Varisco & the Milestones Reunion
1:45 p.m., Acura Stage, R&B
This good-time R&B band was a local fixture on the New Orleans scene in the '70s, and owns the distinction of being the first band to play M.O.M.'s Ball, the semi-secret blowout known for its outrageous everything-goes credo. Radiators keyboardist Ed Volker is an original member, and this set should be a trippy trip down memory lane.

Ken Rhyne Band
2 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Blues
Atlanta-based harmonica player Rhyne plays blues-rock influenced by the Nighthawks and the Fabulous Thunderbirds. His new CD is titled Caught You White-Handed.

Nu Vizion Gospel Choir
2 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
With ranks approaching 75 members, this local choir features area college students dedicated to bringing their own contemporary gospel style to New Orleans. A full band backs the choir.


Sean Ardoin 'n' Zydekool
2:20 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Zydeco
Following up the acclaimed, innovative album Pullin' with this year's intoxicating Home Brew, Sean Ardoin has stepped out front as one of the most promising of the new breed of zydeco musicians. He first became known to local crowds as the drumming co-founder and vocalist/songwriter for the band Double Clutchin', and his accordion work is sharp and percussive. On his new album, he switches from a zydeco accordion riff to a contemporary R&B slow jam with ease.

Jeremy Davenport
2:20 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
Trumpeter and vocalist Davenport has a large female fan base, thanks to his cool Chet Baker-style crooning and playing and his dashing style. He's recorded a pair of stylish albums for the Telarc label, and the Maybe in a Dream CD features Davenport singing with superstar Diana Krall on a version of the Ray Charles/Betty Carter classic "Let's Leave." Davenport's regular gig in New Orleans is weekend nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel's French Quarter Bar.

Jean Knight with Blue Eyed Soul
2:45 p.m., Congo Square Stage, R&B
Who do you think you are, Mr. Big Stuff? New Orleans vocalist Jean Knight asked that timeless question in her landmark Stax single, an eminently funky anthem that went on to become Stax's all-time best selling single. She never duplicated that success, but Knight has continued to record in recent years, focusing on a more urban R&B sound.

Dimensions of Faith
2:45 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This fine choir carries on the mission of its late leader, esteemed organist and vocalist Sammy Berfect.


ReBirth Brass Band
2:55 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Contemporary Brass
All hail the Rebirth Brass Band, celebrating its 20th year together. When these fine gentleman take the stage, they bring the streets of their native Treme to life with some of the funkiest and most raucous brass band music you'll ever hear. The band's sound continues to be progressive, and its most recent CD, 2001's Hot Venom, contained a guest appearance by local rapper Cheeky Blakk, resulting in the first brass band album to be slapped with a parental warning sticker.

The "Lil' Ray" Neal Band
2:55 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Guitarist Lil' Ray is brother of Kenny Neal and son of Raful Neal, and unsurprisingly, another singular blues talent. He favors more of a clean B.B. King-inspired tone and tremolo than his Kenny, for a sound that's earned him slots with such prestigious legends as Bobby "Blue" Bland and Little Milton. His latest CD is 2000's Blue House.

Chris Owens Show
3:05 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Variety
Singer and burlesque dancer Owens is known for her long-running performances at her namesake club on Bourbon Street. She certainly fits the "Heritage" side of the Jazz Fest, but musically, she's an odd fit. One of the most puzzling sights and sounds of the 2001 Jazz Fest was hearing Owens leading the Economy Hall Tent in a singalong of the Village People's "Y.M.C.A."


Hot Club of New Orleans
3:05 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Traditional Jazz/Swing
This New Orleans jazz ensemble takes its primary inspiration from the timeless gypsy jazz pioneered by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli in the '20s. The quintet also draws from the Dizzy Gillespie and Cole Porter songbooks, and recently released a superb self-titled debut CD.

The Melody Clouds of New Orleans
3:30 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Leo Jackson leads this group from New Orleans, whose traditional sounds are backed by a full band.


Dr. John
3:35 p.m., Acura Stage, R&B/Funk
Mac Rebennack, aka Dr. John, is the embodiment of New Orleans music. Gutbucket blues, R&B, Mardi Gras Indian chants, funk, gris-gris, elements of Dixieland, and the polyrhythmic New Orleans piano tradition come alive in the good Doctor's hands. Whether he's playing classic material including his hit "Such a Night" or going deep into the Crescent City songbook for "How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around," Rebennack always lives up to his legendary status.


Mingo y los Cuatro Espadas
3:55 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Tex-Mex
One of the best bookings of the festival, this band is led by Mingo Saldivar, one of conjunto's most admired and popular accordion masters. He's earned the nickname "The Dancing Cowboy" for his enthralling stage moves, which equal his dazzling squeezebox skills. Putting him on the Fais Do-Do Stage should provide an interesting Gulf Coast contrast to traditional Cajun and zydeco accordion rhythms -- and maybe even spark an impromptu collaboration or two.

The Ellis Marsalis Quartet
3:55 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
If you know Ellis Marsalis primarily as the patriarch of sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, this is your opportunity to hear where his sons got their musical talent. Marsalis is a top-flight piano player steeped in the contemporary jazz spectrum and can burn on bop, play a tender standard or dazzle audiences with his own intricately composed songs. He has a special bond with his quartet, as this is the ensemble that regularly gigs at Snug Harbor, intuitiveness and vast repertoire making them a band to savor.


Plastic System Band of Martinique
4:10 p.m., Congo Square Stage, World
The Plastic System Band is a marching band of horns, drums, percussion and traditional Martinique Carnival characters. Long medleys of Carnival classics are interspersed with their original music.

Monroe County Interdenominational Mass Choir of Alabama
4:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This Alabama-based choir's popularity in its home state made them a natural for Jazz Fest, and their 2001 Breaking Away Live CD shows why: on songs such as "Let Jesus Lead You," "City Called Heaven" and the rollicking praise version of "Breaking Away," this choir really belts it out.


The Iguanas
4:20 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Tex-Mex/R&B
With its twin-sax attack and alluring mix of New Orleans R&B, Tex-Mex, and rock 'n' roll, the Iguanas have been one of the city's favorite dance bands -- and an acclaimed national touring band -- for more than a decade. After a long hiatus from the studio, the band just returned for Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart, an intoxicating new record that opens up the Iguanas' trademark sound with fresh production values and a memorable batch of new songs.

Jamil Sharif & the New Orleans Jazz Professors
4:20 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Sharif doesn't share the wide name recognition of some of his New Orleans peers, but still ranks as one of the Crescent City's finest horn players. He's the son of renowned trumpeter Umar Sharif, and is such an in-demand session man he's played for everyone from Dr. John to Better Than Ezra. His recent CD, Jamillenium, shows his affinity for trad jazz and R&B, and tackled selections by Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and King Oliver.


Keb' Mo'
4:25 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Guitarist, harmonica player and singer/songwriter Keb' Mo's plain-spoken lyrics and great melodic hooks and choruses have universal appeal, and his melodic fingerpicking guitar style is appreciated by both blues aficionados and mainstream pop listeners. He's released four CDs for the Sony/Okeh label, the most recent of which is titled The Door. He also released the charming family/children's album, Big Wide Grin, in 2002.


Kelly Love Jones
4:30 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Contemporary Soul
Female vocalist Jones is one of New Orleans' rising stars, and is nominated in the Best Emerging Artist Category of the 2003 Big Easy Awards. With an approach similar to India.Arie, Jones favors acoustic-based songs with elements of spoken word and hip-hop represented in the mix.

American Indian Dance Theater
4:30 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
The American Indian Dance Theater was founded in 1987, and is a dance theater based on traditional and indigenous performances and dances. The Theater recruits the best dancers at powwows across the country.


Richard Smallwood
5:10 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
Smallwood is one of contemporary gospel's most popular figures, a riveting composer, pianist and arranger who has won a Grammy and multiple Dove Awards. His approach is unique, often blending classical movements with traditional gospel. His latest CD was recorded live at the Gospel Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.

Joe Cocker
5:30 p.m., Acura Stage, Rock
Who could ever forget Joe Cocker's signature performance at Woodstock, the frenzied, passionate reading of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends"? John Belushi later immortalized Cocker's physical performing style on Saturday Night Live, but it was all in admiration of Cocker's amazing blue-eyed soul pipes. His early-70s collaborations with Leon Russell for Mad Dogs and Englishmen remains Cocker's artistic high point, but the veteran vocalist continues to record and perform at a high level.



Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys
5:35 p.m., Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage, Zydeco
Last year's Big Easy Award-winner Mary Rosezla Bellard Ledet plays "awesomely sexy and kickass zydeco," according to the New York Press. On a series of Maison de Soul albums, Rosie and husband/bassist Morris Ledet have built a zydeco sound on a Boozoo Chavis foundation, and layered it with sultry R&B-style vocals and sly, double-entendre songs such as "I'm Gonna Take Care of Your Dog" and "Eat My Dust." (The latter is a double entendre only in French; look it up for yourself.)


Ornette Coleman
5:40 p.m., BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent, Contemporary Jazz
The term living legend is overused, but not when applied to Ornette Coleman. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, saxophonist Coleman's groups and their non-chord-based playing helped change the face of jazz. His use of "harmolodics" -- multi-layered melodies and polytonal and polyrhythmic textures remains his signature sound, and at the age of 73, Coleman is still blowing strong. Not to be missed. (See feature story.)

Gerald Levert
5:40 p.m., Congo Square Stage, Contemporary R&B
His album sales and chart success speaks volumes. Gerald Levert has sold more than eight million albums, scored more than 10 Top 10 R&B hits, and had a hand producing and writing 14 No. 1 hits for other artists. His biggest fan base is women who swoon over Levert's smooth ballads and sexed-up grooves; perhaps not coincidentally, Levert's latest CD is titled The G Spot.


The Broadway Cast of One Mo' Time featuring Vernel Bagneris, Oranj Kjellin and the Blue Serenaders
5:45 p.m., Economy Hall Tent, Traditional Jazz
Vernel Bagneris' tribute to the performers who worked at New Orleans' Lyric Theatre in the 1920s enjoyed another revival in 2002, and its subject and material are a perfect match for the Fest. Listen for versions of classics such as "Everybody Loves My Baby," "Tiger Rag," "He's Funny That Way," and "He's in the Jailhouse Now." (See this week's A&E feature.)


Red House Singers and Dancers
5:45 p.m., Native American Village Stage, Native American
Consisting of members from Native American nations such as the Athabascan, Mohawk and Navajo, this ensemble performs hand-drum round dances as part of its performances.

Cowboy Mouth
5:50 p.m., Louisiana Heritage Stage, Rock
Cowboy Mouth has been one of the top guns on the New Orleans rock scene for more than a decade. With singer/songwriter/stickman Fred LeBlanc's manic street-preacher sermons coming from behind the drums and guitarists Paul Sanchez and John Thomas Griffith also contributing vocals, original songs and six-string heroics, the band is a well-oiled and diverse unit. The big change in the Mouth camp these days is new bassist Mary Lasseigne (formerly of Isaac's Guns), who takes over for recently departed bassist Rob Savoy.


Sista Teedy's Bootleg Operation
5:50 p.m., Lagniappe Stage, Jazz/R&B
Tricia "Sista Teedy" Boutte is another talented member of New Orleans' musical Boutte family, and first made a splash on the scene by fronting reggae band Cool Riddims, and regularly performing with Allen Toussaint. Her newest venture continues her stock in trade: amazing vocals that swoop from a wail to a growl, all held together with immaculate phrasing. Jazz, R&B, gospel -- Teedy can sing it all.


Snooks Eaglin
6 p.m., Popeye's Blues Tent, Blues
Though he started out recording as an acoustic country blues picker in the '50s, blind Snooks Eaglin currently reigns supreme as one of New Orleans' most eclectic electric blues guitarists. With his unusual syncopated fingerpicking and chording and a staggering encyclopedic repertoire of R&B and rock songs, Eaglin's sets are always a wild ride. In 2002, he released his first studio album of the new decade, the eclectic and stirring The Way It Is.


Val & Love Alive Fellowship Choir
6:15 p.m., Rhodes Gospel Tent, Gospel
This choir of powerful voices is led by Val Bemiss-Robertson, and their youthful enthusiasm and stop-on-a-dime arrangements are a rollicking way to close out the first weekend at the Gospel Tent.

click to enlarge Saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. revisits Indian Blues at 3:50 p.m., Saturday, April 26, in the BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent. -  - BILL PHELPS
  • Bill Phelps
  • Saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. revisits Indian Blues at 3:50 p.m., Saturday, April 26, in the BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent.

click to enlarge The subdudes' soulful harmonies return to the Acura Stage at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 26. -  - MICHAEL WILSON
  • Michael Wilson
  • The subdudes' soulful harmonies return to the Acura Stage at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

click to enlarge Cassandra Wilson's vocal magic fills the BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent at 5:35 p.m. Saturday, April 26. -  - PAT MOLNAR
  • Pat Molnar
  • Cassandra Wilson's vocal magic fills the BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent at 5:35 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

click to enlarge Bonerama brasses up the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 1:55 p.m. Thursday, April 24. -  - JENNIFER BAGERT
  • Jennifer Bagert
  • Bonerama brasses up the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 1:55 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

click to enlarge Bob Dylan headlines the Acura Stage at 4:50 p.m. Friday, April 25. -  - DAVID GAHR
  • David Gahr
  • Bob Dylan headlines the Acura Stage at 4:50 p.m. Friday, April 25.

click to enlarge The vocal stylings of Al Jarreau close out the Congo Square stage at 5:35 p.m. on Saturday, April 26. -  - ALBERT SANCHEZ
  • Albert Sanchez
  • The vocal stylings of Al Jarreau close out the Congo Square stage at 5:35 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.

click to enlarge Buckwheat Zydeco revs up his accordion at 5:55 p.m. Saturday, April 26, on the Louisiana Heritage Stage. -  - PHILIP GOULD
  • Philip Gould
  • Buckwheat Zydeco revs up his accordion at 5:55 p.m. Saturday, April 26, on the Louisiana Heritage Stage.

click to enlarge New Orleans reggae band the Revealers rev up the Congo Square Stage at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 24. -  - PHILIP GOULD
  • Philip Gould
  • New Orleans reggae band the Revealers rev up the Congo Square Stage at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

click to enlarge Bruce Daigrepont brings a taste of the Cajun bayou to the Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, April 26. -  - JAY BLAKESBERG
  • Jay Blakesberg
  • Bruce Daigrepont brings a taste of the Cajun bayou to the Sheraton N.O. Fais Do-Do Stage at 1:35 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

click to enlarge The Iguanas debut their new CD Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart at 4:20 p.m. Sunday, April 27, on the Louisiana Heritage Stage. -  - JEFF DUNAS
  • Jeff Dunas
  • The Iguanas debut their new CD Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart at 4:20 p.m. Sunday, April 27, on the Louisiana Heritage Stage.

click to enlarge Lucinda Williams sings of A World Without Tears on the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 5:25 p.m., Thursday, April 24. -
  • Lucinda Williams sings of A World Without Tears on the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 5:25 p.m., Thursday, April 24.

click to enlarge Ivan Neville funks up the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24. -
  • Ivan Neville funks up the Louisiana Heritage Stage at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

click to enlarge Blues master Duke Robillard gets cooking at the Popeye's Blues Tent at 4:05 p.m. Friday, April 25. -
  • Blues master Duke Robillard gets cooking at the Popeye's Blues Tent at 4:05 p.m. Friday, April 25.

click to enlarge Will his dad, Master P, join Lil' Romeo (pictured) at 3:50 p.m. Saturday, April 26 on the Congo Square Stage? -
  • Will his dad, Master P, join Lil' Romeo (pictured) at 3:50 p.m. Saturday, April 26 on the Congo Square Stage?

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