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Jazz Restivals 

A look at the mini festivals and special concert series during Jazz Fest

As big as Jazz Fest is, there's a lot more music out there. With all of the musicians and fans in town, it's not surprising that clubs fill their nighttime schedules, including sets that begin at 2 a.m. and later. There's also a full slate of mini festivals filling in the between-weekend gap, like the ChazFest. And there are shows in alternative venues, from the recently reopened Blue Nile to the Cricket Club, where the Red Room used to be, to Superfly Productions' riverboat concerts. What follows is Gambit Weekly's guide to the best of the restivals. Boom Boom Room presents BoogalooinÕ at Jazz Fest 2007

April 26 - May 6

The Blue Nile, 532 Frenchmen St., 948-2583; The Blue Nile has never completely gotten on track since Katrina, but the Frenchmen Street club is back during Jazz Fest: 18 shows in 11 nights, all presented by San Francisco roots-music mecca the Boom Boom Room. A percentage of profits will benefit Katrina relief efforts. Ticket prices vary.

Headliners: Hot 8 Brass Band, Ivan Neville with Eric Krasno, Robert Walter's 20th Congress, Dr. Lonnie Smith with Stanton Moore and Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty and others. ChazFest

Noon Thu., May 3

The Truck Farm, 3020 St. Claude Ave.; What started as a pun-ny lark has evolved into a can't-miss event. The brainchild of Tin Man guitarist Alex McMurray, this single-day shindig debuted in 2006 as a means for Jazz Fest non-roster invitees to strut their stuff in a homecourt setting -- and a way to stroke the bruised ego of bandmate and beloved washboard player Chaz Leary, who inexplicably was left out of last year's proceedings. It's no surprise that his Blues Trio is on this year's bill. Tickets $20, $25 at the door.

Headliners: Soul Asylum, Supagroup, Tin Men, Schatzy, Palmetto Bug Stompers, Da Truth Brass Band, Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship?, Luke Allen, the Buoyant Sea and others. The Cricket Club

May 1 - 3

The Cricket Club, 2040 St. Charles Ave., 412-8380; Crystal Rose Productions' Adam Ross has an ambitious undertaking: resurrect a viable music venue at the Cricket Club, the Eiffel Tower-spawned structure on lower St. Charles Avenue, whose previous iteration, the trés-chic Red Room, collapsed under the weight of its own swankiness back in 2003. The opening gala is anchored by new groom Kermit Ruffins, who will tackle the canon of Louis Armstrong. Call for ticket prices.

Headliners: Henry Butler, Trombone Shorty, Donald Harrison, Cyril Neville, Kermit Ruffins, Fred Wesley Group and Groovesect. Fan Fest

5 p.m. Thu., May 3

Lafayette Square Park, 600 St. Charles Ave.; This sundown gathering in Lafayette Square Park is a sort of community thank you sponsored by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation. The showcase of local talents includes soul man Willie Tee backed by the rhythm section of Galactic (Stanton Moore and Robert Mercurio) plus many other guest appearances. Free admission.

Headliners: Wilson "Willie Tee" Turbinton with Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio, Robert Walter, Will Bernard and Charmaine Neville, Donald Harrison, Bo Dollis and others. Fess Jazztival 2007

April 26 - May 6

TipitinaÕs, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; Led both by local luminaries (Galactic, Dr. John) and national heavyweights (Michael Franti, Corrine Bailey Rae), the Fess features almost as many headliners as the Fest. But the top draw is the sixth edition of the Tipitina Foundation's "Instruments A-Comin'" benefit concert (5 p.m. Mon., April 30), an annual philanthropic extravaganza. The concert is an informal board meeting of New Orleans' top brass (Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, ReBirth and Dirty Dozen). Proceeds go to local high school music programs in need of instruments. Call club for details.

Headliners: Dr. John, Galactic, New Orleans Rhythm Conspiracy, the Dirty Dozen and ReBirth Brass Bands, Donald Harrison, Jon Cleary, New Orleans Social Club, Trombone Shorty, Garage a Benevento, Corrine Bailey Rae, Michael Franti and others. Ingrid LuciaÕs Backyard Bash

5 p.m. Wed., May 2

Ingrid LuciaÕs Backyard, 125 N. Hennessey St. Fresh off the pressing of her latest album, Don't Stop (self-released), Ingrid Lucia will play host to a crowd of close friends at her second annual Backyard Bash. The casual affair boasts the three all-important backyard "B"s: beer, barbecue and bands. Tickets $20.

Headliners: Anders Osborne, Amanda Shaw, James Andrews and the Crescent City Allstars, Jeff & Vida, Mike Kerwin, Sinead Rudden, Ingrid Lucia Ponderosa Stomp

5 p.m. Wed., May 2

House Of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; or The Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau are at it again, this time luring longtime recluse and psych/rock pariah Roky Erickson (ex-13th Floor Elevators) to the House Of Blues stage along with dozens of other living legends for its sixth annual revue. From Rock 'N' Bowl to Graceland to SXSW and back, the irrepressible Stomp is finally back where it belongs. Tickets $40.

Headliners: Roky Erickson and the Explosives, Wardell Quezergue and the New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Revue (featuring Tony Owens, Jean "Mr. Big Stuff" Knight and Dave Bartholomew), Willie Tee, Rockie Charles, Henry Gray, Little Freddy King and others. Superfly During Jazz Fest 2007

April 28 - May 5

The Riverboat Cajun Queen, Poydras Street Wharf, (800) 965-4827; Contemporary Arts Center, 909 Camp St., 528-3805; Superfly Productions' 11th annual concert series plays creative matchmaker this year, pairing Dr. John with Southern-rock stalwarts Gov't Mule and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band with alt-rock weirdos Ween. If unlikely blind dates aren't your thing, there's always the more familiar Radiators on a riverboat. Call clubs for details.

Headliners: The Radiators, Greyboy Allstars, Ween with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Gov't Mule with Dr. John's Night Tripper, North Mississippi Allstars.

click to enlarge Barbara Lynn will play at the Ponderosa Stomp. - JACOB BLICKENSTAFF
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