At 1:30 p.m. Friday, 12-year-old Janelle Dupuis brings her fiddle from New Brunswick, Canada. Dupuis -- who is also performing at Lafayette's Festival International -- comes to town bearing enthusiastic notices for her ability to switch from Cape Breton to bluegrass to Texas swing styles.
Also on the first Friday, the local kids phenom The Imagination Movers make their debut Jazz Fest appearance. With the Movers' song "I Want My Mommy" currently occupying the top spot on XM Kids National Satellite Radio, the group is rapidly finding a national audience for its blend of popular music styles and smart, kid-friendly lyrics. (The Imagination Movers also appear at 2 p.m. Friday at the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, where they'll discuss their music, perform acoustic versions of their kiddy hits, and take questions from the audience.) The group promises some surprises -- and surprise guests -- for the Kids Tent premiere.
Local musician Davis Rogan returns at 2:45 p.m. Saturday to once again present his concoction Jazz Peter and the Wolf. After witnessing Rogan and his all-star cast in 2002, Gambit Weekly's Count Basin mused, "Imagine Prokofiev growing up in Treme." This year, Rogan has worked up a new story for musical illustration: "The Bear That Wasn't."
Another local favorite, Amanda Shaw, will likely fill the Kids Tent to capacity to close out Saturday. Shaw -- who sings, plays Cajun fiddle and has shared a stage with her heroine Cyndi Lauper -- is celebrating the release of her new CD I'm Not a Bubble Gum Pop Princess. In her recent Sunday morning shows at Ye Olde College Inn, Shaw seems to be morphing into a chirpy Avril Lavigne, taking her fiddle to songs like the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and giving her electric guitar a little kiss before launching into her self-penned girls-empowerment rocker "Pop Princess." But she can still kick out a Dennis McGee two-step or zydeco romp, and the new CD features smart versions of "Perridon Two Step" and "Adieu Rosa." Sunday Kids Tent performers include Charlie Williams the Noise Guy at 2:45 p.m., who travels the country accompanying his own stories with his vocal sound effects. Closing out the Kids Tent's first weekend is Carlos Ponce, who is ranked among Bolivia's finest panpipe players. He'll be playing with local harpist Patrice Fisher.