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The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival means more music, more food and more fun.

Jazz Fest's second weekend approaches, which means a host of difficult decisions loom. Crawfish bread or shrimp and artichoke bisque? Los Lonely Boys or Trey Anastasio or Terence Blanchard? Strawberry lemonade or rosemint iced tea? When faced with such thorny questions, I, Count Basin™, solve the problem by saying yes to all of it. Why choose when you can have both or see parts of many sets?

Thursday began as a day for locals that often had a little less star power, making it possible to recapture the feeling of Jazz Fests of yore. This year's Thursday lineup includes headliners B.B. King, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, the Heath Brothers and Los Hombres Calientes, along with Nickel Creek, Morning 40 Federation and gospel legends the Barrett Sisters, so clearly times have changed.

The second weekend brings with it new arts, new crafts, new social aid and pleasure club parades, and a host of new amusements, diversions and wonders. As you try to sort out your plans, I offer my service and a word of advice: The big stages may have the biggest names, but a lot of Jazz Fest's magic takes place at the smaller, more intimate stages, where local musicians show why the city's music has so many fans.

All the information here is accurate as of press time; for late changes, see www.nojazzfest.com. Now, on to week two..

The name 'Count Basin' and the Count Basin character are a registered service mark of Gambit Communications Inc. All rights reserved.


Thursday, April 28

Parades:

1 p.m. -- Bon Temps Roulez and Calendar Girls Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (SAPCs) with New Wave Brass Band

1:50 p.m. -- Economy Hall Parade with Algiers Steppers SAPC

3 p.m. -- New Orleans East Steppers SAPC with Smitty Dee's Brass Band


Friendly Five Gospel Singers
11 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This Uptown traditional gospel quintet has been performing for more than 40 years. The Friendly Five pride themselves on their energy as they engage the audience with both hymns and original compositions.

Ellipsis
11:05 a.m.,
Acura Stage,
Rock
This New Orleans modern rock band is led by young guitar whiz John Michael Rouchell, who learned from the funky Meters' Brian Stoltz. Ellipsis emerged from Loyola's music business program, where three of the band members were students. On But a Breath, its debut album, the band shows influences as far-flung as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Jane's Addiction, but the sound is distinctly its own.

UNO Jazz Combo
11:15 a.m.,
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
UNO's Jazz Studies program, under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and now Harold Battiste, is famous around the globe. The group's performance will focus on New Orleans jazz from the second half of the 20th century. Many of the young players, such as drummer Jua Ferdinand, tenor saxophonist Mike Ieya, trumpeter Jamel Williams and bassist Peter Harris, will probably also be seen playing at clubs around town all weekend long.

communion
11:25 a.m.,
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Part of New Orleans' growing number of completely improvisational jazz groups, communion draws on the influences of John Coltrane, Don Cherry, Ken Vandermark and William Parker to compose new music as they perform. Tenor saxophonist John Ayres, bassoonist and saxophonist Stephen Bertram, bassist Marc LaPorte and drummer Jeff Zielinski craft an adventurous, ethereal sound with a solid groove.

Clancy 'Blues Boy' Lewis with Sheba Kimbrough
11:25 a.m.,
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Jazz Fest veteran Kimbrough is a drummer whose career dates back to work with Professor Longhair and other New Orleans R&B veterans. Kimbrough will also perform at this year's Ponderosa Stomp in a Professor Longhair tribute with pianist Tom Worrell and percussionist Alfred 'Uganda' Roberts. Guitarist Clancy 'Blues Boy' Lewis -- a Jazz Fest staple since 1970 -- is a living link to the Delta blues tradition.

Kid Simmons' Local International All-Stars
11:25 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter John 'Kid' Simmons keeps it traditional with a tight band that includes Les Muscutt on banjo, Bob Broockman on piano, Frank Oxley on drums, Gerald Adams on contrabass and Daniel Farrow on saxophone. Their most recent album, Over in the Gloryland, was recorded live at the Louisiana Music Factory and showcases band specialties such as the tango-fied 'St. Louis Blues,' 'Panama,' 'Up the Lazy River' and 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby.'

CRITIC'S PICK

Lost Bayou Ramblers
11:25 a.m.,
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Representing the next generation of the talented Michot Family, Louis and Andre Michot front a band that plays homage to south Louisiana pioneers such as Dennis McGee and Amede Ardoin. By offering music that dates back to the earliest commercially recorded Cajun tunes, and then bringing Texas swing into the mix, the Ramblers present a one-band lesson in the development of Cajun music, featuring acoustic and old-style country instrumentation including lap steel and upright bass.

The Bester Singers
11:45 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This Slidell family band was started 26 years ago by the Besters' grandparents, who were both ministers. The group sings traditional gospel, but according to Stanley Williams -- the lone brother in the Bester Sisters -- 'We sing pretty hard for traditional.' They can also be seen every third Sunday at the Praline Connection Gospel & Blues Hall.

Stephen Foster's Mid-City Jazz Studies Ensemble
11:50 a.m.,
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
Educator and jazzman Stephen Foster this year celebrates 10 years of working with kids in the Mid-City Music, Dance, Drama, Arts & Crafts Workshop, which he runs with his wife, Joycelyn. Foster tries to help kids avoid the trap of drugs and crime in New Orleans. For their Jazz Fest performance, Foster and his students will perform 'The Evolution of Jazz' -- a seven-piece showcase ranging from ragtime to smooth jazz to big band -- and performing songs by Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones, among others.

CRITIC'S PICK

G. La Beaud
11:55 a.m.,
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Producer-arranger G. La Beaud moves out from behind the scenes and to the front of the stage with his new album, On the G. La Beaud has produced for singer-songwriter Dianne Warren, among others, but now strikes out on his own with this R&B album of self-proclaimed 'baby-makin' music.' This year's festival will mark his largest scale live performance to date.

Benjy Davis Project
12:10 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock/Funk
This Baton Rouge-spawned college-rock outfit has become a mainstay on Uptown stages with a mostly acoustic sound and instrumentation that warrants justifiable comparisons to the Dave Matthews Band. Last year saw the band tour the nation and garner major-label interest, making it a serious contender for New Orleans' biggest rock export since Better Than Ezra. The band's new self-released album, The Practice Sessions, is scheduled to come out during this year's festival.

Coco Robicheaux & Spiritland
12:20 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Blues
Hoodoo bluesman Coco Robicheaux typically keeps a big bottle of Tabasco nearby while on stage. The cayenne heat and his ever-present cigars contribute to a raspy, haunting vocal style that's perfectly suited to his mystical lyricism. His Friday night shows at the Apple Barrel are the stuff of under-the-radar legend, gigs where he's joined musical soulmate Dave Easley, arguably the greatest pedal steel player the world doesn't know. Last year, Robicheaux released the self-produced album Yeah, U Rite, featuring Easley plus a huge cast of local players including Michael Sklar, Jerry Embree and Irene Sage.

Jeremy Lyons & the Deltabilly Boys
12:25 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Rockabilly/Blues
In 1992, Jeremy Lyons moved to New Orleans, where he played his National guitar on the streets of the French Quarter, performing acoustic blues, swing and classic country. After five years, Lyons quit the street gig and recruited veteran drummer Paul Santopadre and fellow busker Greg Schatz (bass and accordion) into his trio. Expect material from their latest album, Live at the Dragon's Den, which includes a handful of clever originals and covers of 'Shake Your Hips,' 'Hellhound on my Trail' and '(Ghost) Riders in the Sky.'

John Ellis
12:30 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Jazz fans began to notice John Ellis when he played with guitarist Charlie Hunter. The young saxophonist weaves elements of Southern folk music into his increasingly complex compositions. His most recent album, One Foot in the Swamp (Sin-Drome), was recorded in New Orleans with a band that included Jason Marsalis, Roland Guerin, and guest appearances by Nicholas Payton. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

New Orleans Rhythm Section Mardi Gras Indians
12:30 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
It's like Mardi Gras all over again when the New Orleans Rhythm Section Indians take the stage. This tribe will get the crowd moving.

The Trio Plus One
12:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Previously known as the New Zion Trio Plus One, this gospel group recently changed its name since only one member still attends New Zion Baptist Church. Gus MacField, Charles Ewell and Jeffrey Davis founded the group almost 30 years ago, with Kevin Franklin -- the 'Plus One' -- joining soon after. It has been mixing traditional and contemporary gospel at Jazz Fest for more than 20 years.

CRITIC'S PICK

New Orleans Jazz Vipers
12:35 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
The syncopated swing of the percussion-free Jazz Vipers is a top draw on Frenchmen Street. The energetic six-piece adds a contemporary flair to its repertoire of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong classics, having been dubbed 'neo-trad jazz' by critics. Their latest album is Live on Frenchmen Street, released in 2004.

Rudy's Caribbean Funk
12:35 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Caribbean
Rudy Mills' group gives the audience a taste of many Latin flavors with an penchant for funky reggae. For larger gigs such as Jazz Fest, Mills will bring to the stage his daughter, talented singer Josephine Mills, plus a full horn section, keyboards, congas, guitar, bass and drum kit. Mills is currently in the studio working on a concept he dubs 'a Latin blues ballad' -- with lyrics in Spanish and the vocals as much doo-wop as anything else.

Savoy Family Cajun Band
12:35 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Ann Savoy is a noted author and producer. Marc Savoy is renowned for his hand-built accordions. He also is one of Cajun music's most electrifying accordionists, and with Ann on guitar and vocals, and eldest son Joel on fiddle, the Savoys released the 2003 Arhoolie album, The Savoy Family Album: Cajun Music.

Willie West & the Alpha Blues Band with Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson
1 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Willie West started as a backing vocalist for the Meters in the 1970s, and continues to make Meters-inspired funk. He's joined by Al 'Carnival Time' Johnson, who is best known for the tune that has become part of his name. Johnson has become as much a part of Mardi Gras as beads and king cake, but the Ninth Ward native has also generated grooves with local luminaries including Eddie Bo, Aaron Neville and Oliver 'Who Shot the LaLa' Morgan.

Shades of Praise
1:15 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 4-year-old interracial, nondenominational gospel choir is making its second appearance at Jazz Fest. Co-founded by jazz vocalist Phillip Manuel, Shades of Praise has a mix of experienced and inexperienced voices that gives traditional and contemporary gospel a spirited treatment.

Donavon Frankenreiter
1:20 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Soft Rock
The boyhood friend and surfing companion of Jack Johnson, this California-born, Hawaii-bred surf rat has turned his childhood hobby of music into a burgeoning career. Frankenreiter's musical style shares Johnson's funky acoustic strumming and breathy vocals, but exhibits an even more fluid, laid-back approach. His self-titled debut album came out last year on Johnson's Brushfire record label.

Charmaine Neville Band
1:30 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
A multi-talented singer, dancer and actress/comedienne from New Orleans' first family of music, Charmaine Neville can be found in anything from Vogue fashion layouts to top European jazz clubs to Taylor Hackford's Everybody's All-American. She has a charming stage presence that borders on cabaret, though her performances are carried on the strength of her booming vocals. Her stellar backing band is led by saxophonist and Fats Domino band alumnus Reggie Houston and pianist Amasa Miller.

Kim Prevost with Amina Figarova
1:35 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
For this performance, two jazz couples unite. Local jazz vocalist Kim Prevost and husband Bill Solley are joined by Holland-based pianist Amina Figarova and her husband, flautist Bart Platteau. The four recorded On Canal Street together in 2002. Both couples have new CDs this year -- Prevost and Solley's Just in Time and Figarova's Come Escape With Me. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

New Wave Brass Band
1:40 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Expect a swinging trad jazz set from Oscar Washington and his band, who have been gigging in Europe lately and plan a return to the studio to work on a sophomore CD following 1999's Life Styles in Traditional Jazz. Projected for early 2006, the upcoming CD includes Texas musician Nicholas Allen as co-producer and on tuba, and he'll be a featured player during today's set.

Leviticus Gospel Singers
1:45 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Gospel
Since 1978, the Leviticus Gospel Singers have been performing high-energy versions of traditional gospel songs.

Red Stick Ramblers
1:45 p.m. Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Swing
Sort of a Louisiana version of the old Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Ramblers formed in Baton Rouge to play hot versions of tunes and styles associated with everyone from pioneering Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee to gipsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt to Texas swing maestro Bob Wills. They also credit the Hackberry Ramblers with their decision to wear fancy suits. Listen for songs from the band's new CD, Right Key, Wrong Keyhole (Memphis Int'l).

CRITIC'S PICK

Winnsboro Easter Rockers
1:45 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
This set recreates a little-known spiritual tradition from the Winnsboro area that is typically performed the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. The ceremony involves church members taking rhythmic, rocking steps counterclockwise around long tables, depositing 12 cakes and 12 lighted candles on the table to represent the 12 disciples.

Storyville Stompers Brass Band
1:50 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Brass Band
The Storyville Stompers combine the best of traditional brass bands while taking from the modern trends as well. They do everything from old dirges to classic New Orleans rock 'n' roll to soul jazz. On their latest CD, Brass Menagerie, they recorded trombonist Craig Klein's 'Shake Your Rugulator.'

Gregg Martinez & the Rolling Thunder
2 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Gregg Martinez started his career as a secular artist, but in 1989 was born again and turned his soul/R&B voice to contemporary gospel music. Born and raised in Cajun country, he has produced seven albums including 2004's Bring Down the Thunder (Seaul).

Clarence 'Frogman' Henry
2:10 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
'The Frogman' got his name from his signature growl on 'Ain't Got No Home' ('I can sing like a frog'), his debut hit in 1956. More hits followed, earning Henry an opening slot for the Beatles at City Park Stadium in 1964 and, more recently, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. As Henry's touring has slowed over the years, today's gig is a rare chance to see a bona fide R&B legend in full form.

the subdudes
2:35 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
Miracle Mule, the subdudes' 2004 reunion CD on Back Porch, was all fans could hope for and more. The songwriting and the joy in the performances that had been the band's hallmark were once again in evidence. The band has written songs for an upcoming album to be produced by Keb Mo'; expect them to debut some of those songs live.

McDonogh #35 Gospel Choir
2:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This high school gospel choir features more than 40 voices, and won the 2003 Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best Gospel Choir.

Harold Battiste presents The Next Generation
2:50 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
After 30 years in Los Angeles working in jazz and pop, Harold Battiste is getting his due for being one of the heroes of New Orleans jazz. The Next Generation, a sextet of Battiste's current and former students from the University of New Orleans, explores the sounds of New Orleans jazz from the second half of the 20th century. Hot young musicians such as Jesse McBride on piano and Rex Gregory on alto sax play the tunes of local masters Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis and James Black.

Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians
2:50 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
This multi-generational Uptown tribe has been going strong for about a decade now, with infectious singing and chanting to match their eye-popping suits. The 10th Ward gang is fronted by Big Chief James 'Yam' Harris, who's been masking Indian for nearly a quarter century.

J. Monque'D Blues Band
2:50 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
The former buggy driver and Lucky Dog vendor with the heart full of soul and a mouthful of gold will serve up some dirty blues and New Orleans favorites. Adding his wild harmonica work to Slim Harpo and Muddy Waters classics, Monque'D's latest album is 1999's Chitlin Eatin' Music, but word on the street is that a fresh offering is in the works for this summer.

Drums & Tuba
2:55 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Rock
/Funk This trio (which includes a guitar) uses looping and electronic sound manipulation onstage to attack the boundaries between modern musical genres such as rock, funk and avant-garde jazz. Ani DiFranco signed the band up to open her shows in 2001 and subsequently released the album Mostly Ape on her Righteous Babe label in 2002. The forthcoming album, Four New Notes of April, promises to be more song-oriented.

Papa Grows Funk 3 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Funk PGF, the Rainbow Coalition of Funk, has gone from being a new variation on the Meters classic sound to one of the most creative improvisational bands in New Orleans, ranging from Curtis Mayfield R&B to Frank Zappa fusion. John Gros on vocals and keyboards, guitarist June Yamagishi, and saxophonist Jason Mingledorff share the featured space in roughly equal measures. At the Fest, the group will feature both its bassists -- Peter V and Marc Pero -- and new drummer Jeffrey 'Jellybean' Alexander, who recently replaced Russell Batiste.

Walter Payton's Gumbo Filé Band
3:00 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Bassist Walter Payton played on jazz, R&B and rock sessions as a sideman for many years before putting together his Snapbean Band a little more than a decade ago. Album credits include the last three made by Champion Jack Dupree and Kermit Ruffins' solo debut. As a leader, Payton plays a range of jazz and R&B tunes imbued with his affable sensibility and powered by his locked-in-the-pocket groove. The father of Nicholas Payton will feature material from two albums he's promoting at this year's Jazz Fest, Snapbean on Red Top and Gumbo File.

CRITIC'S PICK

The Bluerunners
3:05 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Rock/Cajun/Zydeco
On this year's Honey Slides (Bayou Vista), Lafayette's Bluerunners synthesize blues, zydeco, Cajun and rock in a way that should please all but the most diehard fans of each genre. They may have started as a rowdy bunch threatening the south Louisiana status quo, but with covers of songs by Canray Fontenot and Jessie Mae Hemphill, Mark Meaux and company show themselves to have good taste and a knowledge of their roots.

Mary Griffin
3:20 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
A New Orleans native, Griffin's vocal style is a gospel-tinged update on classic soul. Her vocal range and forceful, belting style have earned her comparisons to contemporary soul divas such as Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle, the latter of whom currently manages her. Griffin's newest album, Mahogany, will be out in 2005.

The Coolie Family Gospel Singers
3:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This family group from the Carrollton area features three generations singing onstage. The Coolie Family Gospel Singers write the majority of their songs, and have been performing them at Jazz Fest for nearly 30 years.

Smitty Dee's Brass Band
3:50 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Tuba player-bandleader Dimitri Smith has schooled scores of young New Orleans musicians in traditional jazz. In 1991, he put together this showcase group with his former students, pumping funk and style into contemporary and standard numbers. This year's Jazz Fest performance precedes a summer tour in Europe, and will no doubt feature selections from the band's 1998 CD, Funk-ditional.

CRITIC'S PICK

Nickel Creek
4 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Bluegrass San Diego's Nickel Creek comes out of a bluegrass tradition (featuring mandolin hotshot Chris Thile), but the songs come from the post-Dave Matthews school of acoustic rock. One of the two Allison Krauss-produced albums --2002's This Side -- won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, with singer Sara Watkins' lovely, ethereal voice shining front and center. The trio's take on 'House Carpenter' shows a healthy respect for the folk tradition.

Tom 'Blues Man' Hunter
4:10 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
The younger brother of Texas-sized contemporary blues legend Long John Hunter, Tom made his debut two years ago, joining his brother on a joint recording effort titled One Foot in Texas. Tom and Long John built a reputation through wild stage antics and playing constantly in the border town of Juarez, Mexico.

Leroy Jones & New Orleans Finest
4:15 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Leroy Jones was a protege of the great New Orleans traditional jazz player and teacher Danny Barker, who had Jones leading his Young Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band at age 13. Jones later joined the Harry Connick Jr. Orchestra and has performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Jones has produced two Columbia releases and has collaborated with the New Orleans Helsinki Connection. Jones just completed a new album, New Orleans Brass Band Music -- Memories of the Fairview and Hurricane Band.

Morning 40 Federation
4:15 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Rock
This local band's name pretty much says it all. Gritty and hard drinking, this rock outfit brings to life the denizens of the gutters and dive bars of New Orleans with guitars, horns and loose yet artfully crafted songs. Last year's self-titled CD for the national M80 label introduces the rest of the country to the band with highlights from its two independently released albums.

Roland Guerin
4:15 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Bassist Roland Guerin began playing with the legendary Alvin Batiste while still a student at Southern University. After graduating, Guerin performed with guitarist Mark Whitfield before striking out on his own as a composer and performer. As a sideman, Guerin has appeared on more than 50 records. Many fans are calling the recently released Groove, Swing and Harmony (True Entertainment) his strongest recording yet. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Greater Antioch Full Gospel Choir
4:25 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
The mass choir from this Irish Channel church has more than 75 members when its three gospel ministries come together. This is the fourth year for Greater Antioch at the Jazz Fest, where it will perform a mix of traditional, contemporary and urban gospel. It can perform a cappella, but more often it is accompanied by a full band. Greater Antioch is also one of the few gospel groups this year incorporating gospel rap.

Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown & Gate's Express
4:30 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Blues/R&B/Swing 'Gate' has always been known to swing in his own unique way. Louisiana born and Texas bred, Brown has always been hard to pin down stylistically because he is so deft at blending blues, swing, jazz, R&B and country. At 81, he's battling lung cancer and may not be able to perform, but his backing band, Gate's Express, led by New Orleans' B-3 whiz Joe Krown, has a special set planned for the occasion. His latest album, Timeless (Hightone), is a collection of material recorded mostly in the 1980s that shows the breadth of Gate's abilities.

Corey 'Lil Pop' Ledet
4:30 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco Corey 'Lil Pop' Ledet is one of a number of young accordionists to emerge from the Houston zydeco scene. Now living in south Louisiana, he plays plenty of traditional sounds along with contemporary zydeco -- perhaps a reflection of his work with Dirk Powell, who produced Ledet's first CD.

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots
4:30 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Blues/Zydeco It's no surprise that this hulking accordion, harmonica and percussion player used to play pro football, but the former Kansas City Chief is also a National Park Service ranger. OnStage,
he takes his audience through a rocking tour of zydeco, blues and Caribbean-influenced music during an always-lively set. His new record, Zydeco Got Soul, is drenched in accordion boogie with lyrics in both Creole French and English.

African Renaissance Dancers
4:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
World Following last Jazz Fest's emphasis on the music and culture of South Africa is this children's dance troupe from Port Elizabeth that promises a mix of traditional, rural dance expressions and modern, urban street dancing. The troupe is the fruit of a cultural heritage project designed to give direction and hope to youth with 'nothing to look for in the future.'

The Barrett Sisters
530 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This legendary Chicago-based gospel group has been singing together since the 1940s, when the sisters were children. Delois, Rodessa and Billie all sang in other groups or churches through their high school years and beyond until they formed the Barrett Sisters in 1962.

Jack Johnson
535 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
This surf-movie filmmaker turned pop star has taken his stoner folk from the beaches of his native Hawaii straight to the top of the Billboard pop charts. His 2001 release, Brushfire Fairytales (Universal), blasted him onto the scene with cameos from surf pal and collaborator Ben Harper. Johnson's hook-laden guitar strumming and rhythmic vocal style combine to form easygoing roots music with elements of blues and funk.

Howlin' Wolf Tribute featuring Eddie Shaw & the Wolf Gang, with Hubert Sumlin and Henry Gray
540 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
The late Chester A. Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf, was one of the great Chicago bluesmen. His bands were famous for their discipline within the no-holds-barred world of blues clubs and their fans. Wolf called Hubert Sumlin his 'son,' and Sumlin's stinging guitar punctuated some of Wolf's best work. Pianist Henry Gray, currently living in Baton Rouge, was one of the best pianists to live and thrive on the Chicago blues scene. Saxophonist Eddie Shaw was Wolf's manager for several years and has been playing his songs for years. (Featured in this issue; also see CD reviews in this issue.)

Banu Gibson & New Orleans Hot Jazz
545 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
A perennial fest favorite, vocalist Gibson uses her strong but smooth voice and sassy, dynamic stage presence to swing the pre-World War II traditional jazz styles of the 1920s, '30s and '40s. This year will bring two new studio albums from the industrious songstress: a follow-up to 2004's Jeepers Creepers: Banu Gibson Sings Johnny Mercer, as well as a collection of songs from the RKO films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

CRITIC'S PICK

Heath Brothers featuring Jimmy Heath, Percy Heath, Albert 'Tootie' Heath and Jeb Patton
545 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
The Heath Brothers (saxophonist Jimmy, bassist Percy and drummer Tootie) came out of the jazz hotbed of Philadelphia and are intricately connected to the jazz mainstream dating back to the 1940s. Though the brothers spent most of their career as sidemen, they have played with some of the leading lights in jazz history including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, J..J. Johnson, Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Quartet (Percy was the MJQ's bassist). Jimmy Heath is one of the finest composers in the lexicon, and on its own, the band cuts a keening post-bop groove.

B.B. King
550 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Blues
Blues icon B.B. King celebrates his 80th birthday this September with a year of honors including the opening of his own museum in his Indianola, Miss., birthplace and a world tour that includes his Jazz Fest appearance. The influential singer-songwriter/guitarist developed a style that has shaped the nature of blues playing. His smooth, soulful delivery is as identifiable as Frank Sinatra's on such timeless performances as 'The Thrill Is Gone,' 'Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss' and 'Everyday I Have the Blues,' both of which are on his just-released The Ultimate Collection (Geffen).

Los Hombres Calientes featuring Irvin Mayfield & Bill Summers
550 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Latin Jazz In the late 1990s, Headhunters percussionist Bill Summers teamed up with trumpeter Irvin Mayfield to change the New Orleans jazz world with Los Hombres Calientes. Mayfield and Summers continue to lead the group into new territory with an interpretation of African Diaspora culture that has grabbed the attention of young jam band audiences as well as jazz fans. Their latest album, Vol.
5 Carnival
(Basin Street), pulls together sounds of celebration from New Orleans to West Africa. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Slightly Stoopid
550 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Rock
/Ska This Southern California punk crew is cut from the same cloth as Sublime, and it manages a genuine update of the Sublime sound. All of the punk/ska/dub elements pioneered by Sublime and continued by the Long Beach Dub Allstars are there, though the band's prowess with both acoustic and electric instruments sets them apart.

Waylon Thibodeaux
555 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Born southwest of New Orleans in the town of Houma -- an often overlooked-population center of Louisiana Cajuns -- Thibodeaux co-wrote, 'Si Longtemps Separe,' the theme song for the 1999 international Acadian reunion. The self-taught Thibodeaux became the Louisiana state fiddle champion at age 16. Listen for traditional Cajun tunes along with zydeco- and country-accented originals.

Treme Brass Band
6 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Led by brass band veteran, snare drummer Benny Jones and the always dapper bass drummer Uncle Lionel Batiste, the Treme Brass Band makes the traditional sound funky and new. Although the lineup varies, it always includes some of the best players in the brass band scene. Also, Uncle Lionel can pull out lyrics to songs that most people's grandparents have forgotten. Without a doubt, Treme is one of the most popular bands in New Orleans.


Friday, April 29

Parades:

11:15 a.m. -- Economy Hall Parade with Lady Rulers Social Aid and Pleasure Club (SAPC)

1 p.m. -- Double Nine High Steppers and Original Four SAPCs with New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band

4 p.m. -- New Generation and Lady Sequence SAPCs with Coolbone Brass Band


First Church of God in Christ United Radio Choir

11 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This choir of Jazz Fest veterans returns to the Rhodes Gospel Tent after a few years off. It sings traditional gospel, and its name comes from being one of the first choirs broadcast on local radio station WYLD.

Loyola University Jazz Ensemble
11:05 a.m.,
Acura Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
Loyola's jazz ensemble has been playing Jazz Fest for almost 15 years. The 19-member group, composed of the school's top jazz musicians, will perform a cross section of modern big band jazz. The lineup: James Martin, Erik Cheverud and Tom Garcia on sax, Meghan Swartz on piano, Peter Murano on guitar, Jack Pritchett on trumpet and Kyle Sharamitaro on drums.

Fred Sanders & Soul Trinity
11:15 a.m.,
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Fred Sanders' piano resume runs from cocktail piano in hotel lounges to traditional jazz with Bob French at Donna's on Monday nights. When he gets together with his main group, Fred Sanders & Soul Trinity, he plays positive, gospel-infused jazz. Sanders' piano stylings has touches of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and McCoy Tyner.

CRITIC'S PICK

Syc-A-Moe's Dixieland Jass Band
11:15 a.m.,
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Their spelling may be erratic (their matching captain's hats each sport the band name written differently, from ´Sicky-Mo's' to ´Sycamoes') but their interpretation of hot '20s Dixieland in the tradition of Kid Ory, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong is dead-on consistent. The band was formed in 2001 when drummer Nita Hemeter placed an ad entreating 'Bad Drummer Seeking Bad Musicians.' Fortunately for all of us, their humility is unfounded.

Bamboula 2000
11:20 a.m.,
Congo Square Stage,
Caribbean
Respected community activist, percussionist and Bamboula 2000 leader Luther Grey describes his world-music ensemble as 'a group of people that grew up on the funk, and working to link it back to its origins.' Now in its
11th year, Bamboula 2000 spans the spectrum of the African Diaspora for what Grey dubs 'an authentic experience' -- with particular emphasis on shaping New Orleans' indigenous music.

David Egan & the Twenty Years of Trouble
11:20 a.m.,
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Roots Rock David Egan performed with Filé for years; now this singer-songwriter is concentrating on Lil' Band of Gold -- where he plays piano -- and his solo career. The 2003 release Twenty Years of Trouble shows his blues and R&B roots as well as his songwriting chops, while soul legend Solomon Burke recorded his 'Fading Footsteps' on his new album, Make Do With What You Got. (Featured in this issue.)

Goldman Thibodeaux
11:20 a.m.,
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Although he began playing accordion in his early 50s, Thibodeaux emerged to become a standard-bearer in traditional Creole and old-school zydeco music, playing and recording with fiddler Calvin Carriere. A predominance of French vocals -- plus the blending of accordion and a bluesy Creole fiddle -- is the hallmark of traditional Creole. Carriere has since passed away, and Thibodeaux now teams with younger fiddlers such as Cedric Watson and D'Jalma Garnier to provide one of the few chances to hear this music today.

Michael Skinkus & Moyuba
11:20 a.m.,
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
World Percussionist Michael Skinkus is a veteran of many New Orleans bands including local Latin jazz outfit Fredy Omar con su Banda as well as Michael Ray & his Cosmic Krewe. Leading Moyuba, he plays a variety of African and Cuban-influenced, drum-driven beats.

Paula & the Pontiacs
11:30 a.m.,
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Jazz Fest veterans Paula & the Pontiacs return this year, led by vocalist and sax player Paula Rangell. These regulars at the Rivershack Tavern are masters of barroom R&B and blues, and they know how to start a party. Her Live at Ruby's Roadhouse features a version of Guitar Slim's 'The Things That I Used to Do.'

The Golden Wings
11:45 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This Mid-City based family band has been singing traditional gospel for so long, 'I can't count the years,' Caroline Davis says. Though in the traditional mode, many of the Golden Wings' songs are original.

White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians
Noon,
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Led by Big Chief 'Little Charles' Taylor, this Sixth Ward Mardi Gras Indian gang began in 1984. Taylor grew up in the tradition, having started with the Yellowjackets when he was 3 years old.

CRITIC'S PICK

Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk
12:15 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Funk This side project for Ivan and Ian Neville has been one of the funk highlights of Jazz Fest for the past two years. Since both are currently part of the Neville Brothers touring band, it doesn't play that often, but when it does, Dumpstaphunk is a large band putting many of the top funk musicians in the city to good use.

Mark Braud & the New Orleans Jazz Giants
12:20 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Mark Braud, a 32-year-old trumpeter, is the grandson of the legendary trumpeter John 'Picket' Brunious Sr. and nephew of trumpeters Wendell Brunious and John Brunious. Though he's in Harry Connick Jr.'s band and has played with Eddie Bo and Henry Butler, Braud also plays at the Palm Court and Preservation Hall and is best known for his lively take on traditional New Orleans jazz, stretching out on chestnuts such as 'Bill Bailey,' 'Winin' Boy Blues' and 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.'

Charles Neville Quartet
12:25 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Charles Neville's jazz sensibilities, although sometimes obscured by the Neville Brothers' groove, have always been an essential ingredient to their music. The Charles Neville Quartet takes a fresh approach to jazz standards, sometimes working with non-traditional instruments or adding New Orleans street rhythms to the mix.

Frankie Ford Revue
12:25 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Rock/R&B The 'New Orleans Dynamo,' Frankie Ford has been a Crescent City institution dating back to his 1950s recordings for Ace Records, including 'Cheatin' Woman,' the epochal 'Sea Cruise' and many others. His latest CD, That Can Be Used Again!, includes duets with Troy Shondell, Grace Broussard (of Dale & Grace fame) and many others.

Executive Steel Band
12:30 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Carribean Executive Steel Band does what New Orleanians have been doing for centuries: bridging the gap between North America and the Caribbean. In this case, the gap is bridged by playing zydeco, jazz and calypso with 55-gallon oil barrels built and tuned by Ellie Manette, the Les Paul of steel drums.

Paky Saavedra's Bandido
12:30 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
World For almost 30 years now, Paky Saavedra's Bandido has performed at Jazz Fest. His band includes some of the top Latin musicians in the city, and the songs in his set list come from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Southern Wonders
12:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
The Southern Wonders began singing traditional gospel 35 years ago in Denham Springs. They pride themselves on passionate treatments of favorites such as 'Oh, I Want to See Jesus' and ''Til We Meet Again.'

Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band
12:35 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
There's plenty of old-style Chicago blues in this Wisconsin native and perennial Blues Tent favorite, but Bryan Lee honed his chops and earned his reputation on Bourbon Street, packing the Old Absinthe House during the 1980s and '90s. Lee, who's blind, still regularly rocks the French Quarter, but these days his draw is enough for tours across the United States and Europe. This year, Lee's best songs from a prolific career were compiled in Bryan Lee's Greatest Hits (Justin Time).

Kim Carson & Buffalo Speedway
12:35 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Country Kim Carson sings honky-tonk with a touch of Loretta Lynn in her voice. She has recorded in New Orleans and Nashville, and with her new Houston-based band, she shares songwriting and vocal duties with guitarist Adam Burchfield. Their songs celebrate the wild life with more rockabilly swing than fans of Carson's previous band -- the Casualties -- may be used to.

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians
12:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Former Flaming Arrow Cyril 'Iron Horse' Green grew up in the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, and leads this new gang in its debut Jazz Fest appearance. The tribe honors the Seminoles, a major Native American tribe credited with helping Africans escape slavery in Louisiana.

CRITIC'S PICK

David Rhodes & Assurance
1:15 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
David Rhodes is a Jazz Fest veteran, having performed for years with the late Raymond Myles, though this year will be his first appearance with Assurance since last year's debut was rained out. He is the only male voice in this gospel group, which also includes his three sisters, his wife and a friend. They are finishing their first CD.

World Leader Pretend
1:30 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
World Leader Pretend returns to Jazz Fest before its major label debut Punches comes out May 24. The band began playing R.E.M. and Radiohead-inspired pop gems a few years ago at Tipitina's and The Howlin' Wolf, but its sound has become more personal and, at the same time, grander. Last year's Jazz Fest set was one of the nerviest in recent memory, taking lovely songs from near-silence to Sonic Youth-like rave-ups, then back to quiet.

New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra
1:35 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Swedish-born Lars Edegran founded the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra in 1967 to play traditional New Orleans jazz, ragtime, marches, cakewalks, waltzes, blues and even an album of Christmas tunes done New Orleans style with Big Al Carson on vocals. Edegran plays piano, guitar and banjo, and surrounds himself with musicians whose love of the material is evident.

Martha Redbone
1:40 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Funk Martha Redbone is a young Native American singer with old-school funk in her blood. Her latest album, Skintalk, is funk tried and true; not surprising considering she was the protege of Walter 'Junie' Morrison, an original member of the Ohio Players and a later member of Parliament/Funkadelic.

Michael Ward
1:40 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
There is a dearth of jazz violinists these days, and Michael Ward is one of the musicians who is filling the void. His jazz veers more to the fusion of Jean-Luc Ponty than the swing of Stuff Smith, but it has proved to be very popular at his gigs around town and around the world. He also does a jazz version of one of the great Southern rock anthems, Charlie Daniels Band's 'The Devil Went Down to Georgia.'

'Keyboard Creole' Television Special Guest
1:40 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage

Henry Butler
1:50 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
One of New Orleans' most talented pianists, Henry Butler can go from intricate James Booker-like patterns to Professor Longhair riffs to jazz solos that ring and rumble on both the high and low end of the keyboard. Recently, he has added a traditional jazz band to his revolving cadre of bands, but no matter what he does, he shows himself to be a master of the New Orleans piano style.

New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band
1:50 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
The New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band is among the most unconventional of the city's brass bands. All of the musicians in the group have other gigs, which means they play and record infrequently, but when they do the sparks fly. Members have included snare drummer Kerry Hunter, clarinetist and saxophonist Jason Mingledorff, saxophonists Ken Jacobs and Brent Rose, sousaphone player Matt Perrine, flügelhorn and trumpet player Barney Floyd, bass drummer Tanio Hingle, vocalist and trombonist Craig Klein, trumpeter Kevin Clark, vocalist and percussionist Smiley Ricks, trombonist Rick Trolsen, and co-founder Tom McDermott.

Tony Green & Gypsy Jazz
1:50 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Traditional Jazz
Heavily influenced by Eastern European gypsy music in general, and Belgian guitar hero Django Reinhardt's hot interpretation in particular, painter and muralist Tony Green and company can swing some mean Romany strings.

Dora & the Zydeco Badboyz
1:55 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco Following in the confident footsteps of female zydeco trailblazers such as Queen Ida, Ann Goodly and Rosie Ledet, Adoria 'Dora' Jenkins plays contemporary zydeco influenced by the late Boozoo Chavis and Beau Jocque. Last year's CD, Dora's Time, showcased the Houston native performing her own material as well as popular local zydeco hits -- and even a duet with zydeco club favorite Keith Frank.

Craig Adams & Higher Dimensions of Praise
2 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 12-voice gospel ensemble and backing band perform regularly at gospel festivals.

Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel
2:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This Uptown-based gospel group features five vocalists, with Lyle Henderson singing lead. Their name embodies their message -- 'Emmanuel' meaning 'God with us' -- and they share it through contemporary gospel.

Better Than Ezra
2:50 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
Last year's Better Than Ezra Live at the House of Blues New Orleans captures these pop veterans' charms -- broad hooks, a lot of drive and a 'We're just like you' relationship with their audience. The way BTE's audience sings along for much of the set suggests Kevin Griffin's lyrics tell stories people connect with, leaving just enough room for them to adapt them to their lives. Before the Robots, the band's first album for Artemis Records, shows a harder edge and is due out in late May. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Jamie Cullum
2:50 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Jazz Twenty-four-year-old British jazz pianist Cullum brings a winning combination -- the scrappy looks of Ewan McGregor combined with the soulful crooning of Harry Connick Jr. Apparently the biggest-selling native jazz act in the history of British charts, Cullum's latest, Twentysomething, with its combination of witty Cole Porter classics and originals, has sold more than a million copies.

Tondráe
2:50 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Baton Rouge native Tondráe combines hip-hop with the classic soul of icons such as Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to form his own original brew of modern soul music. A former member of local favorites Soul Remedy, Tondráe struck out on his own three years ago scoring much-talked-about performances at the 2003 and 2004 Jazz Fests.

James Rivers Movement
2:55 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Jazz/R&B While the multi-dimensional James Rivers has mastered a dozen different instruments -- including the bagpipes -- he's primarily a saxophonist. His music moves between trad jazz, swing, blues, gospel and R&B with a touch of rock 'n' roll -- a dexterity that makes him a perennial favorite in the Jazz Tent.

Linnzi Zaorski & Delta Royale
2:55 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
A regular of the Frenchmen Street club scene, Zaorski interprets hot jazz vocal standards with a Blossom Dearie squeak and plenty of speakeasy-style, vintage sex appeal. Her vulnerable, sultry vocal style and tight backing band is in top form on her 2003 self-titled release.

John Butler Trio
3:05 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Rock
For a loose translation of what a jam band might sound like Down Under, consider John Butler. The Australian native wrote, arranged and produced all the tracks on his latest album Sunrise Over Sea, which shines through superb musicianship as Butler deftly moves from banjo to six-string acoustic and
11-string amplified guitars. A warm, lush vibe washes over all the tunes, though the lyrics flirt dangerously with cliches. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Eh, La-Bas!
3:10 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
/Creole/Jazz Defying easy categorizing even more than most Louisiana musicians, the brother-sister team Moise and Alida Viator -- along with their dad, Etienne Viator -- leads a band that skillfully showcases a variety of Louisiana- and Caribbean-accented dance tunes. It's studied without ever being studious: Imagine Kid Ory playing ska. The band's 2003 CD, Mermaids of the Canary Islands, made it on a lot of the year's best-of lists, and for good reason.

Jim McCormick & the Full Band
3:15 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Country McCormick splits time between New Orleans and Nashville, where his song, 'Time Well Spent,' was recently cut by Bobby Pinson. His own gigs rock more than is seemly on Music Row, with a looseness and spirit reminiscent of the Band. Last year's You Can't Drown Your Sorrow shows the band in top form, and for Jazz Fest, he has augmented his lineup with Gina Forsyth and David Greely on fiddles and John Gros on piano.

CRITIC'S PICK

Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove
3:15 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Funk It is not a stretch to say that Kirk Joseph changed brass band music when he picked up the sousaphone for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. His nimble blowing and modern bass lines have affected everyone after him. His band, Backyard Groove, keeps him in the pocket with his long-time collaborator, drummer Kevin O'Day, and some of the top musicians in the city.

St. Joseph the Worker Mass Choir
3:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This Marrero Catholic ensemble brings a gospel enthusiasm to the old hymns.

Ledisi
4:05 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
On 2003's Soulsinger, this New Orleans-born, Oakland-based diva couches empowering lyrics in hip-hop-tinged R&B. The dreamy 'Take Time' encourages you to escape, even if just for a few minutes, while 'Stop Livin' In Ya Head' coaches listeners to do just that. There's a gritty side to Ledisi as well; 'Coffee' advises a battered spouse that she won't find help sitting home sipping coffee.

Debrecen Dixieland Jazz Band
4:10 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
This band is an outgrowth of the oldest jazz festival in Hungary, Debrecen Jazz Days (Debreceni Jazz Napok), which dates back to 1973. Its members apply the perfect intonation of Eastern European wind players and a rigorous attention to musical notation characteristic of European-trained musicians to the rigorously defined strictures of traditional New Orleans jazz.

CRITIC'S PICK

Trumpet Woodshed featuring Maurice Brown and Marlon Jordan
4:15 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
This cutting session between top young local trumpeters promises to be something special. Marlon Jordan, the younger brother of flutist Kent Jordan and son of the saxophonist and educator Kidd Jordan, was a child prodigy on trumpet who made his first recording as a leader at 19. After a whirlwind few years, he stepped back to work on his sound and remains a trumpeter with formidable technique and a new album -- You Don't Know What Love Is. Maurice Brown is an audacious new talent whose debut album, Hip to Bop, was one of the most talked-about jazz releases in New Orleans last year. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Randy Newman
4:20 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Singer-Songwriter Randy Newman is one of Louisiana's favorite adopted songwriters (lived and/or visited New Orleans briefly as a child) and is sure to live up to his reputation as both satiric misanthrope and humanist Son of the South. Newman revisited his career work with the 2003 release, Songbook, an album that starkly showcased many of his greatest pieces with piano-and-vocal arrangements that accentuated the timeless lyrics to such classics as 'Sail Away,' 'God's Song,' 'Lonely at the Top,' 'Political Science' and, of course 'Louisiana 1927.' (Featured in this issue.)

African Renaissance Dancers
4:30 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
World Following last Jazz Fest's emphasis on the music and culture of South Africa is this children's dance troupe from Port Elizabeth that promises a mix of traditional, rural dance expressions and modern, urban street dancing. The troupe is the fruit of a cultural heritage project designed to give direction and hope to youth with 'nothing to look for in the future.'

New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars
4:30 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Klezmer The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars mix jazz, brass, funk and more with traditional Jewish religious music, klezmer. This is Eastern European music played in jazz structures for a raucous time. They have New Orleans showmanship through and through, and can be seen marching at the front of a parade during Mardi Gras.

Ted & Sheri
4:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Based in Memphis, Tenn., Ted Winn and Sheri Jones-Moffett came through the contemporary gospel ranks. Starting with the Voices of Binghampton, they've performed together or separately with Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, Richard Smallwood and Vision, and Ted Winn and Deliverance before setting out on their own. The two Stellar Awards they won in 2003 for their debut album, The Healing Starts Right There, led to a contract with Word Records, which released Celebrate in 2004.

Widespread Panic
4:30 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
Spreadheads rejoiced last month when the Georgia-based jam band broke from its first touring hiatus in a 20-year history. The good word came not only from the fact that the Widespread Panic was playing again, but also that the band was comfortable in its new shoes. The band had been shaky since the tragic 2002 death of guitarist Michael Houser from pancreatic cancer. Former Beanland and Kudzu Kings guitarist George McConnell makes his second venture to the Fair Grounds as Panic's guitarist.

C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band
4:35 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Zydeco Long a Jazz Fest favorite, Chenier, the son of the late zydeco king Clifton Chenier, is also perhaps the bluesiest accordion player in the world. C.J. started as a sax player for his father's band, eventually taking over the reigns and forging a zydeco sound drenched in blues, funk and old-school R&B. On his most recent Alligator release, Step It Up!, Chenier plays originals as well as his own fired-up version of 'Johnny Can't Dance,' a tune recorded by Clifton.

Saaraba
4:45 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagiappe Stage,
Ska/Reggae Young, ambitious and exuding a love of ska and roots reggae, Saaraba is making its Jazz Fest debut. Last November, it released its second album, Nudivinity, which captures the fun, freewheeling vibe that is the hallmark of the band's live show.

Coolbone Brass Band
530 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Steve 'Coolbone' Johnson's adventurous 'brass-hop' outfit caught national attention with its mix of swing, brass band, hip-hop, jazz and funk. Earlier in the day, the band is scheduled to perform classic second line music as it marches through the Fair Grounds, but the afternoon set promises to show off Coolbone's groovier side with classic funk, hip-hop and R&B.

Kem
540 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Motown's newest star is the neo-soul singer Kem. Unlike most current R&B and soul singers, Kem is a self-taught musician who wrote and produced his first album, Kemistry, by himself and without the use of samples. Kemistry is a soft, smooth, jazzy soul album with more pain and true emotion than many albums the genre has seen in recent years.

CRITIC'S PICK

Doc Cheatham Memorial Band featuring Nicholas Payton
545 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Trumpeter Doc Cheatham would have turned 100 this year, and in his memory, musicians such as Nicholas Payton, Ernie Elly, Bill Huntington, and Lucien Barbarin will be playing some of Doc's favorites. They will perform songs from the Grammy-winning album Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton as well as tunes that Cheatham played in a career that stretched from McKinney's Cotton Pickers and Louis Armstrong to his later time spent in New Orleans in the 1990s.

Lockport Chapter Choir
545 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 30-plus member choir and band from Lockport, Miss., blend traditional and contemporary gospel, and are regulars at the Gospel Tent.

Louis Hayes & the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band
550 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Drummer Louis Hayes, a veteran of the funky Detroit jazz scene, was a longtime member of the great alto saxophonist and Tallahassee, Fla., native Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley's group. The hard-driving percussionist joined Adderley in 1959 and was part of the band that transformed hard bop into soul jazz. Although he is not stylistically linked with Adderley, Gary Bartz has a big enough sound and an expansive enough conception to fill the saxophonist's role in this lineup admirably. (Featured in this issue.)

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
555 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco Named by the American Accordionists Association 'the hottest accordion player in America,' Dopsie is a burst of talent from the storied Dopsie clan, which includes the legendary Rockin' Dopsie Sr. Like many young zydeco players, Dopsie started performing as a child with his family's band, but at live shows and on CDs such as Now It Begins, he's blazing his own trail as a talented musician and bandleader.

Tab Benoit
555 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Houma native Tab Benoit isn't just Louisiana's most popular blues musician; he's becoming one of the more popular blues musicians in the country. The guitarist remains connected to his south Louisiana roots, and his new CD Fever for the Bayou features guest turns by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Cyril Neville. Live and on CD, Benoit shows equal facility with boogie, juke joint blues, and ballads.

Marcia Ball
6 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Blues
/R&B This honorary Louisianian has found her groove playing blues and R&B, drawing equally from New Orleans and Texas musical traditions. On her new live album, Live! Down the Road, she showcases her feeling for blues and soul. The CD doesn't focus on her piano as much as fans may like, but it reminds listeners of her songwriting prowess.

ZION Trinity
6:10 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Gospel
/R&B The founding members of the a cappella trio that forms the nucleus of this band didn't intend to create a band when they first collaborated eight years ago. Rather, vocalist Sula Janet says, 'We were three chicks recovering from broken marriages and disappointment in the word, working to heal our hearts.' Janet, Oshun-Ede Trisha Jones and Andaiye Alimayu started their road to recovery together as a prayer group finding solace in African ritual chants. Those chants still form a large part of their artistry, but backed with a rocking band, the band is capable of reggae, jazz, funk and more.



Saturday, April 30

Parades:

Noon -- Dumaine Street Ladies, Valley of Silent Men and Dumaine Street Gang Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (SAPCs) with Tornado Brass Band

12:25 p.m. -- Economy Hall Parade with Lady Jetsetters SAPC

1 p.m. -- Renegade Phaze II and White Eagles Mardi Gras Indians

2 p.m. -- Secondline Jammers, Original C.T.C. and Original Big 7 SAPCs with Pinettes Brass Band and Algiers Brass Band

3 p.m. -- Cherokee Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

4 p.m. -- Pigeon Town Steppers, N'Krumah Better Boys and Family Ties SAPCs with Storyville Stompers Brass Band


SUBR Jazz Ensemble

11 a.m.,
Congo Square Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
The jazz ensemble from Southern University in Baton Rouge is a true collaboration. The students will be breaking into several smaller combos to play traditional jazz, modern tunes by New Orleans all-stars such as Nicholas Payton and original compositions written by both the band director and the students.

Gloria Lewis & the Inspirational Gospel Singers
11 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Lewis' Kenner-based, all-female ensemble has sung at Jazz Fest since the group's inception in 1985. They primarily perform 'straight gospel,' she says, though they also write some of their own material. The group has sung at gospel conventions around the country, and has released two albums: 1988's Jesus, I Love What You're Doing for Me and 1992's At the River.

NOCCA Jazz Ensemble
11 a.m.,
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Contemporary Jazz
Some of the brightest young jazz talents in town show off what they've learned at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. These high school students will be performing music of their choice in various small combos, and they're already up to any musical challenge thrown their way. Guitarist Ted Boasso and pianist Nick Sanders both took home awards from the Loyola Jazz Fest, while clarinetist Greg Agid, guitarist Josh Conally and bassist Max Moran have been invited by Jazz at the Lincoln Center to perform a concert in New Mexico.

John Mahoney Big Band
11:10 a.m.,
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
This 18-piece orchestra features some of the city's hottest talent, including Johnny Vidacovich on drums and Jason Mingledorff on baritone sax. The band is fronted by trombonist Mahoney, who composes many of the band's offerings as well as arranging swing-era standards.

Palmetto Bug Stompers
11:10 a.m.,
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
The wryly named Stompers were primarily a French Quarter street band until landing a house gig at the Old Point Bar in Algiers. Their rough-hewn take on traditional jazz, featuring Washboard Chaz on percussion and half-century-plus cornet veteran Jack Fine, has been a solid draw ever since. They released their self-titled debut album earlier this year.

Big Al Carson & the Rare Connexxion Band
11:15 a.m.,
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
A blues shouter and bawdy bard of Bourbon Street, Carson is one of the best entertainers in New Orleans. The man-mountain's voice is a powerful instrument, with a range capable of window-rattling bass intonations and choir boy soprano turns. He can turn a warhorse such as 'St. James Infirmary' into a personalized vehicle for his emotive skills.

Percussion Inc.
11:15 a.m.,
Acura Stage,
World The six members of Percussion Inc. fuse Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Haitian traditional drumming with a more Americanized backline of keyboards, traps and electric bass. This year's Jazz Fest performance will be a debut of sorts, featuring several of the ensemble's students drumming along, as well as bandleader Kenyatta Simon's son, Jawara Simon, debuting as a soloist on several traditional drums.

The Malvinas
11:20 a.m.,
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Folk A feisty blend of jazz, country blues and folk, the Malvinas combine Celtic with Cajun and traditional blues with the more contemporary singer-songwriter tradition, and all with a healthy dose of humor. The band was named for Malvina Reynolds, an early 20th century singer, songwriter and activist, and includes local fiddle player Gina Forsyth. Their latest album is Love, Hope & Transportation.

Allen Fontenot & the Country Cajuns
11:25 a.m.,
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Along with frequent appearances in movies (ranging from the 1975 Charles Bronson flick Hard Times to the more recent independent feature Riders), Cajun fiddler Allen Fontenot's long career has included annual Jazz Fest appearances for nearly three decades. He's shared stages with country stars such as Conway Twitty and Ernest Tubb, and toured with zydeco ace Al Rapone. Expect spirited Cajun two-steps and waltzes with more than a hint of country and swamp pop.

CRITIC'S PICK

The Soul Seekers
11:45 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This new octet from Los Angeles features veterans of contemporary hip-hop and R&B studio and touring bands who have turned to gospel. Its self-titled debut album features a return to traditional gospel harmonies, but with a hip-hop edge.

Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians
11:55 a.m.,
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Watch Big Chief Tyrone Casby and family strut the Mohawk Hunters' spectacular regalia onstage. The Algiers-based tribe is the only one from the West Bank, where it's known for its community leadership.

Los Babies
12:05 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Latin These local Latin favorites benefit from a band roster of
11 members hailing from points across the world -- Columbia, Honduras, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, the United States -- that together sew a flawless seam of fast-tempo merengue. The pulsating, danceable music has made the band a favorite on the nightclub scene, but the popularity extends beyond the stage. Formed in 1988 by Honduran native Juan Monies, the group is now recognized as a pillar of the local Latin community.

Fredy Omar con su Banda
12:05 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Latin An alumnus of long-standing local favorites Ritmo Caribeño, Fredy Omar is now recognized as the sound and style of Latin music in New Orleans. His weekly Friday night gigs at The Blue Nile are preceded by free salsa and merengue dance lessons, as standing still at Omar's show is not acceptable, or even possible.

Kidd Jordan -- Al Fielder & IAQ
12:20 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Jazz Southern University music professor Kidd Jordan is a legend among saxophonists. He's joined forces with drummer Alvin Fielder to provide one of the few chances to hear avant-garde jazz at Jazz Fest. Jordan plays whatever his imagination sees, and mimics the world around him, from birdsong to the chugging of lawn mowers. Their latest recording, Making Waves, features multiinstrumentalist Kali Z. Fasteau.

Raful Neal Jr.
12:20 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
One of the sons of Baton Rouge blues harmonica player Raful Neal, Neal Jr. has established himself as a fine blues guitarist in his own right. Unfortunately, he and his family have been in the news for tragic reasons more often than musical ones recently. Raful Sr., sister Jackie and brother Ronnie all died in the past year.

Young Tuxedo Brass Band
12:25 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Brass Band
Gregg Stafford -- trumpet player, Preservation Hall regular, and local school teacher -- discovered as an adult that he was related to famed New Orleans trumpet player Henry 'Red' Allen. As a kid, he came through Danny Barker's Fairview Baptist Church band and a series of older brass bands including Gibson, Harold 'Duke' Dejan's Olympia, and the Young Tuxedo. The Young Tuxedo, then led by alto saxophonist Herman Sherman, has been led by Stafford since 1984.

The Elements
12:30 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Reggae During the course of their 21-year history, the Baton Rouge-based reggae group the Elements has evolved from a cover band of genre stalwarts such as Bob Marley and Steel Pulse to their own, unique entity with varied influences. Formed by Cuba-born, Louisiana-raised lead singer John Haas, the Elements typically play originals that feature traces of blues, rock and Caribbean calypso. Last summer, the band released its second CD, Brightness, which features two dub tracks.

Providence BC Mass Choir
12:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This LaPlace-based Baptist Church choir has been known for its harmonies for more than a decade. In 2003, it appeared briefly on Los Hombres Calientes' Vol.
4: Vodou Dance
.

Theresa Andersson
12:35 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock/Pop Theresa Andersson spent the better part of last year on the road with her band. Their time together has made her a potent pop/rock act, a direction suggested by last year's Shine. Her voice remains a powerful, soulful instrument, but newer songs such as 'Good Girl' and 'Connected' are pure pop. 'Lorraine's Song' appeared not only on Shine, but on the soundtrack for A Love Song for Bobby Long, the New Orleans-shot movie starring John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson.

CRITIC'S PICK

Belton Richard & the Musical Aces
12:40 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
Rained out last year, Belton Richard is even more highly anticipated this go-around. After ending his early retirement in the mid-1990s, this Rayne native returned to the scene with his smooth, George Jones-style vocals undiminished. He's a dancehall favorite with a bona-fide local hit: 'Un autre soir ennuyent,' one of the finest Cajun tearjerkers ever recorded. Richard blends Cajun, country and swamp pop like no other, and the title of his 2003 CD, The Older the Wine, the Finer the Taste!, indicates that this time he's here to stay.

Tornado Brass Band
12:50 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Frontman Darryl Adams' musical background reads like a who's who of the New Orleans brass band scene. The alto saxman started with the Danny Barker-led Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band and has played with Olympia, Hurricane, Young Tuxedo, Majestic, Chosen Few and New Birth brass bands.

The Dixie Cups
1:10 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
R&B
The Dixie Cups will forever be remembered for their 1964 hit 'Chapel of Love,' which was co-written by Phil Spector. The Dixie Cups' harmonies are unique in New Orleans R&B, and time hasn't hurt them or the group's sparkle.

Southern University Baton Rouge Interdenominational Gospel Choir
1:15 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 30- to 40-voice choir features Southern University students from different states and disciplines. Under the direction of founder and director Reginald Collins, freshmen and seniors alike have been ministering through song, singing all kinds of gospel for the last 18 years.

Jhelisa
1:20 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Jazz Chanteuse Jhelisa has been wooing diners at the Hookah Cafe over the past year with her soulful, sultry interpretations of Nina Simone classics on Tuesday nights. A relative newcomer to the city, Jhelisa has already eased herself seamlessly into the musical landscape.

Drink Small
1:30 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
South Carolina's resident blues legend Drink Small has played the blues all over the South and around the world ever since he graduated high school more than a half century ago. Known as the 'Blues Doctor,' he is noted for his booming bass vocals, his straight-from-the-heart solos, and his contributions to music education throughout South Carolina.

Germaine Bazzle
1:30 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Mild-mannered music educator by day, Xavier Prep teacher Germaine Bazzle has been crowned the 'First Lady of New Orleans Jazz' for her 40-plus years of contributing to the city's musical heritage. Bazzle is renowned for her inventive scatting ability and her smooth interpretation of jazz standards.

Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony
1:35 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Jazz When Putumayo Records put out its New Orleans collection earlier this year, Topsy Chapman and Kermit Ruffins represented the city on a short promotional concert tour. Chapman can take you straight to church one moment, and then to a Storyville-era bandstand the next. She will sing with her daughters in their group Solid Harmony. This year, they've added some Fats Waller and Alberta Hunter to the traditional New Orleans music at which they excel.

CRITIC'S PICK

Washboard Chaz Blues Trio
1:40 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Blues
Washboard Chaz Leary is an acclaimed percussionist, vocalist, songwriter, blues man, and above all, a washboardist. Leary and his trio perform stripped-down, dusty country blues that follows the genre to its root. The trio plays obscure blues tracks as well as his own offbeat original material.

Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes
1:55 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
/Funk This local funk band combines elements of swing, rock and country to form a surprisingly original take on a sometimes tired musical genre. Blazing violin and harmonica balance out the usual funk syncopation and raise the songs out of the jam-funk mire. On the new Pain, Pleasure, Fear and Opera, they stretch further, even veering into soundtrack music at times; the vibe is very different from the funky jams on 2004's Live at the Spleaf. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Comanche Hunters Mardi Gras Hunters
2 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Keith 'Keke' Gibson, who has been masking Indian since he was 15, is Big Chief of this longstanding Ninth Ward tribe. Long on history and tradition, the Comanche Hunters can be counted on to bring the rhythm.

Second Nazarine Church Choir
2 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 40-voice strong choir from this Algiers-based church sings traditional gospel.

Willis Prudhomme & the Zydeco Express
2 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco One of the most traditional zydeco sets you'll hear at Jazz Fest is Willis Prudhomme, whose prairie zydeco sound includes more waltzes and Cajun influences, a reflection of his admiration for the legendary bluesy Cajun accordionist Nathan Abshire. Prudhomme was the first zydeco artist to adapt the old 'Shortnin' Bread' folk melody to zydeco -- which eventually resulted in a monstrous hit when Beau Jocque adapted it as 'Give Him Cornbread.'

Wayne Toups & Zydecajun
2:20 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Cajun
When he signed to Mercury in 1989, Toups became the first Cajun musician on a major label. Since then, he's both written and performed in a rockin' Cajun style that he calls 'zydecajun,' as well as tradition-based tunes that showcase his accordion talents. He's also in demand as a session player -- you can hear his accordion on country hits including Mark Chestnutt's 'Gonna Get a Life' and 'It Sure Is Monday' and Alan Jackson's 'Little Bitty.' OnStage,
he's an athletic performer who can whip up a crowd of both dancers and head-bobbers.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
2:40 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Brass Band
The Dirty Dozen, which in its nearly 30 years has helped salvage the languishing brass band tradition in New Orleans, establishes three distinct points -- brass band, funk and jazz -- and continues to explore the interconnectedness of those three related genres in its music. The new This Is the Dirty Dozen Brass Band Collection (Shout! Factory) draws from all phases of the band's career, including later years when it continued to innovate as it expanded its instrumentation to include Jamie McLean on electric guitar and Terence Higgins on drum kit. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Astral Project
2:40 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
The embodiment of modern jazz in New Orleans, Astral Project combines the talents of saxophonist Tony Dagradi, guitarist Steve Masakowski, bassist James Singleton and drummer Johnny Vidacovich to create jazz with a steady echo of local grooves. Down Beat called Astral Project 'one of the most distinctive and cohesive groups in jazz.' Its latest release, The Legend of Cowboy Bill, mixes gritty second line, bebop harmonies and avant-garde exploration.

Marva Wright & the BMWs
2:45 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Singer Marva Wright is one of the hardest-working singers in New Orleans. With her veteran band the BMWs, Marva performs a red-hot array of blues, soul, gospel and R&B tunes. Her latest CD, last year's Blues Queen of New Orleans (Mardi Gras), features some of her most popular songs including the ribald 'No Drawers.'

The Rocks of Harmony
2:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This all-male group celebrates its 54th anniversary this year. Originally formed by seven brothers, it now features 72-year-old original member Albert Jackson, family members and friends. Based in Uptown's New Hope Baptist Church, Rocks of Harmony sing classic hymns, gospel and some of their own songs of praise.

Bobby J & Stuff Like That
2:55 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
R&B
Bobby J's ensemble is known for tight covers of old-school R&B, funk and soul in the tradition of Luther Vandross, Lionel Ritchie and the Temptations. The group has opened shows for soul survivors including Gladys Knight, Billy Preston and Kool & the Gang.

Clive Wilson & the New Orleans Serenaders with Butch Thompson
2:55 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
These Economy Hall favorites always deliver a second-lining high time of traditional New Orleans jazz. Trumpeter Clive Wilson does a worshipful job paying tribute to the iconic Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Hot Sevens. Garrison Keillor's favorite pianist -- Butch Thompson -- is a worthy stand-in for Earl Hines and a thorough student of early jazz and ragtime pieces.

The Soul Rebels
2:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
On this year's Rebelution, the band once known as Young Olympia Brass Band added DJs, rappers, and guest spots by Corey Henry and Los Hombres Calientes' Bill Summers -- who produced the CD -- to make a credible album that merged the brass tradition with reggae and hip-hop. Unlike some other such attempts to blur genres, the album suggests the Soul Rebels are knowledgeable about the music they blend.

D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces
3:10 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
/Country Long known as the 'Cajun Hank Williams,' Menard traces his career to a fateful meeting with his idol, when Williams told the 19-year-old Menard to respect the sounds of his Cajun tradition. Now a Louisiana music legend for compositions such as the lively 'The Back Door' and the tearjerker waltz 'Under a Green Oak Tree,' Williams brings to the stage a rock-steady guitar style, stirring country French/English vocals, and usually the state's better musicians in his backing band.

Galactic
3:25 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Funk There's no doubt that Galactic is the current prince of New Orleans funk royalty. The group's most recent album Ruckus (Sanctuary) focused on songwriting and took a break from the improvisational slant of earlier material. Last summer, the band split with longstanding vocalist Theryl 'Houseman' DeClouet and has toured since as an instrumental band. Galactic is still powered by the freight-train drumming of Metairie's favorite son, Stanton Moore.

Val & Love Alive Fellowship Choir
3:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This 18-year-old choir started by Valentine Berniss-Williams began as a summer gospel workshop for kids. Eventually, members go on to college or move on as life takes them; today, the choir has between 75 and 100 members averaging in their 20s. The choir sings traditional and contemporary gospel with energy, attitude and spirit.

Allen Toussaint
3:50 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
R&B
Producer, arranger, songwriter and pianist, Allen Toussaint has shifted with the times over his six-decade career without losing his foundation in rhythm and blues. He was behind the control board for almost every New Orleans R&B artist of note, helped national acts such as the Band and Paul McCartney, wrote Glen Campbell's country smash 'Southern Nights' and had Bonnie Raitt record 'What Is Success' for her 1974 masterpiece, Streetlights. A stately, elegant pianist, he has been exploring jazz recently with the release of Tou Plus Tou, a duet record with his brother, guitar player Vincent Toussaint, and Going Places, a quartet record with his Jazzity project.

Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indians
4:05 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
A downpour during Jazz Fest last year resulted in an unexpected unplugged set for Big Chief Peppy (Estabon Eugene) and his gang, which kept the crowd dancing despite a lack of electricity or microphones. The Golden Arrows are counting on the sun to shine on this year's performance, enriching its heavily percussive show with horns, guitar and bass.

Roy Haynes 80th Birthday Celebration
4:05 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Is there anyone that drummer Roy Haynes hasn't played with? During his long career, this NEA Jazz Master recipient has handled drum duties for -- just to name a few -- Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. At 80, Haynes still plays with the energy of a young man.

Toots & the Maytals
4:10 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Reggae Reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert won the Grammy for 2004 Reggae Album of the Year with True Love, but the star-studded recording worked against this great vocalist's strengths by drawing attention away from his own performance. Hibbert is a soul singer in the Otis Redding tradition, and he needs a hard-skanking rhythm section that provides a magic carpet for his outstanding ability to work a crowd.

Walter 'Wolfman' Washington & the Roadmasters
4:10 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Guitarist Walter 'Wolfman' Washington brings plenty of bayou fire to an R&B sensibility. His skill and dexterity is obvious in live shows that can include everything from covers of Miles Davis tunes to dance-friendly originals such as 'Glasshouse' and 'Girl I Wanna Dance With You,' which local music fans have spun to countless times at the Maple Leaf.

Madeleine Peyroux Quartet
4:25 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Jazz Peyroux, whose first album (1996's highly successful Dreamland) was released when she was 22, honed her chops playing and singing in the streets of Paris' Latin Quarter. Often praised for the maturity of her smoke-and-whiskey-toned voice, Peyroux has an excellent ear for choosing covers that range from 1920s Bessie Smith recordings to Elliott Smith compositions. She released her latest album, Careless Love, in 2004.

Panorama Jazz Band
4:25 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Jazz/World This quartet's infectious blend of jazz, klezmer, Balkan and varied styles from around the globe can swing anything from a Mardi Gras parade to a kiddy gathering. Not only can Panorama synthesize different styles, but it can also hew to the traditions, so sets often include anything from polkas to ragtime to whatever this talented and unpredictable bunch might be in the mood for. Its new album, Panoramaland, will be out by Jazz Fest.

CRITIC'S PICK

Evangelist Shirley Caesar
4:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
With a career that spans more than 40 albums, Shirley Caesar has won
11 Grammy Awards and countless gospel awards and honors. She remains based in her native North Carolina, where she's the pastor of Raleigh's Mount Calvary Word of Faith Holy Church. Her new album, Shirley Caesar & Friends, features duets with R&B and gospel stars including Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Kirk Franklin.

CRITIC'S PICK

Old Crow Medicine Show
4:30 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Country These string band revivalists came to notoriety after an appearance at Merlefest, one of the country's biggest bluegrass festivals. Actually, Old Crow Medicine Show began as fans of pre-World War II American string music, bluegrass being just one part of the repertoire. On its debut album produced by Gillian Welch collaborator David Rawlings, the band shows itself to understand the technique, the songs and the spirit behind them.

The Dave Matthews Band
5:20 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
The Dave Matthews Band has spent the past 15 years proving that improv and groove-based music isn't just for crusty hippies and college students. The band has morphed into a popular music monolith and continues the Grateful Dead's tradition of relentless touring while proving that so-called jam bands can sell millions of records. This May will see the release of the band's seventh studio release Stand Up, which promises to explore world music rhythms and exhibit the influence of band leader Matthews' South African heritage.

Glass House Reunion with the Original Dirty Dozen Brass Band
5:20 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
The Glass House was the club that spawned the Dirty Dozen, and the legendary brass band is taking a retro peek at its own career this Jazz Fest. During this period, the Dirty Dozen developed some of the innovations that transformed the brass band sound into what it has become. Since the Glass House days, the band has gone through a number of lineup changes, so this set will be a homecoming of sorts for some of the top brass players in town.

Elvis Costello & the Imposters
5:30 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Rock
Though My Aim Is True had the headlong rush of punk when it was released in 1977, Elvis Costello was never really a punk. There was too much craft and intelligence in his music from the outset. Since then, he has shown himself a student of American roots music and its heroes, having recorded with George Jones and Allen Toussaint among others. At a recent House of Blues show in support of his recent album The Delivery Man -- recorded in Oxford, Miss. -- he proved himself a fan of New Orleans R&B, programming a pre-set selection of taped music focusing on local hits, then later covering Dave Bartholomew's 'The Monkey Speaks Its Mind.'

CRITIC'S PICK

Anthony Hamilton
5:45 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Anthony Hamilton's 2003 release, Comin' From Where I'm From, shows him as a soul singer with more in common with the greats from the 1960s and '70s than with his immediate predecessors. There are hip-hop touches in the production, but the grooves have a slow, Southern lope, and he's far more interested in the nuts and bolts of relationships than simple seductions. A new DVD -- Anthony Hamilton: Live -- is due out in early May.

Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir
5:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir is one of the city's most renowned, and it puts the 'mass' in mass choir. It has more than 500 rotating members, with at least 150 often onstage.

Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm
5:45 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Some people are saying that rock 'n' roll turned 50 this year, but those who know Ike Turner's history have a different story that goes like this: Turner invented rock 'n' roll in 1951 when he cut 'Rocket 88' with his Kings of Rhythm. The record came out under vocalist Jackie Brenston's name, but it was an Ike Turner production through and through. Turner put together another version of this band to make the award-winning 2001 album, Here and Now, and has been rocking stages around the world with its hard-hitting recreation of the days when Turner's stinging Stratocaster lines and the big beat behind them were transforming jump blues into rock 'n' roll.

Nicholas Payton & Sonic Trance
5:45 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary R&B No New Orleans artist has undergone a more dramatic transformation over the last two years than trumpeter Nicholas Payton. His last album, Sonic Trance (Warner Bros.), charted a direction completely opposite to the Louis Armstrong tribute that previously shaped Payton's New Orleans-inspired approach to music. He has moved further into electronic experimental territory than Miles Davis did, taking cues from electronica and turntablists to create a shifting landscape that touches on many territories, none of which resemble traditional jazz. His new music is pure soundscape, evoking fleeting moods and the shifting patterns of the rave or ambient sound.

Chévere
5:50 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Latin Chévere is one of the best of New Orleans' Latin bands, with keyboardist David Ellington leading the Afro-Cuban groove laced with a New Orleans feel. Ellington and his cohorts including Hector Gallardo on tumabadores, Brent Rose on sax, and Rick Trolsen on trombone will be playing tunes from the CD Baila Me Ritmo.

Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band featuring Thais Clarke
6 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Dr. Michael White, one of the leaders of traditional New Orleans clarinet music, is also a professor at Xavier University where he teaches Spanish and African-American Music and holds an endowed chair in the humanities department. After a career playing the traditional jazz repertoire, White retreated to A Studio in the Woods for two months and emerged in 2004 with an album of newly written songs composed in traditional New Orleans jazz style, Dancing in the Sky (Basin Street).

Thomas 'Big Hat' Fields & His Foot-Stompin' Zydeco Band
6 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco A native of Rayne, Thomas 'Big Hat' Fields didn't start playing zydeco until he was in his 40s, but he's making up for lost time. A traditionalist, he includes more zydeco waltzes and French vocals than most younger players. His wife, Geneva Fields, plays bass and shares vocals. Fields' rural, dancer-friendly style makes him a favorite of dancers.


Sunday, May 1


Parades:

Noon -- New Orleans Buckjumpers, Westbank Steppers and Scene Boosters Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (SAPCs) with Lil' Rascals Brass Band

1 p.m. -- Carrollton Hunters and Trouble Nation Mardi Gras Indians

2 p.m. -- Original Prince of Wales Ladies and Original Prince of Wales SAPCs with Highsteppers Brass Band

3 p.m. -- Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indians

4 p.m. -- Original Lady Buckjumpers and Nine Times SAPCs with Real Untouchables Brass Band


Harvey Spiritual Gospel Singers

11 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
This gospel ensemble from the West Bank performs at Jazz Fest for the first time this year.

The Revealers
11:05 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Reggae This local reggae band is a top draw on the Gulf Coast, and the Revealers' regional dominance in their genre is perhaps explained by an ability to incorporate into its rock-steady mix much of the indigenous music of New Orleans. Gospel, R&B and jazz all find a home in the Revealers' positive, irie vibe.

CRITIC'S PICK

Spencer Bohren
11:10 a.m.,
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
On 2004's Southern Cross, Spencer Bohren approached classic folk and blues like the art they are, playing songs by Hank Williams and Curtis Mayfield, among others, lovingly on his lap steel guitar. Bohren is enough of a student of American roots music to write songs that sound at home in that company. His new CD, Down the Dirt Road Blues, traces the development of the blues in story and performance. (See CD reviews in this issue.)

Jonathan Batiste
11:15 a.m.,
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Recent NOCCA graduate Batiste may hold a privileged place as the scion of one of New Orleans' most venerable musical families, but even at his tender age he's proven he's got chops all his own. The jazz pianist and composer is already a five-year Jazz Fest veteran and a regular on local stages such as Snug Harbor and the Funky Butt. Batiste is currently studying jazz piano at New York's Juilliard School.

T-Sale
11:15 a.m.,
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
The resurgence of interest in Cajun music inspired a few young bands to take on the tradition, and T-Sale is one of the best. T-Sale was founded by brothers Jean-Jacques and Louie Aucoin -- grandsons of legendary Cajun accordionist Cyp Landreneau. T-Sale performs Landreneau's songs along with spirited versions of other south Louisiana classics.

Dukes of Dixieland
11:20 a.m.,
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
For a slice of old New Orleans, consider a trip on the Mississippi River aboard the graceful Steamboat Natchez -- where the Dukes of Dixieland regularly play a traditional, swinging style of Dixieland, a sound merged from strains of pop, country, gospel and, of course, jazz. A Grammy-nominated Jazz Fest staple, the Dukes' roster reads like an all-star lineup for New Orleans jazz, with talents such as pianist Tom McDermott and clarinetist Tim Laughlin.

Heritage School of Music
11:20 a.m.,
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Traditional Jazz
The Heritage School of Music is an after-school program for New Orleans students between the fifth and
12th grades with the mission of teaching jazz music and history to the younger generations. This performance marks the students' capstone achievement for this year.

Reggie Hall & the Twilighters
11:20 a.m.,
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
The brother-in-law of Fats Domino, Reggie Hall is a pure R&B pianist and composer whose 40-year career is punctuated by hit singles such as 'You Talk Too Much' (with Joe Jones) and 'The Joke.'

Ritmo Caribeno
11:20 a.m.,
Acura Stage,
Latin Ritmo Caribeno was formed in 1984 in New Orleans by Cuban-born Jose 'Pepe' Vazquez, who remains as manager of a band that stayed within the family; his son David is now bandleader. During the 1980s, the group caught fire in the local Latin community and nightclub scene, developing a rep for fiery merengue and salsa. 'Today, we're tighter, more professional,' David Vazquez says. 'It's not as fun as the '80s, but at least now we read sheet music.'

Jo 'Cool' Davis
11:20 a.m.,
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Jo 'Cool' Davis is big enough to be an intimidating figure as the one-time doorman at Tipitina's, but he's genial enough to serve as the club's master of ceremonies today. When singing traditional gospel, he frequently draws comparisons to Sam Cooke.

Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians
11:50 a.m.,
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Veteran Big Chief Ray 'Hatchet' Blazio Jr. leads the downtown gang that he formed in 1991. Big Chief Hatchet, a singing Indian, has been masking since 1961, first coming out as a flagboy with the Yellow Pocahontas under Big Chief Tootie Montana.

Terence Higgins & Swampgrease
12:05 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Jazz/Funk The Dirty Dozen drummer recorded In the Bywater two years ago during Jazz Fest, then debuted the band live at the festival last year. Influenced by everything from '70s jazz fusion to Washington, D.C.'s go-go scene, Swampgrease effectively mixes New Orleans grooves with old-school synthesizer sounds for jazz that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps
12:15 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Started by blues legend Otha Turner, the Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps plays a brand of blues music that can be traced back to early American military marching bands that blended their sound with African rhythms brought to America by slaves. Turner pioneered the genre by playing his cane fife during his famous goat-roasting picnics at his farm outside Como, Miss. Rising Star features Turner's daughter and other family members carrying on the tradition the roots music legend began. Turner passed away in 2003 at the age of 94.

CRITIC'S PICK

Naked on the Floor
12:20 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Naked on the Floor's guitarist Jonathan Freilich would prefer not to call the band's music 'jazz.' The 9-year-old group writes its own music and then improvises on those tunes in concert. The quintet, which also includes Mark Diflorio on drums, Tim Green on saxophone, James Singleston on bass, and Rick Trolsen on trombone, will perform at Jazz Fest for the first time this year. Its self-titled debut album was released in 2002 on Valid Records.

Amy Trail
12:25 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Jazz Idaho native Trail moved to New Orleans to pursue her musical education at the University of New Orleans, performing in the University Jazz Combo under the direction of Terence Blanchard and winning the prestigious Basin Street Scholarship. Her songwriting and aggressive soul vocal style has been compared to artists from Steely Dan to Alicia Keys. Her eponymous solo debut will be available this summer.

Hackberry Ramblers and Friends
12:25 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Cajun
/Country Recently profiled in the award-winning documentary Make 'Em Dance, the Hackberry Ramblers have been making music together since fiddler Luderin Darbone and Edwin Duhon founded the band in 1933. Last year, the Ramblers' bass player Johnny Faulk passed away, and the band will welcome guests including Jambalaya fiddler Terry Huval (who'll play steel guitar today) and bassist Ken David, to join in the band's always-spirited romp through Cajun, swing and rockabilly.

Andrew Hall's Society Brass Band
12:30 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Brass Band
British-born Andrew Hall has been doing his bit to keep traditional New Orleans brass band jazz intact since 1967, when he formed his group in homage to the traditional society brass bands. Hall is an unabashed promoter of 'the good old days,' concentrating on material dating back to the first 20 years of the 20th century.

The Crown Seekers
12:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
The Crown Seekers began performing gospel 40 years ago. Now, James Williams is the only remaining member in this eight-member band, with his wife the lone female singing background vocals and playing piano. They sing traditional gospel and write country-western gospel songs. Based in Marrero, the group has performed at Jazz Fest 'as long as I can remember,' Williams says.

Bonerama
12:35 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
Last Jazz Fest, a wind-aided, four-trombone version of the Allman Brothers' 'Whipping Post' could be heard all the way to Congo Square. Mark Mullins and Craig Klein lead this eccentric, powerful merger of brass band and classic rock traditions, making their funky originals heavy and covers of Black Sabbath and the like funky. The band's 2004 release, Live From New York, features guest appearances by Galactic's Stanton Moore and Fred Wesley of the JB's.

Euricka
12:40 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
Pop R&B from the Dirty South. Euricka's hip-hop sensibility and sleek, sexy voice give her ample opportunity to be crowned the first Delta pop queen. Imagine a local bounce-rap producer making R&B tracks with soulful Destiny's Child vocals on top. On Stage,
fans like Euricka's mix of pop-star attitude and down-to-earth manner.

Lil' Rascals Brass Band
12:45 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
When trombonist Corey Henry is not Kermit Ruffins' onstage foil in the Barbecue Swiners, he leads the Lil' Rascals Brass Band. Henry and the rest of the Rascals have played in various brass aggregations since they were old enough to walk, and are kin to many of the musicians from Treme where this band can be found. Its most recent CD, Buck It Like a Horse (Tipitina's), contains one of the great modern brass band tunes, 'Knock With Me/Rock With Me.'

Eddie Bo
1 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
R&B
Eddie Bo, a true hero of New Orleans music, is one of the last of the 'junker' blues players, and people half his age could learn from his energetic performances. Bo has been known to levitate with joy when he plays his hits 'I'm Wise,' 'Hook and Sling,' 'Hard Times' and dozens of other classic New Orleans R&B songs. Bo is currently in the studio working on what is, according to his management, 'a top secret project, a whole new Eddie Bo sound,' slated for release this coming summer.

Anders Osborne
1:10 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Blues/Roots Rock
Through years of hard work, honing his sound and successfully forging a grooving meld of roots music, Anders Osborne can now dare any pundit to ponder if a Swede can truly play the blues. His reputation has grown far beyond being known in local circles as a bluesman, with Osborne now a Grammy-winning songwriter, and two of his most recent albums, Living Room and Ash Wednesday Blues, reveal his deft touch at pulling heartstrings with his lyrics. Osborne's group features saxophonist Tim Green, drummer Kevin O'Day and Kirk Joseph on sousaphone.

CRITIC'S PICK

Helen Carter & the New Orleans Harmonettes
1:15 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Sister Helen Carter started singing gospel with her mother as a child, then was a featured soloist with the New Orleans Spiritualettes for two decades. This gospel group began when Carter left the Spiritualettes in the late '90s. Now, she is based in France, so the Spiritualettes are an international phenomenon, performing traditional gospel at festivals and concerts in America and Europe.

Francesco Cafiso & Harry Allen/Joe Cohn Quartet
1:30 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
Sixteen-year-old Italian saxophonist Francesco Cafiso has already garnered global attention and played with some of the biggest names in jazz. At a set sponsored by Umbria Jazz Melbourne, Cafiso will play with the Harry Allen/Joe Cohn Quartet. Allen, another top-notch saxophonist, follows in the footsteps of mainstream jazz greats such as Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz and Ben Webster.

Otra
1:35 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Latin Otra is another fine example of bands helping to propel the boom of Latin music in New Orleans, though this sextet distinguishes itself with groove-friendly doses of African and jazz elements. With members hailing from everywhere from Slidell to Cuba, Otra maintains a vibrant, youthful energy, yet its players are veterans of the local scene in styles from blues to straight-ahead jazz. Its 2004 album Todo Pa' La Gente captures the infectious groove of this swinging band.

Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band
1:40 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Old-time trumpeter Conrad R. 'Connie' Jones III celebrates his 71st birthday this year as he looks back on a lifetime of traditional New Orleans jazz playing. Jones was lead trumpet in Pete Fountain's band from 1967-74, at which point he joined the Dukes of Dixieland. Jones knows the tradition firsthand and will definitely have his fans second lining by the end of the show.

Jambalaya Cajun Band
1:40 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-So Stage,
Cajun
Popular with Lafayette-area dancers (as well as at festivals throughout the world), Jambalaya joins fiddler Terry Huval and accordionist Reggie Matte to play Cajun classics and originals with skill and verve. The band is traditional to the core, with members active in the movement to keep the Cajun-French language alive in south Louisiana.

Black Eagles Mardi Gras Indians
1:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
This Mardi Gras Indian tribe led by Big Chief Jerod Lewis helps keep the masking tradition alive.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
1:55 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Funk/Jazz Denson first gained fame as the Maceo Parker-styled saxophonist for acid jazz legends the Greyboy All-Stars. He now fronts his own band which can run the gamut from thinking man's funk to pop-minded R&B. In addition to his famous till-dawn club shows during Jazz Fest, this year's performance at the Fair Grounds is sure to be a scorcher in response to last year's set being rained out.

The Melody Clouds
2 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Leo Jackson formed this a cappella group in 1965, and it has sung gospel at the Jazz Fest since 1978. Since Jackson's death, his son Leo Jr. has continued the group. Where it once was all family, now it's a combination of family and friends.

CRITIC'S PICK

Michael Franti & Spearhead
2:05 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Funk Michael Franti uses his stage as a pulpit. His earlier bands such as the Beatnigs took a fierce approach to themes of racial inequality and injustice. Since 1994, his forum has been Spearhead, and funky arrangements, rocking rhythms and sweet, acoustic melodies don't play second fiddle to politics. Still, Franti remains one of the music world's most vehement critics of the Iraq war, even venturing to Baghdad with acoustic guitar in tow, strolling the streets and playing for GIs and Iraqis alike. (Franti's documentary film from the experience, I Know I'm Not Alone, was screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival).

Jean Knight with the Knight's of Rhythm
2:10 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
R&B
New Orleans native Jean Knight made a series of minor 1960s recordings with producer Huey P. Meaux, but hit it big with the Wardell Quezergue production of 'Mr. Big Stuff' for Malaco in 1971. The tune became a soul music classic, as well as one of the largest-selling singles ever for the legendary Stax label, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard pop charts. In the late '90s, Knight cut Shaki De Boo-tee and Queen.

North Mississippi Allstars Hill Country Revue
2:25 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Rock/Blues
Boogie-blues rockers the North Mississippi Allstars bring their back porch-style jam session to Jazz Fest with a reincarnation of their Hill Country Revue. This gathering of friends and influences spawned a live album recorded at Bonnaroo 2004. The first session saw the band bring to the stage friends including mentor R.L. Burnside, JoJo Herman of Widespread Panic, The Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps and Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes.

Aaron Neville
2:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Neville's gospel set has become almost as much of a Jazz Fest tradition as the Neville Brothers' closing the festival. This year's Gospel Roots (EMI Gospel) is a two-disc set of traditional spirituals and soul favorites including his version of Bob Dylan's 'Gotta Serve Somebody.' In some past performances, Neville has sung to taped backing tracks, which some find disappointing. Still, nothing can detract from that voice.

Leah Chase
2:45 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Jazz Chase's powerful voice and high-energy presence carries her unique blend of jazz, pop and cabaret. A jazz studies voice instructor at the University of New Orleans, she's the namesake daughter of the famed local chef and proprietor of the Dooky Chase restaurant. Her 2001 release, At Last, showcases her intimate interpretations of jazz standards.

High Steppers Brass Band
2:50 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
The High Steppers Brass Band have been one of the more traditional young brass bands. Some of its members merged with the Looney Tunes Brass Band to become the Hot 8 Brass Band.

Jamil Sharif
2:50 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Son of jazz trumpeter Umar Sharif, Jamil Sharif also took up the trumpet, and he and his Jazz Professors similarly perform traditional New Orleans jazz. This group loves to stick to the standards and prides itself on playing the old tunes the way they are supposed to be played. Jamil has been a featured soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and he recently worked as a music director for the Oscar-winning Taylor Hackford bio-pic, Ray.

Creole Zydeco Farmers
2:55 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco Once the backing band for Fernest Arceneaux, the Farmers released Zydeco Y2K in 2000, but really they hoe an old-school line by performing no-nonsense zydeco dance music with plenty of accordion-laced R&B. Blues guitarist Chester Chevalier and drummer Clarence 'Jockey' Etienne keep the steady groove, with Warren Prejean Sr. and Morris Francis sharing accordion, vocal and rubboard duties.

Mem Shannon & the Membership
2:55 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Blues
Local guitarist (and ex-cabbie) Shannon has been playing funky New Orleans blues since he was a teenager, performing at clubs on Bourbon Street in between fares. His 2001 release, Memphis in the Morning (Shanachie), featured the legendary Memphis Horns on a blend of Stax soul and Crescent City jump, all woven around Shannon's humorous, heartfelt songwriting. His latest offering, I'm From Phunkville, comes out this month.

Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers
3:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
The Zion Harmonizers started as an a cappella gospel group in 1939; Sherman Washington -- now the leader -- joined in 1942 and has the longest tenure in this storied group. Members have come and gone, and the group has changed with the times -- adding a band, though they still occasionally sing a cappella -- but they remain one of the most significant gospel groups in New Orleans. Washington is also the coordinator for the Rhodes Gospel Tent.

Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe featuring Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, Angela Strehli, Del Ray and special guest Irma Thomas
3:30 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Gospel
Sister Rosetta Tharpe is one of the unsung and inspirational heroines of 20th century roots music. This songwriter, guitarist, and singer bridged the gap between gospel and blues better than almost anyone, though her career was controversial in spiritual circles for her performances in clubs with the likes of Cab Calloway and recording with big bands instead of just her guitar. All of the musicians playing here are formidable in their own right, and have been inspired by Tharpe's example. (Featured in this issue.)

CRITIC'S PICK

Trey Anastasio
3:35 p.m.
Acura Stage,
Rock
After 21 years together, jam band legend Phish called it quits in August 2004. Trey Anastasio, guitar master and bandleader of the famed quartet, is now focused on his solo work that blends musical explorations first introduced through Phish as well as totally new material. His eclectic tastes can run from composed loveliness to African percussion-influenced funk.

Steel Pulse
3:50 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
Reggae The legendary reggae group clearly refuses to rest on its laurels in 2005, a year marking the British band's 30th anniversary but also one full of tour dates and the release of its first studio release in seven years, African Holocaust (Ras). The new album sears with songwriting that 'encompasses all dimensions of the light of the Black Diaspora,' lead vocalist and songwriter David Hinds says.

African Renaissance Dancers
3:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
World Following last Jazz Fest's emphasis on the music and culture of South Africa is this children's dance troupe from Port Elizabeth that promises a mix of traditional, rural dance expressions and modern, urban street dancing. The troupe is the fruit of a cultural heritage project designed to give direction and hope to youth with 'nothing to look for in the future.'

Terence Blanchard
4 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Jazz Trumpeter Terence Blanchard, an alumnus of the NOCCA program, got his start with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and then went on to form a band with fellow New Orleans musician Donald Harrison. Blanchard later composed a series of film soundtracks for Spike Lee, including Mo' Better Blues, Jungle Fever and She Hate Me. Flow (Blue Note), a new album produced by the legendary Herbie Hancock, is scheduled for a June 7 release.

CRITIC'S PICK

Los Lonely Boys
4:05 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Rock
The 'Mexican Beatles' are a family band in the great American music tradition from the Carter Family to the Black Crowes. The three Garza brothers -- Henry on guitar, Jojo on bass, and Ringo on drums -- came out of west Texas with golden harmonies and a hard-as-nails sound that merges Richie Valens, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana and Doug Sahm into a unique vision for a new generation. The band won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for its song, 'Heaven' from is eponymous Sony release.

Lars Edegran's Tribute to Sweet Emma Barrett and Billie Pierce featuring Juanita Brooks
4:15 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
This tribute organized by Lars Edegran celebrates two legendary New Orleans vocalists. Pianist and singer Sweet Emma Barrett was an extremely popular figure in New Orleans jazz of the 1920s as a member of Papa Celestin and Bebe Ridgley's Original Tuxedo Orchestra. Barrett continued to play in Ridgley-led bands until 1936 and developed her reputation singing with popular bandleaders of the day. Billie Pierce, who also sang and played piano, performed under her maiden name of Goodson with Emile Barnes and George Lewis before marrying Joseph LaCroix 'De De' Pierce and becoming a New Orleans institution.

The Irene Sage Band
4:20 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Rock
Blue-eyed soul chanteuse Sage's powerful voice and eclectic array of original rock, blues and funk compositions have earned her comparisons to artists from Etta James to Bonnie Raitt. She has often sounded like a rock singer performing the blues, but last year's Soul to Soul places her voice in more mature, less rock-oriented musical settings with strong results.

Maggie Warwick & the Louisiana Hayride Band
4:25 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Country Maggie Warwick and the Louisiana Hayride Band are dedicated to preserving the music and memory of The Louisiana Hayride radio show, broadcast in the late 1940s and '50s from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport. Several of our country's best-known singers and songwriters got their break on that Stage,
including Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, and the Louisiana Hayride Band plays the songs with twang and verve.

Dr. Charles G. Hayes & Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir
4:30 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Together now for almost 45 years, Dr. Charles G. Hayes & Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir have more than 25 albums to their credit. It grew from five family members to more than 100 voices, based in Chicago. It has performed with such gospel luminaries as Mahalia Jackson, the Rev. James Cleveland, and fellow Jazz Fest performer Shirley Caesar.

Red, Black & Blue Mardi Gras Indians featuring Monk Boudreaux
4:45 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Mardi Gras Indians
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux's list of collaborators is a hefty one, ranging from Bo Dollis to Dr. John to Tab Benoit. Recently, he's combined his talents in this band, which includes Boudreaux, singer and instigator Reverend Goat Carson, and the band John Lisi and Delta Funk. Expect deep blues and funk with intense Indian chants over it.

The Neville Brothers
5:30 p.m.
Acura Stage,
R&B
/Funk The Neville Brothers closing Jazz Fest is as much a New Orleans tradition as red beans and rice on Monday, and they remain an appropriate closer. Their combination of New Orleans musical roots, a world music sensibility and tie-dyed optimism sums up the festival. On Walkin' in the Shadow of Life (Back Porch), Art, Aaron, Charles, Cyril and Ivan Neville find the musical vocabulary of '70s soul puts their positivity in a gritty, urban context and makes the message more real in the process.

Slide Summit featuring Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings with Lil' Ed, John Mooney, Bob Margolin and Drink Small
5:30 p.m.
Popeyes Blues Tent,
Blues
Roy Rogers, generally recognized as the best living interpreter of Robert Johnson material, is the perfect host for this must-see event. Rogers masterminded the star-studded John Lee Hooker sessions that revived that bluesman's career late in life. Rogers and his band will start things off with tracks from his latest album, Live at the Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room, then the others will be featured. The interchange between Rogers and Mooney, who learned at the feet of Son House, should be a Jazz Fest highlight.

Hydra featuring Mickey Hart & Particle
5:45 p.m.
Louisiana Live Lagniappe Stage,
Rock
The multi-headed jam band monster that is Hydra is the most recent project from former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. Teamed up with cult favorites Particle, Hydra lays down a space-jazz soundtrack that combines funk, electronica and roots rock.

Isaac Hayes
5:45 p.m.
Congo Square Stage,
R&B
At the start of the '70s, Isaac Hayes was one of the biggest musical stars in America, one of the first celebrities whose actions took on political significance. Today, he's known to a whole new generation as the voice of Chef on the animated series South Park. His composition 'Theme From Shaft,' for the legendary blaxploitation detective flick, is one of the signature sounds in American culture. A 2002 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and honorary king of a district of Ghana, Hayes currently resides in his native Memphis.

Paulette Wright & Volume of Praise
5:45 p.m.
Rhodes Gospel Tent,
Gospel
Kin to Marva Wright, Paulette Wright sings both traditional and contemporary gospel. 2000's Psalmstress includes a medley of songs popularized by Mahalia Jackson.

The Radiators
5:45 p.m.
Sprint/Sanyo Stage,
Roots Rock/R&B There's a lot to be said for endurance. The Radiators are celebrating their 27th year as a band this year, which is pretty good for a group initially known as a party band on the Tulane Quad and at Luigi's in Gentilly for University of New Orleans students. Last year's Earth vs. the Radiators DVD and CD captured the band live at Tipitina's; it showcases the band filtering New Orleans funk and R&B roots through a rock 'n' roll sensibility.

Tribute to John Coltrane featuring McCoy Tyner, Ravi Coltrane, James Carter, Charnett Moffett & Eric Kamau Gravatt
5:45 p.m.
BellSouth/WWOZ Jazz Tent,
Contemporary Jazz
With the death of drummer Elvin Jones last year, pianist McCoy Tyner becomes the last creative link to the astonishing music that flowed from John Coltrane during his great middle period on Impulse from 1962-65. Tyner has gone on to explore this music skillfully on his own, but has gone in other directions as well. Rather than let the burden fall on a single saxophonist, Tyner uses two outstanding young players, Coltrane's son Ravi, who has a license to sound like his father without being accused of plagiarism, and the precocious James Carter, a rising star in his own right. Bassist Charnett Moffett adds another strong voice to the ensemble. (Featured in this issue.)

Pete Fountain
5:50 p.m.
Economy Hall Tent,
Traditional Jazz
Seventy-four-year-old Pete Fountain was playing clarinet by the time he was
12. By 18, he was a member of the Junior Dixieland Band. He's released more than 90 albums during his impressive career, and in 1957, he began a two-year run on Lawrence Welk's show (and then 59 appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show) that was directly responsible for a resurgence of interest in New Orleans jazz. Fountain has been the main man of local jazz ever since.

CRITIC'S PICK

Jazz Tribute to Norman Dixon
5:55 p.m.
Jazz & Heritage Stage,
Brass Band
Norman Dixon coordinated the brass band, social aid and pleasure club, and Mardi Gras Indian parades at the Fair Grounds, as well as serving as a liason for these activities during the rest of the year. He was much beloved before he passed away in 2003, and this performance is a tribute to him. It will feature an all-star team from some of the bands he loved, including members of the Dirty Dozen, the Hot 8, the New Birth, and the PinStripe brass bands. Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas 6 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage,
Zydeco Nathan Williams' previous studio CDs always introduced great new compositions into the zydeco canon, including "Everything on the Hog." So zydeco fans can take comfort that a new Rounder release is scheduled to be released before the end of the year. Williams is a master on the piano key accordion, and is part of a family zydeco dynasty that includes his guitarist brother Dennis Paul (who is also an accomplished visual artist) and his brother Sid, who owns El Sid O's nightclub in Lafayette.

click to enlarge SCOTT SALTZMAN
click to enlarge Nickel Creek brings elements of folk, rock and bluegrass - to its performance on the Acura Stage at 4 p.m. - Thursday, April 28.
  • Nickel Creek brings elements of folk, rock and bluegrass to its performance on the Acura Stage at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28.
click to enlarge 2005 Congo Square @ The Jazz Fest Poster: 'Gate' by - George Hunt. Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown is a musical - gumbo, a tasty melange of blues, R&B, country, swing, - bebop and Cajun simmered to perfection for 80 years. - This Congo Square poster, the first to portray a musical - icon, was done by George Hunt, whose work graced the - White House and whose life paralleled Gate's. As a - teenager in the '50s, Hunt first saw Gate perform, and - the impact of that encounter informs this work. For more - information, visit www.art4now.com.
  • 2005 Congo Square @ The Jazz Fest Poster: 'Gate' by George Hunt. Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown is a musical gumbo, a tasty melange of blues, R&B, country, swing, bebop and Cajun simmered to perfection for 80 years. This Congo Square poster, the first to portray a musical icon, was done by George Hunt, whose work graced the White House and whose life paralleled Gate's. As a teenager in the '50s, Hunt first saw Gate perform, and the impact of that encounter informs this work. For more information, visit www.art4now.com.
click to enlarge Los Hombres Calientes -- Irvin Mayfield and Bill - Summers -- explore the international roots of Carnival - music on the Congo Square Stage at 5:50 p.m. Thursday, - April 28.
  • Los Hombres Calientes -- Irvin Mayfield and Bill Summers -- explore the international roots of Carnival music on the Congo Square Stage at 5:50 p.m. Thursday, April 28.
click to enlarge Tab Benoit plays Louisiana blues in the Popeyes Blues - Tent at 5:55 p.m. Friday, April 29.
  • Tab Benoit plays Louisiana blues in the Popeyes Blues Tent at 5:55 p.m. Friday, April 29.
click to enlarge The Soul Rebels performs rebel music brass band-style - on the new Jazz & Heritage Stage at 2:55 p.m. Saturday, - April 30.
  • The Soul Rebels performs rebel music brass band-style on the new Jazz & Heritage Stage at 2:55 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
click to enlarge 2005 Jazz Festival Poster: 'The Birth of Jazz' by Bill - Hemmerling. Once in a generation, someone comes - along who changes everything. A century ago, Buddy - Bolden invented New Orleans jazz, but he lives only in - legend because he made no recordings. In our - generation, Bill Hemmerling catapulted into art's first - ranks by inventing a dynamic fine-folk painting style, - building a nationwide legacy in just a few years. His - limited-edition silk-screen print redefines a legend and - becomes one in the proccess. For more information, visit - www.art4now.
  • 2005 Jazz Festival Poster: 'The Birth of Jazz' by Bill Hemmerling. Once in a generation, someone comes along who changes everything. A century ago, Buddy Bolden invented New Orleans jazz, but he lives only in legend because he made no recordings. In our generation, Bill Hemmerling catapulted into art's first ranks by inventing a dynamic fine-folk painting style, building a nationwide legacy in just a few years. His limited-edition silk-screen print redefines a legend and becomes one in the proccess. For more information, visit www.art4now.
click to enlarge Elvis Costello & the Imposters pump it up at the Sprint/ - Sanyo Stage at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
  • Elvis Costello & the Imposters pump it up at the Sprint/ Sanyo Stage at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
click to enlarge Anthony Hamilton sings what he calls 'honest soul music' - on the Congo Square Stage at 5:35 p.m. Saturday, April - 30.
  • Anthony Hamilton sings what he calls 'honest soul music' on the Congo Square Stage at 5:35 p.m. Saturday, April 30.
click to enlarge British reggae band Steel Pulse celebrates its 30th - anniversary this year performing on the Congo Square - Stage at 3:50 p.m. Sunday, May 1.
  • British reggae band Steel Pulse celebrates its 30th anniversary this year performing on the Congo Square Stage at 3:50 p.m. Sunday, May 1.
click to enlarge Isaac Hayes is a bad mother-(Shut your mouth!) at the - Congo Square Stage at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, May 1.
  • Isaac Hayes is a bad mother-(Shut your mouth!) at the Congo Square Stage at 5:45 p.m. Sunday, May 1.
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