Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns
Friday April 27, 6 p.m.
d.b.a., 618 Frenchman St.
Meschiya Lake began her singing career at age nine and went on as a young entertainer, performing with a circus troupe. After falling in love with the joy and vitality of New Orleans, she decided to stick around and started playing with traditional jazz band, The Loose Marbles. As jazz fever took over, more musicians and dancers came to town and sparked the creation of The Little Big Horns Jazz Band in 2009. Their album Lucky Devil garnered national attention with the mix of original material and old jazz and blues favorites. Their timeless sound is appreciated by young and old. The band’s old-timey entertainment, fronted by Lake’s bold ragtime voice and backed by her marvelous band, is perfect for an evening dancing with friends.—Kari Elgin
Honey Island Swamp Band
Friday April 27, 10 p.m.
d.b.a., 618 Frenchman St.
Great music and songs came from the bleak aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and brought out the shining tunes of the Honey Island Swamp Band. Band members and fellow evacuees came together in the San Francisco Bay Area and got some gigs going that turned out to be a promising road back to New Orleans. Their “Bayou Americana” roots music—inspired by the likes of legends such as Taj Mahal, Jerry Garcia, The Band, Little Feat and Dr. John—won them a dedicated fan base and myriad of awards. With the release of “Wishing Well” in April 2009, the band’s songwriting strength and musical talent earned their place as a staple to the New Orleans music scene. Check them out on Frenchman Street over Jazz Fest weekend- bring your boogie shoes and enjoy their unique mix of country, rock and funky New Orleans blues.—Kari Elgin
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
Friday, April 27, 10 p.m.
Howlin Wolf, 907 S. Peters St.
Formed in 2003 by Ivan Neville, son of the legendary Aaron Neville, Dumpstaphunk has quickly become a fixture of the New Orleans music scene. The group is constantly redefining the modern funk genre with a strong ensemble featuring Ivan’s cousin Ian on guitar, Nick Daniels and Tony Hall both on bass, and Nikki Glaspie on drums. Dumpstaphunk has an uncanny ability to incorporate new sounds and styles, and have shared the stage with bands such as Gov’t Mule and The Rolling Stones. Their crunchy melodies will keep you dancing long into the night. There’s no better way to kick off your Jazz Fest than catching their night show at the Howlin’ Wolf.—Bill Chinburg
Friday April 27, 7 p.m.
Le Bon Temps Roulé, 4801 Magazine St.
Start Jazz Fest off right by seeing the legendary Joe Krown perform live at Le Bon Temps Roulé. A transplant from the Northeast, Joe began performing on the piano and Hammond B-3 organ when he moved to New Orleans in 1992. Quickly adopting the local sound, Joe gained a following and over the past 20 years has toured and recorded with many notable musicians. Known for his involvement in the jazz and funk scenes, Krown builds catchy riffs that allow his songs to flow smoothly while leaving plenty of room for improvisation in live shows—his energy and love for this style of music leaves every audience entranced and begging for more. Krown has released multiple solo albums in addition to albums with the Joe Krown Trio and Sansone, Krown & Fohl. Expect to hear original New Orleans style R&B compositions from his newly released, all piano album Exposed like “Last Call”, “13th Ward Boogie” and the title track “Exposed”, as well as old favorites that he covers.—Caitlin Varley
Robert Randolph &
The Family Band
Friday, April 27 at 10:00 p.m.
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
The deep roots connecting the ever-talented Robert Randolph & the Family Band come from the same place so many great musicians find their start: the church. Still, as the crowd claps their hands, does the acclaimed “march,” and spirits are lifted through the power of Randolph’s pedal steel guitar new sounds of blues, rock n’ roll as well as R & B music trickle in to mingle with the traditional. It is in this way that the band strives to take their sound to a whole new level as they open musical doorways not only for their audience members, but also for themselves along their own journey. Never afraid to mix a variety of covers with their own powerful arrangements and original music, the feel-good message of this family band will always keep your foot moving while tapping into the soul. Now, with the latest release of their album We Walk This Road in 2010, the band takes on another challenge of celebrating 100 years of African-American music tied together by messages of uplifting hope spoken through the bands lineup of talented singers. You can experience this blissful combination on April 27 at the House of Blues, just get ready to bring your marchin’ shoes.—Kimberly Grace
Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown
Friday, April 27; 8 p.m.
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse
300 Bourbon St.
New Orleans native Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown is no stranger to jazz—he began studying the trumpet at the tender age of nine. The entertainer, who lists influences such as Prince, Juvenile, and Outkast, was able to hone his talent through a rigorous curriculum at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Brown’s musical chops have lead him to perform with a number big-name bands and musicians, such as Jill Scott, Lenny Kravitz, Los Hombres Calientes, and Harry Connick Jr. In addition to his skills on the trumpet, he boasts strong vocals that “add a bit of extra magic” to his live shows, according to Mike Kobrin of WWOZ. He and his band, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown and Chocolate City, are regulars at the Playhouse, performing every Friday. “Kid Chocolate” is scheduled to perform April 27 at 8 p.m. There is no cover charge; the Playhouse doors open at 4 p.m.—Kimberly Grace
Allen Toussaint Jazzity Project
Saturday April 28, 9 p.m. & 11 p.m.
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchman St.
New Orleans R&B giant Allen Toussaint’s 40 year career span and huge contributions as a composer and pianist give him the opportunity to play whatever he wants. This influential musical figure, and Rock and Roll Hall of famer, is continuing on with his New Orleans tradition in a mighty way. Toussaint and his Jazzity Project show through their immense talent that they have their tradition and talent down pat, and in the process prove that New Orleans Jazz is far from being frozen in the past. If you’re looking to spend the evening drinking and jazzing to some soulful tunes in Snug Harbor’s one-of-a-kind, intimate space, this show is one to catch over Jazz Fest weekend.—Kari Elgin
Saturday April 28, 7 p.m.
Blue Nile, 532 Frenchman St.
A favorite to the crescent city music scene, Washboard Chaz has gained much popularity playing delta style acoustic blues with a variety of bands. His Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, composed of seasoned local musicians, is a regular fixture that has achieved national recognition with their acoustic country blues. There’s even a local festival named after him! (Chaz Fest) Chaz rocks out and plays the washboard like a full drum kit. He knocks out everything from jazz to swing to blues to whatever else one could name. Catch this revered local sharing his variety of tunes with a raw, yet traditional sound and be ready to dance at Blue Nile Jazz Fest weekend.—Kari Elgin
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave.
Saturday April 28, 9 p.m. and
Sunday April 29, 10 p.m.
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue always put on incredible, high energy, lively shows and despite touring five continents and performing almost non-stop, the band shows no signs of slowing down. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue members Mike Ballard, Pete Murano, Joey Peebles, Dwayne Williams, Dan Oestreicher and Tim McFatter combine the old styles of New Orleans music with funk, soul, hip-hop and hard rock to create as sound that’s as distinct as New Orleans. With a Grammy-nominated debut album Backatown and second album For True under his belt, it’s clear that Trombone Shorty isn’t afraid of holding anything back and the members of Orleans Avenue have followed suit in originality, inventiveness and variety. The band’s innovative sound, which front man Trombone Shorty has dubbed “Supafunkrock” continues to draw in hordes of new fans—if you’re looking to see live music and a legendary performance, then you don’t want to miss Trombone Shorty!—Caitlin Varley
Rebirth Brass Band with DJ Jubilee
Saturday April 28, 2 a.m.
The Republic, 828 S. Peters St.
Founded in 1983, the Rebirth Brass Band has gone from playing in the streets of the French Quarter to performing all over the world. More than 19 members have passed through their ranks, and currently the nine members include Phil Frazier (tuba), Keith Frazier (bass drum), Derek Shezbie (trumpet), Glen Andrews (trumpet), Stafford Agee (trombone), Corey Henry (trombone), Derrick Tabb (snare drum), Vincent Broussard (saxophone) and Chaderick Honroe (trumpet). Mixing new styles of music with the traditional brass band, Rebirth’s heavy funk style has come to symbolize the city of New Orleans and attracted the attention of young and old generations alike. In February of this year, the members of Rebirth proved their reputation as the best brass band around when their 15th album Rebirth of New Orleans won the 2012 Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album. If you want to get your groove on, then make sure to see Rebirth at the Republic—their energetic perfomance will keep you dancing until the sun comes up.—Caitlin Varley
Leftover Salmon plus 7 Walkers and
Saturday April 28 at 10:00 p.m.
The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters St.
During Jazz Fest, all of New Orleans and its traveling visitors come together to celebrate all genres of music, art and most importantly, life itself. The eclectic band Leftover Salmon is one such visitor that exemplifies this celebration every show, as the groups different musical backgrounds combine to create an entire festival’s worth of music into one beautiful night. This year these Colorado natives, who have self-proclaimed their unique style as “polyethnic cajun slamgrass,” are returning fresh from making their first album in eight years, Aquatic Hitchhikers, and have brought with them the banjo extraordinaire Andy Thorn, who the band acknowledges has brought even more energy to their exhilarating performances. They will be sharing the stage at The Howlin’ Wolf with the legendary musicians in 7 Walkers featuring Bill Kreutzman, Matt Hubbard, Papa Mali and New Orleans’ own George Porter Jr. The renowned Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter, also joins them in writing the music, this hybrid of members describe as “swampadelic.” Local favorite Anders Osborne will also be joining in on the all-star cast this April 28 at the Howlin’ Wolf, bringing in his own element of hard-hitting, feel-good blues he has honed with so many well-crafted songs over the years.—Chris DiBenedetto
Royal Teeth, COYOTES, Sports and Leisure
Saturday, April 28; 9 p.m.
3445 Prytania St.
Three local bands, one night? Sounds like a deal, especially with three bands as assorted as these. Guests are in for an upbeat treat with electronic-influenced dance-pop band Royal Teeth. The band, who was the winner of The Warner Sound Captured by Nikon contest, released their EP Act Natural back in July 2011, and performed at SXSW this year. The six-piece is currently making their way around Louisiana with their “music for adventures.” COYOTES is a folksy, alt-country band that takes inspiration from Americana to shape their indie sound. The band is fresh of the March 1 release of their five-track album, Cosmic in the Badlands. Sports & Leisure, another six-piece band, was formed in 2011. The band uses a combination of string instruments, woodwinds, guitar, brass and a blend of indie rock, soul, folk, and pop styles to create an atmosphere that appeals to a wide range of tastes. Their first EP is currently in the works and is expected to be released this summer. The three bands are scheduled to perform at Café Prytania on April 28 at 9 p.m.—Kimberly Grace
Papa Grows Funk with
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
April 29, 11 p.m.
d.b.a, 616 Frenchmen St.
Papa Grows Funk plays some of the best vintage funk New Orleans has to offer. Monk Boudreaux, the Big Chief of the Mardi Gras Indians, has some of the most authentic vocals New Orleans has to offer. When the two come together on stage, the combination is something to behold. The groovy, no nonsense melodies from PGF fuse with Boudreaux’s hardened voice for a sound that will bring you back to the days you spent standing along the parade route during Mardi Gras. There’s a good chance you won’t hear better New Orleans funk all Jazz Fest than at their late show at d.b.a. Just make sure to bring your dancing shoes… there’s no telling where this jam will take you.—Bill Chinburg
Hot 8 Brass Band
April 29, 10 p.m.
Howlin Wolf’s The Den, 907 S. Peters St.
Out-of-towners may not have heard of the Hot 8 Brass Band until the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but long-time followers know that the group is a pillar of the city’s brass music scene. There isn’t a venue in town that they haven’t played: bars, nightclubs, second lines, even a few funerals. Luckily for all of us, they’ll be supplementing their set at Jazz Fest with a night show at the Howlin Wolf, for a more intimate experience. Hot 8’s full, heavy sound is anchored by tuba player and band leader “Big Bennie” Pete, who formed the group in 1995 along with bass drummer Harry Cook and trombone player Jerome Jones. The band has seen some hard times since then, losing three members due to gun violence. Yet the group has persevered through tragedy and continued to put on some of the most exciting, lively shows that New Orleans has to offer. Expect nothing less from the Hot 8 during Jazz Fest.—Bill Chinburg