The April music scene in New Orleans is dominated by two of our premier festivals: the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest. This year, French Quarter Fest falls from April 12-15, while Jazz Fest spans the weekends of April 27 and May 3. This year, FQF has Irma Thomas, John Cleary, and The Lost Bayou Ramblers, as well as Bonerama, the excellent Cha Wa and Charmaine Neville. This year FQF has also added a VIP experience, so if you’re interested in getting out of the crowd a bit you should look into that option a bit more. As always, the rest of the fest remains free.
The Jazz Fest lineup has some real gems this year with Jack White, Beck, Aretha Franklin and David Byrne all slated to appear. Jack White, Beck and David Byrne all have excellent new records to present, as well as deep back catalogs to explore. I am especially excited for David Byrne as he has put together what he has called his most ambitious stage show since the legendary Stop Making Sense. In addition to these artists, Jazz Fest has also pulled its most interesting crop of legacy acts in quite some time with Sting, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie and Aerosmith rounding out what will be the Acura stage headliners. Once you get past the headliners there are lot of other very interesting performers listed here. Sheryl Crow will be here with a new record and will no doubt be dusting off some of the old favorites. LL Cool J will hit Congo Square with DJ Z-Trip in tow. This is a great pairing—together these two should be amazing. Bonnie Raitt will be here as will her fellow troubadour Sturgill Simpson. I have a special place in my heart for the Radiators who will return to Jazz Fest to celebrate their 40th anniversary. For so many years the Rads’ closing set on the Gentilly stage was the defacto way to end the fest—hopefully they’ll put them back in that spot for the occasion.
Playlist of mentioned bands available at: http://bit.ly/InTune4-18
Rostram experiments at Gasa Gasa.
The Oh Hellos bring the indie folk to The Parish at the House of Blues.
The Screaming Females punk Gasa Gasa.
The Black Angels psych out The Civic.
The Soft Moon fuzz Gasa Gasa.
Ty Segal preaches to One Eyed Jacks.
April 24 & 25
Vulfpeck funk up Tipitina’s.
Trey Anastasio does a three-night stand at The Civic.
Imarhan grooves Gasa Gasa.
Dates are subject to change; email Mike@MyNewOrleans.com or contact
him through Twitter @Minima.