French Quarter Festival staff picks

Nick’s Picks:

Flow Tribe

Thursday April 10, NOLa Big River Stage, 5:15 p.m.


The Tribe is a local band,  part of the funk-rock scene in New Orleans. Front man K.C. O’Rorke is a trumpeter who lives for the flash and pizzaz of the music and the band’s wardrobe. Flow Tribe gets much of their motivation and creativity from bands such as the Grateful Dead, and local legend Dr. John. The sound of the ‘70s is alive with this band. There are a plethora of instruments in the ensemble, such as a definitive bass guitar, a good drum, keyboard, a horn, and some great electric guitar. Flow Tribe will put you in a smooth mood with some booty shaking vibes. This is a great band to check out especially if it’s your first time to French Quarter Fest. They’ll put you in a festive mood to enjoy the rest of the day.

Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra

Sunday April 13, The Absolut Louis-Louis Pavilion Stage, 5:15 p.m.

The sound of Mardi Gras is alive with this group. The beautiful intricacies of this band are astounding. The costumes are the ones that they wear on Mardi Gras Day. You get excited just looking at them, because they are the soul of Mardi Gras. Their history with the city is rich, as is their music. They have two cellists, three guitar players, a violin, and a 12-13 piece orchestra. Their music is fresh and will put you in a dancing mood. They do local and great songs, such as “Hey Pocky Way.” The Orchestra is known for setting the mood and getting you ready for the day. They walk their neighborhoods and wake everyone up with their music.

The Roots of Music

Friday April 11, Abita Stage, 6 p.m.

Founded by Derrick Tabb of Rebirth Brass Band, with the help of co-founder Allison Reinhardt, The Roots of Music provides free musical education to students aged 9-14 in the New Orleans area.  With over 100 students, the program was established after Katrina to provide the musical education that had once been an integral part of the school system.  Catering to students from low-income families, the program provides free transportation and hot meals 5 days a week all year long.  The Marching Crusaders, the school’s band, can be seen at festivals and parades throughout the city.

Jaclyn’s Picks:

Chris Mule and The Perpetrators

Saturday April 12,  WWL’s Esplanade in the Shade Stage, 2 p.m.

Probably better known as the guitarist in Honey Island Swamp Band, Mule’s newer musical endeavor is his band, The Perpetrators.  With their folk blues sound, the band performs interpretations of other well-known songs, as well as original compositions by Mule.

Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Sunday April 13, GE Capital/Technology in NOLA Big River Stage, 2 p.m.

The band is composed of singer and pianist Cleary, along with Derwin “Big D” Perkins on guitar, Cornell Williams on bass and Jellybean on drums.  The band has a remarkable chemistry, and should not be overlooked by any means.  Get down and funky with The Gentlemen.

Nalu’s Picks:


Saturday April 12, French Quarter Festival’s Shade Stage, 12:30 p.m.

Chegadao is a Brazilian band with a splash of New Orleans funk. Scott Myers’ organ trio project mixes soul-jazz, boogaloo organ-based music, Brazilian samba-funk and forro (Brazilian country music from the northeastern backwoods cattle country).  It will also broadcast live on WWOZ FM.


Saturday April 12, Popeye’s Brass Band Jam on the OffBeat Magazine Stage, 4 p.m.

Corey Henry’s Funktet is going to be showing what Treme’s music is all about.  His band will have hips swinging with the sounds you may hear while wandering the Treme neighborhood. Their stage is located near the Louisiana State Museum at the Old Mint.

Casa Samba Extravaganza

Sunday April 13, GE Capital/Tech New Orleans Big River Stage, 11 a.m.

Authentic Brazilian music, Casa Samba Extravaganza, is the bridge between Brazil and New Orleans, with their similarities and the importance of their African tradition and influences. Their stage is near Woldenberg Riverfront Park-Riverfront Plaza.

 Seth’s Picks:

Dash Rip Rock

Friday April 11, WWL’s Esplanade in the Shade Stage, 5:30 p.m.

Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Dash Rip Rock is a country-fried rock band with alternative leanings and an eclectic fan base. Founded in Baton Rouge in the 1980s by guitar-slinging songwriter Bill Davis and drummer/vocalist Fred LeBlanc (of Cowboy Mouth fame), Dash Rip Rock have amassed a devoted international following and released over a dozen albums, spawning the radio hits, “Let’s Go Smoke Some Pot” and “Johnny Ace.”  The latter was featured in the “Rock Band” video game.


Astral Project

Sunday April 11, WWL’s Esplanade in the Shade Stage, 5:30 p.m.

Led by saxophonist Tony Dagradi, and featuring guitarist Steve Masakowski, bassist James Singleton and drummer John Vidacovich, Astral Project is the cream of the crop in local modern jazz. All four members of this dynamic combo are well-versed enough to subtly complement each other one minute, and bust out a free-wheeling solo the next. The band has kept its line-up consistently solid since 1978, making for astounding musical chemistry.

Dr. John

Friday April 11, Abita Beer Stage, 4 p.m.

Dr. John is at the forefront of New Orleans music ambassadors. He has played and recorded with the likes of Mick Jagger, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bob Seger. He is mainly known for his virtuosic keyboard and organ playing, as well as his gruff voice and the memorable 1970s mega-hit, “Right Place Wrong Time.”

 Madelaine’s Picks:

Amanda Shaw

Friday April 11, Chevron Cajun/Zydeco Showcase, 5:30 p.m.

Known for her poignant and rhythmic sound, Amanda Shaw is a force on the stage. At the age of 23, she’s a powerful fiddler performer, composer, and arranger who has been touring nationally and internationally since she was eight years old. Shaw has recorded three critically-acclaimed albums, won a Big Easy Award for Best Female Entertainer and was featured in two roles in Disney Channel movies (Stuck in the Suburbs and Now You See It…) in her young career.

Irma Thomas

Thursday April 10, Abita Beer Stage, 2:15 p.m.

Known as the “Soul Queen of New Orleans,” Grammy Award-winning artist Irma Thomas sounds like a combination of Aretha Franklin and the late Etta James, but never matched their level of success. In 2007, Thomas won her first Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for “After the Rain.” Last year, she was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the “Soul Blues Female Artist” category, which she won.

Jeremy Davenport

Sunday April 13, GE Capital/Technology in NOLA Big River Stage, 12:30 p.m.

Jeremy Davenport is a trumpeter known for his unique, modern style and the moody, storytelling effect it takes on, but also a lifestyle reminiscent of a time when jazz was at its peak of popularity. His work has grasped the attention of many international artists suchas Harry Connick Jr., Paul McCartney and Sting. He is the house performer at the Davenport Lounge, his name-sake club located in the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, where he plays every Thursday through Saturday.

Samira’s Picks:

Rebirth Brass Band

Friday April11, Abita Beer Stage, 7:30 p.m.

Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans brass band founded in 1983.  Rebirth is known for combining traditional New Orleans second line music with funk, jazz, soul and hip-hop. TheirCD, “Rebirth of New Orleans”, which was released in 2011, was awarded a Grammy in 2012 for “Best Regional Roots Music Album”. Some of their popular hits are: “Feel Like Funkin’ It Up,”  “Do What Cha’ Wanna” and “Take it to the Street.”

Hot 8 Brass Band

Sunday April 13, Popeye’s Barracks St. Brass Band Jam w/ OffBeat Magazine Stage, 5:45 p.m.

 Hot 8 Brass Band is a New Orleans-based brass band that blends hip-hop, jazz and funk styles with traditional New Orleans second line music. The band was formed in 1995 by the merging of two earlier bands, the Looney Tunes Brass Band and the High Steppers Brass Band. The Hot 8 Brass Band plays in second line parades hosted Sunday afternoons by Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs. They also play at traditional jazz funerals and at local jazz nightclubs throughout the city. They regularly perform at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as well.

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