Hurricanes Katrina and Rita didn't stop the organizers of Lafayette's Festival International de Louisiane and New Orleans' Jazz & Heritage Festival from assembling top-flight music lineups for their 2006 festivals. FIL performers include ska legends the Skatalites, Crescent City icons Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, Cuban upstarts Yerba Buena, soukous veteran Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca as well as hometown favorites BeauSoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and more. As always, FIL is free, and organizers are finalizing plans for a shuttle from Cajun Field for FIL volunteers and attendees. Sunday morning French mass is also returning to FIL this year.
Jazz Fest headliners include Fats Domino, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, the Dave Matthews Band, Keith Urban and New Orleans institutions like The Radiators and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, along with a traditional lineup of New Orleans' finest gospel choirs and jazz bands.
It's a minor miracle that New Orleans' Jazz Fest is happening at all. With so many New Orleans musicians displaced, extensive damage to the fairgrounds festival site and corporate funding in question, prospects for the 2006 festival looked grim last winter. But major funding from Shell Oil and American Express helped ensure Jazz Fest's viability. This year's Jazz Fest is trimmed from its traditional seven days to six, and the total number of stages might be cut back, but the lineup feels like a full-scale Jazz Fest.
Perhaps Cowboy Mouth drummer Fred LeBlanc summed it up best: "Jazz Fest this year is not about money or career," he told the Times-Picayune. "It's all about heart and soul. It's about singing to survive."
And at FIL and Jazz Fest, hundreds of thousands of people will be singing along.
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE LOUISIANE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26
The Pine Leaf Boys (Louisiana), Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band (Louisiana)
THURSDAY, APRIL 27
Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Congo), The Cottars (Cape Breton), Ceux Qui Marchent Debout (France), MOOV (Martinique)
FRIDAY, APRIL 28
Ceux Qui Marchent Debout (France), Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Congo), La Bottine Souriante (QuÃ©bec), Michael Juan Nunez, Mousta Largo (Belgium/Morocco), GangbÃ© Brass Band (Benin), Stephane Sanseverino (France), VÃ¤sen (Sweden), Tinariwen (Mali), The Cottars (Cape Breton), Richard Revue, J. Paul Jr. & the Zydeco Nubreeds (Texas)
SATURDAY, APRIL 29
The Red Stick Ramblers, Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, SurÃ´it (Isle de la Madeleine), GangbÃ© Brass Band (Benin), Putumayo Presents: Tinariwen (Mali), Putumayo Presents: BeauSoleil, Putumayo Presents: Carami (Haiti), Putumayo Presents: Yerba Buena (Cuba/Venezuela), Le Trou Normand (France), Los Badd Boyz del Valle (Texas), The Wilders (U.S.), Ballet NGALAM (Senegal), Terrance Simien, Maria de Barros (Cape Verde), SurÃ´it (Isle de la Madeleine), Carol Fran, Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble (Japan), VÃ¤sen (Sweden), Stephane Sanseverino (France), LA Folk Roots presents: Piano Simpatico with David Egan & Kurt Boudreaux, LA Folk Roots presents: Gospel Traditions: Then & Now, LA Folk Roots presents: Women in Zydeco, Dominique Dupuis (New Brunswick), The Bluerunners with Susan Cowsill, Red Beans & Rice Revue, Ballet NGALAM (Senegal), Calliope Puppets presents: The Fisherman & His Wife, Imagination Movers, Fair to Middlin' with Fiddlin' Dave Trainer
SUNDAY, APRIL 30
Skatalites (Jamaica), Buckwheat Zydeco, Ballet NGALAM (Senegal), Carami (Haiti), Maria de Barros (Cape Verde), Le Trou Normand (France), Kiyoshi Nagata Ensemble (Japan), La Bottine Souriante (QuÃ©bec ), Mousta Largo (Belgium/Morocco), MOOV (Martinique), Dominique Dupuis (New Brunswick), Los Badd Boyz del Valle (Texas), SurÃ´it (Isle de la Madeleine), Destination Gospel Singers (Louisiana), Bertrand Laurence (France), LA Folk Roots Presents: Balfa Brothers Tribute with special guests (Louisiana), The Wilders (U.S.), Mousta Largo (Belgium/Morocco), Melissa Stevenson (Louisiana), Ryan School of Irish Dance (Louisiana), Ballet NGALAM (Senegal)
For more information on Festival International de Louisiane, visit www.festivalinternational.com.
2006 NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL
PRESENTED BY SHELL
FRIDAY, APRIL 28-SUNDAY, APRIL 30
The Meters, Bob Dylan, Yolanda Adams, Allen Toussaint with special guest Elvis Costello, Ani DiFranco, Dr. John, Dave Matthews Band, Hugh Masekela, Keb' Mo', Yerba Buena, Rebirth Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Galactic, Snooks Eaglin, Cowboy Mouth, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Terence Blanchard, Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters, Sonny Landreth, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, the subdudes, Ritmo CaribeÃ±o, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Terrance Simien, Anders Osborne, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, Charmaine Neville, Banu Gibson & New Orleans Hot Jazz, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews with special guest Steve Turre, St. Joseph the Worker Choir, Dukes of Dixieland, Eddie Bo, John Lee & the Heralds of Christ, C.J. Chenier, The Iguanas, Luther Kent & Trickbag, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Rosie Ledet, Lil' Rascals Brass Band, Lil' Band O' Gold, Greater Antioch Full Gospel Church Choir, D.L. Menard & the Louisiana Aces, James Rivers Movement, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, NewBirth Brass Band, James Andrews, Leigh "Little Queenie" Harris, Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots, World Leader Pretend, Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds, Shades of Praise Choir, Leah Chase, Jhelisa's Tribute to Nina Simone, Melody Clouds, Christian Scott, Crown Seekers, Popular Ladies, Nine Times Men, Westbank Steppers and the Young Men's Olympians Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, David Egan, Franklin Avenue BC Choir, T-SalÃ©, J. Monque'D Blues Band, Vivaz, Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band, Panorama Jazz Band, Los Sagitarios, Cynthia Liggins-Thomas, One A-Chord Gospel Singers, Andrew Hall's Society Brass Band, Louisiana Repertory Jazz Band, Jonathan Batiste, Loyola University Jazz Ensemble, Coolbone Brass Band, Hard Head Hunters Mardi Gras Indians, Mahogany Brass Band, Tim Laughlin, Jo "Cool" Davis, Lighthouse Gospel Singers, Voices of Distinction, Young Tuxedo Brass Band, Kim Prevost, Leroy Jones, San Severino of France, Higher Dimensions of Praise, Joe Krown, Furious Five and Untouchables Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express, The Revealers, Poor Clares, The Elements, Los Vecinos, SUBR Jazz Ensemble, Jambalaya Cajun Band, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, Paulin Brothers Brass Band, Don Vappie, Connie Jones, The Jackson Travelers, Tony Bazley, Providence BC Mass Choir, Val & Love Alive with the Dimensions of Faith, Chops Funky 7 Brass Band, Unstoppable Gospel Singers, Belton Richard, Inspirational Gospel Singers, Pinstripe Brass Band, Local International Allstars, The Bester Singers, Gospel Inspirations of Boutte, plus more acts TBA
FRIDAY, MAY 5-SUNDAY MAY 7
Fats Domino, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, The Ohio Players, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Special Ed & Big Daddy Kane, India "The Princess of Salsa," Irma Thomas, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Doug Kershaw, Little Feat, Koko Taylor, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. & the Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir, The Radiators, Angelique Kidjo, Pete Fountain, Donald Harrison with special guests George Coleman & Eddie Palmieri, Le Grand Ballet "Ngalam" du Senegal, Yonder Mountain String Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, Deacon John, Nicholas Payton, Chris Owens, The Ladies of New Orleans R&B featuring The Dixie Cups, Wanda Rouzan & Jean Knight, Roland Guerin with special guest Marcus Roberts, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Ellis Marsalis with special guest Lew Tabackin, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, TremÃ© Brass Band, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Marcia Ball, George French, Stephanie Jordan, Hot 8 Brass Band, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, Frankie Ford, Tab Benoit, Marva Wright & the BMWs, Lars Edegran & the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Astral Project, Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band featuring Thais Clark, Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, Theresa Andersson, Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, Jeremy Davenport, Papa Grows Funk, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, Lockport Chapter Choir, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas, Tony Green & Gypsy Jazz, Bruce Daigrepont, The Johnson Extension, Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie, Soul Rebels Brass Band, John BouttÃ©, Thomas "Big Hat" Fields, Rocks of Harmony, Alvin Batiste & the Jazzstronauts, Germaine Bazzle, Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries, Jeremy Lyons & the Deltabilly Boys, Reggie Hall & the Twilighters, New Orleans Spiritualettes, Storyville Stompers, Tornado and Stooges Brass Bands, Scene Boosters, Lady Rollers, Original Men and Ladies Buckjumpers, and Valley of the Silent Men Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs, Lil' Brian & the Zydeco Travelers, Savoy Family Cajun Band, Eric Lindell, McDonogh #35 Gospel Choir, Susan Cowsill, Mem Shannon & the Membership, Kim Carson, Easter Rockers, Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers, La Bande "Feufollet", Zulu Male Ensemble, Jeff & Vida, Zion Trinity, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Driskill Mountain Boys, Bamboula 2000, Otra, Little Freddie King, New Orleans NightCrawlers Brass Band, Chris Clifton, Amina Figarova Band of The Netherlands, Pine Leaf Boys, Michael Ward, Dynamic Smooth Family, Imagination Movers, Lyle Henderson, Leviticus Gospel Singers, NOCCA Jazz Ensemble, Harvey Spirituals, Real Untouchables and Smitty Dee's Brass Bands, Mandeville High School Jazz Ensemble, Pfister Sisters, Second Nazarine Gospel Choir, June Gardner, Golden Wings, Batiste Brothers, Gospel Stars, Highsteppers Brass Band, plus more acts TBA
Tickets for Jazz Fest are on sale at www.nojazzfest.com and www.ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (504) 522-5555 (New Orleans). Tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend, with each ticket valid for a single day's attendance. Prices are $30 in advance, $40 at the gate. Children's tickets (under age 12) are only $5 in advance or at the gate. Jazz Fest's Big Chief VIP Experience (with full weekend passes and VIP amenities) is available for $500 per weekend, $600 with parking. Additional ticket and VIP information is available at www.nojazzfest.com.