TVD’s Jazz Fest Picks for Day One, 4/26

The waiting is over. Our favorite fest is finally here. So, imagine you’re hearing the sonorous voice that emits from the speakers built into modified coolers at the gates of the New Orleans Fairgrounds: “Welcome to the two thousand and thirteen New Or-lee-ans Jazz and Heritage Festival!” Here are your picks for tomorrow, April 26, 2013. The full schedule is here.

The old and the new guard face off right in away in the opening slot. The New Orleans Suspects are on the Acura stage and Flow Tribe is on the Gentilly stage. It’s hard to believe, but the Suspects made their Jazz Fest debut one year ago. Flow Tribe continues to generate lots of attention. You make the choice, but I know where I’ll be.

Trombonist Mark McGrain brings his exciting project, Plunge to the Jazz Tent at 12:15 PM. This band always brings the musical goods, and I am sure that they will be on fire for an opening day set.

Though I tend to stay away from the Acura stage (we sometimes call it the “other” Jazz Fest), it is going to be hard to resist checking out Dr. John’s new band, the Night Trippers.

Local pundits made much ado about nothing some months back when it was reported the good doctor fired his old band, the Lower 911. While it’s true that they were let go, the shifting of personnel comes amid a lot of upheaval in the life of the man whose mother calls Mac Rebennack.

The death of his longtime drummer, Herman Ernest was a possible catalyst for a new band, but he also replaced his longtime management team. Hey, the man’s a legend; he can do what he wants, and in my book can do no wrong. He hits at 3:50 PM.


The Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra closes day one on the Jazz and Heritage stage. I have written about this super group many times in the past, so if you haven’t had the chance to check them out, this might be the time. They hit at 5:45 PM with lots of competition—John Mayer (in his first major show since throat surgery), Band of Horses, George Benson, the Campbell Brothers, and several other acts.

You knew that you were going to have to make hard choices, didn’t you?

See you there!

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