TVD’s Jazz Fest Picks for Day Four, 5/2

I never thought that this would happen. (Insert shameless self-promotion) Heck, I never even expected it to happen. But it did. I am being featured today on the Allison Miner Music Heritage stage at 4:30 PM! I will be interviewed about my book, Up Front and Center: New Orleans Music at the End of the 20th Century.

The wonderful writer, author and raconteur John Swenson will be my interlocutor. Because it’s Jazz Fest, and we wouldn’t want you to get bored with a couple of talking heads, Alex McMurray will also be on hand. He will play a few songs, and perhaps add some erudite commentary.

Of course, there is a lot of other music going on out at the New Orleans Fairgrounds on Slacker’s Day. Here are my picks. The rest of the schedule is here.

Normally, I would suggest that you start your day with Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove, but something truly poignant will be happening on the Jazz and Heritage stage at 11:20 AM.

The legendary Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Iron Horse died in March. He is still listed on the schedule because it was too late to change these sorts of things. He was only 48 years old. The members of his tribe, the Black Seminoles and other gangs including the Flaming Arrows will be honoring his legacy. This will be something to see.

Even if you miss Kirk Joseph with his band, you can still catch his mighty sousaphone sound at 1:30 PM on the Jazz and Heritage stage. He will be performing with the Forgotten Souls Brass Band. This supergroup features members of Rebirth and other stalwarts of the brass band scene. They hardly ever play in town, usually just at Jazz Fest, so don’t miss it.

The Spirit of the Fi Yi Yi and the Mandingo Warriors follow the Forgotten Souls. This is the most African-inspired of all of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes, and their big chief, Victor Harris, is a legend in the tight knit community.

They have a recording out, a first for this traditional tribe, and it features some horn players. Trumpeter Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and saxophonist Calvin Johnson will be in the house as an added treat.

I don’t know whether there just aren’t enough blues acts available, but in a repeat of last weekend’s mystery booking of Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers in the Blues Tent. Jazz trombonist and gospel shouter Glen David Andrews lands there today. No matter, he will tear the roof off the place 4:10 PM.

I will be signing books in the Book Tent from 5:30 until 6:30 PM, but will immediately head over to the Gentilly stage to hear Patti Smith. I was not a huge fan back in the day, but a concert at the House of Blues made me a fervent convert. As an added bonus, the punk shaman rarely plays outdoors. You should be up front and center.

See you there!

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