Satchmo Summerfest 2014 Weekend Picks

The 2014 festival gets into full swing on Saturday and Sunday. There are plenty of options for music lovers to listen and dance to while enjoying great food and libations. Here are my picks. Click the link for the full schedule.

Before the Satchmo Summerfest kicks off, the music community will lay to rest Lionel Ferbos, the 103-year old trumpeter and vocalist who was the oldest jazz musician alive. The festival is being dedicated to his memory and a good place to start the weekend on Saturday is checking out Lars Edegran and the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. Ferbos played with the band and the mostly tour-reticent musician actually went on the road to Europe with them.

Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers isn’t a traditional jazz band, but with Alex McMurray, Josh Paxton, and Matt Perrine, they can play anything. I expect a jazz and Louis Armstrong-inspired set.

Another band I am looking forward to on Saturday is Mario Abney and the Abney Effect. This trumpeter plays modern jazz and his inclusion on the schedule is a testament to his relevance on the scene today and his talent.

Sunday kicks off with another musician who is not associated with the traditional jazz canon. Norbert Slama is a French accordionist and is usually accompanied by Raphael Bas, another Frenchmen on guitar, and our own Christopher Kohl on clarinet. His music is as passionate as newlyweds on the banks of the Seine.

Brice Winston recently received his doctorate and joins an infinitesimally small list of New Orleans musicians with a Ph.D. His band, the Mahogany Brass Band, never fails to put on a great show.

Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers close the weekend before the half-hour Trumpet Tribute to Louis Armstrong, which usually includes almost all of the trumpets players appearing at the festival and lots of kids.

However, don’t neglect checking out a bit of the Pinettes. This all-female brass band, the only one of its kind, just kills.

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