Satchmo Summerfest Picks for Friday, 8/3

This year the Satchmo Summerfest kicks off with a treat for marching band lovers and New Orleanians invested in our city’s musical future. The youths of the nationally acclaimed Roots of Music program will set up on the neutral ground of Esplanade Ave. and deliver a rousing introduction at 11:15 AM on Friday. TVD is proud to be a media sponsor of the fest for the seventh year in a row. Here are our picks for the opening day. The full schedule is here.

With two music stages operating on a slightly staggered schedule around the grounds of the old U.S. Mint, it’s easy to catch bits of each of the acts or hang out for a full set. In the first time slot, the Preservation Hall Brass group brings a super-tight second line band set-up to the stage. Around the other side of the building, get a taste of some great traditional jazz with Clive Wilson’s Satchmo Serenaders.

The fact that Aurora Nealand (pictured at top) and her Royal Roses are making their Summerfest debut took me by surprise. Then I realized the multi-instrumentalist and vocalist is usually out of town during the summer pursuing one her many musical interests. Here Nealand and her ace band bring a thoroughly modern approach to trad.

While the full-on educational stage is happening inside the Mint, banjoist and guitarist Don Vappie will be providing a musical education along with his band, the Creole Jazz Serenaders. Vappie’s informative song introductions put the tunes in perfect context.

The ebullient drummer Shannon Powell is also a musician with a range of abiding interests. But the native son of Tremé is as devoted to traditional jazz as anyone in town. He appears with his Traditional All-Star Band.

Bonerama is also making their Summerfest debut and the trombone-driven funky rock band may seem like an outlier within the framework of saluting Louis Armstrong, but they are innovators, like Satchmo was in his day, and can play virtually any style. If you’re a regular fan of the band, I would expect the unexpected from their set.

Tomorrow—our weekend picks.

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