Our Jazz Fest Picks: Slacker’s Day

The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival commences tomorrow. It’s four full days—a marathon not a sprint. Here’s what’s in store.

Nigel Hall continues to make waves on the New Orleans music scene. Three weeks ago he got the notoriously difficult to unseat crowd at the Louis Louis Pavilion stage of the French Quarter Festival up and dancing, playing R&B classics from Luther Vandross and Frankie Beverly and Maze. He hits on the Congo Square stage at 12:20 PM with a crack band.

The first of the second weekend of Brazilian bands, Tizumba & Tambor Mineiro, performs in the Blues Tent at 1:45 PM. They are a drum-heavy band from Minas Gerais, a Brazilian state not known for its musical exports. Check the vid for a taste.

Stanton Moore, the drummer for Galactic, is playing in the Jazz Tent for the first time. He recently released an outstanding straight ahead jazz album, Conversations, which features two stalwarts of the local scene—bassist James Singleton and pianist David Torkanowsky. I expect a rhythmically compelling set of local standards and a few originals.

New Orleans has a few Brazilian bands of her own. I count up-and-comers Chegadão among the best. Led by guitarist Scott Myers (pictured at top) and featuring killer players like saxophonist Brent Rose, bassist Tommy Sciple, and keyboardist Eduardo Tozzatto, this band is something to see and to hear. They merge the best of both musical worlds.

I rarely recommend main stage acts because of the crowds tending to congregate there. But I have to make an exception for Thursday’s closer on the Acura stage. The String Cheese Incident recently came out of an extended hiatus. I saw them a few times back in the day and was duly impressed with their musicianship and ability to improvise. If you haven’t heard them before, this could be a Jazz Fest “stumble” of epic proportions. Stumble on over…


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