Our Jazz Fest Picks
for Day Two, 4/26

PHOTO: JIM BROCK | Don’t forget to check out the outdoor carousal brought in from Martinique along with the traditional music of Chouval Bwa before the weekend crowds pack the Fairgrounds for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It’s open for rides every day from noon until 6 PM. Here are our picks for April 26. The full schedule is here.

A relatively new Mardi Gras Indian tribe, Big Chief Bird and the Young Hunters, make their third stage appearance at the Jazz Fest in the opening slot. They are followed by the second appearance of one of my favorite local bands, the horn-heavy sensation, Kumasi Afrobeat Orchestra.

A hardly noted (until now) feature on this year’s schedule are the asterisks that mark performers who played at the first Jazz Fest 50 years ago. Bassist George Porter, Jr. is being interviewed at 12:30 PM. The man plays a rubbery bass, but he has an elephant’s mind. He remembers everything going back to his days with the Meters. It should be a fascinating talk and precedes his set with the Foundation of Funk.

For Rolling Stones fans still stung by their cancellation, consider checking out Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Denson (pictured) is the Stones’ touring saxophonist and I bet he will play at least one of their songs to satiate the desire for some classic rock.

There are a lot of great options in the last time slot. It’s been five years since Santana played the Fairgrounds and his spiritual persona and soaring guitar work are a perfect fit for the Jazz Fest vibe. However, Jose James’ celebration of Bill Withers could be the sleeper find of the first Friday. Why else would it be in the last time slot?

Tomorrow: Our picks for Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.

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