TVD’s Jazz Fest Picks
for Day Five, 5/6

Start the day bright and early with the Stooges Brass Band on the Congo Square stage or for something considerably more intimate, trombonist Charlie Halloran and his Tropicales make for some fine Caribbean music-inspired listening. If only the Cultural Exchange Pavilion served rum boogies or painkillers!

Staying in the Caribbean, consider checking out Cimafunk (of Cuba). This guy is like the Prince of the islands, not actual royalty, but the Purple One. His sound is rooted in Cuban grooves but it’s also funky as hell. He has been playing a lot around New Orleans and will likely have some local special guests.

With three years between Jazz Fests, there have been numerous deaths that have not been commemorated at the Fairgrounds yet. Perhaps none were more profound than Art and Charles Neville, the keyboardist/ vocalist and horn man respectively of the Neville Brothers. The tribute set will feature the Funky Meters with Ivan Neville filling his uncle’s big shoes and the Neville Brothers Band with Cyril and Charmaine Neville. This should be a set for the ages and since Leo Nocentelli plays right before on the same stage, I expect him to sit in as well.

The Panorama Jazz Band hits in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion at 3:10 PM. They reach around the world for music written with the clarinet in mind and play exuberantly. For more on the band, check OffBeat magazine’s “Jazz Fest Bible” for a story by yours truly.

The Midnight Disturbers lost a founding member this year with the death of drummer Kevin O’Day. A mere 48-years-old, his passing left a hole in the heart and a gap in the soul of the New Orleans music community. Expect the members of this brass band super group to all be sporting T-shirts emblazoned with “Listen to Kevin O’Day.”

The Black Crowes were among the first of a new wave of Southern rock bands to grace the stages of the Jazz Fest during the period when the festival was starting to expand its musical reach. They first played back in 2005 and appeared again in 2010. Led by two brothers that don’t always get along, which makes for fireworks on stage sometimes, they are back this year and close out the Shell Gentilly stage.

But for pure nostalgia tempered with hot jazz, the Newport Allstars Tribute to Jazz Fest’s founding father, George Wein (pictured at top), will be bittersweet. With stars such as Randy Brecker, Anat Cohen, and Lewis Nash, this will be a modern jazz take on one of the most important people in the history of Jazz Fest.

Tomorrow—Weekend picks!

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