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Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:54
French Quarter Fest Highlights: Dr. John, World's Largest Jazz Brunch
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frenchquarterfestivalWith the French Quarter Festival scheduled less than a month from now, organizers, vendors, artists, and volunteers are preparing for a surge of excited visitors. French Quarter Fest is the largest free music festival in the U.S. Last year, it hosted more than 560,000 visitors. The 31st fest is taking place from April 10 to April 13, 2014.


French Quarter Fest recently released an updated list of 2014 debuts:

Babineaux Sisters Band
Baby Bee
Ben Polcer and the Grinders
Corey Henry's Treme Funktet
Corey Ledet
Dash Rip Rock
Jaland Crossland
Joe Cabral Thrio
John Fohl
Jonathon Boogie Long
Mardi Gras Indian Orchestra
Nasimiyu Murumba Band
Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas
Nigel Hall
NOCCA Jazz Ensemble
Organic Trio
Peter Novelli
PJ Morton
PresHall Brass
Rebecca Roubion
Rich Look
Rusty Metoyer and the Zydeco Krush
Sean Bruce
Sweet Substitute Jazz Band
Symphony Chorus of New Orleans
Tank and the Bangas
The Believers
The Idlewild String Confederation
The New Orleans Suspects
Travis Meadows
Tyler Kinchen & the Right Pieces

Musical Highlights

  • This year, Dr. John will appear for the first time at the French Quarter Fest since 1987. This is his only appearance at a major spring festival in New Orleans in 2014. The concert will be on the riverfront Abita Stage, Friday April 11 at 4.30 PM.
  • Unveiling of the new Big River Stage. The stage will feature music daily from April 10-13.
  • Brass Bands are moving from the Riverside Legacy Stage to the new Popeyes Brass Band Jam Stage at the Old U.S. Mint. From April 11-13, brass bands such as Leroy Jones' Original Brass Band, Treme Brass Band, Lagniappe Brass Band, and Orleans Brass Band will perform.
  • One of the most popular stages, Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase will return to the Bienville Triangle. Some of the featured bands are Big Easy Playboys, Corey Ledet, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Feufollet, and the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Culinary Highlights

  • The World's Largest Jazz Brunch will feature more than 60 food vendors. Visitors can splurge on classic New Orleans dishes, as well as food from the region's best restaurants, such as Pat O'Brien's, Galatoire's, Antoine's, Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House, House of Blues, and K-Paul's.
  • A new riverfront picnic area, the NOLA.com Eat Drink Cafe, is being set up on the riverfront Kohlmeyer Lawn.
  • Abita Brewing Company will be pouring Strawberry Abita on draft for the first time ever. Other Abita beers will also be on tap.

Other Highlights

  • The opening night gala will take place at Antoine's Restaurant on April 10. Guests will enjoy dinner and musical entertainment. Tickets can be purchased online at www.fgfi.org or by calling 504-227-3124.
  • Visitors can take free dance lessons in charleston, swing, zydeco, and second-line. The lessons will take place at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage, the Cajun Zydeco Stage, and in the Children's Headquarters.
  • On Saturday and Sunday (April 12-13), conversations about Louisiana music are taking place in the 3rd floor auditorium at the Old U.S. Mint. The conversations are free and open to the public.

The Film Festival

French Quarter Festival and Timecode: NOLA are partnering to organize this year's film festival, which is free and open to the public. The movies will be screened in Le Petit Theatre. The films focus on New Orleans music, neighborhoods, culture, and dialects, and include Lily Keber's documentary Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, Richard Barber and Andre Lambertson's The Whole Gritty City, and Stevenson Palfi's Piano Players Rarely Play Together. The majority of the featured films are by local creators. After each screening, there will be a Q&A session with the director and/or the cast.

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