A lot has changed for Lafayette's Feufollet since its last album, En Couleurs, earned the Cajun folk rockers a Grammy Award nomination and a larger audience, which the group called upon recently during a successful $30,000 crowdfunding campaign. The money will fund the release of its new album, and fans can expect to hear new material at its Jazz Fest set.
On the yet-to-be-named album, Feufollet continues its evolution away from its French-only, traditional Cajun roots. The changes start up front, as new singer Kelli Jones-Savoy and new keyboardist Andrew Toups appear on a Feufollet album for the first time. The record features both English and French-language songs (unlike En Couleurs), and Jones-Savoy in particular makes her mark right away. She wrote a handful of tracks that were featured in recent live performances. Look for hints of what's to come when songs like "Tired of Your Tears" and "Cette fois" are performed alongside the band's familiar accordion- and strings-driven toe tappers.
12:25 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do stage
Glen David Andrews
Everyone knows Glen David Andrews' story by now. The local trombonist dealt with substance abuse issues and charges of domestic violence but persevered and focused on his music. His new album, Redemption, serves as a de facto memoir and a fresh start. Andrews performs songs that highlight his brass band roots and incorporate funk, gospel and blues (more and more, he's putting down the trombone to showcase his vocals). For those interested in the album and his renewed career, Larry Blumenfeld interviews Andrews on the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage later in the day.
12:25 p.m.-1:20 p.m.
Congo Square Stage
4:30 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage
This gospel group has been part of Jazz Fest since the festival's beginning. The a cappella group is celebrating its own longevity — a milestone 75th anniversary — with a new album and accompanying tour. Bringing in the Sheaves marks the Harmonizers' first release in 15 years. The band is known for its traditional gospel repertoire, but it occasionally slips in popular tunes, such as a Curtis Mayfield song.
1:50 p.m.-2:35 p.m.
As artists age, it's not unusual for younger ones to reach out with praise. The soulful Bobby Womack isn't just another elder statesman of the genre. In light of his last album — 2012's The Bravest Man in the Universe, produced in part by Blur's Damon Albarn — everyone wants to collaborate with Womack, including Stevie Wonder, Rick Ross, Rod Stewart and Snoop Dogg. The new album is expected to drop later this year. In the meantime, Womack has a number of dates planned for the summer. It will be his 28th studio album, and his sets draw from genre-bending work from various stages of his career.
3:25 p.m.-4:35 p.m.
Congo Square stage
- Photo by Anton Corbijn
Sunday, May 4
3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Arcade Fire gets more grandiose with each record, and last year's Reflektor is no exception. It's infused with the danceable know-how of James Murphy and is double the length of the band's previous recordings. Reviews of live shows by indie rock's newest stadium regulars have been awe-inspired.
Arcade Fire headlined and closed Coachella in April with a 17-song set. After breaking out covers of Prince and Blondie tunes in the nights leading up to that festival, the band brought Debbie Harry onstage to perform a pair of tracks (Jazz Fest fans may remember the band's 2011 set, when Cyndi Lauper joined the group onstage). Arcade Fire replaced its signature papier-mache heads (which were stolen recently) with new ones — including likenesses of Pope Francis, David Bowie and President Barack Obama.
Perhaps best for Jazz Fest fans, Arcade Fire continued its tradition of working with multiple special guests. On the band's most anthemic track — "Wake Up," famously used in the Where The Wild Things Are trailer — New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band helped fill out the massive soundscape. The performance spilled over into the crowd. If its Jazz Fest set can hit similar highs, the festival may reach its climax before headliner Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue take the stage.
3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
CHICK COREA & THE VIGIL
Sunday, May 4
Zatarain's/ WWOZ Jazz Tent
4:10 p.m. - 5:40 p.m.
The 72-year-old jazz pianist has been busy leading up to Jazz Fest, varying his style on what seems like a nightly basis.
During evenings with Bela Fleck, Corea has shown how nimble and responsive his piano can be. Playing solo with a banjo player isn't typical for a jazz composer, but Corea has always been extremely rhythmic and he can bring that to the forefront when needed. On nights where he's alone, Corea spans genres, performing classical tunes and homages to legends such as Duke Ellington and digging out his own classics like "Armando's Rhumba." Jazz Fest fans will see him reunited with long-time band The Vigil, but their past performances offer no indication of what's likely to come.
4:10 p.m.-5:40 p.m.
Zatarain's/ WWOZ Jazz Tent
Tracks like "Proud Mary" are long imprinted on the American rock 'n' roll canon, and both Fogerty's solo work and his time with Clearance Clearwater Revival produced dozens of other hits.
In 2013, Fogerty set out to show that even the most familiar aspects of his music had mysteries left to unravel. Wrote A Song For Everyone featured Fogerty reimagining his classics with help from contemporary artists. Fogerty didn't have to strain his voice to mesh with the likes of Dave Grohl or Miranda Lambert, and his guitar playing stands up to modern licks from the likes of Brad Paisley and Tom Morello. The album mimics what Fogerty can do every time he takes the stage: convince an audience to lean in when their favorite song is finally played, only to blow them back with playful twists on musical styles or elongated phrases and solos.
5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Samsung Galaxy Stage
Terence Blanchard may be the most unassuming of New Orleans jazz icons. It's not for lack of visability, though the trumpeter doesn't actually play New Orleans all that often. But that's not to say Blanchard has kept quiet recently. There was a new album, Magnetic, which earned Blanchard another Grammy Award nomination. He welcomed a new performer in his band for that record — 21-year-old bassist Joshua Crumbly. In recent years, Blanchard wrote his first opera and played at the Kennedy Center's tribute to Herbie Hancock, with President Barack Obama in attendance. This month, he's headlining a weeklong symposium on jazz at the Berklee College of Music. Fortunately for New Orleanians, a Sunday closing spot already is in his calendar.
6 p.m.-7 p.m.
Zatarain's/ WWOZ Jazz Tent