by Scott Gold
For the sixth year in a row, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation will be serving up hot gumbo and even hotter music for free this weekend in Louis Armstrong Park at the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival. known for its celebration of local music, crafts, and, naturally, plenty of hot gumbo.
Fans of the festival will be happy to see a similar line-up of local bands taking the stage all day on Saturday and Sunday, but there are a few new aspects about this year's event that festgoers should keep in mind.
“Musically, we have some special surprises," said Scott Aiges, Director of Programs, Marketing and Communications for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. "It's a little bit different from last year, when we programmed nothing but brass bands. This year we’ve expanded to include more bands that are inspired by the same culture that inspires brass bands, like our headliner Glen David Andrews."
Mr. Andrews will round out the first day's musical line-up, which also includes the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Band, the Treme Brass Band, Lagniappe Brass Band with Keedy Black, as well as the Hot 8 Brass Band. Singers Robin Barnes and John Boutte will be performing on Sunday, as will the all-female Pinettes Brass Band, Bonerama and Baby Boyz Brass Band and the Second-Line Jammers Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Also taking the stage Sunday will be The Madd Wikkid's Brassft Punk - A Brass Band Tribute to Daft Punk."
Of course, there will be gumbos galore to go with the music, from vendors including Ms. Linda's Creole Cooking, Woody's Fish Tacos, the Praline Connection, Dunbar's Soul Food, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Café Carmo, Li'l Dizzy's and Brocato's Eat Dat.
New this year will be a vegan gumbo cook-off with celebrity judges, though Aiges is quick to note that meaty gumbo will still be on hand, even though it might be ineligible for the contest.
As in previous years, the festival is free to the public, courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. Said Aiges, "This is one of four free festivals we produce each year. We pay for this as a way to give-back to the community. These events are your Jazz Fest dollars at work — you buy a poster, a tee-shirt, or a ticket, and we use that money to create grants for artists, cultural events, concerts, and outreach programs."
The Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival will be taking place in Louis Armstrong Park on Saturday, November 9th and Sunday, November 10th, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. each day.