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Uncommon Grounds

The 39th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presents its most diverse array of musical talent ever.

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is becoming the big tent of musical fests. Besides all the trademark jazz, rock, funk, swamp pop, blues, Mardi Gras Indians, Cajun and zydeco, the 2008 festival has a showcase for New Orleans bounce, country, Latin sounds and visiting bands from Martinique and Mali to Sweden and Tokyo. An array of special tributes and all-star jams make for some unique sets as well. The Fair Grounds is the state's common ground for fans of all musical genres.

As I, Count Basin™, look over the daily schedule, I see seven days of incredible variety and stellar options. The first weekend alone includes performances by Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Ellis Marsalis, Pete Fountain, Nicholas Payton, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Michael Doucet and BeauSoleil, Buckwheat Zydeco and many more familiar faces. New to the fest are Robert Plant, Sheryl Crow, Billy Joel, Keyshia Cole and Tim McGraw. Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli hosts a funk jam. There's a tribute to the Turbinton brothers, and the Ponderosa Stomp Revue presents some of the unsung legends of rock 'n' roll.

With all this to choose from, the Count is looking forward to an uncommonly good year at the Jazz Fest.

On the Cover

Since Irma Thomas began her singing career in 1959, she's been the Soul Queen of New Orleans. Success came early as Allen Toussaint produced her hits "It's Raining" and "Ruler of My Heart" in the early '60s. In 2006, she released the Grammy-winning After the Rain. But most importantly, she's always been a Jazz Fest favorite. Here, she's captured by Louisiana painter Douglas Bourgeois in his signature, meticulously detailed luminescence, combining the spotlight of pop culture and the vibrant colors of Louisiana's natural resources.

The name "Count Basin" and the Count Basin character are a registered service mark of Gambit Communications. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 25

Parades

1:30 p.m. — Single Ladies and Keep N It Real social aid and pleasure clubs with the Real Untouchables Brass Band

2:30 p.m. — Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians

3:30 p.m. — Big Nine and Family Ties social aid and pleasure clubs with Smitty Dee's Brass Band

4:15 p.m. — MOOV of Martinique

Native American Pow Wow
Noon, 2:25 p.m. & 5:15 p.m. — Native Nations Intertribal

Rufus "Rip" Wimberly and the Dreamers

11:15 a.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Wimberly is an 82-year-old blues electric guitarist from Tallulah, La. A self-taught musician, Wimberly is a music original who performs in the roadhouse tradition.

June Gardner & the Fellas

11:15 a.m., Economy Hall Tent

"Gentleman June" is a seasoned R&B drummer in the Dew Drop Inn tradition, a club that had its heyday in New Orleans in the '50s and '60s. Gardner went out on the circuit to play for R&B legends such as Ray Charles, Lou Rawls and Sam Cooke.

The Figs

11:15 a.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

This new all-female sextet from Lafayette combines country, roots rock and a bit of swing. The women have a string band — banjo, ukulele, guitars — with a focus on harmony and humor in their performances.

Voices of Distinction

11:15 a.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This is an all-female family group that sings traditional gospel. Their performance is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping journey into old-time religion. The group's latest album is What You Gonna Do.

Susan Cowsill Band

11:20 a.m., Acura Stage

Cowsill is an original folk voice, singing rock, roots-pop and New Orleans rhythms. She started in music at age 8 with her family, the Cowsills, a pop '60s group ("We Can Fly"), moving on to play with roots-rock group the Continental Drifters. The Cowsill Band's latest album is Just Believe It.

Delgado Community College Jazz Ensemble

11:20 a.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Peter Cho directs students from Delgado's jazz ensemble.

Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective

11:30 a.m., Gentilly Stage

Preserving African and African-American culture since 1980, Kumbuka boasts 15 members ranging in age from 9 to 55. The collective, based in New Orleans, performs African dance and song in a lively, energetic set. Members have studied African dance in Ghana, Guinea and Senegal.

Zion Trinity

11:30 a.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

The Trinity is reggae harmony performed by a trio of women, backed by the International Band. Their repertoire includes African ritual chanting in the Yoruba tradition, blues and jazz. Zion's sound is a treat for the spirit. The group released the album Eyes on Zion in 2003.

Semolian Warriors Mardi Gras Indians

11:30 a.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

A former member of the Creole Wild West, Big Chief James "Yam" Harris charges straight ahead with his warriors, who mask in the traditional Uptown costume style of beads and rhinestones on canvas panels.

Jonno Frishberg & Bayou DeVille

11:30 a.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

Jonno plays psychedelic rock fiddle and accordion, delivering Cajun dance music. He is also a classically trained violinist that has performed at the White House. Jonno and the band are regulars in dance halls around Louisiana and clubs in New Orleans. Their latest album is South to Louisiana.

Gregg Martinez

Noon, AIG Gospel Tent

Martinez's repertoire is filled with praise and worship songs after a lengthy career singing blue-eyed soul on the nightclub circuit. He's a born-again Christian and blends gospel with a touch of R&B reminiscent of Al Green. His latest album is Big Bad Daddy.

J. Monque'D Blues Band

12:20 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Monque'D is a recognized personality on the New Orleans blues scene, singing and playing harmonica in the tradition of T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker. A fan favorite is his version of "Butter Churning Man." His latest album is Chitlin Eatin' Music.

Joe Hall

12:20 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Hall is a new Creole accordionist in the tradition of Freeman Fontenot. Hall performs Creole accordion-based songs such as "La Femme des Autres" and "Fais-do-do Bébé," plus "King Ned's One-Step," created by his grandfather Clement Ned. Hall and the Louisiana Cane Cutters' latest album is Good Times, Good Music.

Amina Figarova Sextet

12:25 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Figarova and her combo incorporate American R&B and Latin sounds into their contemporary jazz repertoire. Figarova is a classically trained pianist, composer and arranger who also collaborated with New Orleans jazz duo Kim Prevost and Bill Solley. Her latest album is September Suite.

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band

12:25 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Trumpeter Jimmy LaRocca maintains the band founded by his father Nick in 1917. The current sextet plays traditional jazz standards such as "Bourbon Street Parade," "Tiger Rag" and "Dixie Jazz Band One-Step." The band was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.

Kim Carson & the Casualties

12:30 p.m., Acura Stage

It's called "tonkabilly," a blue-collar mix of country, rockabilly and honky-tonk music. Carson, a self-described "honky-tonk girl," plays guitar and harmonica with fearless abandon. Carson and her band recorded a new live album in Germany and will release it in summer 2008.

Real Untouchables Brass Band

12:40 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

The Real Untouchables play a mix of traditional and contemporary brass band music.

Vivaz!

12:45 p.m., Gentilly Stage

It's a Latin dance party when this nine-member band starts to play. Few can keep their seats after hearing salsa, Caribbean sounds and a host of Latin rhythms. Led by Javier Gutierrez on the Cuban tres guitar, Vivaz! takes their audience on a moveable feast of sound. Their most recent album is Latin Caravan.

OTRA

12:45 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

This sextet is a pure exclamation of Latin sound, power and movement led by bassist Sam Price. OTRA's creative, driving set that focuses on danceable Afro-Cuban jazz will get most bodies moving. Its latest album is Toda Pa'la Gente.

Reverend Mark and the Gospel Stars

12:50 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Traditional gospel with soaring harmonies and spirit-lifting energy is the purview of this septet. A repertoire favorite is "Lord, I Thank You." The group's latest album is God is Good All the Time.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PINK

Barbara Lynn

1:30 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Lynn is a vocalist and guitarist known as the "Empress of Gulf Coast Soul." Her 1960s R&B songs included the No. 1 hit "You'll Lose A Good Thing" and "Until Then I'll Suffer." Lynn won a Pioneer Award in 1999 from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

Andrew Hall's Society Brass Band

1:35 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

British émigré and drummer Andrew Hall leads his traditionally oriented brass band.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

The Zydepunks

1:35 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Talk about a multicultural music stew: this quintet is a self-described Cajun/Irish/Jewish/punk band. The band stirs up a frenetic folk-punk dance while singing in German, French, Spanish, Yiddish, Portuguese and English. The group is at work in the studio preparing a new release.

Paky Saavedra's Bandido

1:35 p.m., Allison Miner

Traditional Latin dance music is the hallmark of this veteran group. Saavedra, a singer, bassist and bandleader, delivers salsa, cumbia and a host of Latin rhythms. This group has been performaning for more than 30 years.

Rosalie "Lady Tambourine" Washington

1:40 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Washinton is a distinctive fixture on the local gospel and R&B scene, pounding out gritty rhythms on a tambourine. She honed her frenetic skills with a variety of gospel singers and choirs inside the Gospel Tent at Jazz Fest, and has been featured in commercials and at music festivals.

Theresa Andersson Group

1:45 p.m., Acura Stage

Andersson is a popular violinist, guitarist and singer/songwriter who takes every music genre from rock to country to bluegrass and infuses it with a New Orleans sensibility. Andersson, a favorite on the club circuit, is in the studio working on a new release.

The James Rivers Movement

1:50 p.m. WWOZ Jazz Tent

Rivers is a New Orleans treasure, with an unparalleled musical memory of R&B and jazz. He is best known as a saxophonist, but plays a host of instruments on the master level, including bagpipes. His artistry can be heard on New Orleans classics "Barefootin'" (Robert Parker) and "Carnival Time" (Al Johnson).

Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians

1:50 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Big Chief Walter Cook leads the oldest documented Mardi Gras Indian tribe.

The Iguanas

2:05 p.m., Gentilly Stage

This beloved New Orleans band was one of the first in the area to blend garage rock with Latin/Caribbean rhythms. Its dance-oriented repertoire goes the extra mile to ensure a good time. The group is in the studio finishing a new album.

Big Sam's Funky Nation

2:15 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Sam Williams has laid the groundwork for a neo-swing groove in brass band music. Playing the trombone as its own rhythm section, Big Sam and his jazz-trained band meld hip-hop, funk, jazz riffs and old-school R&B into a swift-moving dance party. His new album is Peace, Love & Understanding.

Mount Hermon Baptist Church Praise Delegation Choir

2:30 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This 45-member ensemble blends contemporary and traditional gospel with R&B. Led by Pastor Elder, the choir offers a distinctive take on "Lord, You've Been So Good" by fusing gospel with Chaka Khan's and Rufus' '70s R&B hit "Tell Me Something Good."

Jamil Sharif's New Orleans Jazz Professors

2:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Sharif is a second-generation trumpeter and bandleader. The band's repertoire features traditional New Orleans jazz and swing from the Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson songbooks. Sharif is joined by pianist Larry Sieberth, bassist Dewey Sampson, drummer Stanley Joseph, saxophonists Kelvin Harrison and Earl Bonie and trombonist Stephen Walker.

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers

2:50 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

The Hellraisers play a frenetic, accordion-driven set that hits listeners hard with a mix of zydeco, R&B and rock until everyone is dancing. Dopsie works his accordion through R&B classics and zydeco hits. Dopsie's father, the late Alton Rubin (Rockin' Dopsie), and his brother, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., have created a legacy in zydeco. His new album is The Traveling Man.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Doyle Bramhall with C.C. Adcock and the Lafayette Marquis

2:55 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Vocalist Bramhall will share the stage with guitarist Adcock to explore swamp blues-rock. This new project will meld two distinct styles into a one-lane Louisiana music highway. Bramhall's new album is Is It News, and Adcock recently released a self-titled album with the Lafayette Marquis.

Leah Chase

3:05 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Jazz chanteuse Chase plans to offer a swinging mix of Brazilian sambas, jazz standards, blues ballads and a brief tribute to Billie Holiday in this set. With a sly laugh, Chase says that she will give some advice to single women with a special selection, "Million Dollar Secret."

Bamboula 2000

3:05 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

African culture is at the forefront of this New Orleans ensemble. Led by master drummer Luther Gray, a troupe of dancers, singers and musicians perform a fusion of African rhythms and New Orleans funk. Bamboula will introduce several original pieces with new choreography during its set.

McDonogh No. 35 High School Gospel Choir

3:20 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This choir takes contemporary gospel and some traditional hymns, then turns up the heat with youthful fervor. The result is a spirited set that is innovative yet respectful of the genre.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Robert Plant and Alison Kraus feat. T-Bone Burnett

3:30 p.m., Acura Stage

This duo joins forces to blend their rock-folk talents into a driving, harmonious sound. Their seminal hit and video, "Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved on)" earned Plant and Krauss a CMT award nomination for Best Video. Their latest album, Raising Sand was produced by fellow band member T-Bone Burnett.

Anders Osborne

3:35 p.m., Gentilly Stage

Swedish émigré Osborne and his guitar adopted Louisiana blues and R&B, taking it on a free-for-all music journey. A songwriter by trade, he has won Grammys for work recorded by Dr. John, Keb Mo', and others. His latest album, Coming Down, features blues with folk overtones, a tribute to his Nordic heritage.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Leo's "Rare Funk Gathering" feat. Leo Nocentelli, Bernie Worell, Doug Wimbish and Will Calhoun

3:45 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Nocentelli, one of the originators of New Orleans syncopated funk during his '70s tenure with The Meters (and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner), joins funk forces with keyboardist Bernie Worrell (formerly of Parliament/Funkadelic), bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Will Calhoun (Living Colour). This quartet can be expected to plumb the depths of R&B and classic funk.

Twangorama

3:45 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

It's a guitar summit, featuring the rock mastery of Jimmy Robinson, Cranston Clements, Phil DeGruy and Mark Whitaker. Twangorama meshes slightly disparate styles from its Woodenhead days into a harmonious fabric that rolls out the best of New Orleans club rock. The group has just released a self-titled album.

Ellis Marsalis

4:15 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

He is a world-renowned pianist and patriarch of New Orleans modern jazz. Marsalis' elegant sound was honed with jazz masters such as Ornette Coleman and in clubs throughout the world. Marsalis' new solo album is An Open Letter to Thelonious, and a just-released album with trumpeter Irvin Mayfield is titled Love Songs, Ballads and Standards.

Kustbandet of Sweden

4:15 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Known as the "singing Swedes," this 12-member troupe plays traditional jazz reminiscent of New Orleans' Storyville section or Prohibition-era Chicago. Kustbandet's members have been performing for more than 40 years, with some engaging in solo careers. Their latest album is Blue Rhythm Fantasy.

Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band

4:15 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

His signature Cajun sound is known throughout Louisiana. Daigrepont switches between the accordion and fiddle to tell stories through original songs and classics such as the "Marksville Two-Step" and "La Valse de la Rivere Rouge (Red River Waltz). His latest album is Stir Up the Roux.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Tab Benoit

4:20 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Guitarist Benoit plays the blues and Louisiana R&B. The Houma native won two Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy Award) in 2007 and is a dedicated activist to save Louisiana wetlands. His album Power of the Pontchartrain is a blues ode to Louisiana and the environment.

Rudy's Caribbean Funk

4:30 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

This reggae band, led by Rudy Mills, also offers West Indian rhythms with a strong vocal component. The group studies various Caribbean cultures for music licks to weave into its repertoire.

Paul Porter of the Legendary Christianaires

4:40 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Porter is taking a solo turn after 26 years with the gospel quartet. His guitar and vocal offerings have joyfully "wrecked" churches throughout the country. Look for a charged, praise-worthy set and an extended version of his favorite hymn, "You've Been so Good."

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Ozomatli feat. Chali 2na of Jurassic 5

5:25 p.m., Gentilly Stage

This group mixes Latin music with rock and hip-hop for fun cultural fusion. After tinkering with its sound and touring for 12 years, Ozomatli has settled on a hard-driving Latin-funk repertoire. Joining the band is Chali 2na (Charlie Stewart), a deep-voiced rapper who was the former MC for Jurassic 5.

Sheryl Crow

5:30 p.m., Acura Stage

Multi-Grammy Award winner Crow belts out pop/rock anthems that traverse the music spectrum. With hot guitar licks and on-point lyrics, Crow bounces between folk, pop and rock. A new release, Detours, includes a cut with her take on post-Katrina New Orleans.

Burning Spear

5:40 p.m., Congo

A legend in Jamaican roots reggae, Winston Rodney shares music soaked in activism with a dose of laid-back island vibe to make the message go down easy. Burning Spear has remained true to the genre with strong lyrics and a pure reggae sound. Its latest album is Our Music.

Lizz Wright

5:45 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Her distinctive gospel-honed contralto gives an air of sophistication to jazz and pop standards. Wright uses unique arrangements to deliver a fresh, yet intimate sound within the jazz genre. Her new album, The Orchard, offers original material in her signature cool style.

Banu Gibson feat. The Palm Springs Yacht Club

5:45 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

She has a vocal style reminiscent of the salad days in the 1920s and 1930s, reinventing obscure songs and traditional jazz standards. Gibson is joined by the Palm Springs Yacht Club, a quartet known for its peppy, four-part jazz harmonies.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Terrance Simien & the Cajun Experience

5:45 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Simien, a Grammy Award winner in the new zydeco category, grabs his audience by the throat, then shakes, rattles and rolls until they're completely wrecked and happy. The "wild man" squeezes his accordion, delivering high-wattage zydeco in Creole roadhouse style to his fans, known as "Beadheads." His new album is Live! Worldwide.

Buckwheat Zydeco

5:50 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Mixing zydeco and Southern soul, Buckwheat (aka Stanley Dural Jr.) rolls out the Louisiana music carpet on the accordion, inviting a quick two-step or line dance. It's a treat when Buck sits down behind a Hammond B-3 organ and pumps out some blues. Listen for "Zydeco Boogaloo" and "Make A Change" during his rollicking set.

MOOV of Martinique

5:55 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

This all-female, 30-member band will showcase the Caribbean version of Carnival. Moov delivers pulsating, hypnotic rhythms accompanied by the full spectacle of vibrant costumes. It is the group's first appearance in the United States.

Franklin Avenue Baptist Choir

5:55 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This renowned aggregate finally returned to its original church home this month after a lengthy post-Katrina exile while the flood-damaged sanctuary was being renovated. Expect a rousing, tearful, spirit-stirring set of contemporary gospel as some members return to Jazz Fest and the city for the first time in three years.

Bonsoir, Catin

5:55 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

It's estrogen-fueled Cajun music, sassy and free-wheeling. This female quartet featuring Christine Balfa Powell (daughter of Cajun legend Dewey Balfa) plays traditional Cajun songs from the 1930s and 1940s, developed after studying field recordings of obscure artists. The group's latest album is Blues á Catin.

Saturday, April 26

Parades

12:15 p.m. — The Wild Mohicans and the Red, White and Blue Mardi Gras Indians

1:15 p.m. — Single Men and Nine Times Ladies social aid and pleasure clubs with Mahogany Brass Band

1:30 p.m. — In Economy Hall Tent — Lady Jetsetters Social Aid and Pleasure Club

2:15 p.m. — Chief Iron Horse & Black Seminoles and Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indians

3:45 p.m. — Divine Ladies and Dumaine Gang social aid and pleasure clubs with New Birth Brass Band

Native American Pow Wow

12:30 p.m., 3:25 p.m. & 5:10 p.m. — Native Nations Intertribal

Unstoppable Gospel Creators

11 a.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This eight-member group from Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Harvey has been singing praise songs for 23 years. It offers contemporary gospel with a healthy dose of old-time religion. Its signature song is the rousing "If You're a Friend of Jesus."

Connie Jones' Crescent City Jazz Band

11:15 a.m., Economy Hall Tent

This respected seven-member troupe plays pure Dixieland with strong New Orleans swing. Its signature tune is a take on the Hoagy Carmichael/Louis Armstrong classic "Swing That Music." Look for legendary jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain to join the set for a few numbers.

Sonny Bourg & the Bayou Blues Band

11:15 a.m., Acura Stage

It's pure swamp pop with a healthy dose of the blues from Bourg and his band. He's a drummer from Lafayette who encourages the band to explore rock, R&B and Cajun music in its repertoire.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Big Blue Marble

11:20 a.m., Gentilly Stage

This rock band wades into the "wall of sound" made famous during the mid-1960s and retools it for a new generation. Marble's ornate, layered repertoire features strings and a lap steel guitar. Its signature song is "This is Not Boston, This is LA," a post-Katrina anthem.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Berklee College of Music Jazz Ensemble

11:25 a.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Students from Boston's prestigious music college will perform standards and compositions by its pianist Michael Palma. The band is directed by Bill Pierce, a saxophonist and former member of Art Blakey's band.

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians

11:25 a.m. Jazz & Heritage Stage

Big Chief Iron Horse (Cyril Green) lives downtown, but he and his tribe dress in Uptown Mardi Gras Indian style.

Rockie Charles and Stax of Love

11:30 a.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Guitarist Charles led his first band, the Gauges at 18, and left New Orleans to back soul masters O.V. Wright, Percy Sledge and Otis Redding. Rockie stopped performing to become a tugboat captain for many years. Charles returned to music in 1996 with a comeback album, Born For You.

Jeremy & the Zydeco Hot Boyz

11:30 a.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

It's nouveau-swing zydeco with this fresh band from Basile, La. Jeremy began playing the accordion with cousin Geno Delafose at age 13. The Hot Boyz perform original work ("Basile Two Step") while remembering their heritage with a tribute to Jeremy's uncle John Delafose through "Joe Pete a Deux Femmes."

Tribute to Camille Hardy

11:30 a.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Camille Butler Hardy was a longtime stage manager of the Gospel Tent. She died in December. Bishop Ryan Warner, Jo "Cool" Davis, Leon Vaughn and members of different gospel groups will sing in this memorial tribute.

NOCCA Jazz Ensemble

11:30 a.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

This gathering of young musicians from the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts offers both modern and contemporary jazz with an eye toward the classics.

Worship Squad

11:55 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

The Original Last Straws

12:20 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Celebrating 50 years of swinging, the Straws play free-wheeling traditional jazz. This eight-member band — with a couple of musicians in their 80s — played for Fidel Castro in Havana 49 years ago. Listen for their signature number, "Time Marches On."

Wayne Toups & Zydecajun

12:25 p.m., Acura Stage

If you need a two-step or Cajun waltz fix, grab a partner and catch Toups' set. He blends zydeco, Cajun and rock ("zydecajun") for a rollicking swamp music hybrid. Listen for his classic, "Two Step Mamou."

The Imagination Movers

12:35 p.m. Gentilly Stage

The popular foursome — Rich, Dave, Scott and Smitty — engage the younger set and their parents with an interactive show that offers games and kid-friendly songs. Their fans are known as "Gearheads." The Movers' brand-new album is Juice Box Heroes.

Riccardo Crespo y Sol Brasil

12:35 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Crespo is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player in the Brazilian tradition. He often sings in Portuguese and performs original material and songs by Joao Gilberto and Tom Jobim.

Carol Fran

12:45 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

She's a soul songstress that delivers solid jump blues and R&B with such hits as "Emmitt Lee" and "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." Fran has backed Slim Harpo and Lazy Lester, going on to become the featured vocalist with Guitar Slim and Joe Tex.

The Johnson Extension

12:45 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Jermaine Landrum leads this family gospel group.

PJ Morton Band

12:50 p.m., Congo

Morton melds alternative soul, rock, pop and gospel into a distinctive cross-genre sound. He is also a writer/producer who has won Grammys for his work with Fred Hammond, India.Arie and Jagged Edge. His new album is Perfect Song.

Germaine Bazzle

12:50 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

She is the "First Lady of New Orleans Jazz," bending notes, imitating instruments, and scatting through jazz standards with grace and style. Bazzle is also a music educator, teaching young women at Xavier Preparatory High School in Uptown New Orleans.

Hadley J. Castille & the Sharecroppers Band

12:55 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

It's a family affair when Castille plays authentic Cajun fiddle music from the early 20th century. The band performs a treasure trove of two-steps and old-time waltzes to keep the ancestral memory alive. His latest album is Refrait: Volume 1.

Po' Henry and Tookie

1:20 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

A guitar-harmonica duo from Rayville, La., dedicated to old-time Delta blues, Henry Dorsey plays guitar and Tookie Collum plays harmonica to replicate the call-and-response field hollers used by sharecroppers and cotton-field workers. They have been performing together since 1986.

Gregg Stafford's Young Tuxedo Jazz Band

1:30 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

This venerable troupe has maintained the tradition of New Orleans brass music since 1910. Some of New Orleans' most beloved musicians, such as trumpeter Gregg Stafford and clarinetist Dr. Michael White, have worn the signature hats heralding their membership.

The Electrifying Crown Seekers

1:35 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This quartet stays with traditional spirituals in their praise, but are truly a "joyful noise" troupe. A driving Holy Ghost rhythm lights a fire within the group and their fervor is quickly absorbed by the audience. It is "old-time religion" at its soul-stirring best.

Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

1:40 p.m., Acura Stage

Pianist and vocalist Cleary plays New Orleans R&B, southern funk with a touch of gospel. The Gents lay down soul grooves to support Cleary's keyboard action. His latest album is Mo Hippa Live.

Mahogany Brass Band

1:50 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

One of New Orleans' most recently formed troupes, Mahogany plays traditional jazz, respecting the work of the Crescent City's jazz masters. Led by trumpeter Brice Miller, this band pays tribute to Mardi Gras Indians and other cultural touchstones.

The Benjy Davis Project

2:05 p.m., Gentilly Stage

This six-member band takes rock and serves it on a platter spiced with swamp rhythms and R&B flavors. Davis fills his set with original compositions that have distinctive riffs and sounds. The group's latest album is Dust.

Big Jay McNeely with Jesse Scinto

2:05 p.m., SCBS

A veteran saxophonist from the R&B heyday in the 1950s, McNeely plays in a "honking" style, using the upper registers of his instrument. He was known for his acrobatic dance moves, and was one of the first sax men to play while lying on his back. His hits include "The Deacon's Hop," "Wild Wig" and "There's Something On Your Mind."

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

"Turbinton's House" Tribute to Willie Tee and Earl Turbinton

2:15 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

A host of New Orleans' finest musicians will meld their talent to honor the late Turbinton brothers, both of whom passed away in 2007. The tribute features percussionist Uganda Roberts, saxophonist Donald Harrison, guitarist Detroit Brooks, bassist George French, Rickey Sebastian, Greg Dawson, and Astral Project's Steve Masakowski and Jim Singleton.

Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters

2:20 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Washington is New Orleans' elder statesman of the blues, strumming out funky licks to accompany his smoky vocals. His live shows are a mix of Crescent City funk and barrelhouse blues. Washington has backed such New Orleans R&B legends as Lee Dorsey, Irma Thomas and Johnny Adams.

Eddie Bo

2:25 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

One of New Orleans' most prolific R&B men, Eddie Bo released more singles than anyone except Fats Domino. Although influenced by classical piano, he played jazz and funky R&B. He was known for the song "Check Mr. Popeye." Bo worked with many of New Orleans R&B legends and wrote hit songs for Etta James and Tommy Ridgely.

Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers

2:25 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Tyronne Foster leads this large mass choir based out of New Orleans' St. Joan of Arc church. The group sings traditional and contemporary gospel.

Tricia "Teedy" Boutté & the Ytre Sol¿ens Jazz Band of Norway

2:45 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Teedy has been raised and steeped in various forms of New Orleans music. She can perform everything from R&B to gospel to Caribbean music. Boutté will lift her voice as she is backed by this respected Norwegian band in a set of traditional jazz standards.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Big Chief Peppy and the Golden Arrows Mardi Gras Indians

3:10 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

The Mardi Gras Indian culture runs through Big Chief Peppy's (Esteban Eugene) veins — his uncle was the late Big Chief Robert "Robbe" Lee, co-founder of the White Eagles.

Dr. John

3:20 p.m., Acura Stage

Mac Rebennack, aka "The Night Tripper," is a singer, songwriter and pianist in Louisiana's mystical "swamp boogie" tradition. He plays blues, R&B and boogie-woogie with a nod to his New Orleans heritage. Dr. John's number-one hit "Right Place, Wrong Time" (1973) put him on the music industry map. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008. His new release is All By Hisself.

The Davell Crawford Singers

3:25 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Crawford has a New Orleans music bloodline that has carried the best of local music. Crawford, known as the Piano Prince of New Orleans, can play everything from traditional jazz and R&B to funk. The respected pianist reaches back to his roots and gathers his singers for a special spirited gospel performance.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Bobby Lounge

3:25 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

A native of Mali, Mamadou Diabaté performs in the West African style of hereditary musicians or jeliya. Diabaté's medium is the "kora," a calabash gourd-based harp, from which he plucks ancient and modern melodies with a silky lilt uncommon to any other instrument in the world.

Jeffery Broussard & the Creole Cowboys

2:20 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Named Accordionist of the Year in 2007 by the Zydeco Music and Creole Heritage Awards, Broussard and his Cowboys have been, as the title of their recent album suggests, Keeping the Tradition Alive. Broussard performs with D'Jalma Garnier III, a noted Cajun fiddler in the style of Canray Fontenot.

Wilberforce University Choir

2:25 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This Ohio college choir recently recorded a stirring version of "Amazing Grace" with Christian singer Chris Tomlin for a film based on the life of their school's namesake, abolitionist William Wilberforce.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

This reclusive singer offers a peculiar mix of barrelhouse blues and rock 'n' roll reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. His songs are often biting indictments of people and society. Lounge usually performs with a nurse and an iron lung onstage. His latest album is Bobby's Back In Town.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

James Cotton

3:30 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

He is known as "Superharp" for his unparalleled harmonica skills honed during 64 years on the club circuit. Cotton followed in the steps of Sonny Boy Williamson, eventually taking over his band. Cotton went on to play for Muddy Waters before winning his own Grammy in 1996. His latest album is Breakin' It Up & Breakin' It Down with Waters and Johnny Winter.

Cowboy Mouth

3:35 p.m., Gentilly Stage

The group has been on the New Orleans rock scene for 15 years, delivering a relentless, high-energy performance. The quartet — with drummer Fred LeBlanc at the helm, Vance DeGeneres, Regina Zernay and John Thomas Griffin — brings a whole new envelope to be pushed during a show. It's newest album is Voodoo Shoppe.

Astral Project

3:40 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

This respected quintet celebrates 30 years of jazz melodies that have inspired audiences throughout the world. Johnny Vidacovich, James Singleton, Steve Masakowski and Tony Dagradi have remained solid purveyors of New Orleans contemporary jazz. Its new release is Live in New Orleans.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Cupid

3:50 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Expect a massive, pulsing line dance as Cupid brings his cultural sensation to Congo Square. The fun and simple "Cupid Shuffle" has spread from Louisiana throughout the country ("—now walk it by yourself—"), and is trotted regularly at wedding receptions and family gatherings. Perhaps some dedicated fans will cheer for the rest of the set.

Warren Storm, Willie Tee and the Cypress Band

3:55 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

It's pure swamp pop, mixing rock 'n' roll with Louisiana Cajun country rhythms. Storm lays out the vocals with saxophonist Willie T as the seven-member band pumps out a fast-paced set. The group only slows it down to deliver their signature ballad, "Go On and Cry."

Tribute to George Lewis feat. Dr. Michael White, Tommy Sancton, Sammy Rimington

4:10 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

Three top clarinetists pay tribute to one of New Orleans' legends. Dr. Michael White was inspired by Lewis. Sanction wrote a book about Lewis and New Orleans jazz. Rimington is one of Europe's top players of New Orleans-style jazz.

NewBirth Brass Band

4:25 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

This troupe delivers a combustible mix of New Orleans jazz, brass funk, hip-hop and Mardi Gras Indian chants. Their rousing performances elicit a steady stream of second-line dancing that drives the cultural pulse of the Crescent City.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Trin-I-Tee 5:7

4:40 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Angel Taylor, Chanelle Hayes and Adrian Anderson formed a contemporary gospel trio with a look more akin to TLC or Destiny's Child in 1998. Through a series of albums the group has found crossover appeal and climbed both gospel and Billboard charts. The group's most recent release is 2007's T57.

DJ Bomshell

5 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

She's a hot new DJ on the New Orleans club scene, serving up a mix of hip-hop, New Orleans bounce, party underground and old-school R&B.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

The Ponderosa Stomp Revue feat. Tammy Lynn, Archie Bell, Roy Head, Chick Willis and Dennis Binder

5 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

It will be a step back in time with these four R&B musicians that influenced the genre in the 1950s and 1960s. Vocalists Tammy Lynn ("I Know"), Archie Bell ("Tighten Up" — a hit with The Drells), Roy Head ("Treat Her Right" — a blue-eyed soul hit with The Traits) and Dennis Binder, who recorded with Ike Turner, will each take the stage and share their unique sounds.

Billy Joel

5:10 p.m., Acura Stage

He's a multi-Grammy Award winner with a trove of rock-pop mega-hits — "Piano Man," "Only the Good Die Young" and "Just the Way You Are." Joel has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He is set to release a comprehensive boxed set The Stranger — 30th Anniversary Edition. This is Joel's first Jazz Fest appearance.

The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra dir. by Bill Hughes, feat. Patti Austin

5:25 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Led by Bill Hughes, the orchestra continues the legacy of pianist and bandleader Basie with jazz classics such as "One O'Clock Jump." Vocalist Austin will wrap her lustrous voice around Basie hits and jazz standards. She won a Grammy in 2008 for Best Jazz Vocal "Avant Gershwin."

O.A.R.

5:30 p.m., Gentilly Stage

The six-member band — acronym for Of A Revolution — used word of mouth on the college circuit to market themselves as an alternative jam band. Songs such as "City on Down," "Night Shift" and "Heard the World" have cemented their stature in the rock realm. Its new CD/DVD is Live at Madison Square Garden.

Keyshia Cole

5:35 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

R&B songstress Cole has a powerful voice filled with spunk and sweetness. She topped the charts with her platinum debut, The Way It Is. Cole has already stepped into TV with her own reality show. Her new album is Just Like You.

Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys

5:40 Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Ledet delivers a sultry set of zydeco, singing in English and Creole French, as she squeezes out music on a button accordion. Known as the "Zydeco Sweetheart," she is one of only a few female accordionists in the genre. Rosie's double-entendre songs, such as "My Joy Box" and "I'm Gonna Take Care Of Your Dog," are big hits wherever she goes. Ledet's new album is Pick It Up.

Harlem Blues and Jazz Band with special guest Gunhild Carling

5:45 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

The troupe was founded in 1973 to maintain the traditions of the classic jazz period. Several early band members had once played with Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. The band's special guest is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Gunhild Carling, who can play trombone, harmonica, bagpipes and three trumpets at once.

First Emmanuel Baptist Church Mass Choir

5:50 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

This is a 65-member ensemble from a historic Garden District church that offers praise and worship songs. The choir blends contemporary gospel with foot-stomping traditional hymns. The group's church was featured in a post-Katrina renovation on ABC-TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Paul Sanchez and the Rolling Road Show

5:55 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

Sanchez (aka Poppy) embarks on a solo career with original music that pays tribute to life in New Orleans. After a stint with Michelle Shocked, Sanchez returned to the city to form the rock band Cowboy Mouth. He continued writing songs, including "At the Foot of Canal Street" with John Boutté. Sanchez's new album is Exit to Mystery Street.

101 Runners

6 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

This is a new band on the Mardi Gras Indian scene, featuring vocals by the indomitable Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and percussionist Alfred "Uganda" Roberts.

Sunday, April 27

Parades

1 p.m. — Cherokee Hunters and Ninth Ward Navajo Mardi Gras Indians

2 p.m. — First Division, New Look and Olympia social aid and pleasure clubs with Paulin Brothers Brass Band

3 p.m. — Carrollton Hunters and Flaming Arrows Mardi Gras Indians

4 p.m. — Furious Five, Big Steppers and Untouchables social aid and pleasure clubs with Hot 8 Brass Band

Native American Pow Wow

12:30 p.m., 1:55 p.m. & 3:20 p.m. — Native Nations Intertribal

UNO Jazz All-Stars

11:10 a.m., Gentilly Stage

The jazz ensemble of the University of New Orleans comes from one of the city's top jazz studies programs.

Jo "Cool" Davis

11:10 a.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Gospel great Davis underwent a leg amputation surgery in 2006 and still managed to perform at Jazz Fest just a few weeks later. He returns this year to uphold his reputation as the pride of New Orleans' Central City neighborhood with the original vocal stylings that has gained him a loyal local following.

Michael Ward

11:15 a.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

When he was in college, a friend suggested that Michael Ward give up playing the violin and take up jazz guitar. But he stuck with the less popular instrument and has since released three albums of acclaimed contemporary jazz featuring his silky smooth amplified violin sound.

Gal Holiday & the Honky Tonk Revue

11:20 a.m., Acura Stage

Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue revive classic country and the western swing of Bob Wills. It's a retro mix of Hank Sr., Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline in shiny new duds.

Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band

11:20 a.m., Economy Hall Tent

On July 17, trumpeter Lionel Ferbos will mark his 97th birthday and 75 years playing music in the Crescent City. A former member of the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, Ferbos is a regular on the festival scene and traditional jazz venues like the Palm Court Jazz Cafe.

Paulin Brothers Brass Band

11:25 a.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

The Paulin Brothers learned jazz and brass band music from their father Ernest "Doc" Paulin, a bandleader for seven decades. The brothers maintain traditional brass band sounds and the classic brass band uniform.

Percussion Inc.

11:30 a.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

This band explores the links of African and Caribbean music.

Little Freddie King Blues Band

11:30 a.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Mississippi native Freddie King started off playing gigs with John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley, and is now considered a blues legend in his own right. King is currently a master musician in residence at the Ninth Ward Musician's Village, where he continues to provide creative support to New Orleans' historic musical culture.

Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express

11:30 a.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Willis Prudhomme's most recent album is Living Legend, and the name is appropriate. Born in 1931, Prudhomme didn't start playing zydeco until his late thirties but quickly made a name for himself as a major musical presence in addition to the canny sense of humor audible in many of his lyrics.

Egg Yolk Jubilee

11:30 a.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

Featuring a rotating ensemble of local musicians, Egg Yolk plays an innovative take on traditional New Orleans brass band music with original vocals and influences ranging from swing to ska. The band just released the album Labor of Lunch.

Shades of Praise

11:55 a.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Founded in 2000 by a local jazz singer and a theologian, the New Orleans Interracial Gospel Choir was decimated by Hurricane Katrina, when many of its members sought refuge outside their flooded neighborhoods. Recently reformed with the majority of its singing talent, Shades of Praise stages a triumphant return to Jazz Fest.

David Egan

12:15 p.m., Gentilly Stage

A respected Cajun and blues musician in his own right, Egan's songs have also been performed by the likes of Solomon Burke and Joe Cocker. His 2003 solo debut album Twenty Years of Trouble features emotive lyrics and bouncy New Orleans-style piano grooves.

Jeremy Davenport

12:25 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

After meeting Wynton Marsalis while in eighth grade, fellow trumpet player Davenport moved to New Orleans to study with jazz legend Ellis Marsalis, then enjoyed a stint playing with Harry Connick Jr. A consummate performer, Davenport plays big band and modern jazz.

Tim Laughlin

12:30 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

A New Orleans native, Laughlin's clarinet playing has been lauded for its dynamism and adherence to the classic Dixieland sound, while in recent years he has contributed original compositions with a contemporary jazz backing band to his recordings and concert performances.

Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians

12:30 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Under the leadership of Big Chief Larry Bannock for more than three decades, this Mardi Gras Indian tribe is known for its master beadwork.

Zac Brown Band

12:40 p.m., Acura Stage

Brown's unique blend of country and southern rock has provided him with a more than ample following in the southeastern U.S. His crossover, yet down-home style featuring fiddle accompaniment has made this Atlanta native a sure bet for original live performances.

Craig Adams Higher Dimensions of Praise

12:40 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Since 2002 local gospel singer Minister Craig Adams has led his own ensemble.

Larry Garner with guest Henry Gray

12:55 p.m. Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Celebrated Baton Rouge bluesman Larry Garner has played the guitar since 1963. He is joined by the legendary pianist Henry Gray, who recorded and performed with Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and BB King among other blues greats.

Jambalaya Cajun Band

12:55 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Jambalaya's members include fiddler Terry Huval and Reggie Matte on accordion, both of whom take turns singing the band's repertoire that includes homages to traditional Cajun music and updated numbers for a new era of Louisiana roots music.

AsheSon

1 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Since 2006 AsheSon, composed of an array of versatile local musicians, has brought a taste of Cuban nueva trova and other Latin sounds to New Orleans audiences. Its infectious rhythms and lively performances paved the way for this group's return to Jazz Fest.

Paulette Wright and Volume of Praise

1:30 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Paulette Wright is a familiar face in the local gospel scene. On top of her position as host at the House of Blues' gospel brunch for seven years, she has received a Big Easy Entertainment Award for Best Gospel Singer and released an album dedicated to her musical idol and chief influence, Mahalia Jackson.

Rockin Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters

1:35 p.m., Gentilly Stage

One of Zydeco's most popular contemporary performers, Dopsie has been playing accordion since his legendary father placed one in his hands at the age of 9. The Zydeco Twisters' shows, with Dopsie on lead vocals and washboard, have achieved legendary status in southern Louisiana.

Jesse McBride presents the Next Generation

1:35 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Boldly proclaiming responsibility for the "second 50 years of New Orleans jazz," Jesse McBride and the Next Generation are at home in a mix of genres following the evolution from traditional New Orleans jazz to contemporary jazz as pioneered by musicians like Harold Battiste and Ellis Marsalis. McBride, a 28-year-old pianist, blends youthful brass and respect for tradition with an original style that could only have been bred in the Crescent City.

Patrice Fisher and Arpa feat. guests Angel Rios and Black Man Soul Garifuna of Honduras

1:35 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

Patrice Fisher's harp repertoire ranges from the music of her Irish roots to contemporary Latin American melodies. She performs with talented Honduran violinist Angel Rios, who has similar experience in blending different musical genres.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Shamarr Allen

1:40 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Shamarr Allen's 2007 release, Meet Me on Frenchmen Street, is a direct product of his experience playing in local brass bands and with jazz greats Branford Marsalis and Bob French. He is widely considered one of New Orleans' best young trumpet players and recently received a nomination as Best Emerging Artist at the 2008 Big Easy Music Awards.

Leroy Jones & New Orleans' Finest

1:50 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

New Orleans native Leroy Jones has been playing the trumpet for more than 40 years. He was a member of Danny Barker's Fairview Baptist Church band, later started his own brass band and has gone on to perform in venues like the Kennedy Center. Jones also played lead trumpet for Harry Connick Jr.'s big band. He now leads his own quintet.

Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars feat. Tab Benoit, Dr. John, Monk Boudreaux, George Porter Jr., Cyril Neville, Anders Osborne, Johnny Sansone, Johnny Vidacovich and Waylon Thibodeaux

2 p.m., Acura Stage

Featuring local legends Tab Benoit, Dr John, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Cyril Neville and Waylon Thibodeaux among others, this powerhouse ensemble of artists from various genres formed in 2005 before Hurricane Katrina and continues to perform popular regional music and educate audiences about the destruction of the Mississippi Delta's wetlands by erosion and storm damage.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PINK

The Throwback Jamm feat. Joe Blakk, UNLV, MC T. Tucker, Dolemite, BustDown and Cheeky Black

2:20 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

An array of New Orleans' most talented representatives of the city's integral Southern rap and Bounce scenes perform onstage in one of Jazz Fest's rare hip-hop sets.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Mamadou Diabate

2:20 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues TentRob Wagner and Hamid Drake

2:50 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

For years, saxophonist Rob Wagner has been a major presence in New Orleans' modern jazz and progressive funk scenes, blowing up a storm in Frenchmen Street and Uptown clubs. For a 2007 recording, his trio teamed up with esteemed Chicago drummer Hamid Drake to create a moody and moving contribution to contemporary improvised music.

Midnite Disturbers

2:55 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Featuring an array of musicians from well-known Crescent City brass and funk bands, this ensemble kicks it up a notch with its experimental takes on local music traditions. Members include Galactic's Stanton Moore, Kevin O'Day, sousaphonist Kirk Joesph, funky trombonist Big Sam Williams, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Mark Mullins of Bonerama and many others.

Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds

3:05 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

A fixture at places like Preservation Hall and leading his Jazz Hounds, Gregg Stafford blows a fresh wind of traditional jazz from his trumpet in the style of Louis Armstrong. He has toured in the U.S. and Europe and released several albums with notable ensembles.

The Davell Crawford R&B Orchestra

3:15 p.m., Gentilly Stage

Grandson of R&B legend James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, Davell Crawford has excelled on the keyboards in a number of genres from funk and jazz to R&B and gospel. Only 32 years old, Crawford has already earned comparisons to other New Orleans piano greats such as Professor Longhair and James Booker.

Dillard University's Vision Quest Chorale with guest Maurette Brown Clark

3:35 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Roland Jack leads Dillard University's Vision Quest program, providing students with spiritual guidance in addition to rousing them with song. The chorale will perform with special guest singer Maurette Brown Clark, a winner of multiple gospel awards including several Dove Awards.

Irma Thomas and the Professionals

3:40 p.m., Acura Stage

New Orleans' Queen of Soul received a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album (After the Rain) and has been inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Her golden-voiced soul performances have made her an annual favorite at Jazz Fest.

Roy Young

3:45 p.m. Southern Comfort Blues Tent

Born in Jamaica, Young is most well known in Europe and Israel, which he first visited in 1969. As part of a tour supporting his new album, Memphis, Young's Jazz Fest appearance will be his first ever U.S. live performance. His vocal style hearkens back to the '60s era of classic soul.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

New Orleans Klezmer All Stars

3:45 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

The All Stars' original take on traditional Eastern European Jewish dance music has earned them praise from New York to the Crescent City. Their performances include a regional feel with obvious funk influences and pounding New Orleans-style drum lines.

Calle 13

4 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 mix infectious reggaeton rhythms with salsa, tango, cumbia and other pan-Latin American genres on its three Grammy Award-winning albums. In the process, it has been credited with creating an "alternative reggaeton" sound featuring multi-layered lyrics and an poignant political consciousness.

The Del McCoury Band

4 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury hails from North Carolina but developed his guitar style in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia during the '60s. McCoury's sons Rob and Ronnie round out the ensemble on banjo and mandolin for a classic, tight bluegrass sound.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Nicholas Payton Quintet

4:05 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Grammy-winning trumpeter Payton hails from New Orleans and was initially encouraged into a music career by fellow local son, Wynton Marsalis. Payton has since popularized his unique neo-bop style on multiple albums and appearances with other renowned jazz artists.

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians

4:30 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

Boudreaux holds the title of Big Chief in the Mardi Gras Indian Tribe, the Golden Eagles. He and fellow Chief Bo Dollis were behind the music of the funk-heavy Wild Magnolias in the 1970s. Boudreaux is now a regular collaborator with projects like the Voice of the Wetlands.

Pete Fountain

4:35 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

A onetime member of Lawrence Welk's orchestra, founding member of local Mardi Gras group, The Half-Fast Walking Club, music club owner and a prolific recorder, Fountain has played an important role in New Orleans' music scene for a half-century. Fountain learned to play jazz on Bourbon Street but is known for his refined "swinging Dixie" style.

Byron Cage with guest Kim Burrell

4:40 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

Byron Cage's impassioned contemporary gospel performances have earned him the moniker, the King of Praise. Gospel singer Kim Burrell has appeared on recent record releases by Missy Elliott and R Kelly among others.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Elvis Costello with Allen Toussaint

4:55 p.m., Gentilly Stage

Toussaint, one of New Orleans' most famous R&B composer/musicians teams up with British pop singer Elvis Costello to reprise performances from their 2006 collaboration, The River in Reverse. Their duets feature Costello's stark, emotive singing over a background of New Orleans piano that is signature Toussaint.

Tim McGraw

5:30 p.m., Acura Stage

His chart-topping, genre-crossing hits have earned Shreveport native McGraw a reputation as one of the most popular country music singers in the nation. McGraw's Jazz Fest appearance occurs days before he kicks off his first solo U.S. tour in three years.

Delbert McClinton

5:30 p.m., Southern Comfort Blues Tent

McClinton's four decade-long blues career was rejuvenated in 2001 with his Grammy-winning release, Nothing Personal, and he has been faithfully recording and touring since then, performing his updated brand of classic Texas guitar-driven blues.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Al Green

5:45 p.m., Congo Square "My Louisiana" Stage

Whether performing soul or gospel, the Reverend Al Green has been drawing crowds from the 1970s to the present to hear his genre-defining hits, including the classic "Let's Stay Together." He continues to perform at the age of 62 and recently released Everything's OK on Blue Note Records.

Cassandra Wilson

5:45 p.m., WWOZ Jazz Tent

Wilson is undeniably one of select few, if not the most well known, talented female jazz/blues singers performing today. A native of Mississippi, her soaring voice has been featured on multiple solo albums and has earned her comparisons to Billie Holiday.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Hot 8 Brass Band

5:45 p.m., Jazz & Heritage Stage

New Orleans' own through thick and thin, the Hot 8 Brass Band recently returned to the Crescent City from a month-long European tour. The Hot 8 have been recognized for their post-Katrina championing of New Orleans, from a cameo in Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke to several New York appearances, all the while loyally performing at Sunday second lines and releasing its debut album last year.

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

5:55 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

BeauSoleil is one of the most important incarnations of southern Louisiana's Cajun cultural revitalization over the past half-century. Formed in 1975, this Grammy-winning ensemble has continuously performed locally and toured abroad to promote Cajun musical heritage. It's most recent album, Live In Louisiana, was released in 2006.

Nineveh Baptist Church Mass Choir

5:55 p.m., AIG Gospel Tent

The New Orleans suburb of Metairie is home to the Nineveh Baptist Church, whose choir under the direction of Minister of Music Hezekiah Brinson Jr., has earned popular acclaim as a gospel ensemble. The group recently released the album Worship.

Lars Edegran's New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra

6 p.m., Economy Hall Tent

A native of Sweden, Edegran moved to New Orleans in 1966 and has since performed traditional jazz for multiple generations on piano, guitar and banjo. He created his New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra when he discovered the work of pioneering bandleader John Robicheaux at Tulane University's Jazz Archives in 1967.

CRITICS PICK - CRITICS PICK

Mamadou Diabate

6:10 p.m., Allison Miner Music Heritage/ Lagniappe Stage

A native of Mali, Mamadou Diabaté performs in the West African style of hereditary musicians or jeliya. Diabaté's medium is the "kora," a calabash gourd-based harp, from which he plucks ancient and modern melodies with a silky lilt uncommon to any other instrument in the world.

Schedule subject to change.

A second-line parade winds through a music tent. - SCOTT SALTZMAN
Pete Fountain plays his brand of Swinging Dixie in the Economy Hall Tent (4:35 p.m. Sunday, April 27). - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Pete Fountain plays his brand of Swinging Dixie in the Economy Hall Tent (4:35 p.m. Sunday, April 27).
A Mardi Gras Indian parades at the Fair Grounds. - SCOTT SALTZMAN
Kids enjoy the hands-on activities at the Fair Grounds. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Kids enjoy the hands-on activities at the Fair Grounds.
The official 2008 New Orleans Jazz Festival Congo Square commemorative silk-screen poster portrait of Kermit Ruffins by Margaret Slade Kelleey is published by art4now inc. (888-art-4-now, 504-733-3332; www.art4now.com).
  • The official 2008 New Orleans Jazz Festival Congo Square commemorative silk-screen poster portrait of Kermit Ruffins by Margaret Slade Kelleey is published by art4now inc. (888-art-4-now, 504-733-3332; www.art4now.com).
Vance Vaucresson has served his family company's hot sausage at every New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for 39 years. - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Vance Vaucresson has served his family company's hot sausage at every New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for 39 years.
The Hot 8 Brass Band performs on the Jazz & Heritage Stage (5:45 p.m. Sunday, April 27). - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • The Hot 8 Brass Band performs on the Jazz & Heritage Stage (5:45 p.m. Sunday, April 27).
Shamarr Allen leads his ensemble on the Jazz & Heritage Stage (1:40 p.m. Sunday, April 27). - CHERYL GERBER
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Shamarr Allen leads his ensemble on the Jazz & Heritage Stage (1:40 p.m. Sunday, April 27).

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