By Marguerite Lucas
The Rebirth Brass Band, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, and the Irvin Mayfield Quartet headline the Old Algiers RiverFest Saturday and Sunday (April 2-3). In its seventh year, the festival is moving to a new home at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World.
“The move [to Mardi Gras World] has created some challenges, but we’re going to have a lot more space at the West bank Mardi Gras site,” says festival director Valerie Robinson.
The line-up of features six bands each day from noon to 5:15 p.m. and it mixes traditional jazz and contemporary brass bands, and there also is some gospel music on the schedule.
“The festival focuses on the original jazz that came out of New Orleans and its connection to the river,” Robinson says.
For festival-goers riding the ferry to the event, there’s live music on the ferry. Free shuttles run from the ferry landing to the festival site, but pedestrians can walk to the event on the “Jazz Walk of Fame” on the levee. There’s even a narrated recording of jazz history available by calling 613-4062.
There’s an art market and dood vendors will offer local fare such as gumbo as well as more exotic dishes such as Brazilian barbecue. Bike racks are available for those wishing to pedal to the festival.
“It’s turning into a really great festival,” Robinson says, “It’s a lot of work for the volunteers, but it’s a lot of fun.”