The festival opens with a second line at 10 a.m. The Mahogany Brass Band leads the procession from the 100 block of Bourbon Street to Jackson Square.
French Quarter Festival hosts free screenings of documentaries about the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. Films are screened Friday through Sunday at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Visit www.fqfi.org for full schedule.
• I am the Blues. (noon Friday) Daniel Cross' documentary treks through the Mississippi Delta and bayous of Louisiana to interview blues legends including Little Freddie King, Lil Buck Sinegal, Bobby Rush and others. The film recently won the feature-length documentary category of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the nation's equivalent of the Academy Awards.
• Sushi and Sauce Piquante: The Life and Music of Gerry McGee. (3 p.m. Saturday) Guitarist Gerry McGee was born in Eunice (son of Cajun fiddler Dennis McGee) and performed in Acadiana and northern Louisiana before he moved to California. He recorded with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kris Kristofferson, The Monkees and Barbra Streisand. Pat Mire has produced several films about Cajun culture, including Dance for a Chicken: The Cajun Mardi Gras and Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana.
• By and By: New Orleans Gospel at the Crossroads. (2 p.m. Sunday) Joe Compton and Matthew Bowden's 2013 documentary profiles The Electrifying Crown Seekers. James Williams Sr. founded the gospel group in Marrero in 1965. The Electrifying Crown Seekers perform following the screening.
There are panel discussions and interviews at the Old U.S. Mint Saturday and Sunday. Some of the highlights are below. Visit www.fqf.org for full schedule.
• Aloha Golden Meadow. (1:30 p.m. Saturday) Andre and Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers discuss their music with Michael Tisserand, author of Kingdom of Zydeco and Krazy: George Herriman, A life in Black and White.
• The Continuing Reign of the Soul Queen of New Orleans. (2:30 p.m. Saturday) Irma Thomas discusses her career with music producer Scott Billington.
• On the Howl with the Wolfman. (1:30 p.m. Sunday) Guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington discusses his five-decade career with interviewer Fred Kasten.
• Tribute to Pete Fountain. (2:30 p.m. Sunday) Panel members share stories about the clarinetist. They include cornetist Connie Jones, Fountain's manager Benny Harrell, clarinetist Tim Laughlin, music writer Keith Spera and moderator David Kunian, curator at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint.
Activities for children include Chevron's interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Zone. Children can use robots, take a virtual tour of the wetlands, play musical instruments and meet animals from the Audubon Institute. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Toulouse Street Wharf. The activities are near the stage featuring children's music.
Saturday, April 8 | Sunday, April 9
10 club concerts to see after French Quarter Fest
Late-night club concerts following the fest
Where to eat and drink after French Quarter Fest
New bars and restaurants in and around the Quarter
Films, panel discussions and kids activities at French Quarter fest
Second line parades, interviews and more