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Colin Lake picks five bands to see at Jazz Fest 2016



Blues-based singer-songwriter Colin Lake recently began posting on his website ( a series of videos shot in the former Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. They feature him doing mostly original tunes, either solo or with his trio, and he's rolling them out while he tours this summer. Lake performs with his full band Thursday at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He spoke with Gambit about what he's looking forward to seeing at the festival.

Van Morrison
5:40 p.m.-6:55 p.m. Saturday, April 23
Gentilly Stage

"I have always listened to him. The deeper I've dug, the more I get into the Wavelength album. My most favorite recording of his is the Live at Montreux DVD set. When I got married in 2012, we had this one DVD from 1980 playing on the TV all the time — we just left it on and walked past it. It's a big band performance in Montreux. He's got two keyboard players, two drummers, a killing base player. (Alfred) "Pee Wee" Ellis was the bandleader at the time; he was the saxophone player who came up with all of the cool arrangements and horn parts. The way that (the songs) have new life breathed into them — it's just a killing band. That's what I am into with him: his great songwriting being driven through a killing band."

Taj Mahal Trio
4:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24
Fais Do-Do Stage

"Whatever he does, I'll be there. He might be my 'desert island' artist — if I could only bring one catalogue with me. A friend of mine in high school had that three-disc retrospective called In Progress & In Motion (1965-1998). I love his approach, vocal phrasing and his sort of relaxed playing style. I love the way the older tunes are recorded, whether it's the blues stuff with the distorted harmonica or the slide stuff with Jesse Ed Davis or the Caribbean stuff. There are so many cool sounds and percussion bits. I love how natural and alive those recordings feel."

Corey Harris Band
4:15 p.m.-5:20 p.m. Thursday, April 28
Blues Tent

"When I was getting into roots music 15 to 17 years ago, (Corey Harris) did Greens from the Garden, which was like slide guitar with this Afro influence and a few jazzy things going on. His voice — I am attracted to people who push their voice and express themselves. He takes a lot of chances. He also made Downhome Sophisticate, which I really dug."

TBC Brass Band
12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1
Jazz & Heritage Stage

"When I first got to town, I would always see them playing by the Foot Locker off Canal Street. I would always see the trumpet player Sean (Roberts) around town a lot. I love their energy. Brass bands on the street is part of what hooked me on New Orleans when I was first down here."

Mavis Staples
3:35 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Sunday, May 1
Blues Tent

"I love that pop (Mavis) Staples album that came out recently. Her energy on that record and her most recent records is great."


Friday, April 22
Saturday, April 23
Sunday, April 24


Christian Scott
Brothers Osborne
Jack DeJohnette
Brian Quezergue

• Colin Lake




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