Events » New Orleans Event Previews

Jazz Fest 2017: performance picks for Saturday, May 6


11:20 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
Changui Guantanamo

Cultural Exchange Pavilion
Changui Guantanamo focuses on changui, a type of party music meant to release tensions after long days at work. It's a musical tradition that originated in rural communities of former slaves in Cuba's Guantanamo Province in the early 19th century. It combines West African rhythms and percussion instruments and elements of the Spanish guitar-based cancion tradition. Changui generally does not use the hallmark Cuban clave pattern and pre-dates the dance music son. The original Changui de Guantanamo group was formed in 1945, and over the decades the lineup has changed. In 1989, Changui de Guantanamo was invited to the Smithsonian Institution, where it recorded five songs for the Center for Folklife.
Also performs at 1:15 p.m.-2 p.m. Kids Tent

12:30 p.m.-1:25 p.m.
The Pedrito Martinez Rumba Project featuring Roman Diaz

Cultural Exchange Pavilion
Pedrito Martinez is a percussion master who bounces between bata, conga, cajon, timbale and drums. He also is an accomplished singer, and since leaving Cuba for Manhattan in the late 1990s, he's worked with musicians from Bruce Springsteen to Wynton Marsalis. Roman Diaz is Martinez's godfather and mentor in the folkloric music of their Cuban homeland. Diaz is skilled with West African Yoruban drumming and rumba, a dance-oriented genre with roots in Cuba. This group focuses on Afro-Cuban musical traditions.
Also performs at 3 p.m.-3:55 p.m. Jazz & Heritage Stage

1:45 p.m.-2:40 p.m.
& 3:10 p.m.-4:05 p.m.
Adonis y Osain del Monte

Cultural Exchange Pavilion
Virtuosic drumming, rhythmic patterns that swoop into unexpected twists and turns and extreme riffs on rumba and Cuban pop all play into the crew of dancers and musicians Adonis Panter Calderon formed as Adonis y Osain del Monte in 2013. An expert in his country's rich cultural history, Calderon's credits include assistant directing the recent documentary, The Black Roots of Salsa: The Emancipation of Cuban Rumba and leading the group Yoruba Andabo, which focuses on the early Cuban interpretation of the West African music slaves brought to Havana.

2:05 p.m.-3:10 p.m.
Big Freedia
Congo Square Stage
With the publication of a memoir and the sixth season of her reality TV show airing in September on FUSE TV, Big Freedia is a nationally recognized name. Last year, she contributed to Beyonce's "Formation" on the album Lemonade. But at her core, Freedia remains an ambassador for bounce, the New Orleans musical tradition characterized by fast-paced call and response, repetition and hardcore dance. Freedia's second full-length album is slated for release in 2017.

2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m.
Tank & the Bangas
Gentilly Stage
Neo-R&B band Tank & the Bangas solidified as a group in 2011, formed organically around lead singer Tarriona "Tank" Ball. In February 2017, the group won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest with a video for the song "Quick." A Tiny Desk concert followed, giving a national audience a taste of the group's mix of new R&B, Southern-style storytelling, poetry and performance art.

3:45 p.m.-5:05 p.m.
Los Van Van

Congo Square Stage
Bandleader Juan Formell founded Los Van Van in the late 1960s to revitalize Cuban dance music. Though the band did not tour outside the country for years, it became post-revolutionary Cuba's best-known band. Formell died in 2014 and his son, drummer and composer Samuel Formell, now leads the band. Over the years, the group incorporated a number of nontraditional elements including synthesizers and electric pianos, blending the traditional with the contemporary, including pop, rock and jazz, to create its "songo" rhythm, though the band is known as a timba or salsa group. The lineup has featured several female lead vocalists over time, including Yeni Valdes and Juan Formell's daughter, Vanessa.

4:15 p.m.-5:20 p.m.
Original Pinettes Brass Band

Jazz & Heritage Stage
Snare drummer Christie Jourdain leads this all-female brass band, which infuses the traditional New Orleans brass band style with elements from rhythm 'n' blues, funk, gospel and rap. The band won a Red Bull contest in 2013, which enabled it to work with a host of new artists, including producer Mannie Fresh. In 2016, the Pinettes headlined a sold-out show alongside No Limit star Mia X at Preservation Hall.

4:50 p.m.-7 p.m.
Stevie Wonder

Acura Stage
In a legendary career, Stevie Wonder has sold more than 100 million records, produced dozens of top hits, collected 25 Grammy Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fames. President Barack Obama presented him with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. The longtime Motown artist's hits include "Superstition," "Sir Duke," "My Cherie Amour," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and "Uptight." He returns to Jazz Fest after his 2016 appearance was canceled due to heavy rain.

5:40 p.m.-7 p.m.
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Blues Tent
Shreveport, Louisiana-born guitar prodigy Kenny Wayne Shepherd burst onto the scene in the mid-'90s with a sound and style reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan. His acclaimed 1995 debut, Ledbetter Heights, introduced listeners to Shepherd's deep blues-centered, technically precise playing. His 1997 release Trouble Is... helped Shepherd get booked as the opener for Van Halen on its 1998 tour. His latest studio album, 2014's Goin' Home, was his sixth No. 1 debut on the Billboard blues chart.

5:45 p.m.-6:55 p.m.
Meghan Trainor

Gentilly Stage
Nantucket, Massachusetts-born singer Meghan Trainor began recording, producing and putting out her own albums as a teenager. She was recognized with a number of songwriting awards at an early age, including Best Female Artist at the 2009 International Acoustic Music Awards and the Grand Prize at the 2010 New Orleans Songwriting Festival. In 2014 Trainor signed with Epic and soon become a pop star while incorporating 1950s and '60s pop sounds. Her 2015 album, Title, featured the hits "All About That Bass" and "Lips Are Movin." Her 2016 album Thank You featured the hit "No."

5:50 p.m.-6:50 p.m.
Snoop Dogg

Congo Square
Stage Snoop Dogg starred in a family dad reality show (E!'s Father Hood) and in 2016 co-hosted a cooking show with Martha Stewart (Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party), so it's easy to forget that in the early 1990s, when he released Doggystyle and The Doggfather, controversy and the subgenre of "gangsta rap" helped build his career and public image. These seemingly disparate personalities are all part of the performer, and that's what makes Snoop such an endearing and long-lasting entertainment figure. Snoop remains a musician first, releasing albums almost annually. His 2016 release Coolaid was well received, and Neva Left is scheduled for release in May. While Snoop's brand of rap has become more mellow and pop-based over time, he hasn't forgotten the Dr. Dre days that first made him famous.

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