Events » New Orleans Event Previews

Jazz Fest 2017: performance picks for Thursday, May 4

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12:10 p.m.-1:10 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. 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. Martinez's Rumba Project focuses on Afro-Cuban musical traditions.
Also performs at 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

12:20 p.m.-1:20 p.m.
Yvette Landry
Fais Do-Do Stage
A native of Breaux Bridge, Yvette Landry pursued a teaching career before she started writing songs and moonlighting as a musician. The multi-instrumentalist blends roots, country and Cajun sounds in her own music and released her debut album, Should Have Known, in 2010. She leads her own band, performs with several Cajun groups and has collaborated with Steve Riley, Dirk Powell and others. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has toured Russia as an official Library of Congress Cultural Ambassador.

12:25 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Quiana Lynell and
the Lush Life band
WWOZ Jazz Tent
Quiana Lynell is a crooner who's as comfortable belting out a tune as gently breezing through an uptempo verse. Lynell just as deftly jumps from pop to an R&B ballad to traditional jazz tunes. She's performed with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra and onstage in musicals. She's also happy to engage her audience with some quick stories. Last year, she penned the musical love letter "Baton Rouge" to raise funds for flood relief in the city where she lived while studying at LSU.

1:30 p.m.-2:30 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 canción 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 3:10 p.m.-4:10 p.m. the Lagniagppe Stage

1:35 p.m.-2:25 p.m.
George Porter Jr.
& Runnin' Pardners
Acura Stage
George Porter Jr. is a New Orleans music giant. The bassist was integral to the funk sound defined by The Meters, whose work frequently is sampled by hip-hop artists (Google used its tune "Hand Clapping Song" in a recent ad campaign for its Pixel phone). Accordingly, artists across decades and genres — including Patti LaBelle, Tori Amos and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's Alec Ounsworth — have sought him out. Porter calls his longtime band, Runnin' Pardners, "the ultimate jam band."

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 West African music slaves brought to Havana 500 years ago. The group recently performed for the Rolling Stones at a private concert.

2:55 p.m.-3:35 p.m.
Lee Konitz Quartet

WWOZ Jazz Tent
Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz has performed in various jazz styles since he began playing in the 1940s, but he has a quickly identifiable sound. Konitz has stayed true to his own style, which involves lengthy melodic lines that feature unexpected accents or rhythms that seemingly eschew the time signature in progress. Konitz's unique improvisational approach earned him many accolades and opportunities over time. He played with Miles Davis during the Birth of Cool era and is said to have influenced saxophone greats such as Paul Desmond of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Konitz has performed with jazz legends including Ornette Coleman and Charles Mingus.

3:35 p.m.-4:50 p.m.
Corinne Bailey Rae
Congo Square Stage
Corinne Bailey Rae burst onto the scene a decade ago with the subdued and soulful hit "Put Your Records On" and has become a defining voice in modern soul. The singer-songwriter has since worked with artists including Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, Paul McCartney and RZA while recording new music, most recently 2016's The Heart Speaks in Whispers. Rae effortlessly jumps between musical styles and can dance up and down her vocal register within a single phrase. While she has not duplicated the Top 40 success of her debut single, newer songs like "The Skies Will Break" show Rae's continued growth with diverse musical ideas and increasingly emotional and thoughtful lyrics.

4:20 p.m.-5:10 p.m.
Carsie Blanton
Lagniappe Stage
Singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton says she writes songs in the style that most clearly gets her point across, whether that's pop, soul, jazz, rock or folk. Often, she fuses several sounds together, as in "Backbone," which features a pop-radio chorus and Blanton's airy and soulful vocals throughout. Her latest album, 2016's So Ferocious, is full of playful songwriting and her signature blend of styles.

4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Widespread Panic
Acura Stage
For recent Jazz Fest visits, Widespread Panic has been afforded time slots longer than two hours, and its no surprise for one of todays pre-imminent jam bands. Just like the Grateful Dead before them (or their contemporaries, Phish), Widespread Panic has roots in psychedelia, but this band fuses it with danceable Southern rock — which has earned it a devoted following and a tape scene over its 30 years together. The years have prompted the band to adjust its approach, scaling back heavy touring to fewer dates, but most of them are at larger events. "We ain't spring chickens," guitarist and vocalist John Bell told JamBands.com earlier this year. "This is the way to have the best of both worlds: quality time with the families and also get your yah-yahs out on the road."

5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Darius Rucker
Gentilly Stage
Given Darius Rucker's longevity and remarkable career reinvention, it's possible some of his current fans know nothing of the word "Hootie" or the Blowfish. But it's a testament to Rucker's abilities as a songwriter and performer that he could separately rise to the top first in mainstream pop and now in mainstream country. Festival attendees can expect Rucker to blend some of his Hootie & the Blowfish catalogue alongside the singer-songwriter materials that have earned him Country Music Association acclaim. He also throws in songs from contemporaries including Garth Brooks ("Friends in Low Places") and Blackstreet ("No Diggity").

5:45 p.m.-6:55 p.m.
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall
WWOZ Jazz Tent
Legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert led the Tijuana Brass band and collected a staggering array of trophies, including five No. 1 records, nine Grammy Awards, 14 platinum-selling albums and 15 gold. Whether it's a massive solo hit like "Rise" or one of the Brass' hit records, Alpert has always played with classical precision and jazz warmth on irresistible pop arrangements. He also found a partner who proved to be more than his equal. Singer Lani Hall and Alpert have been married for more than 40 years, and she boasts her own music lineage as a vocalist for Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66. Close your eyes and imagine the sound of '60s Bossa Nova, and it's Hall you'll hear on a track like "Mas Que Nada." The duo performs songs from both of their repertoires.

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