All the happenings

Special Events on Thursday, April 9, 2015

French Quarter Festival Second-Line Kickoff Parade – 100 block of Bourbon Street to Jackson Square – 10AM

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: the music of Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and The Grateful Dead with special guests Steve Masakowski, Glen David Andrews, Don Vappie, Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, and Ed “Sweetbread” Petersen. Abita Beer Stage 5:20PM

2015 Gala at Antoine’s Restaurant – For information and to purchase tickets click here. – Patron Party 7PM; Gala 8PM

Special Events on Friday, April 10, 2015

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode: NOLA – Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public.

  • 11AM Buckwheat’s World – exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the life and music of Buckwheat Zydeco.
  • 12PM Streetcar Stories – this broadcast documentary explores the cultural history of New Orleans streetcars and the US streetcar industry.
  • 1:30PM Always for Pleasure – a cinematic celebration of the Mardi Gras that dwells on the sensual pleasures of the festival.
  • 3PM All on a Mardi Gras Day – the story of New Orleans’ black carnival traditions: the Zulus, Indians, Baby Dolls, Skeletons and the men and women who carried on these traditions for over a century.

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: the music of Nirvana, Queen, and Led Zeppelin with special guests The Breton Sound, Glen David Andrews, Haley Reinhart, and Stanton Moore. Abita Beer Stage 5:25PM

The French Market presents Opera at Dusk; operatic performances with musical accompaniment sponsored by the French Market. Upper Pontalba building on Jackson Square, at Chartres St. near St. Peter. 6:30PM

Special Events on Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pirates Alley Juried Art Show – presented by the New Orleans Art Association; over 100 artists displaying original fine art in Pirates Alley, Pere Antoine Alley, Cabildo Alley, and Royal Street – 8AM-6PM

Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest hosted by Rouses and the IFEA (International Federation of Eating) at Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint – HIGH NOON

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: children’s songs with special guests Glen David Andrews, Big Sam, and Davell Crawford. Abita Beer Stage 12:35PM

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music – Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor. Free and open to the public.

  • 11:30AM The Write Brothers Take Flight There is an understandable buzz around the recent formation of The Write Brothers band by four of the Crescent City’s best songwriters: Spencer Bohren, Jim McCormick, Alex McMurray and Paul Sanchez. The four talk about the origins of the band, their ambitions for it, and the new Write Brothers cd with interviewer Fred Kasten.
  • 12:30PM Meet Blues Hall of Fame Writer John Broven Music history author and researcher John Broven is a member of the Louisiana and Blues Halls of Fame, co-creator of the Cosimo Code website (http://cosimocode.com) archiving and detailing the work of great New Orleans recording engineer Cosimo Matassa, and the author of two books widely hailed as among the best about Louisiana music, Rhythm and Blues in New Orleans (with an upgraded edition due out later this year) and South to Louisiana: The Music of the Cajun Bayous. He’ll talk about his life as a writer, researcher and Louisiana music lover with interviewer Fred Kasten.
  • 1:30PM Tribute to Lionel Ferbos When New Orleans trumpeter and vocalist Lionel Ferbos passed away last July at age 103, he left behind a legion of fans and admirers – and a legacy of dedication to his craft that spanned nearly 90 years. For Let Them Talk, writer Jon Pult, historian Al Kennedy, and longtime musical colleagues Lars Edegran and Brian O’Connell share their memories of and stories about Lionel Ferbos.
  • 2:30PM Salute to Big Chief Bo Dollis For many New Orleanians – and people around the world – the powerful, soul-drenched, joy-filled voice of Big Chief Theodore Emile “Bo” Dollis is the sound of Mardi Gras Indians in New Orleans. Bo Dollis passed away on January 20th this year at age 71, but his spirit lives on in a legacy of great recordings, memorable live performances, beautiful years of masking – and the efforts of his wife Rita Dollis and son Bo Dollis, Jr. – who talk with music writer Alison Fensterstock about Bo Dollis’s legacy and accomplishments.
  • 3:30PM New Orleans Jazz Playhouse Grammy-winning trumpeter, bandleader and author Irvin Mayfield – and Basin Street Records President, and publisher, Mark Samuels – talk with interviewer Fred Kasten about their latest collaboration, a 304-page coffee-table book, New Orleans Jazz Playhouse – which comes complete with seven cds of music. The music was recorded live over seven nights at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse club in the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street, and the book – which includes portraits by such gifted photographers as Gordon Parks and Herman Leonard – is a blend of hymn to New Orleans and jazz – and memoir.
  • 4:30PM Clarinet Orange Orange Kellin is an outstanding clarinetist and arranger, a native of Sweden who moved to New Orleans in 1966, and a world-renowned ambassador for traditional New Orleans jazz. Orange performed on the Oscar-nominated score for Louis Malle’s film Pretty Baby, was one of the creators of the hit musical One Mo’ Time, accompanied Louis Armstrong for his 70th birthday at Newport – and has played or recorded with a host of other top artists, including Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, Zutty Singleton and Danny Barker.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode: NOLA – Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public.

  • 11AM Spend it All – portrait of the Cajun lifestyle in Southwest Louisiana.
  • 12:30PM Fats Domino: Walkin’ Back To New Orleans – a one-hour documentary and concert special that combines interviews, vintage footage, and a recent concert taped at Tipitina’s.
  • 2PM He’s the Prettiest: A Salute to Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana’s 50 Years of Mardi Gras Indian Suiting – a documentary chronicling Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Allison “Tootie” Montana.
  • 3PM Real New Orleans – this series of humorous videos was written by and starred the late Eddie Kurtz in the 1980’s.

Chevron Children’s Headquarters on the Riverfront at the Natchez Wharf featuring the Chevron “STEAM” Zone (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with interactive, fascinating fun for families. Community partners include: The Nature Conservancy, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Project Lead the Way, the George Rodrigue Foundation, Audubon Nature Institute, Tulane Pediatrics, the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Fiddler crab races, instrument “petting zoo”, robots, and more! Also featuring the Children’s Performance Tent sponsored by Tulane Pediatrics and the New Orleans Jazz Historic Park. Noon-5PM

Children’s Museum Activities & Fun at the Hermann-Grima House, sponsored by Chevron Enjoy music, entertainment, crafts, and educational projects for children of all ages hosted by the Hermann-Grima House. Community partners include the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Young Audiences Louisiana, The Green Project, Beauregard-Keyes House, New Orleans Public Library, RicRACK, Inc., and Louisiana State Museum. The Hermann-Grima House is located at 820 St. Louis Street – Noon-5PM.

La Belle Galerie presents Opera at Dusk – operatic performances by tenor Marshall Richards with musical accompaniment; sponsored by La Belle Galerie. Lower Pontalba building on Jackson Square at Chartres Street. – 7PM

Battle of the Bands – traditional jazz bands compete in a rousing playoff – 400 block of Royal – 5:30-7PM

Special Events on Sunday April 12, 2015

Pirates Alley Juried Art Show – presented by the New Orleans Art Association; over 100 artists displaying original fine art in Pirates Alley, Pere Antoine Alley, Cabildo Alley, and Royal Street – 8AM-6PM

French Quarter Festival and NOLA Jitterbugs present free dance lessons – The French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and the Chevron Cajun-Zydeco Showcase will feature dancing and classes in the following: Traditional Jazz, 1920s Charleston, Swing Dance, Cajun Jitterbug, and Zydeco. Classes are taught by professional dancers from NOLA Jitterbugs and Dance Quarter. All classes are free and open to the public.

Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music – Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor. Free and open to the public.

  • 11:30PM The Multi-faceted Musical World of Carl LeBlanc Guitarist and banjoist Carl LeBlanc has covered a lot of musical territory in his career – including significant tenures with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Sun Ra Arkestra – and quality stops with Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, the Dirty Dozen, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, among others. He’s also led his own groups for many years – and made major contributions to music education in New Orleans and Louisiana. He’ll talk about those various experiences with interviewer Fred Kasten
  • 12:30PM The Magic of Cosimo Matassa Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” Lloyd Price’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” Little Richard’s “Tutti-Frutti,” Shirley and Lee’s “Let the Good Times Roll,” Fats Domino’s “Walkin’ to New Orleans,” Frankie Ford’s “Sea Cruise,” Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-In-Law,” and Robert Parker’s “Barefootin’” are just a few of the classics recorded by engineer Cosimo Matassa in his several New Orleans studios over a 20 year run from the late 40s to late 60s – one of the great stretches in the history of pop music. Hall of Fame songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint; guitarist, vocalist and session man extraordinaire Deacon John; singer Gerri Hall of Huey Smith and the Clowns and Raelettes fame; and music historian and researcher John Broven explore what made Cosimo Matassa, who passed away last September at age 88, so great.
  • 1:30PM Leaving Las Vegas Singer Lena Prima was born in Las Vegas, grew up there and in New Orleans, two cities that were important to her father, the great Louis Prima. Lena established her performing career in Las Vegas, eventually creating a very popular show that paid tribute to her dad. Then, in 2011, she decided to move back to New Orleans to work on finding her own voice, and creating some repertoire to express it. The result: her widely acclaimed cd “Starting Something” – most of which she co-wrote with husband Tim Fahey and New Orleans singer/songwriter Ingrid Lucia. She’ll talk about her dad’s legacy, and coming home to New Orleans, with music writer Keith Spera.
  • 2:30PM They Called Him “Coach” “Coach” was the nickname fondly conferred on great New Orleans saxophonist and bandleader Al Belletto by his musical colleagues for his wisdom and warmth in music, and life. Al Belletto, who passed away last December at age 86, was a stalwart of modern jazz in New Orleans who led top-notch bands, including a benchmark sextet in the 1950s that toured nationally and made three acclaimed recordings for Capitol. He also brought modern jazz to the French Quarter as music director for the Playboy Club in New Orleans – and played key roles in the creation of Jazz Fest and the French Quarter Festival. Four musical colleagues – Steve Giarratano, Rhodes Spedale, Rick Trolsen and John Vidacovich will discuss the life and legacy of Al Belletto with moderator Fred Kasten.
  • 3:30PM A Duke and a Squirrel Nut Zipper Trumpeter Duke Heitger tours the world playing classic jazz and swing with some of the best musicians on the planet. He also has gold and platinum records for his studio work on the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ 1996 recording Hot. A native of Toledo, Ohio – and son of a jazz clarinetist and bandleader – Duke Heitger has been based in New Orleans since the early 1990s. When in town, he leads his Steamboat Stompers on the paddlewheeler Natchez and plays regularly at the Palm Court Jazz Café. He’ll talk about his love of New Orleans and life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.
  • 4:30PM Jo-El Sonnier and The Legacy The Legacy is the title of accordion master and songwriter Jo-El Sonnier’s 2014 recording that just won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Album – and the legacy of Sonnier’s Cajun culture and heritage is something he’s returned to in his music time after time in a career that’s also seen him have success in country music. A native of Rayne, Louisiana and accordion prodigy who first recorded when he was 11, Jo-El Sonnier will talk about his more than 50 year career in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.

Film Festival at French Quarter Festival, presented by Timecode:NOLA – Le Petit Theater du Vieux Carre. Free and open to the public.

  • 11AM This Cat Can Play Anything – a portrayal of the life and musical career of New Orleans banjo and guitar jazzman Emanuel ‘Manny’ Sayles.
  • 12 PM Louisiana Music Video Showcase – various music videos from such artists as Preservation Hall Band, the Bingo Show, Timothea and more.
  • 1:30PM A Tribute to Toussaint – a concert documentary film celebrating the musical career of Allen Toussaint.
  • 3PM Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans – a riveting tale of hope, heartbreak and resiliency set in New Orleans’ most fascinating neighborhood.

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra: the New Orleans Songbook with special guests George Porter, Jr., Stanton Moore, Glen David Andrews, Walter Wolfman Washington, and Big Sam. Abita Beer Stage 2:10PM

Chevron Children’s Headquarters on the Riverfront at the Natchez Wharf featuring the Chevron “STEAM” Zone (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with interactive, fascinating fun for families. Community partners include: The Nature Conservancy, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Project Lead the Way, the George Rodrigue Foundation, Audubon Nature Institute, Tulane Pediatrics, the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. Fiddler crab races, instrument “petting zoo”, robots, and more! Also featuring the Children’s Performance Tent sponsored by Tulane Pediatrics and the New Orleans Jazz Historic Park. Noon-5PM

Children’s Museum Activities & Fun at the Hermann-Grima House, sponsored by Chevron Enjoy music, entertainment, crafts, and educational projects for children of all ages hosted by the Hermann-Grima House. Community partners include the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, Young Audiences Louisiana, The Green Project, Beauregard-Keyes House, New Orleans Public Library, RicRACK, Inc., and Louisiana State Museum. The Hermann-Grima House is located at 820 St. Louis Street – Noon-5PM.

St. Louis Cathedral Annual Spring Concert – Admission is free and open to the general public. 3:30PM

Dancing at Dusk – You’ll be ‘In the Mood’ for a ‘Sentimental Journey’ with the sounds of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and other favorites from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Come dance and swing at this festival favorite with The Tomcats. 400 block of Royal Street – 6:00-7:15PM

Gala

Antoine’s Restaurant
713 St. Louis Street

Thursday, April 9th, 2015
Patron Party 7:00 – 8:00pm
Gala 8:00 -10:30pm
Cocktail Attire – Dinner, drinks, and dancing!
Entertainment by Guitarist John Rankin (Patron Party) and Charmaine Neville with Special Guests (Gala)

Established in 1840, Antoine’s is the country’s oldest family-run restaurant, a favorite of locals, and a beloved New Orleans institution.

In 2015, Antoine’s Restaurant turns 175 years old! Obviously they have been doing something right throughout the years to have lasted long enough to be considered the oldest continuously operated family-run restaurant in the country. Throughout the years Antoine’s remained iconic and famous for great service, atmosphere, culinary delights and New Orleans originals – like Oyster Rockefeller, Eggs Sardou, and the famous puffed soufflé potatoes -that were all born here. Guests have included famous movie stars, musicians, presidents, popes, generals, and New Orleans’ most prominent families.

The names of each of the dining rooms at Antoine’s Restaurant are steeped in history. During the French Quarter Festival Opening Night Gala, enjoy the original Main Dining Room, the Mardi-Gras themed Rex, Proteus, and 12th Night Revelers rooms, the Mystery Room, 1840 Room, the Last Room (or Tabasco Room) and the Wine Cellar, which holds approximately 25,000 bottles when fully stocked. French Quarter Festival is the only time of the year when Antoine’s allows a non-profit community organization to ‘take over’ – celebrating the opening of French Quarter Festival at this grand Gala event.

Guests will enjoy tastings by Antoine’s and other festival favorites, and open bar courtesy of Abita Brewing Company and Republic Beverages.

Order tickets online. Click here for Patron Party tickets. Click here for Gala tickets or call to make your reservations – (504) 522-5730


The Kermit Ruffins Experience

All aboard for New Orleans’ funkiest raffle! Winner will:

  • HAVE LUNCH with Kermit Ruffins, Jason Harrelson (founder of Harrelson Trumpets), and a friend at Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge
  • RIDE IN A LIMO to the 2015 French Quarter Festival with Kermit, Jason and a friend
  • SIT ON STAGE with three friends and complimentary refreshments for Kermit’s French Quarter Festival set
  • RECEIVE a framed, autographed photo of Kermit, Jason, the one of a kind Harrelson Trumpet and you on stage at French Quarter Festival
  • TAKE HOME a autographed copy of Kermit’s latest CD release, “We Partyin’ Traditional Style”

Purchase your chance today! Tickets are one ticket for $20 or $30 for two. Only 1000 tickets available through March 31, 2015. A winner will be drawn the first week in April and notified immediately. All proceeds to benefit French Quarter Festivals, Inc. a nonprofit 501©3 organization.