The 32nd Annual French Quarter Festival is April 9th-12th
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. proudly announces the 32nd Annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron. The event will take place April 9th-April 12th, 2015. Locals and tourism officials call French Quarter Festival 'the kickoff to festival season in New Orleans.' What started as a neighborhood festival and 'locals' event' has grown into the largest showcase of Louisiana music and food in the world, with an economic impact of over $251 million. Last year, Huffington Post named French Quarter Festival the "one thing to do in Louisiana."
In 2015, organizers will host some of New Orleans' finest restaurants at 'The World's Largest Jazz Brunch'; employ over 1,400 world class, local musicians; and immerse festival-goers into a unique cultural experience that cannot be replicated anywhere.
Allen Toussaint to Perform at French Quarter Festival
Allen Toussaint is one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.The celebrated songwriter, record producer, and musician returns to French Quarter Festival for the first time since 1998. Allen Toussaint will perform on the riverfront Abita Stage on Locals' Day, Thursday, April 9th at 3:45 p.m. In what promises to be an incredible day of music, Mr. Toussaint will perform after the Grammy award-winning Rebirth Brass Band and before the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra with very special guests.
The Very Best Live, Local Music Across 23 Stages
Two New Stages in 2015
Year after year, French Quarter Festival is voted 'locals' favorite' while also attracting a tremendous out-of-town audience. A huge part of the appeal is that attendees get a true and authentic New Orleans experience – a broad range of Louisiana artists and a diverse variety of musical styles and genres. Since 1984, French Quarter Festival has been committed to featuring New Orleans' finest artists every day of the festival, on stages all over the French Quarter. The tradition grows in 2015, when FQFI unveils two new stages and expands its footprint and musical lineup. The new Spanish Plaza stage sponsored by the Outlet Collection at Riverwalk and Harrah's New Orleans will take the music across Canal Street with three days of programming. The new Omni Royal Orleans stage located at 500 Royal St. will bring more traditional jazz to the street with performances on Saturday and Sunday.
Launched in 2014, the GE Capital Big River Stage returns with four days of music. On Thursday, former Dr. John percussionist Big Chief Smiley Ricks and One Nation brings Mardi Gras Indian Funk to the stage, followed by Andrews family trumpeter Travis Hill's Travis Black and the Heart Attacks. Other Big River Stage artists include: Spirit of New Orleans Brass Band, Lynn Drury Band, Fredy Omar con su Banda, Paul Sanchez, Revealers, Brass-A-Holics, Flow Tribe, and Glen David Andrews.
Popeyes Brass Band Jam will return to the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint. Three full days of music bring performances from Audacity Brass Band, New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, Onward Brass Band, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, Red Wolf Brass Band, Treme Brass Band, Magnetic Ear, and many more.
The Chevron Cajun Zydeco Showcase launched in 2013 at the Bienville Triangle (North Peters near St. Louis Street) and has since become one of the Festival's most popular stages. In 2015, "King of Cajun" Jo-el Sonnier, a four-time Grammy nominee, Travis Matte and the Kingpins – a band that packs Louisiana dance halls with their infectious blend of zydeco, hip hop and rock, and Chris Ardoin make their festival debuts. Other artists include: Jimmy Thibodeaux, Waylon Thibodeaux Band, Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, Roddy Romero and the Hub City All Stars, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Amanda Shaw.
Over a Dozen New Acts
Organizers welcome over a dozen new acts to the 2015 French Quarter Festival. The Speakeasy Quartet and NOLA Jitterbugs will turn Jackson Square into a swing-dance party during their high-energy "watch and learn" performance on Thursday, April 9th on the Capital One Bank Jackson Square Stage. Other debuts include Doug Kershaw (playing with Steve Riley), The Honorable South, Guitar Slim, Jr, The Write Brothers, Los Otras, New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, and many more.
In addition to Festival debuts, French Quarter Festival supports budding artists. It's where some of the region's most beloved and famous musicians such as Trombone Shorty, Hunter Hayes, Imagination Movers, and Kermit Ruffins first played to large audiences. Continuing the spirit of promoting new talent, the 2015 event welcomes several young artists: The Doghill Stompers, grandsons of Boozoo Chavis, one of the founding fathers of Zydeco; Jenard Andrews' (son of trumpeter James Andrews and the cousin of Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews) New Breed Brass Band performs on the Popeyes Brass Band Jam at the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint; and Neshia Ruffins, daughter of Kermit Ruffins, makes her festival debut with Neshia Ruffins & the Young Franchise Band, also at the Old U.S Mint.
The 2015 French Quarter Festival will feature over 1,400 local artists. Festival-organizers remain committed to growing the Musician Sponsorship Program; every dollar donated to the fund goes directly to the artists. In 2014, a total of over 250 individuals, foundations, and businesses signed up to support local musicians by 'adopting an artist'. Sponsors come from all over the United States – from California to Maryland – and are helping to keep French Quarter Festival free for the community. The Festival is still seeking 2015 sponsorships. Contact Georgia Rhody at (504) 522-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Residency
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) will have an unprecedented residency at French Quarter Festival celebrating the opening of their new home, the New Orleans Jazz Market, on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. The residency will consist of four concerts during the 2015 French Quarter Festival. Each performance will feature a completely different music program and guest artists backed up by the NOJO under the direction of Irvin Mayfield: Thursday, April 9th Irvin Mayfield and NOJO featuring the music of Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and The Grateful Dead; Friday, April 10th Irvin Mayfield and NOJO featuring the music of Led Zepplin, Nirvana, and Queen; Saturday, April 11th Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra perform children’s songs and interact with young audiences; Sunday, April 12th The New Orleans Songbook: Featuring Irvin Mayfield, NOJO, and special guests.
The Kermit Ruffins Experience presented by Harrelson Trumpets
All aboard for New Orleans' funkiest raffle! The French Quarter Festival Kermit Ruffins Experience will give one lucky winner the chance to party with Kermit before and during festival. Each year, sponsor Harrelson Trumpets builds and donates a one-of-a-kind Satchmo Trumpet. The 2015 Satchmo Trumpet will be presented to longtime festival friend and artist Kermit Ruffins during his Sunday, April 12th French Quarter Festival set. The raffle winner will have lunch with Kermit, Jason Harrelson (founder, Harrelson Trumpets), and a friend at Kermit's Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge; ride in a limo to the festival; sit on stage with three friends and complimentary refreshments during Kermit's set; receive a framed, autographed photo of Kermit, Jason, the Satchmo Trumpet, and themselves on stage at French Quarter Festival; and finally, take home an autographed copy of Kermit's CD releases, We Partyin' Traditional Style and #ImSoNewOrleans. Raffle chances are one ticket for $20 and two tickets for $30 and may be purchased online at fqfi.org. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
Opening Night Gala returns to Antoine's
Thursday April 9th, the French Quarter Festival Opening Night Gala benefiting the Roots of Music will return to Antoine's Restaurant. Established in 1840, Antoine's, the country's oldest family-run restaurant, celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2015. During the gala, guests will 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 an open bar courtesy of Abita Brewing Company and Brown-Forman/Republic Beverages. The Patron Party takes place from 7-8 pm and Gala from 8-10:30 pm. Entertainment by Guitarist John Rankin and Charmaine Neville. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.fqfi.org or by calling 504-227-3124. Patron tickets are $250 and Gala tickets are $125 ($150 beginning April 1st). This year, a limited number of tables will be available for purchase.
A Showcase of New Orleans' Finest Cuisine
In a city famous for its wealth of delicious and unique traditional food, French Quarter Festival gives attendees a taste of the best of the best at the ''The World's Largest Jazz Brunch'. Over 60 vendors feature classic New Orleans dishes as well as cuisine from the finest restaurants in the region. A number of restaurants have been with the festival since its beginning in 1984, and have been great partners for 30 years: Pat O'Brien's, Trey Yuen, Tujague's, Vaucresson Sausage, Desire Oyster Bar, and Court of Two Sisters. Other festival favorites return for 2015, including Galatoire's, Muriel's, Antoine's, Praline Connection, Dickie Brennan's, Restaurant R'evolution, Bennachin, Love at First Bite, GW Fins, House of Blues, Jacques-Imo's, K-Paul's, Mrs. Wheat's, Lasyone's Meat Pies, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Three Muses, and more. A full list of restaurants, including new vendors for 2015, will be released in March.
Special Events, Programs, and Festival Extras
- French Quarter Festival Second-Line Kickoff Parade will take place Thursday, April 9th at 10 a.m., a change from prior years when the parade rolled on Friday. The parade departs from the 100 block of Bourbon St and makes its way to Jackson Square.
- Let them Talk: Conversations about Louisiana Music will return to French Quarter Festival with presentations and performances at the Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday at Festival (April 12 and 13). This series is free and open to the public. Schedule to be announced in March.
- Film Fest at French Quarter Festival presented by Timecode: NOLA will return to Le Petit Theatre and expand to three days. Schedule to be announced in March.
- Dance Lessons, Battle of the Bands, Dancing at Dusk, Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest, Pirates Alley Juried Art Show, St. Louis Cathedral Spring Concert, Opera at Dusk, and two children's areas, including Chevron Children's Headquarters STEAM ZONE are beloved special events that all are part of the 2015 French Quarter Festival.
Sponsors help to keep this a true community event –
Chevron returns as Title Sponsor, Capital One Bank returns as a Major Sponsor, and French Quarter Festival welcomes new supporters
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is proud of its history of providing high-quality events at no cost, and being accessible to all. In order to keep the Festival free and open to the public, the organization relies heavily on the contributions of sponsors and partners, beverage and merchandise sales, and vendor fees. Festival organizers welcome the return of Chevron as Title Sponsor of both French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest. Capital One Bank returns as a Major Sponsor of French Quarter Festival.
FQFI also welcomes new sponsors Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, the Official Hotel of French Quarter Festival and Satchmo SummerFest, Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, Brown-Forman which includes great brands such as Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Herradura, Finlandia and Sonoma Cutrer, KREWE du optic, Cupcake Vineyards, Renaissance Publishing, JS108Atlanta.com Jazz Radio, KKAY Radio, WYLD 98.5, Power 102.9, Old School 106.7, NASH fm 92.3 and 106.1 The Ticket.
- In partnership with GE Capital, the French Quarter Festival iPhone App is back, along with the Android App – and they are still both FREE, courtesy of GE Capital. Fans can receive up to the minute announcements, downloadable music schedules, complete menus, special events, merchandise updates, shuttle information, and unique offers to enhance their festival experience. The application will be available for download in March.
- Chevron officials noted, "Chevron is proud to be the presenting sponsor of this year's French Quarter Festival – an event that embodies the cultural diversity and economic growth that serve as the foundation of Greater New Orleans," said Sakari Morrison, General Manager Public Affairs, Chevron Gulf of Mexico. "We look forward to playing a role in this year's event as part of our longstanding commitment to all the communities in which we live and work."
- Capital One Bank officials noted, "Capital One Bank is pleased to continue its longtime support of this great local festival, which offers world-class music and food and provides a significant and positive economic impact to our city, region and state," said Capital One Bank Southeast Louisiana Market President Steve Hemperley. "At Capital One Bank, we are committed to investing for good in greater New Orleans, and by supporting the French Quarter Festival, we're helping our local economy."
Returning sponsors include: Abita Brewing Company, BMI, Clear Channel, Crystal Clear Imaging, Dickie Brennan & Company, DownBeat Magazine, French Market Corporation, Caesar's Foundation, Hermann Grima House, The Historic New Orleans Collection, House of Blues, Inthenola.com, I.T.S. Fire Alarm Security, LLC, Louisiana Cookin', LA Lottery, Musician's Performance Fund, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Original Daiquiris, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOLA.com/Times-Picayune, NOLA Defender, NOLA Jitterbugs, OffBeat Magazine, Palm Court Jazz Café, Pat O'Brien's, Pelican Ice, Pepsi, Popeyes, Republic National Distributing, Rolland Lock and Safe, Rouses Market, Steinway and Sons, Tropical Isle, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Hospital for Children, The Vinyl District, Where Magazine, Where Y’at, Windsor Court Hotel, WWL-TV, WWNO 89.9 FM, WRNO 99.5.