Grammy Winners Robert Cray, Bobby Rush To Headline Free Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival
NEW ORLEANS – The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival – winner of the 2016 OffBeat Best of the Beat Award for Best Neighborhood Festival – returns to New Orleans' Lafayette Square Park, 600 S Maestri St., for its 12th edition Oct. 13-15.
Grammy winners Robert Cray and Bobby Rush will top the bill at the event, which is presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Admission is free.
"I've been to many blues festivals in the U.S. and Europe, and I can honestly say that the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a charming piece of musical heaven,” said Art Tipaldi, editor of Blues Revue Magazine. “If you are planning a trip to New Orleans and want to experience the city and its wonderful music without enormous crowds, put this October free festival on your musical bucket list."
Organizers said the 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival has a little bit of something for all types of blues fans:
• For those who love old-school juke joint style: unsung legends King Edward, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood – both from Mississippi – and Louisiana native Robert Finley, plus New Orleans’ own Little Freddie King.
• For fans of deeply soulful gospel: Como Mamas of Como, Mississippi.
• For those craving sleek soul: Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters, New Soul Finders, featuring singer Marilyn Barbarin (of the legendary Barbarin family of New Orleans musicians) and Reggie Scanlon of Radiators fame.
• Love fiery guitar burners? The festival will present John Mooney, Samantha Fish (a new resident of New Orleans) and local hero Guitar Lightning Lee.
• Veteran bluesmen like Grady Champion (another Mississippi native), and young upstarts like A.J. Ghent (from Atlanta), and up-and-coming New Orleans artists Andrew Duhon and the Fortifiers.
Robert Cray, a star ever since he burst onto pop radio with soulful blues in the 1980s, and Bobby Rush (born in Homer, Louisiana), a mesmerizing entertainer who just won his first Grammy award at age 83, will headline.
It all kicks off with a big-band party of New Orleans icons: Deacon John’s Jump Blues, plus the longtime King of Bourbon Street, Luther Kent & Trick Bag.
The expansive food menu features offerings from New Orleans' best barbecue restaurants, including all three of the top winners in the 2017 Gambit Best of New Orleans "best barbecue" category: Blue Oak, the Joint and Central City BBQ, plus many more.
Organizers said the assemblage of regional meat smokers will include most of the hottest new barbecue restaurants that have lit up the New Orleans culinary scene.
There will also be a art market with 22 local and regional makers of hand-crafted artworks and home furnishings.
Attendees can purchase an exclusive VIP EXPERIENCE pass, which provides access to premium seating as well as indoor and outdoor hospitality areas with complimentary food and drink.
The 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival performance schedule includes:
Friday, Oct. 13
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Deacon John's Jump Blues
5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Luther Kent & Trick Bag
Saturday, Oct. 14
St. Charles Ave. Stage
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Robert Cray
4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. John Mooney
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Samantha Fish
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Guitar Lightning Lee
Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Grady Champion
3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. A.J. Ghent
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. King Edward
Sunday, Oct. 15
St Charles Ave. Stage
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Bobby Rush
4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Robert Finley
2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Como Mamas
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Andrew Duhon
Camp Street Stage:
5:45 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters
3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Little Freddie King
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. The New Soul Finders
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The Fortifiers
The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival is a presentation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural events.
Festival co-sponsors include: Abita Brewing Co., Southern Comfort, Louisiana Lottery, ArtWorks | The National Endowment for the Arts, State Farm, VL Group, Lookfar, BikeEasy, The New Orleans Advocate, Louisiana Division of the Arts | Office of Cultural Development, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp., Peoples Health and WWOZ.