Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival Announces Grammy Winner Headliners Robert Cray, Bobby Rush
NEW ORLEANS – Grammy winners Robert Cray and Bobby Rush will top the bill of the 12th annual Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Friday, Oct. 13 – Sunday, Oct. 15, in New Orleans’ Lafayette Square Park.
This festival is another free event produced and presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
"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, Blues Revue Magazine editor. “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."
Event organizers said the 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival will have a little bit of something for all types of blues fans.
For those who love old-school juke joint style, artists including unsung legends King Edward, Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood – both from Mississippi – and Louisiana native Robert Finley, plus New Orleans’ own Little Freddie King, will perform.
For fans of deeply soulful gospel, they’ll enjoy the amazing Como Mamas of Como, Mississippi, reps said.
For those craving sleek soul, a favorite son of New Orleans, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters, will take the stage.
The festival will also present the New Soul Finders, featuring singer Marilyn Barbarin (of the legendary Barbarin family of New Orleans musicians) and Reggie Scanlon of Radiators fame.
John Mooney, Samantha Fish (a new resident of New Orleans) and local hero Guitar Lightning Lee will all be at the festival this year, to satisfy fans of fiery guitar burners.
Veteran bluesmen like Grady Champion, another Mississippi native, and young upstarts like A.J. Ghent, from Atlanta, Georgia will join some great up-and-coming New Orleans artists, such as Andrew Duhon and the Fortifiers.
And headliners Robert Cray, a star ever since he burst onto pop radio with soulful blues in the 1980s, and Bobby Rush, born in Homer, LA, and a mesmerizing entertainer who just won his first Grammy award at age 83, will surely to delight the crowds.
It all kicks off with a big-band party of New Orleans icons with the incomparable Deacon John’s Jump Blues, plus the longtime King of Bourbon Street, Luther Kent & Trick Bag.
It’s a barbecue festival, so expect the best assemblage of regional meat smokers to be found anywhere – including some of the hot new barbecue restaurants that have lit up the New Orleans culinary scene, reps said. There will also be options for vegetarians, vegans and those who eat gluten-free.
There will also be an art market with 24 of the best local and regional makers of hand-crafted artworks and home furnishings.
The Louisiana Music Factory will host the festival merchandise operation. Most of the performers will visit the tent to sign autographs immediately after their performances. There will also be an official Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival T-shirt available for sale.
In collaboration with Bike Easy, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting bicycle ridership, the festival is offering free valet bicycle parking.
There will also be parking available in the Poydras Center, 650 Poydras St., for a flat fee, as there is at many other street-level parking lots in the area.
Community radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM will broadcast most of the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival live from Lafayette Square over the air and in streaming audio here.
Admission is free, but attendees can also buy a VIP EXPERIENCE pass, which provides access to premium seating as well as indoor and outdoor hospitality areas with complimentary food and drink. VIP Experience passes cost $250 each, plus a service charge of $13.49, and are good for the entire weekend. There will be no single-day passes and passes are not transferrable.
The 2017 Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival performance schedule includes:
Friday, Oct. 13
5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Luther Kent & Trick Bag
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Deacon John's Jump Blues
Saturday, Oct. 14
St. Charles Ave. Stage:
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Guitar Lightning Lee
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Samantha Fish
4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. John Mooney
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Robert Cray
Camp Street Stage:
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. King Edward
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. A.J. Ghent
5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Grady Champion
Sunday, Oct. 15
St Charles Ave. Stage:
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Andrew Duhon
2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Como Mamas
4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. Robert Finley
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Bobby Rush
Camp Street Stage:
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The Fortifiers
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The New Soul Finders
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Little Freddie King
5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters
Festival co-sponsors include:
• Abita Brewing Co.
• Louisiana Lottery
• ArtWorks – The National Endowment for the Arts
• State Farm
• VL Group
• New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.
• Peoples Health
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.