French Quarter Fest lineup: Galactic, Astral Project, Ellis Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Bonerama, Rebirth Brass Band, more.

The French Quarter Festival in New Orleans is a nice alternative to the bigger Jazz and Heritage Festival: Many of the same great New Orleans & Louisiana artists, without the big pop/rock acts.

Admission is free, and the fest is held on stages spread across the Quarter and along the Mississippi River. Meaning: if you get a hotel there, you can walk to everything, and not  hassle with going to and from the Fair Grounds (as you do with Jazz Fest).

The festival will be held April 11-14. The lineup seems to get better every year and, yes, the four-day affair is more crowded than in the early years of the FQF.

astral project

Some highlights of the lineup, just announced:

Thursday, April 11 — Galactic, Jon Cleary, Chubby Carrier, Evan Christopher, Rebirth Brass Band, Tin Men, Sasha Masakowski

Friday, April 12 — Delfeayo Marsalis, The Iguanas, George Porter Jr., John Boutte, Alex McMurray, Leroy Jones, Little Freddie King, Papa Mali

Saturday, April 13 — Bill Summers, Cyril Neville, Ellis Marsalis, Leroy Jones, Paul Sanchez, Shamarr Allen, Walter Wolfman Washington, Jazz Vipers, Treme Brass Band

Sunday, April 14 — Astral Project (above), Bonerama, James Andrews, Dash Rip Rock, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Tuba Skinny, James Andrews, Jeremy Davenport

Check it the Offbeat story here.

Trombone Shorty Kicks Off Weekly Concert Series at Lafayette Square (New Orleans)

Wednesday at the Square, a weekly free-admission concert at Lafayette Square in New Orleans, resumes March 24 with a double-bill featuring Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, with singer-songwriter Mia Borders opening. The ongoing series offers loads of great performances by NOLA artists – jazz, funk, rock, folk, R&B, brass band and more.

Shows start at 5 p.m. and continue until about 7:30 p.m. Local restaurants will cater food and drinks (to benefit the city’s Young Leadership Council), and art vendors will also be on hand.

The schedule:

March 24th: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue + Mia Borders

March 31st: Cowboy Mouth + Creole String Beans

April 7th: Big Sam’s Funky Nation + Honey Island Swamp Band

April 14th: Jon Cleary: Piano, Bass & Drum + Lost Bayou Ramblers

April 21st: Amanda Shaw + Mark Adam Miller

April 28th: Marcia Ball + MyNameIsJohnMichael

May 5th: Junco Partners + Billy Iuso & The Restless Natives

May 12th: Dirty Dozen Brass Band + Happy Jack Frequency

May 19th: Irma Thomas + Threadhead Artists: Paul Sanchez, Glen David
Andrews, Margie Perez

May 26th: Bucktown All Stars + Benny Grunch and the Bunch

June 2nd: The Boogie Men + The N’awlins Johnnys

June 9th: Galactic + The Soul Rebels

For more information, visit the official Wednesday at the Square site.