A few new ideas for folks tired of catching the same acts they see in the clubs around town every week. Keep reading for more on Aurora Nealand, Leroy Jones and Kristen Diable — and to find out more about why even New Orleans’ biggest free festival comes with a price tag.The Times Picayune — Glen David Andrews admits that the first time Amanda Shaw sat in with him during his Monday spot at d.b.a, there was some head-scratching over what a Treme-born trombone player would have in common with a fiddle-playing, zydeco-pop prodigy from Covington.
But after a few shows together, they were selling out the off-hours gig. And Friday, April 8, night at the Harrah’s “Louis Louis” Pavilion Stage at the French Quarter Festival, the unlikely duo goes prime time — for free.
The 2011 French Quarter Fest, which opens today, April 7, is poised to prove its mettle as a showcase for the city’s most inventive artist combinations, new material and rising stars. Longtime favorites such as Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Kermit Ruffins and Bruce Daigrepont are featured in the lineup, but festival-goers who dig a little deeper may find a trove of promising acts from unexpected places, performing, in many cases, despite sizeable financial obstacles. Read more