French Quarter Fest will feature free entertainment – Clarion Herald

The free French Quarter Festival (FQF), the world’s largest showcase of Louisiana music, food and culture, will be presented April 21-24, featuring 1,800 local musicians and restaurant debuts and a new night program.

The Clarion Herald is one of the sponsors of the annual event.

The French Quarter Festival Launch Parade will take place April 21 at 10 a.m., beginning in the 200 block of Bourbon Street and ending in Jackson Square.

There will be more than 270 performances of various genres on 20 stages. For four days, the waterfront Abita Beer Stage will host headliners Tank and the Bangas, Rickie Lee Jones, The Soul Rebels and Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters.

► The Chevron Stage, now located in Jax Lot, will be a Cajun/Zydeco destination. The Chevron Evening Concert Series returns with Irma Thomas, Water Seed, Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. and the Wild Magnolias and Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters and free dance lessons.

► The GE Stage, with a new location in Jackson Square, will host Jeremy Davenport, Shannon Powell, Robin Barnes and James Andrews. Performers on the Jack Daniel’s stage at Canal Plaza include debuts Loose Cattle and the Lilli Lewis Project, as well as Erica Falls and the Jamal Batiste Band.

► At the Tropical Isle Hand Grenade Stage, lineup includes Deacon John and the Ivories with special guests Hot Rod Lincoln, the Vegas Cola Band, Alexey Marti and a Sunday morning Gospel performance by the first Zulu Gospel Choir.

► At the Old US Mint’s New Orleans Jazz Museum, nearly a dozen brass bands will be featured Friday through Sunday on the Louisiana Fish Fry Stage, and the WWL-TV Esplanade on the Shade Stage offers three days of music from audience favorites like Tin Men and Sarah Quintana. On weekends, the Pan-American Life Insurance band stage will host a fusion of Latin rhythms, world music and jazz. Ernie’s School Stage at the Homer A. Plessy Community School brings young people from all over the city to perform, including the NOCCA Jazz Ensemble and the John F. Kennedy Senior High School-JDrum chapter.

► French Quarter Fest After Dark is a curated series of performances and pop-up events, some of which are free: April 21, George Porter Jr. Trio at the Double Dealer, free, 9pm-midnight; April 22, Cha Wa at the Three Keys at the ACE Hotel, $40 at the door, 9 p.m. to midnight; April 23, Cyril Neville at Hotel Saint Vincent, $50 in advance, 9 p.m.-midnight; April 24, Holly Rock at Midnight Revival at the Frenchmen Hotel, $10, 8-11 p.m.

► The Chevron Children’s “STEM Carnival” will be held over the weekend with fun and interactive science, technology, engineering and math activities at Quai Natchez (Toulouse Street and River) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit www.fqfi.org for complete event information.

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