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Nola Live Music Letter

Editor's Note: There is so much live music in New Orleans, and sometimes it can be rather overwhelming to know what to hear, where to go, or what to do. Writer and music lover Wesley Hodges is giving weekly previews of the live music happening in New Orleans as well as some sneak previews into what is coming up. For a full view of Wesley's suggestions, check out his facebook page

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Photo courtesy of Jazz and Heritage Festival website

THE WAIT IS OVER - The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup is here!

Keeping the intro short this week, with more focus on the Jazz Fest lineup that dropped on Friday (scroll down below). Also, the contest continues for a pair of tix to see Lost Bayou Ramblers with Maggie Koerner at Tipitina's on Friday, February 10th - enter here.

Be sure to check the NOLA Live Music Letter FB page, and, as always, for a more comprehensive concert listing, visit WWOZ's Livewire.


JAZZ FEST 2017 LINEUP BREAKDOWN

It had been a longer than usual wait to get the Jazz Fest lineup and now that it's here, I'd love to hear people's thoughts on it. On the whole, the headliners aren't quite as ridiculously high dollar as they've been in years past, but the overall spread is still very strong amidst what I think is a very, very weak American major festival landscape in 2017. Plus, crowd sizes should ebb slightly to more comfortable levels than we've seen at the Acura Stage at sets like Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam, Elton John and the like (although expect to see comparable turnouts for Stevie).

Non-local Jazz Fest staples like Widespread Panic, Wilco, Alabama Shakes are joined by a random grab bag of pop radio artists like Maroon 5, Meghan Trainor and Pitbull just below the major headliners like Tom Petty and Stevie Wonder.

The highest intrigue (to me) in the lineup are the collaboration and tribute shows this year. CJ Chenier's tribute to the recently departed Buckwheat Zydeco should be a who's who of the biggest names in zydeco on the Fais Do Do Stage and there's little doubt that the Tribute to Louis Armstrong will feature a few of the biggest names on that given weekend's lineup sitting in. Will be hard to top last year's magical Toussaint tribute, but this one has big potential.

Here are five artists from each day I've got bookmarked (picking only five each for some of these days is quite difficult):

Friday, April 28 (Day 1)
NAS with special guests The Soul Rebels
Aaron Neville
The Pedrito Martinez Group
Trey Anastasio Band
Joe Krown Trio featuring Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Russell Batiste

Saturday, April 29 (Day 2)
Usher and the Roots (!)
Alabama Shakes
The Jazz Epistles featuring Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya and Hugh Masekela
Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Lost Bayou Ramblers

Sunday, April 30 (Day 3)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
George Benson
Dr. John
New Orleans Spiritualettes
Glenn David Andrews and the Treme Choir

Thursday, May 4 (Day 4)
Widespread Panic
Tower of Power
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall
A Salute to Louis Armstrong featuring Hugh Masekela and Dr. Michael White
C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band

Friday, May 5 (Day 5)
Wilco
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds
Sonny Landreth
William Bell
Anders Osborne

Saturday, May 6 (Day 6)
Stevie Wonder
Snoop Dogg
Big Freedia
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
A Tribute to Buckwheat Zydeco

Sunday, May 7 (Day 7)
The Meters
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Galactic
The Zion Harmonizers
Jonathon "Boogie" Long

THIS WEEK's NOLA LIVE MUSIC LETTER CONCERT PICKS
Preservation Hall Jazz Band at One Eyed Jacks (1/31 - $10)
Nots at Gasa Gasa (2/1)
WCP Presents: Vibe Street at Hi Ho Lounge (2/2)
TBC Brass Band at Carver Theater (2/3)
The New Orleans Suspects at Maple Leaf Bar (2/2, 2/3 and 2/4)
Austra with The Range at Gasa Gasa (2/2)
Kermit Ruffins at Blue Nile (2/3)
Angel Olsen at Republic (2/4)
Goatwhore at Siberia (2/4)
The Thieves at Gasa Gasa (2/4)
Joe Krown Trio at The Maple Leaf Bar (2/5)
NEW MUSIC 
 Best of 2017 (playlist)