What hard choices to we face? Where are the pleasant surprises?

Vampire Weekend photo
Vampire Weekend

Today, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell held its annual one month out party and released the schedule. For me, the biggest surprise is that few days pose hard challenges for me. First Sunday: Vampire Weekend or Rodriguez to finish the day? I was really impressed by Vampire Weekend at SXSW a year ago when Vampires of the City was about to be released. Second Friday: Alabama Shakes or Charles Bradley? Both blew me away last time I saw them. There will be sets where I’ll see the start of one and the end of another, but there are few other instances when I want to see two things that can’t be seen at the same time.

Two pleasing developments this year are Hurray for the Riff Raff getting away from the first slot of the day and performing on the Samsung Galaxy Stage (formerly the Gentilly Stage) Friday, May 2 at 2:05 p.m., and Royal Teeth moving to an afternoon slot as well (Apr. 27, 12:45 p.m.) New Orleans indie rock will be represented by Rotary Downs (Apr. 25, 11:25 a.m.) Vox and the Hound (Apr. 25, 3:55 p.m.),  The Honorable South (May 2, 11:30 a.m.), Cardinal Sons (May 2, 2:30 p.m.), Micah McKee and Little Maker (May 3, 12:50 p.m.), Alexis and the Samurai (May 3, 2:15 p.m.), and The Deslondes (May 4, 12:55 p.m.).

I’ll be back at Jazz Fest again this year, and will interview Texas folk/blues singer Robert Earl Keen Sunday, May 4 in the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage at 2:30 p.m. There are a number of interviews I hope to see this year including Rubén Blades (Apr. 25, 1:15 p.m.), Big Freedia, mainly to hear her interviewed by Peggie Laborde (Apr. 26, 1:30 p.m.), my Advocate compadre John Wirt on his Huey “Piano” Smith biography (Apr. 26, 4:30 p.m.), Charlie Wilson (Apr. 27, 3 p.m.), Max Baca (May 1, 2:15 p.m.), Truth Universal and EF Cuttin (May 1, 4:15 p.m.), Helen Gillet (May 2, 1:30 p.m.), and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra (May 3, 4:15 p.m.).

We’ll have more on Jazz Fest as it gets closer. Needless to say, tickets are on sale now.

What are you looking forward to?