Leyla McCalla Maps Her Musical World Before Jazz Fest Friday

On last year’s A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, Leyla McCalla situated her exploration of her Haitian Creole roots in South Louisiana, not by making Cajun or zydeco music, but by working with Louis Michot, Don Vappie and other area musicians to find a place where their ideas meet. The performances have obvious intellectual rigor, but it never comes at the expense of heart.

Jazz Fest: Context Works Against Red Hot Chili Peppers

Everything is relative. At a Lollapalooza or a rock festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers are funky. At Jazz Fest, they’re a rock band. They love funk, and Flea can be a funky bassist, but their rock is stronger than their funk, and it shows in a place where funkier bands are all around. Sunday, they surprised almost no one when they brought out The Meters with Ivan Neville subbing for Art to join them on the set-ending “Give It Away.” The two bands jammed together at Voodoo in 2006, and Meters’ guitarist Leo Nocentelli played the Acura Stage a few hours before the Chili Peppers.

Jazz Fest: Sunday's Schedule and Picks

I have the highest hopes for today at Jazz Fest. With the exception of Janelle Monae, this first weekend has lacked musical urgency. Pearl Jam started and finished hot, but you had to be committed to get through the middle hour. Van Morrison wasn't a mess, but I'm not sure "electrifying" is in his vocabulary in 2016. Our highlights for today aren't all attention-grabbers, but they do reflect personal visions.

Getting Music Out of The Music Box

(The Music Box: Roving Village City Park opens Friday with concerts at 7 and 9 p.m., then Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m. It will remain in place until May 10, and it will be open to the public on the weekends from noon to 6 p.m. Yesterday, we presented the first half of this story, focusing on the journey of The Music Box from The Bywater in 2011 to City Park today.

Pages