Gambit's Jazz Fest Picks: Saturday, April 30 | Music | Gambit Weekly | nola.com – NOLA.com

Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball of Tank and the Bangas.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit perform at Jazz Fest.
Irma Thomas performs in the Gospel Tent at Jazz Fest.

Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball of Tank and the Bangas.
1:40 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Cultural Exchange Pavilion
Formed in 2004 in Kyiv, DakhaBrakha calls itself a world music quartet, and it has both a unique sound built on Ukrainian folk music with stirring percussion, sometimes haunting vocals and art rock. Accordionist Marko Halanevych and cellist Nina Garenetska drive the band and Olena Tsybulska and Iryna Kovalenko add percussion.
1:40 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Jazz & Heritage Stage
4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Cultural Exchange Pavilion
Haitian roots music collective Lakou Mizik came together after the 2010 earthquake that struck the Caribbean country. They had a mission: To share Haitian culture around the world and dispel misconceptions about their home while preserving the country’s music and passing it on to the next generation. In 2019, Lakou Mizik released its sophomore album, “HaitiaNola,” a collaboration with a number of New Orleans-based musicians, including Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, 79rs Gang, Leyla McCalla, The Soul Rebels and Trombone Shorty. The collective’s latest album is “Leave the Bones.”
1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Economy Hall Tent
Early during the pandemic, clarinetist Tim Laughlin delivered short, socially distanced, solo concerts from his French Quarter balcony to raise spirits during the initial shutdowns. Laughlin was a protégé of Pete Fountain and championed traditional jazz styles and New Orleans players. In 2020, he released an album of originals titled “New Standards,” and it’s full of beautiful tones and melodies.
2:15 p.m.-3:20 p.m. Congo Square Stage
In recent years, Mia Young, better known as Mia X, has been spreading the word on healthier food and living, and she released a cookbook-memoir “Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed Me.” But she’s still one of the fiercest women in hip-hop. She helped propel No Limit Records in the 1990s and was central to several collaborations with other No Limit artists. She climbed to the top of the hip-hop world by herself with the albums “Unlady Like” and “Mama Drama.”
3:05 p.m.-4:10 p.m. Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage
Martha Redbone’s repertoire of folk, blues, soul and more stems from her roots growing up Kentucky — drawing on her mother’s Cherokee culture and her father’s gospel singing. Redbone honed her roots and soul sound in New York, and has blended traditional and indie music sounds.
3:50 p.m.-5:05 p.m. Congo Square Stage
In May 2019, Tank and the Bangas released their major label debut, “Green Balloon,” and the band’s Jazz Fest featured a burst of green balloons and costuming. The album leaned into Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s vocal talents with singing and spoken word over the band’s only-from-New Orleans mix of jazzy funk, soul and rock. This set falls just before its May 13 release of “Red Balloon,” which features contributions from Trombone Shorty, Big Freedia, Lalah Hathaway and others.
Irma Thomas performs in the Gospel Tent at Jazz Fest.
3:50 p.m.-4:50 p.m. Gospel Tent
Irma Thomas walked away from her R&B singing career for a few years, but she’s never stopped singing gospel. For years, she’s held down two big Jazz Fest shows — one built on R&B, and another in the Gospel Tent.
4:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m. WWOZ Jazz Tent
Donald Harrison Jr. will appear several times at Jazz Fest, including his own headlining set and with young musicians he is mentoring on Friday, April 29. Here, he performs with The Cookers, a septet focused on post-bop jazz. The all-star lineup features veterans of some of the best-known bands and names in jazz. Billy Harper played alongside Herbie Hancock and Max Roach. Pianist George Cables backed Sonny Rollins and Freddie Hubbard. The lineup also includes Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Billy Hart and Cecil McBee.
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit perform at Jazz Fest.
5:40 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Shell Gentilly Stage
Jason Isbell is one of the best songwriters in contemporary rock and country music, which is reflected in the fact that his albums “Something More than Free,” “The Nashville Sound” and “Reunions” — the latter two with The 400 Unit — all reaching the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s rock, country and folk charts. While his early years with the Drive-By Truckers might have been more raucous, he’s honed his songwriting since his 2007 solo debut, “Sirens of the Ditch.” His most recent release with the 400 Unit is October’s “Georgia Blue,” a collection of his favorite Georgia songs, which he pledged to record for charity if Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 election.
5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Festival Stage
Pete Townshend spilled the beans about a Jazz Fest date in a 2019 video to fans, but they obviously didn’t get to enjoy that 2020 appointment. Now, the legends of British rock are scheduled to hit the stage Saturday. Roger Daltrey and Townshend perform with a full backing band, including Pete’s younger brother Simon Townshend, and on their current North American tour have been augmenting it with local orchestras. The group has been drawing on hits spanning its career and tunes from its 2019 studio album, “Who.”
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Email Will Coviello at wcoviello@gambitweekly.com
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