Locals’ Lagniappe Day exceeds all expectations. Locals and visitors from around the world enjoyed picture perfect weather, the best of New Orleans music, food, and the historic French Quarter.
2012 French Quarter Festival App received more downloads than any other app developed by Applitite.
April 12-15 marked the 29th anniversary of French Quarter Festival presented by Capital One Bank. This year’s attendance figures indicate that approximately 574,000* festival-goers enjoyed the music, food, special events and of course, the historic French Quarter.
The new opening day of Festival, dubbed ‘Locals’ Lagniappe Day’, on Thursday, April 12th ran for a full day and enjoyed very strong attendance. Even Friday the 13th didn’t deter festival goers as numbers for Friday rivaled past Saturday attendance figures.
The 2012 French Quarter Festival featured iPhone and Android phone apps, which were available free of charge, courtesy of Capital One Bank. The app’s developer, Philip Berman of Applitite, informed festival organizers today that the 2012 app received more downloads than any other festiva app he has developed (clients include the Chicago Blues Festival, Taste of Chicago, Chicago International Film Festival, and New Orleans Voodoo Experience. Over 25,000 apps were downloaded for the 2012 festival and the Android app garnered a 4 ½ star rating and the iPhone a 4- star rating – very high by App industry standards. Applitite LLC was founded in Chicago in January 2009 by Philip Berman. Application clients include retail, manufacturing, healthcare, games, events and the entertainment industry.
The award-winning festival, which began in 1984, has grown to become the largest free music festival in the South. A record 22 music stages throughout the French Quarter presented the best in New Orleans music, representing every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R & B and New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, classical, cabaret, opera, Cajun Zydeco, Latin World, International, as well as a musical stage for children. Over 90 food and beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint made up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch,” a signature event featuring authentic local cuisine from renowned area restaurants, many of whom have been with the Festival throughout its entire 29-year history.
FQFI officials worked with Capital One Bank and Hotard to continue free shuttle service to the festival for a third year. Free to ride all weekend, Capital One sponsored the ‘Second Line Shuttle’, which was routed from the Central Business District to Canal Street. To accommodate festival goers both Saturday and Sunday, the New Orleans Police Department closed down most streets of the French Quarter to traffic – ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for locals and visitors alike. Fest goers enjoyed walking in the streets and enjoying the historic neighborhood. Very few events in the City are afforded such a traffic closure. New Orleans Police provided strong support throughout the weekend, alongside the Guardian Angels and Fess Security.
French Quarter Festival relies on strong community support to present the ‘kickoff to festival season in New Orleans’ – with over 2,000 volunteers, over 260 musical acts, numerous generous sponsors – including the New Orleans Musicians Union AFM Local 174-496, corporations from all over the state who sponsor musical acts at festival, New Orleans Police and Fire Departments, EMS, permitting assistance from the City of New Orleans and partnerships with Parks and Parkways, Audubon Institute and the Louisiana State Museum, among others.
Over 700 guests attended the festival’s kickoff party: ‘TGIF’ – Thank Goodness it’s Festival! – at the House of Blues. Festival goers attended a variety of free special events throughout the weekend, including the return of the fireworks (absent since 2005), a new lecture series, ‘Let them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music’; free dance lessons at three stages; two children’s areas with music and activities at the Audubon Aquarium riverfront plaza and the courtyard of the Hermann-Grima House Museum; a Pirate’s Alley Juried Art Show; Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest; Battle of the Bands; and Sunday’s ‘Dancing at Dusk’, which filled the 400 block of Royal Street and beyond with dancers.
Festival Sponsors for the 29th annual French Quarter Festival as of February 9, 2012 include: Capital One Bank (Presenting Sponsor), Abita Brewing Company, Pepsi, WWL-TV, Absolut Vodka, Malibu Rum, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Woodbridge Wines, Tropical Isle, Rouses Market, Harrah’s Foundation, French Market Corporation, Chevron, New TUMS Freshers, Louisiana Office of Tourism, The Greater New Orleans Buick/GMC Dealerships, City of New Orleans, The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, Rick’s 315 Bourbon, Musician’s Performance Fund, PJ’s Coffee and Tea of New Orleans, nola.com, Louisiana Lottery, House of Blues, Hotel Monteleone, United Airlines, Pat O’s on the River, Hard Rock Café, Windsor Court Hotel, BMI, Court of Two Sisters, Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Hospital for Children at Tulane Medical Center, Hermann Grima House, Applitite, Musical Legends Park, Red Bull, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, Rolland Lock and Safe, Pelican Ice, SDT, OffBeat Magazine, Where Y’at Magazine, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOLA Jitterbugs, NOTV, NOLA Baby & Family Magazine, Preservation Hall, The Historic New Orleans Collection, St. Louis Cathedral, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, I.T.S. Fire Alarm Security, NewOrleans.com, Louisiana Cookin’, TRS, Kids and Family New Orleans, IntheKnowla.com, Where Magazine, Nola Baby and Family, Curve Magazine, Ambush Magazine, The Vinyl District, New Orleans Magazine, Louisiana Life Magazine, Acadian Profile, MyNewOrleans.com, St. Charles Avenue Magazine, New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, WRNO, WWNO, 96.1 The River, 101.5 WYNK, 102.5 WFMF, 1150AM WJOB, B97, Bayou 95.7, Magic 101.9, KCIL, KXOR, and KJIN.
French Quarter Festivals, Inc. releases the 2012 music lineup for the 29th annual French Quarter Festival – April 12- April 15, 2012 and introduces two new stages to the growing festival – the Rick’s 315 Stage on Bourbon Street (traditional Jazz) and a Cabaret Stage at the Hotel Monteleone’s new Carousel Bar. French Quarter Festival was founded in 1984 as a way to bring locals back to the French Quarter after major street and sidewalk construction before the World’s Fair. What was meant to be a one-time event has grown into a free, four-day festival with over 22 stages of music throughout the French Quarter, over 800 local musicians, over 250 hours of free music, and over 500,000 festival goers.
This year French Quarter Festival introduces many new acts to the lineup including the Royal Southern Brotherhood with Cyril Neville, Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders, Deacon John, New Orleans Bingo! Show, George Porter, Jr. and his Runnin’ Pardners, Papa Grows Funk, Gina Brown & Anutha Level, the Iguanas, and Bill Summers & Jazalsa, to name a few. French Quarter Festival will also feature 2012 Grammy winners, Rebirth Brass Brand – along with local favorites like Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews and Orleans Avenue; Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington; Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra; Jeremy Davenport; Soul Rebels; Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys; and Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders.
Musician Sponsorship Program
In 2012 French Quarter Festival, Inc. launched the Musician Sponsorship program which eliminated the musicians’ responsibility of securing a sponsor. The new program has taken the burden off musicians and created hundreds of new partnerships for the festival. In March 2012, the Festival met its goal for musician sponsorships and will use the extra funds raised to cover musician parking at festival this year. One hundred percent of the musician sponsorship income will go towards musician expense at French Quarter Festival. Currently, twenty-one (of the twenty-two) stages at French Quarter Festival feature Louisiana artists exclusively. Over 800 local musicians perform at French Quarter Festival each year.
Visit www.fqfi.org for more information on the music lineup, stages, and musician sponsorship. The free App for iPhone or Android is courtesy of Capital One Bank and Applitite.
In a city known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, even festivals are known for serving world-class food. During the 29th annual French Quarter Festival (Thursday, April 12 – Sunday, April 15, 2012) festival-goers will enjoy signature offerings at the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.” The 2012 festival welcomes nine new restaurants including Galatoire’s, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, Blue Dot Donuts, Three Muses, Maximo’s Italian Grill, Grand Isle, Deanies, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant, and PJ’s Coffee and Tea of New Orleans. Food and beverage booths, located in Jackson Square, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, make up the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.”
French Quarter Festival annually features authentic local cuisine from the area’s finest restaurants, including festival favorites such as crawfish and goat cheese crepes, cochon de lait po-boys, crawfish bisque, Oysters Bonne Femme, hot boiled crawfish, grilled chicken livers with pepper jelly, sweet potato pie, bourbon bbq shrimp, prime debris po-boys, Abita beer, snoballs, and more. Foodies will also enjoy lamb sliders, Crawfish Diavolo, baked alaska, and boudin balls. In addition to the food offerings, the festival offers an array of refreshing beverages including Abita Beer, Absoult Vodka, Malibu Rum and Jameson cocktails and daiquiris, Pepsi products including Aquafina and Gatorade, Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes, Tropical Isle Hand Grenades (and Skinny Hand Grenades), WWOZ’s Mango Freeze, and Plum Street Sno-Balls – now with an additional fourth location in Jackson Square. Most menu items range in price from $4 – $8 to keep the festival not only fun, but affordable.
In order to maintain the authenticity and quality of the cuisine, the Jazz Brunch Committee follows specific criteria for participating in the “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch”. In order to qualify, vendors must be dine-in restaurants and New Orleans restaurants are given first preference. French Quarter Festival features neighborhood favorites – including Antoine’s, Desire Oyster Bar, Galatoire’s, G W Fins, Muriel’s, Court of Two Sisters, The Bombay Club, Bennachin, Praline Connection, and Tujague’s – many of whom participated in the first-ever French Quarter Festival in 1984.
Visit www.fqfi.org to view complete food and beverage menus, or download the free Apps for iPhone and Android – courtesy of Capital One Bank and Applitite. The “World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” is served daily from 11am to 7pm at Jackson Square and Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint and 11am to 9 pm at Woldenberg Riverfront Park, except for Sunday when the entire festival closes at 7pm.
As part of French Quarter Festivals, Inc.’s partnership with the NOLA Jitterbugs, festival-goers can enjoy free dance lessons at the French Market Traditional Jazz Stage and on the riverfront – at the Cajun-Zydeco Showcase. Professional dance teachers from NOLA Jitterbugs, DancingMan504, Dance Quarter, and Cajun Dance Productions will teach classes.
Friday, April 13:
Cajun-Zydeco Stage – 2:00 Cajun Jitterbug dance lesson / 4:00 Zydeco dance lesson
Traditional Jazz Stage at the French Market: 12:45 Swing dance lesson / 3:00 BrassXcise Second Line dance lesson
Saturday, April 14:
Cajun-Zydeco Stage – 2:00 Zydeco dance lesson / 4:00 Cajun Jitterbug dance lesson
Traditional Jazz Stage at the French Market: 10:30 am Traditional Jazz dance lesson / 12:45 Swing dance lesson / 3:00 BrassXcise Second Line dance lesson
Sunday, April 15:
Cajun-Zydeco Stage – 2:00 Cajun Jitterbug dance lesson / 4:00 Zydeco dance lesson
Traditional Jazz Stage at the French Market: 10:30 am Swing dance lesson / 12:45 1920s Charleston dance lesson / 3:00 Balboa Swing dance lesson
Author and Artists at French Quarter Festival
Festival-goers can enjoy the Pirates Alley Juried Art Show presented by the New Orleans Art Association, open Saturday and Sunday of the festival from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with over 100 artists displaying original fine art on Pirates Alley, Pere Antoine Alley, Cabildo Alley, and Royal Street.
French Quarter Festival Artist and Author Signings, featuring Brandon Delles, official poster artist for the 2012 French Quarter Festival – and Kit Wohl, author of New Orleans Classic Brunches-French Quarter Festival edition – Jackson Square near the merchandise tent – 2012 Poster Artist Brandon Delles will sign every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kit Wohl will sign her book on Friday and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
French Quarter Festival Artist Poster Signing and Reception, featuring 2012 French Quarter Festival poster artist Brandon Delles – Vincent Art Gallery, 631 Decatur; hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Musical Special Events at French Quarter Festival
All events are free and open to the public
French Quarter Festival Second-Line Kickoff Parade led by New Birth Brass Band – 100 block of Bourbon Street to Jackson Square – Friday, April 13th at 10 a.m.
Opera at Dusk – operatic performances with musical accompaniment from a beautiful French Quarter Balcony. Sponsored by La Belle Galerie; 300 block of Chartres – Saturday, April 14th at 6 p.m.
Battle of the Bands – Traditional Jazz bands compete in a rousing playoff on the steps of the Supreme Court building on Royal Street. This year’s bands include Cori Walters and the Universe Jazz Band, Andrew Hall’s Memories of New Orleans and Bob Walters’ Good Time Jazz Band – 400 block of Royal Street – Saturday, April 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Concert at St. Louis Cathedral – Grammy Award-winner Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will perform original Jazz arrangements of Negro spirituals and sacred music – St. Louis Cathedral – Saturday, April 14th at 6 p.m.
Dancing at Dusk – Audiences will be ‘In the Mood’ for a ‘Sentimental Journey’ with the sounds of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and other favorites from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Dance and swing on picturesque Royal Street at this festival favorite. This year’s big band is Rocky’s Hot Fox Trot Orchestra – 400 Block of Royal Street – Sunday, April 15th from 6 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
The St. Louis Cathedral Annual Spring Concert – Under the direction of Dreux Montegut, the Saint Louis Cathedral Concert Choir and Orchestra, joined by Loyola University Chamber Singers and New Orleans Vocal Arts Chorale, will perform at the St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square. The combined ensembles will perform the Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K 339 by W. A. Mozart and the Missa Kenya by Paul Basler – St. Louis Cathedral – Sunday, April 15th at 7 p.m.
Rouses World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest
Hosted by the IFEA (International Federation of Eating)
Professional and celebrity eaters battle to eat the most crawfish by the pound. The professional eaters round will be preceded by a media round – Old U.S. Mint, 400 Barracks Street – Saturday, April 14th at 12 noon.
Fireworks are back!
Sponsored by Tropical Isle
2012 brings the return of the fireworks show presented by Pyrotecnico and sponsored by Tropical Isle. Fireworks are scheduled for Saturday, April 14th at 9 p.m. over the Mississippi River. Fireworks were last seen at French Quarter Festival in April 2005 (pre-Hurricane Katrina).
Let Them Talk: Conversations on Louisiana Music
Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint, 3rd Floor – 400 Esplanade
Sponsored and presented by French Quarter Festivals, Inc. and the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, with support from the University of New Orleans Midlo Center, Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University, and the Louisiana State Museum.
Saturday, April 14
12:00PM — The Many Sides Of Sunpie — Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes is a multi-faceted exponent of New Orleans and Louisiana music and culture — who does distinguished work as a Ranger for the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park — and crowd-pleasing turns as the multi-instrumentalist (harmonica, piano, accordion) leader of Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots. Meet Bruce Barnes in this interview with Fred Kasten.
1:00PM — Super Sousaphone — New Orleans sousaphone virtuoso Matt Perrine is also a big time performer on acoustic and electric bass — and that versatility keeps Matt in demand with an eclectic range of bands — including the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Tin Men and John Ellis’s Double Wide. Find out more about the life and career of Matt Perrine in this interview with Fred Kasten.
2:00PM — Groove Interrupted — Longtime Times-Picayune music writer Keith Spera’s recent book Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal, and the Music of New Orleans includes a chapter about the recording of jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport’s 2009 album, We’ll Dance ‘Til Dawn. The scenes capture the wise-cracking camaraderie of a cast of characters that includes trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. For Let Them Talk, Keith Spera and Jeremy Davenport discuss the behind-the-scenes reality of making a jazz album in the modern era.
3:00PM — Funkify Your Life – Electric bass master George Porter, Jr. laid down the super funky bass lines that helped form the foundation of the deep grooves created by legendary New Orleans band The Meters, whose innovative, irresistible and highly influential music remains a powerful force in the funk, jam band and hip-hop genres. George Porter, Jr. has gone on to become an award-winning bandleader with his Runnin’ Pardners and first-call sideman of international renown – and talks about these many aspects of his life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten.
4:00PM — Clyde Kerr, Sr. Award Winners Shirley Chatters Bloom and Jonathan Bloom – The Clyde Kerr, Sr. Award honors outstanding achievement in music education. This year’s award winners are Shirley
Chatters Bloom and her son, Jonathan Bloom. Shirley Chatters Bloom is a soon-to-be 91 year-old violinist and vocalist who sang with Paul Robeson and taught at the Grunewald School of Music with Clyde Kerr, Sr. Jonathan Bloom is a noted percussionist and a dedicated music educator in New Orleans for over three decades. For Let Them Talk, Jonathan and Shirley Chatters Bloom discuss their lives in music and music education with New Orleans historian Al Kennedy.
Sunday, April 15
1:00PM – In the Pocket with Johnny V. — Drummer and composer Johnny Vidacovich is a New Orleans rhythm master. From second line street beats to trad jazz cadences, contemporary jazz polyrhythms to big band swing, and hard-hitting funk to jam band explorations, Johnny Vidacovich has the rhythm covered – and music colored – in exciting and innovative ways. For Let Them Talk, Johnny V. discusses his life in music with interviewer Fred Kasten, and takes to the trap set to demonstrate some essential New Orleans rhythms.
2:00PM – Lionel Ferbos: on the Right Side of 100! – New Orleans trumpeter Lionel Ferbos celebrated his 100th birthday in July of 2011 and continues to charm listeners with his heartfelt singing and playing at regular appearances around the Crescent City. He also had a long career as an accomplished craftsman in the building trades and talks about his life and times with award-winning photographer and jazz historian John McCusker.
3:00PM — 21st Century Slidemen in a Tailgatin’ Town – The trombone has played a primary role in New Orleans jazz and brass band music for over a century. Outstanding contemporary trombonists Craig Klein, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Mark Mullins remain deeply informed and respectful of the New Orleans trombone tradition, even while spending considerable time pursuing different approaches to music. For Let Them Talk, the three discuss their lives as trombonists and the instrument’s evolving role in modern music. Interviewer Fred Kasten
4:00PM — Dynamic Duo: Meschiya Lake and Tom McDermott – Top-notch New Orleans pianist and composer Tom McDermott and rising-star jazz vocalist Meschiya Lake have won a lot of fans with their series of intimate but powerful duo performances in the last few years. For Let Them Talk Tom McDermott, also an accomplished journalist, interviews Meschiya Lake about her life in music. The session concludes with a 15 minute mini-concert of jazz and blues classics.
New this year!
Children’s Museum Activities and fun at the Hermann-Grima House
The education departments of some of New Orleans’ great museums (Longue Vue House and Gardens, Hermann-Grima House, Beauregard Keyes House, New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, and more) will host activity booths in the beautiful courtyard gardens of the Hermann-Grima House, located at 820 St. Louis Street – Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 6 p.m.
Children and adults alike can also enjoy the family friendly activates at the riverfront plaza near the Audubon Aquarium. The riverfront Children’s Headquarters is filled with fun educational activities, fun exercise offerings, and kid-friendly music and food.
To view the full schedule of Special Events or for more information about the Children’s Areas, click here or download the free app on your iPhone or Android courtesy of Capital One Bank and Applitite.
It makes perfect sense that the Big Easy, with its knack for nostalgia as well as its passion for living in the moment and savoring it, would be the home of so many decadent recipes for that most luxurious of meals—brunc —especially for the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch during the annual French Quarter Festival. Pelican Publishing Company has produced a special signed and numbered, limited edition of the new book in Kit Wohl’s Classic New Orleans series to be released on March 15.
In this gorgeously photographed book, Wohl has compiled fifty recipes from the city’s legendary restaurants and chefs, complete with straightforward instructions for attaining easy elegance any time of the day
“We‘re toasting New Orleans greatest entertainers: food, music, and the leisure to enjoy them. Festival executive director Marci Schramm and her colleagues give us that opportunity,” says author Kit Wohl. ”The city’s legendary and quirky restaurants provided both traditional and unconventional recipes for a close-up of our magical customs. The chefs comprise an honor roll of New Orleans’ best. From highfalutin to down home, they create the greatest neighborhood food in America. We know this to be true—that’s a promise.”
The French Quarter Festival serves up the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch, rollicking through historic Jackson Square, Vieux Carré parks, and the riverfront. Each spring is a free showcase of traditional and contemporary jazz, rhythm and blues, New Orleans funk, Zydeco, brass bands, folk, opera, and gospel. —Seasoned with fun in a four-day second line, it’s a fest with a feast celebrated by New Orleans best: great food, music, and dancing in the streets.
Tips, techniques, culinary escapades, and inspirations from these masters accompany the recipes. If you know what it means to miss New Orleans, this cookbook is for you. If you’ve never been here, plan a visit for the French Quarter Festival, and relish a meal you’ve only dreamed about.
Kit Wohl is the author of eight books celebrating cuisine and her native New Orleans, is also a photographer, fine artist, and graphic artist.