Laura Belinda Tennyson
Lura Belle Productions
(NEW ORLEANS, LA - March 3, 2017): The Washington Square Park Foundation for the Arts today announced the inaugural Washington Square Park Music Festival, a music series that explores the legacy of legendary artists. The festival kicks off on Tuesday, March 21st with A Tribute to Ray Charles featuring piano impresario Davell Crawford, followed on Tuesday, April 4th with A Tribute to Al Jarreau featuring vocal powerhouse Chris Walker. The newly formed NOLA Big Band, an all-star group of bandleaders that include Herlin Riley, Chris Severin and Roderick Paulin, will accompany Davell Crawford and Chris Walker. The Washington Square Park Music Festival also features performances by local musical artists, food by rising culinary stars, refreshing beverages, local crafts and VIP amenities. Free and open to the public, the festival will be held from 3pm - 7pm at Washington Square Park, 700 Elysian Fields Avenue between Frenchmen St. and Royal St. in the heart of the Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans. For more information, follow us on facebook, instagram #washsqparkmusic and twitter or visit us at www.washingtonsquareparknola.com.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Tribute to Ray Charles feat. Davell Crawford
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm - Ole Man River Band featuring Sherman Bernard
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm - Treme Brass Band
4:50 pm - 5:15 pm - DJ Slick Leo
5:15 pm - 5:30 pm - NOLA Big Band with Sleeping Giant
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm - NOLA Big Band with Davell Crawford
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 Tribute to Al Jarreau feat. Chris Walker
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm - Glen Hall Band
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm - Hot 8 Brass Band
4:50 pm - 5:30 pm - DJ Cap't Charles
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm - NOLA Big Band with Chris Walker
"The Washington Square Park Music Festival celebrates the musical genius of Ray Charles and Al Jarreau and provides world-class musicians an opportunity to explore and interpret the music of these legends," says event producer Matt Dillon. Adding "We are also excited to return the festival experience to a neighborhood park where locals, students, families and visitors could gather, bring a blanket and enjoy great music."
Piano prodigy Davell Crawford will headline the tribute to Ray Charles, the legendary bandleader who brought gospel, blues and R&B to the world. Crawford whose musical lineage is steeped in gospel, jazz and R&B, states "Ray Charles has had a profound influence on my life and musical career, he is the bridge between gospel, the blues and R&B." Crawford, the grandson of Sugar Boy Crawford, the 1950's R&B star who had a big hit record with "Jockamo" "My grandmother took me to see Ray Charles at the Saenger Theatre when I was just a child and paying tribute to Ray Charles is like paying a tribute to family," adds Crawford.
The versatile jazz vocalist Chris Walker will headline the tribute to the six-time Grammy Award-winning Al Jarreau. Walker, who toured with Al Jarreau until his recent passing, states, "Al Jarreau was my friend and musical father, it was a privilege and honor to witness his brilliance on stage for 20 years." Al Jarreau was a prolific jazz artist who collaborated with many of the greats including George Duke, Miles Davis, Joe Sample and Chick Corea. Jarreau crossed onto the Pop-charts with his seminal album "Breakin' Away". Walker who is best known for his 1991 debut album, First Time, which yielded two Top-Five R&B hits-- "Giving You All My Love" and "Take Time", has performed with many great artists including Ornette Coleman and Regina Belle.
Dillon adds, " Musically, this festival will be epic. The NOLA Big Band is comprised of generational musicians who are musical royalty, they learned from their fathers, uncles and grandfathers who pioneered the New Orleans funk, jazz and R&B sound. They have traveled the world playing with top musicians from Wynton Marsalis to Dr. John, Ahmad Jamal to Dianne Reeves and many other recognizable names."
The festival is produced by the Washington Square Park Foundation for the Arts, LLC. Title Sponsors include Fickewith Benefits Advisors and Dr. Gregory Ward, MD.