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THE

Defender Picks

 

Vendredi

April 25th

Jazz Fest

Fair Grounds (11 a.m.- 7 p.m.)

Headliners include The Avett Brothers, Public Enemy and, Aurora Nealand 

 

Underground Railroad Film Screening

NOMA (5 p.m.)

Fridays at NOMA features art and music inside, film in the Sculpture Garden, plus food and drink 

 

Rotary Downs + Mike Dillon 

Gasa Gasa (9 p.m.)

New Orleans psych pop, rock n' roll 

 

Backbeat Jazz Fest Series  

Blue Nile (10 p.m.)

Soul Rebels, Nigel Hall & the Congregation, and more 

 

Nina Simone Tribute

Cafe Istanbul (11 p.m.)

Tank and the Bangas + Mykia Jovan 

 

Andrew Duhon

Circle Bar (10 p.m.)

Local bluesy singer/songwriter  

 

Trombone Shorty + Orleans Ave.

House of Blues (8 p.m.)

Plus New Breed Brass Band. Tickets are $50  

 

Dumpstaphunk + Easy All Stars + More

Howlin' Wolf (10 p.m.)

Ivan Neville's band joins fellow funk bands on stage, with the Roosevelt Collier Band 

 

Bootsy Collins + DJ Soul Sister

Joy Theater (9 p.m.)

Funk legend joins New Orleans' own queen of rare grooves 

Samedi

April 26th

Jazz Fest

Fair Grounds (11 a.m.- 7 p.m.)

Headliners include Robin Thicke, 101 Runners, Branford Marsalis Quartet, and Phish 

 

Shamarr Fest

Shamrock (10 p.m.)

Shamar Allen & The Underdawgs, Hot 8 Brass Band, John Popper of Blues Traveler, and more

 

Cowboy Mouth

Tipitina's (9 p.m.)

plus Honey Island Swamp Band 

 

Katdelic

Blue Nile (2 a.m.)

Funk, rock, and hip hop from San Francisco

 

Heatwave

Prytania Bar (9 p.m.)

All-vinyl dance party spinning Motown/garage rock/R&B/soul/oldies

 

HUSTLE with DJ Soul Sister 

Hi Ho Lounge (11 p.m.)

Queen of rare grooves spins all-vinyl boogie, funk, and more into the wee hours of the morning 

 

Grayson Capps

Carrollton Station (10 p.m.)

plus the Lost Cause Minstrels + Jamie Lynn Vessels

Dimanche

April 27th

Jazz Fest

Fair Grounds (11 a.m.- 7 p.m.)

Headliners include Vampire Weekend, New Birth Brass Band, John Boutte, and more

 

Swinging Sundays

Allways Lounge (8 p.m.)

Swing dance lessons and party, live band from 9 p.m.-midnight 

 

Mogwai

Civic Theatre (8 p.m.)

Prog rock, Majeure opens

 

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic

House of Blues (9 p.m.)

Key holder to the city of New Orleans, Clinton, joins DJ Soul Sister


Greeking Out

Greek Fest’s Makes 40 with Hellenic Dancing, Fare, and Ouzo on the Bayou



For their 40th year, The Holy Trinity Cathedral (1200 Robert E. Lee Blvd) is inviting Grecophiles out to Bayou St. John for goat burgers, traditional music and dancing, regional libations, and fun for all ages. 

 

In 1973, Greek Fest began as a casual gathering for parishioners whose church had grown too big for its britches. It wasn’t long before the fest’s ideal location on Bayou St. John, distinctive food offerings, and blissful atmosphere began to attract a wide audience.

 

“The reason the festival started was because we outgrew out church, so we bought property on Bayou St. John. Our first festival was more like a fair, honestly,” said Festival Co Chair Gail Psilos.

 

Although non-Greeks have grown to embrace the festival as one of New Orleans’ major attractions, the annual event remains an authentic reflection of Hellenic heritage.   Like most ethnic strongholds in the Big Easy, Greek Orthodox folks have preserved key elements of their culture and blended them with New Orleans’ laidback attitude.

 

“We are the first Greek Orthodox Church in all of North and South America,” said Psilos. “We are a port city, and many ships from all different countries came here because of the Mississippi River. Our religion and our heritage go hand in hand.”

 

One of the best things about the Greeks is their diet, well documented for its flavors, as well as its health benefits. “The one thing you can always bank on is a Mediterranean diet,” said Psilos. “Homemade string beans and a tomato sauce, olive oil, and fresh vegetables will be on our dinner plate.”

 

In keeping with the casual feel of the fest, dinner plates are served in the church’s gymnasium. However, the food booths are the major culinary draw. Greek calamari with feta cheese, goat burgers, baklava, and frappes (Greek coffee) offer guests cuisine that ventures outside of the typical New Orleans palate.

 

Perhaps the best example of this Greco-NOLA fusion is the festival’s Ouzo jello shot. Of course, there is a Daiquiri booth, where they’ll be serving the Greek spirit. Ouzo is distilled from anise, which is what gives the liquor its licorice flavor.

 

Wine lovers can buy by the bottle or the glass, and the fest offers a variety of juices. Psilos said that, like Italian and Argentian wines, Greek varieties are “very nutty and fruity” and sometimes tart. “Greek wines are traditionally dry, we also have a sweet red wine. We’ve really culled a taste for what people like,” said the co-chair.

 

Once guests have sipped to their heart’s content, they can enjoy traditional Hellenic dancers, one of the biggest draws of the festival. The uproarious genre of music—and perhaps the ouzo--has been known to inspire novice dancers to let loose on the grounds.

 

Some will be using designated drivers, but the fest remains a family-friendly event. a children’s area will be sure to have French fries and hotdogs for young taste buds, as well as face painting. Parents can also take their kids on canoe rides, another benefit to hosting a festival on the water.

 

Local artist Michalopoulos created Greek Fest’s 40th anniversary poster, which has yet to be unveiled. Psilos said that, for a $5 entry fee, Greek Fest continues to give fest-goers “A lot of bang for [their] buck!”

 

Hours are Friday, May 24: 5pm-11pm,  Saturday, May 25: 11am-11pm, and Sunday, May 26: 11am-9pm. 

 

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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Mary Kilpatrick, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Kailyn Davillier, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham

Staff Writers

Kerem Ozkan, Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Listings

Elisabeth Morgan

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Robert, Daniel Paschall

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Deputy Managing Editor

M.D. Dupuy

Managing Editor

Stephen Babcock

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.