The Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival honors Slidell native Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown on Saturday, November 2nd at Heritage Park. Organizers gear up for the 5th annual fest on the beautiful Bayou Bonfouca to showcase the area’s finest jazz and blues musicians with a stellar lineup.
This year will honor the late Slidell musician Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, who was known to buck musical traditions and stereotypes for nearly 60 years. Brown played many instruments including guitar, fiddle, drums, harmonica, viola, and mandolin, and accompanied by everything from small ensembles to large multi-piece bands. “Gatemouth” recorded 30 albums that defied neat genre labels. He blended rhythm and blues, big band swing, Cajun, rock ‘n’ roll, and country, among other styles into what he called his “American” music. Brown also won a Grammy in 1982 for his album Alright Again! that was just one of the many highlights of his long career. The 2019 commemorative poster will also feature Brown.
Headlining this year’s festival is New Orleans native, guitarist, singer, and songwriter Mem Shannon. New to the stage is pop, R&B and soul artist Paul Childers, and known as the “Classy Lady of Modern Jazz” Stephanie Jordan makes a return.
Opening this year’s festival is 10 year old Mason Cheatham, a student from Mayfield Elementary. Supporting local young musicians is part of the festival’s mission. In July, Notes for Education Northshore held their first annual Rising Stars Talent Show Auditions at Slidell Little Theatre. Fifteen students will compete to win great prizes including a performance spot on the Slidell Jazz and Blues Festival stage.
Gates to the festival will open earlier this year at 11 a.m. and the opening ceremony starts at noon. Admission is $10 for ages 13 and up. Children 12 and under are free. In addition to the diverse selection of performers, there’ll be plenty food vendors on site so come with an empty stomach.
For a full lineup and other information, visit the festival website at www.slidelljazzandblues.com.