By Jim Stanford on December 14, 2011
With four Jacksonites recently relocating to New Orleans, including KHOL co-music director Kelly Huster, the Jackson Hole contingent at Jazz Fest is likely to be even larger this year.
Last night the festival announced its preliminary lineup, featuring the likes of Bon Iver, MMJ, Iron and Wine, Herbie Hancock, Zac Brown Band, and Levon Helm with Mavis Staples. Grace Potter makes her Jazz Fest debut.
Although not held until late April and early May, Jazz Fest sets its lineup early to get the jump on other festivals. Best to plan ahead, as flights will fill up and, you know, Kelly’s couch is likely to be booked.
Closer to home, the Pink Garter is preparing for a grand reopening. While construction is ongoing, the theater will host The Deadlocks for three sets on New Year’s Eve ($15). As reported earlier, The Infamous Stringdusters and Leftover Salmon are among the bands who will play this winter.
The infusion of bluegrass can be attributed to promoter Matt Donovan joining the Pink Garter team. Donovan and What’s Good Here? partner Neil Albert still have a few shows to put on in what figures to be their last season, starting with The Congress on Dec. 29 at Town Square Tavern. I’ll have more on Pink Garter and WGH? offerings later.
By putting The Eagles atop the bill, Jazz Fest appears to have thrown in the towel on competing with Bonnaroo. But as any veteran of the fest can attest, headliners usually matter little. The most moving moments can be found on side stages, in the clubs and with some of the hundreds of local musicians who make Jazz Fest an unparalleled experience.
For those who can’t make it to New Orleans, Jeffery Broussard and the Creole Cowboys will return to Center for the Arts on April 21, performing the sun-soaked Louisiana zydeco that so delighted a packed stage there in 2009 and that lures winter-weary Wyomingites to the Bayou every year.
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