T7 Fest set for Memorial Day weekend_lowres

Kermit Ruffins is among headliners for the Memorial Day weekend festival.

Jazz trumpeter, singer and all-around legend Kermit Ruffins will host a soft opening of his new music venue, Kermit’s 9th Ward Juke Joint, Saturday, Nov. 2 at 5119 St. Claude Ave., in the Holy Cross neighborhood.

The bar is an intimate neighborhood spot formerly known as Mickie Bee's Lounge. It belonged to Ruffins’ cousin and is a longtime favorite hangout of the local legend, said his friend and fellow musician Derrick Freeman.

Ruffins explained on Facebook that the new moniker is an homage to the vernacular term used to describe an informal establishment “featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by African Americans in the southeastern United States.”

Ruffins also operates Kermit’s Mother-in-Law Lounge in the Seventh Ward, which he reopened in 2014, after the club shuttered in 2009 following the death of Antoinette K-Doe, widow of the late R&B singer Ernie K-Doe.

The gathering will start at 4:20 p.m. (get it?) and last until 7 p.m.

Follow Sarah Ravits on Twitter: @sravits.

Gambit staff writer