As much music as will fill the Fair Grounds during the 2019 New Orleans Jazz Festival, that’s only the start. The action continues across the city after dark in venues ranging from hole-in-the-walls to high-profile theaters.
Here’s a sampling of the festival outside the Festival.
9 p.m. Thursday, Tipitina’s $37-$40
Anders Osborne ranks among New Orleans’ most accomplished guitarists. The Swedish-born Osborne and his band draw on the city’s musical traditions for a mix that is conducive to improvisations. Just in time for Jazz Fest, he’s released a new album, “Buddha and the Blues.” He’ll celebrate at Tipitina’s alongside special guest guitarist Dave Malone of the Radiators. Singer-songwriter Amy Helm, daughter of Levon Helm, opens the show, which will end by midnight so Tipitina’s can host a late-night, 2 a.m. show featuring the Los Angeles duo Knower.
Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band
8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Joy Theater, $54.50 and up
Jazz Fest week in recent years has spawned a plethora of Grateful Dead-related nighttime concerts. It’s hard to get closer to the source of all those shows than Phil Lesh. He’s the only one of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead’s classic lineup who is not in Dead & Company. Instead, he anchors his own Terrapin Family Band. Originally the house band at Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads club in Marin County, California, the Terrapin Family Band evolved into a touring entity featuring Lesh’s son Grahame Lesh on guitar, fellow guitarist Ross James, drummer/vocalist Alex Koford and pianist/violinist Jason Crosby. They’ll spend two nights at the Joy Theater, exploring the Grateful Dead catalog and more.
JJ Grey & Mofro
9 p.m. Friday, Orpheum Theatre, $35-$65
Hailing from rural Florida, guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player JJ Grey and his band, Mofro, distill vintage sounds into their own stout brew, a gritty, swampy, groove-heavy hybrid of blues, soul and funk with a dash of backporch country. Grey has long collaborated with a slew of south Louisiana artists. His latest album is “Ol’ Glory.” Opening for JJ Grey & Mofro at the Orpheum are the North Mississippi Allstars and New Orleans-based blues guitarist Samantha Fish.
Foundation of Funk
9 p.m. Saturday, House of Blues, $42.50-$90
8 p.m. (doors) Wednesday, Fillmore New Orleans, $39.50-$75
The Foundation of Funk is true to its name: the ensemble’s only two constants are Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste and bassist George Porter Jr., the rhythm section for some of the funkiest New Orleans grooves of all time. Since launching this collaboration in 2015, Modeliste and Porter have collaborated with an ever-changing cast of like-minded keyboardists and guitarists. At the House of Blues on Saturday, their scheduled guests include guitarist Eric Krasno of Meters-inspired jam band Lettuce, the Lettuce horn section, and keyboardist John Medeski. At the Fillmore on Wednesday, Modeliste and Porter will be joined by keyboardist Ivan Neville, guitarist Ian Neville and bassists Tony Hall and Oteil Burbridge. With Meters keyboardist Art Neville now fully retired from the stage, the Foundation of Funk is one of the last links to one of New Orleans’ greatest bands.
Treme Threauxdown 5
8 p.m. Saturday, Saenger Theatre, $49.50 and up
For the fifth consecutive year, trombonist/trumpeter Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, proud son of Treme, and his funk-rock ensemble Orleans Avenue will headline the “Treme Threauxdown” at the Saenger Theatre. This is Shorty’s big first-weekend gig, before he closes down the main Acura Stage at the Fair Grounds on Jazz Fest’s final Sunday. At the Threauxdown, he and Orleans Avenue will be joined by Shaggy, Anthony Hamilton and other special guests. Sacred steel maestro Robert Randolph & the Family Band open the show.
9 p.m. Sunday, Tipitina’s, $35-$40
For more than a quarter-century, the Subdudes have peddled New Orleans-style Americana music, heavy on harmonies and steeped in soul and groove. Vocalist/guitarist Tommy Malone, keyboardist/vocalist John Magnie and percussionist Steve Amedee have sustained the band through ups and downs, extended breaks and personnel changes. With bassist Tim Cook rounding out the roster, the Subdudes seem to have found an agreeable late-career groove, playing occasional shows for a hard-core fan base across the country. Folk-blues guitarist Spencer Bohren, who announced last fall that he’s battling prostate cancer, was originally scheduled to open for the Subdudes at Tip’s but has since dropped off the bill. He’s been replaced by New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Andrew Duhon. The Subdudes/Duhon show will end by midnight so Tipitina’s can clear the room ahead of a 2 a.m. late-night gig featuring drummer Stanton Moore and avant-jazz saxophonist Skerik, celebrating their 20th Jazz Fest season collaboration.
8 p.m. Sunday, Saenger Theatre, $24.50 and up
In the 1990s, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge sold millions of albums thanks to the success of such radio-ready anthems as “Come to My Window,” “I’m the Only One” and “I Want to Come Over.” In 2014, she launched her own, independent record label, ME Records — conveniently enough, her initials — with an album titled, in a similar vein, “This is M.E.” Her brand-new release, the 15th studio album of her career, is “The Medicine Show,” subtitled “an unrivaled true story of redemption and a ’74 Fender.” Etheridge brings her tour in support of “The Medicine Show” to the Saenger Theatre on Sunday. Opening the show is ‘90s indie-rocker Liz Phair. Plenty of tickets remain, starting at $24.50 plus service charges.
WWOZ Piano Night
7 p.m. Monday, House of Blues, $50 general admission
If you are a fan of the New Orleans piano tradition, your Monday night destination should be the House of Blues. The 31st edition of the annual fundraiser for community radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM presents a procession of Crescent City ivory-ticklers: Ellis Marsalis, Marcia Ball (a Texan, Ball is an “honorary local” whose style is very much influenced by Professor Longhair), Jon Cleary, Joe Krown, Tom McDermott, Craig Adams, Josh Paxton, Jesse McBride, Tom Worrell, David Boeddinghaus, John “Papa” Gros and Nigel Hall. In 2017, Krown, a Piano Night regular, stepped in as the event’s volunteer producer. He stripped the show back to its roots, restoring it to a progression of solo pianists showcasing the local sound.
NOLA Crawfish Festival
3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Central City BBQ (1201 S. Rampart St.), various price levels
Chris “Shaggy” Davis, proprietor of NOLA Crawfish King, has met and fed scores of musicians via his legendary crawfish boils at the Bonnaroo festival and elsewhere. He combines food and music at his annual NOLA Crawfish Festival at Central City BBQ between Jazz Fest weekends. This year’s music roster includes Neville Jacobs featuring Cris Jacobs and Ivan Neville, the Mike Dillon Band, Eric Krasno and, on Wednesday, Papa Mali with Alvin “Youngblood” Hart, Anders Osborne with keyboardist David Torakanowsky, and guitarists Samantha Fish and Jonathan “Boogie” Long. Daily general admission is $40. General admission with a single order of boiled crawfish is $50. VIP admission, good for unlimited crawfish, craft beer and other amenities, is $150 per day. Multi-day discount packages are also available.
Shorty Fest 2019
8 p.m. Wednesday, House of Blues, $80 general admission
The seventh edition of the Jazz Fest season charitable event raises money for Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews’ foundation, which sponsors various cultural and educational initiatives. Scheduled performers include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, the Soul Rebels with Pedrito Martinez, Southern Avenue, Tribal Gold (a collaboration of the New Orleans Suspects and the Golden Commanche Mardi Gras Indians), the New Breed Brass Band, Erica Falls, Lil' Glenn & Backatown, Sarayah and students from the Trombone Shorty Academy. Performances are in both the main music hall and the adjacent Parish. In addition to the $80 general admission tickets, VIP tickets, which include reserved viewing areas on the HOB balcony and open bar, are $250 or $500.
9 p.m. Wednesday, Tipitina’s, $25
The word on Billy Strings is that he’s a cross between bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and hard-rock ragers Pantera. Born William Apostol in Lansing, Michigan, he endured some tough teenage years before finding his calling with an acoustic guitar. He picks and plays at full throttle, his fingers flying at seemingly impossible speeds even as he head-bangs and thrashes around the stage. On numerous performance videos for the title track of his full-length debut album, “Turmoil & Tinfoil,” he delivers dazzling solos and runs. He has an Appalachian-worthy voice to boot, and his mandolin, banjo and upright bass players are just as nimble as he is. He made his New Orleans debut in November, and returns for a Jazz Fest week showcase at Tipitina’s. Drummer and guitarist Cedric Burnside, the grandson of Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside, opens the show.
10 p.m. Wednesday, Civic Theatre, sold out
One of New Orleans’ most beloved bands, a sort of Big Easy answer to Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Radiators traditionally stage their occasional reunions at Tipitina’s. But following a dispute with the former owner of Tipitina’s — the club was subsequently bought by members of the band Galactic — the Radiators moved their Jazz Fest week gig to the Civic Theatre.