The 15th annual Bayou Rendezvous took over the Howlin’ Wolf on Friday, May 5th, after the official festivities for New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival had come to a close for the day. It was a massive musical affair, with nine bands performing across the two stages. The event is a perfect example of how charity and music go hand-in-hand, with a portion of the event’s proceeds going to the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic & Assistance Foundation, a charity that helps secure health care for the city’s many musicians.
As is the Jazz Fest way, Bayou Rendezvous this year was jam-packed with special collaborations, sit-ins, and all-star groups that can only be brought together when hordes of world-class musicians flock to New Orleans during this time of year. One of the supergroup’s topping the Bayou Rendezvous bill this year was the Bayou Rendezvous All-Stars, tapping noted musicians Johnny Vidacovich (Astral Project), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Oteil Burbridge (Dead and Co., Allman Bros.), Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), Stanton Moore (Galactic), and Eric McFadden (P-Funk, Anders Osborne) to round out its lineup.
Building an “All-Star” band is more than just grabbing the best players available who happen to know the same handful of songs and throwing them onstage together. Matching playing styles and personalities is a big part of the equation. Luckily for all involved, the drumming duties were carried out by Galactic‘s Stanton Moore and ‘Nawlins drum legend and elder statesman Johnny Vidacovich. Their symbiotic style of play is born from countless hours of jamming between them, and this familiarity created an almost family-like vibe as the base of the performance.
Not that Allman Brothers and Dead & Co bassist Oteil and Tedeschi Trucks Band’s organ and flute wizard, Kofi Burbridge, needed anymore of a familial connection—with the two brothers together, the energy skyrocketed. Add Ivan Neville, a man whose surname is one of the most evocative and synonymous with the sound of the New Orleans, and you have a supergroup sprung from the deepest of shared roots. This focus on family—musical and blood—fits perfectly with the charity beneficiaries of the evening, the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic & Assistance Foundation.
Since 1988, the Foundation has helped the under and uninsured part of the city’s extensive musician population get the health care they so desperately need. Dedicating yourself to making music for the world to enjoy can be rewarding, but not as lucrative as one would hope. By providing a safety net to New Orleans’ many musicians, the clinic allows them to keep doing what they love (and sharing it with us grateful folks), and also provides a sense of well-being to their families as well.
As such, when given the chance to help out other struggling musicians, players come in a little sharper and ready to give their all. Before we get to the sharing portion of the piece, we wanted to remind you that the caring part of this article never stops. The Clinic is always in need, and donations can be made HERE to this wonderful and necessary charity that keeps the music we love for nice and healthy.
We’ve already seen some lovely photos from the Bayou Rendezvous from Chad Anderson and some fun videos from Dr. Klaw‘s set from our own Rex Thomson, but now let’s check out a few high lights from the epic set from this collection of top talent of The Bayou Rendezvous All-Stars giving their all for the twin causes of funk and family.
“Get Back>Sing A Simple Song”
“Will It Go Round In Circles”