Lafayette (Louisiana), USA – The 2008 Festival International de Louisiane will be host to many world-renowned musicians April 23-27. Kicking off Thursday night at Popeyes Scène International is Lafayette’s own Sonny Landreth. Sonny’s unique spin on guitar playing has made him legendary, having recently toured with Jimmy Buffett and Eric Clapton. The highlight of the evening will be the Blind Boys of Alabama w/Preservation Hall Jazz Band Horns.
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been singing a blend of traditional and contemporary gospel for thousands since 1939. Having just released their new album, Down in New Orleansin January 2008, the Blind Boys and New Orleans’ own Preservation Hall Jazz Band Horns will perform together on one stage. Closing the night at Scene International will be New Orleans’ own, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk. Hailed by the New York Times as, "the best funk band from New Orleans right now." Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk is a group of musicologists that transcend age and style in a free flowing approach to their art.
Friday’s Popeyes Scène International headliner will be France based group, Babylon Circus. This 10 piece big band have been zigzagging the globe with their epic sonic spectacle for years, mixing punk, reggae, folk, swing and jazz influences! Also on Friday, closing Southern Comfort Scène Fais Do Do is an amazing guitarist from Mali, Habib Koité.
Festival Saturday starts off with Québec native Benwela performing for runners & walkers Saturday morning after the Courir du Festival 5k at TV5MONDE Scène Lafayette. New Orleans native Hot 8 Brass Band will close out the night at Southern Comfort Scène Fais Do Do, a show you do not want to miss. Popeyes Scène International will be full of excitement Saturday night. Starting the evening off will be the New Orleans Bingo! Show followed by crowd favorite, The Duhks from Manitoba. Closing Scène International on Saturday night is Yerba Buena, where you will be treated to a mélange of everything from Gypsy to Merengue Rap, Cuban son to Funk, Hip Hop to Flamenco. The result is an exuberant global groove that breaks through all the borders of commercial genres and won’t let you stop dancing.
On Sunday, you will be able to spend the day listening to music from two Grammy winners. Closing out Festival Weekend at Scène International on Sunday is Grammy Award winning reggae group, Burning Spear, from Jamaica. Recent Grammy winner, Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience will close out Southern Comfort Scène Fais Do Do on Sunday as well.
Formed in 1986, Festival International de Louisiane is a community-based, non-profit arts organization that provides a FREE family event celebrating the French cultural heritage of southern Louisiana – primarily a combination of French, African, Caribbean and Hispanic influences. Celebrate the 22ème Festival International de Louisiane from April 23-27, 2008, in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana. If you would like more information on Festival International de Louisiane, please visit www.festivalinternational.com or call (337) 232.8086.