Head over to the music stage on the Bessie Branham lawn to enjoy free concerts from some of Atlanta’s best talent. We’re still planning our band lineup for 2017, so check back later in the spring to see this year’s lineup.
Last year’s bands
10:45 – 11:30 a.m. | The Glumson Brothers will open the festival at 10:45 a.m. with their traditional bluegrass music inspired by Bill Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, and the Kentucky Colonels. Come and sit a spell.
11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | CC Booker III featuring Will Scruggs is a SoulJazz tribute to the music of three great artists: Ray Charles, King Curtis, and Booker T and the MGs. In this dynamic project, the big, swinging sound of the tenor saxophone meets the super funk of the Hammond B3 organ for an exciting, soulful jazz experience.
1 – 1:45 p.m. | Secondhand Swagger was just a dream when Abby Wren (vocals) and Scott Bryan (drums and vocals) got together in 2008, spending every Sunday for a year in a song-writing sojourn. Secondhand grew member by member and the family now includes Dane Skelton (sax), Larry Thomas (bass), Tiffany White (keys/vocals) and Rob Lane (guitar). Based in Atlanta, the band has a passion for vintage sounds and style, particularly soul music from the 1960s and 70’s. Their mission is to keep this music alive and people dancing, taking it back to a time when lyrics and melodies came from the heart with a wink and a laugh.
2:15 – 3 p.m. | Eugene IV, born and raised in southwest Atlanta, is a multi-talented vocalist, saxophonist, songwriter, and award-winning actor. As reflected throughout his debut solo project Starving Artist, Eugene IV’s sound has been described as conscious soul with doses of jazz & hip-hop. “My musical inspirations run the gamut from Public Enemy and De La Soul to Earth, Wind & Fire and Wayne Shorter,” says Eugene IV. An activist by blood, he says about his music as a whole, “I feel a responsibility to positively affect the lives of the listeners.”
Performing the music of Sly and the Family Stone
3:30 – 4:15 p.m. | Atlanta Funk Society is a 12-piece band playing classics from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. In 2010, founding members Rob Lane (guitar) and Kevin Scott (bass) first called Jonathan Lloyd (trombone). Jonathan put together the horns section, which has included Dashill Smith, Jason Collier, Anthony Staffiero, Prof. Eric Fontaine, and Taylor Kennedy. They’re joined by Ian Newberry (guitar), Duane Trucks (drums), Nick Rosen (keyboard), Scotty Bryan (percussion) Yaya Brown (percussion), and Michelle Marshall (vocals).
4:45 – 5:30 p.m. | Cadillac Jones is six-piece funk jazz ensemble that combines influences from 60s soul, 70s funk, and rock to form a style of music that is completely their own. They started here in Atlanta in 2001, and are now touring behind their fifth studio album, Cabin Fever. The band still proudly wears its influences of Herbie, James, and Quincy. But with the comfort of over a decade of history under their belts, Cadillac Jones uses horns, guitars, keys, and, synths to confidently blend in touches of psychedelia and even afrobeat that keep the surprises coming for audiences deep into the night.
6 – 6:45 p.m. | Based in East Atlanta, Small Reactions describes their sound as “nerve pop.” Relying on the minimal instrumentation of guitar, bass, vintage organs, and drums, the quartet is equal parts new wave and post-punk, drone and surf.
7:15 – 8:00 p.m. | Gringo Star are musical explorers, taking cues from diverse artists like Santo & Johnny, The Stooges, Ritchie Valens, Marc Bolan, Percy Faith, and Sam Cooke to create their own brand of echo-slathered, doo-wop-indebted indie gems, psychedelic garage bangers, gritty R&B shuffles and spaghetti-western weirdness. The band has toured relentlessly across the U.S. and Europe, building an underground following and sharing bills with everyone from Cat Power and Feist to The Black Angels and Weezer. They recently joined the Nevado Music roster, so expect to hear new music soon.