The Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival has announced that the iconic R&B/Funk artists, Grammy winning group The Commodores, will be headlining the 25th “Silver Anniversary” Festival which will be held on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank on May 21. Festival Chairman Rodney Harrington says that the festival Board of Directors was determined to make the 25th event the biggest and best ever which he feels The Commodores will help do.
“We believe that The Commodores are the biggest, most popular group to ever perform on the Natchitoches riverbank, and that’s saying a mouthful,” said Harrington. Their appearance was made possible by the generous sponsorships of the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and the Cane River Waterway Commission, both of which stepped up in a big way to assist us in booking this major act.”
The Commodores were discovered by Berry Gordy, the head of Motown Records, and went on to sell over 75 million albums sold worldwide, seven #1 singles, five #1 albums, twenty Top Ten singles, and 15 Top Ten albums including “Brick House,” “Sail On,” “Nightshift,” and many more.
The group is world renowned for their high energy show and will be bringing their “Greatest Hits Tour – Live!” to the downtown riverbank stage. Joining The Commodores onstage on May 21st will be Resurrection – A Journey Tribute Band, out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Resurrection has been widely hailed as “The most pitch-perfect recreation of Journey’s music that you will ever hear.” They will be performing all of the 80’s super group Journey’s hits prior to The Commodores taking the stage.
Of course, popular local group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will be appearing as they have for all of the festival’s twenty-five years. They are the only group to have appeared at all 25 of the festivals.
As usual, the Moondogs will be joined onstage by multiple guest performers, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and former Elvis Presley bandleader, James Burton. Burton, a perennial favorite at the festival, has performed there several times.
Burton and the Moondogs will be joined onstage by Country artist, Marty Haggard, who will be performing a tribute to his late father the legendary Merle Haggard. “It’s going to be a thrill to perform some of my Dad’s songs with James Burton who played on some of those recordings, including Mama Tried and Working Man’s Blues. Also, it’s a privilege to perform onstage with a band like the Moondogs.”
Also making a guest appearance is local favorite DeShawn Washington, a former performer on The Voice television show who recently appeared and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeShawn was invited by the New Orleans Saints to sing the national anthem before one of the Saints home games in the Superdome this past season.
DeShawn has become a viral sensation on social media with his a cappella performances on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms garnering millions of views. DeShawn is scheduled to embark upon a nation-wide tour in June.
According to Entertainment Committee Chairman, Daniel Page, the full lineup and schedule will be released very shortly but he says that there will be an extremely eclectic mix of music.
“We always say that if you can’t find some music you like at this festival, then you just don’t like music! We are going to have around 17 bands on three different stages featuring (of course) Jazz, R&B, Rock, Zydeco, Country, Soul, and much more. There will be music practically for every taste.”
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