Essence Festival Picks- Day One

Get your groove on early with a performance by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.  They don’t play that often locally, a scheduled outdoor performance was rained out two months ago and has yet to be rescheduled, so locals and visitors alike should check out this Grammy-award winning big band.  They play at 7:45 PM.  Arrested Development is doing two sets in the McDonald’s Superlounge beginning at 8:45 PM.  Janet Jackson (pictured) headlines on the main stage.    A word of caution- the band being billed as “War” is not even close to the real deal.  Three of the four founding members will not be playing since they lost out on a lawsuit for control of the band’s name.

Phil DeGruy Presents Cloud Sharp Nine (Cloud #9)

Ever the wordsmith, the guitarist debuts a new band with a scintillating lineup and a punny name at Snug Harbor this evening.  The band features Cranston Clements, another guitarist with a penchant for wordplay and DeGruy’s bandmate in Twangorama, along with the bassist James Singleton and the drummer Carlo Nuccio.  Musical and comedic mayhem with certainly ensue with shows at 8 and 10 PM.