Don’t miss week’s music fest lineup

Published 11:43 pm Saturday, May 5, 2018

If Mac McAnally’s standing ovation performance last evening at the Gala Opening is any indication of the quality of this year’s festival, we are in for a treat.

Here’s a quick overview of this week’s must-hear offerings. Our events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are a great way to ease through the workweek and set the tone for our weekend stage shows.

Tuesday at the Train Station Pavilion on Canal Street eight talented singers, Jeremy Brauner, Peter Lake, Elana Gleason, Grace Sellers, Julie Silva, Patrick McNally, Virginia Hesse and Rahim Mandal will inspire you with a showcase of talent. Admission: $15

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Wednesday help us raise the roof at Bowie’s from 6:30-9:30 p.m. This week’s Rockin’ on the River entertainment will feature Alluvial Funk, a supergroup of Natchez musicians focused on playing New Orleans Funk and Mississippi Blues. Playing sections by The Meters, Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Dr. John and Howlin’ Wolf, to name a few, they will help you “laissez les bon temps rouler.” The band is comprised of Brint Anderson (guitar/vocals), Bubba McCabe (bass/vocals), Drew David (keyboard/organ) and Fred Parker (drums/percussion). Admission: $8 (Anyone under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult.)

Thursday be prepared to be blown away by the power of the pipe organ. “Phantom & Beyond: The Majestic World of the Organ” starts at 7 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 117 South Pearl Street. Admission: $15. Joseph Britain, master organist treats the instrument more like “an enormous wind band with keys and pedals” rather than a “church organ.” The concert moves seamlessly from the true giants of classical organ literature to Broadway favorites including “The Phantom of the Opera” and film scores by John Williams and classic rock.

Also on Thursday from 3-7 p.m. at Natchez Market No. 1 on John R. Junkin Drive, enjoy a Ribeye Steak Dinner to benefit the Festival. The $12 dinner is sponsored by Supermarket Operations Inc. and includes steak, baked potato and a roll.

The weekend events will be held at Natchez Performing Arts Center at Margaret Martin, 64 Homochitto Street. The shows begin at 7 p.m. but come early and enjoy a beverage in the Great Escape Club Room starting at 6 p.m. Admission: $25 for each event.

Friday rock out at “The British Invasion of Natchez II: Sgt. Pepper Onward!” The show begins with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and continues with more music by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Queen all the way to Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking The Wall. And yes, Lynn Wentworth as Ed Sullivan will be returning.

Saturday heat things up with “Havana Nights: Salseros del `Sur.” Mississippi’s hottest Salsa band features a fusion of Afro-Cuban, Mambo, Cha-chas, Boleros and Jazz. The end result is simply great music, both to listen to and to enjoy while dancing the night away. In preparation for our fabulous Saturday Salsa event, join us at Rolling River Bistro on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. Natchez Salsa enthusiasts, Alexandra Camargo and Dr. Miguel Figueroa, will be giving free dance lessons.

Each Saturday morning at 10 a.m. the Festival presents Children’s Events at First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 400 State Street. Admission is free. “Fairy Tales in Music,” songs from the greatest fairy tales in musical movies, is this week’s event.

For more information on our full May lineup, visit online at, or call 1-888-718-4253. Shows are every night Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets range from $8-$30. All events offer $10 for Student k-12, adult with k-12 student, college and active military with a current ID.

Mary Lessley is a board member and Fundraising Committee chairman for the Natchez Festival of Music.