Make us your home page

Five national acts not to miss at Tropical Heatwave

Chuck Prophet, best known for Apology, performs at 10:05 p.m. Saturday.

Publicity photo

Chuck Prophet, best known for Apology, performs at 10:05 p.m. Saturday.

Once again, WMNF's annual Tropical Heatwave bash offers way more music than any one attendee can see in a single night. Thirty-plus bands spread out across six stages. Not even WMNF program director Randy Wynne says he will be able to catch 'em all. To help you strategize, here are five national acts we consider "must-sees."

1. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue New Orleans native Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is a rock star with serious jazz chops. A virtuoso trombonist and trumpeter, the 23-year-old bandleader also sings, beatboxes, raps, dances and, as was evidenced at his triumphant 2007 Heatwave debut, stage-dives! Expect him to deliver a fierce hybrid of traditional and contemporary music with a Big Easy bent. Andrews calls his distinctive sound "super funk rock." (9:40 to 11:10 p.m., El Pasaje Plaza)

2. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express Underground roots rock luminary Chuck Prophet is a WMNF fave and Heatwave regular who never disappoints. Smart and soulful, his music manages to encompass a wide array of styles, appealing to enthusiasts of various genres. He's perhaps best known for the gem Apology, a cut off his ace 2000 album The Hurting Business. (10:05 to 11:35 p.m., Cuban Club Bandshell on the Patio)

3. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet The world's greatest Cajun band, BeauSoleil has been issuing ebullient, highly danceable, fiddle-laced bayou music since the mid-1970s. The group's outstanding Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival disc won a Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. (7:40 to 9:10 p.m., El Pasaje Plaza)

4. Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles In March, Borges released her best album to date, the charming Americana/pop offering The Stars Are Out. The disc features five originals and covers ranging from Smokey Robinson's Being With You to the Lemonheads' Ride with Me. (6:35 to 7:45 p.m., Cuban Club Bandshell on the Patio)

5. David Dondero Indie troubadour Dondero is a San Francisco-based singer/songwriter with a special connection to Ybor City. On his haunting, Florida travelogue South of the South, our famous entertainment district receives an entire verse. "So I jumped my pogo stick, all the way to Ybor City," he sings. "Where they burned up a couple blocks, and to me seemed like a pity." Okay, so it's no the most flattering depiction. But it's a cool shout-out nonetheless. A couple years back at New World Brewery, Dondero also crushed with a terrific cover of Little Feat's country-trucker anthem Willin'. (10:20 to 11:20 p.m., the Orpheum).

If you go

WMNF's 28th Annual Tropical Heatwave is Saturday on six stages in and around the Cuban Club, 2010 Avenida Republica de Cuba, Ybor City. Performances start at 5:10 p.m. and continue well past midnight. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Youth tickets (ages 12- 20) are $10 and available in-person only. If you only want to visit one venue instead of all six, a single ticket is $8. For details and a complete schedule, see

Five national acts not to miss at Tropical Heatwave 05/14/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours