Art and Music Festival

A First Look at What's in Store at FestForAll March 28 29, 2015!

The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge will present FestForAll - Baton Rouge's premier art & music festival, March 28 29, 2015! Join us for a full weekend of art and entertainment along North Boulevard in downtown's Town Square and on the grounds of the Old State Capitol and the Shaw Center for the Arts. The hours on Saturday, March 28 are 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM and on Sunday, March 29 are 12 noon - 6:00 PM. FestForAll is free and open to everyone.

2015 FestForAll

FestForAll annually features blues, jazz, bluegrass, Cajun, country, Americana, rock music and more as part of two full days of live outdoor performances on the North Boulevard Town Square.  FestForAll has featured Grammy-award-winning artists as well as many local and regional favorites.  This year a stellar lineup will perform on the stage at Galvez Plaza and the Arts Council will partner with Rob Chidester, Director of Royal Cyclops Productions, to program a dynamic roster of musicians and performing artists presented on several satellite stages throughout the festival site. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM        The Blues Project (Blues)
1:00 – 2:30 PM                  Justin Garner (R&B)
3:00 – 5:00 PM                  Funkin’ at FestForAll: (Funk)   
5:30 – 7:00 PM                  Chris Thomas King (Blues)
Sunday, March 29, 2015
12:00 – 1:00 PM               Delta Drifters (Rock)
1:25 – 2:25 PM                 Serabee (Singer/ Songwriter, Pop)
2:50 – 4:05 PM                 Guy Forsyth (Americana +)
4:30 – 6:00 PM                 Big Sam’s Funky Nation (N.O.Funk)
The Blues Project  (Blues) The Blues Project is a band comprised of students of Baton Rouge Music Studios, a local contemporary music school and a favorite at FestForAll. The project's mission started out as a plan by director Doug Gay, to bring young musicians closer to the blues roots of rock n’ roll. The mission has since expanded to help young musicians become aware of the great music Louisiana artists present to the world. The young musicians are learning songs from many Louisiana artists including Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, The Funky Meters, Chubby Carrier, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Sansone and many more. Don't miss the Blues Project as they kick off FestForAll, Saturday, March 28!
Justin Garner (R&B)
This year, Plaquemine, LA native Justin Garner became MTV's first ever winner of their new series Copycat.  After competing in the finale, Justin sang and danced his way to victory. His album, I Am had debuted on iTunes Japan R&B/Soul charts at #19.  By the middle of that same day, it had surpassed Beyoncé’s self-titled project to grab the #1 spot. “It speaks volumes when you have an entire country that believes in you and your music that much, to where you’re number one,” says Justin. “That in itself is just completely unbelievable.”
In 2012, Justin was listed as’s Artist on the Rise and as New & Notable - triumphs typically reserved for artists signed to major labels. Through the social media network MySpace, Justin was a featured new artist, catching the attention of music enthusiasts and industry heavyweights. In 2013, he was listed as New & Noteworthy and an Artist to Watch on iTunes.  Justin sings with a vocal style influenced by singing in the church choir and studying the harmonies of musical greats as a child.  “I want people to see and feel who I am - a singer, songwriter and musician. When I’m on stage or in the studio, I can just be myself - I just want to make great music.”  And that he does…at FestForAll on Saturday, March 28. 
Funkin at FestForAll: Featuring the Soul JukeBoxx, DJ Marquis, & Comedian Howard Hall  (Funk/Soul/ R&B)
The popular "Funkin' With Friends" series has taken place for the past 8 years at The Varsity Theatre, and has had a number of performers grace its stage, including The Soul Jukeboxx, host Howard Hall, and DJ Marquis.  FestForAll-goers will get a glimpse of what happens at one of these shows when the Arts Council presents the “Funkin’ at FestForAll” show this March 28.  There will be a whole lot of funk and you'll definitely want to share the experience with your friends.
This Baton Rouge based group brings soulful funk and R&B music to another level. Funkin’ at FestForAll:  Featuring the Soul JukeBoxx, DJ Marquis, and Comedian Howard Hall is a collection of talented funk masters and is guaranteed to make you get on up!  Michael Foster, a standout performer of this multi-genre group, attended Southern University where he was a member of the S.U. Marching Band, the "Human Jukebox." Over time Funkin' with Friends has performed with players including  Rod Jackson (alto sax), Steve Lands (trumpet), Chancelier 'Xero' Skidmore (auxiliary percussion), Terrance Taplin (trombone), John Gray (trumpet), Chris Lee (drums) David Harris (trombone) and Michael Foster (bass and tuba). Funkin' at FestForAll will be a great time!  Don’t miss it!
Chris Thomas King (Blues)
Grammy Award winner and Baton Rouge native, Chris Thomas King is the son of Baton Rouge Blues Legend Tabby Thomas.  Tabby owned a club called Tabby's Blues Box, which opened in 1979.  As a result, King started very early toward his musical future performing with three masters of swamp blues: the late Silas Hogan, Guitar Kelly and Clarence Edwards. As he matured in the musical setting of the area blues culture, King was encouraged to experiment and develop his own style. Because each blues musician had a unique playing and singing style, he was discouraged from singing others' songs or even playing the way they did. He told Lisa Simeone on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, "They would never sit me down and say, 'Well, this is how it goes.' They ... told me don't sing their songs ... 'Find your own song and sing that.'"
Around 1980, while King was still in his teens, he toured in Europe with a group of Louisiana artists. After returning to the United States he produced a demo recording playing all the instruments himself, which led to a deal with Arhoolie Records to produce his debut album, The Beginning.  King signed a major recording contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1989 and headlined a national tour to support the release of his greatly anticipated follow-up, Cry of the Prophets, making his national television debut on Late Night with David Letterman.
After a stint living and performing in Denmark, where he recorded and released the critically acclaimed hip-hop blues album, 21st Century Blues From da Hood, he returned to the U.S. in 1995.  He started his own independent production company and record label, 21st Century Blues. Soon after, he found success as a film composer and actor and has won three Grammy Awards and several Country Music CMA awards.
King's major acting debut in the Coen brothers' film, O Brother, Where Art Thou in 2001, transcended blues and gained him an international mainstream audience. Of the songs on the movie's Grammy-winning soundtrack, King's "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" was one of the only few recorded live during filming. The soundtrack reached number 1 on the Billboard charts and has since sold ten million copies. King's performance and the on-screen field recordings by legendary producer T-Bone Burnett, are perhaps some of the most famous blues performances of all time.
Chris Thomas King has developed a singular sound and style that transcends his blues roots from the years of performing before loyal fans at packed clubs, major festivals, theaters and juke joints. King performed more than 88 sold-out concerts with the "Down from the Mountain" tour performing alongside Alison Krauss and Union Station, Emmy Lou Harris, Ralph Stanley and others. Don’t miss this performance at FestForAll by Grammy winner, Chris Thomas King.    
Delta Drifters (Rock)
The Delta Drifters are a hometown rock band in St. Francisville, LA, fronted by strong, gritty vocalists Nancy Roppolo and Gordon Graham. The Delta Drifters are also known as the house band at the Magnolia Café, just 45 minutes north of Baton Rouge. The long-standing group has fashioned an appealing musical blend, reaching a broad audience.  Don’t miss the Delta Drifters at FestForAll!
Serabee (Singer/ Songwriter, Pop)
Sarah Buras, known professionally as Serabee, is a singer-songwriter who has released four studio albums and is signed to the Universal Republic label. She wrote the hit song, "Crazy Chick" (which she considers autobiographical) which was then recorded by lauded vocalist Charlotte Church.  The tune went on to become a hit on the UK Singles Chart, reaching #2 on the UK Singles Top 75.
Serabee discovered her vocal talent and music abilities as a child, performing in her evangelist father's tent revivals. In addition to providing lead vocals, she also plays the drums, keyboards, and acoustic and steel guitar. By the time she was 12 years old, she was traveling throughout the southern United States, singing lead in her family's gospel band, Sera and the Blue Jays.  After the band’s breakup, Serabee continued pursuing her music, serving as the choir director and worship leader at her father's church in Gulfport, Mississippi. She began to become restless and began exploring the area casinos, where she enjoyed hearing all kinds of music that were not the norm in her conservative upbringing. Before long, she was singing and playing piano with a new band, performing in casinos and clubs throughout the Gulf Coast.
In 2011, Serabee became a contestant on the U.S. reality talent show The Voice, on the NBC television network. There she worked with highly successful recording artists, who serve as vocal coaches and mentors to the contestants. Serabee was selected as a member of country singer Blake Shelton's team, assisted by award-winning singer, Reba McEntire.  With chops like these, FestForAll-goers will surely enjoy Serabee on Sunday, March 29. 
Guy Forsyth (Americana +)
Austin’s Guy Forsyth has long enjoyed praise for his dazzling live shows and rich Americana roots sound. Forsyth (vocals, acoustic, electric & slide guitar, harmonica, ukulele, singing saw) usually performs with his band, but has been known to perform as a solo artist.  His songs incorporate a unique mixture of styles and his sound is at once polished, raw, compelling and irresistibly rump-shaking.
Forsyth brought his skills as a stellar live performer to help found and eventually drive to international acclaim the theatrical acoustic group, The Asylum Street Spankers. His time with the Spankers touring and recording 5 albums added to a wealth of earlier unique experiences in his life – working as a stuntman in renaissance shows, busking on the streets of New Orleans and playing on a mountain top in Nepal –which provided him musical fodder to be refined in the songs of Forsyth’s numerous solo albums.
Forsyth is known today as a musician with gripping, powerful vocals as well as a mastery of numerous instruments. He started his musical development first with singing, and began playing harmonica at 16. Shortly thereafter he heard a very distinct and overwhelming sound on Kansas City radio that changed his life; it was Robert Johnson. He found the music he had been seeking – gritty, organic folk and blues, “from a practical hands-on, gears, joints and joists level.” And he struck out to learn it.
Since then, he’s been awarded an Austin Music Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2005, as well as numerous other AMA’s over the years in categories such as Blues and Best Miscellaneous Instrument Player (singing saw), among others.
Since then, Forsyth has stepped up his touring significantly to reach fans in the Southwest, Southeast, East Coast, and Midwest United States, as well as continuing to play in Europe, as he does every year. Guy has been featured in a number of large festivals recently, including the Austin City Limits Music Festival (Austin), High Sierra Music Festival (Northern California), Los Alamos Festival (New Mexico), BBQ & Blues Festival (New York), Tonder Festival (Denmark), and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival (Belgium). Forsyth has opened for and shared the stage with musicians such as BB King, Ray Charles, Lucinda Williams, Jimmy Vaughn, Dr. John, Robert Cray, and many others.
Big Sam's Funky Nation (New Orleans Funk)
Big Sam's Funky Nation is a driving force of urban funk. Ryan White, of the Oregonian, says the band is "tight enough (and hot enough) to turn coal into a diamond!" The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls "the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz." Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still. Between the bandmembers’ solos, Big Sam's signature dance moves and his distinctive trombone riffs, the energy level reaches high voltage when this band takes the stage!
The Funky Nation is a stellar group of world-class musicians who meet the challenges of their funky bandleader. The band is comprised of Andrew Baham on Trumpet/Vocals/Keys; Andrew Block on Guitar; Chocolate MILK on Drums; and Eric Vogel on Bass, in addition to Big Sam on Trombone/Vocals. BSFN's signature Noladelic Powerfunk sound masterfully combines a rock sensibility with improv-style associated with jazz and the horn-heavy  front section that's the hallmark of big band funk.
Big Sam began playing with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at the tender age of 19 before striking out on his own and creating the Funky Nation. Big Sam powered-up the horn section on the critically-acclaimed, Grammy-nominated CD by Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello, River in Reverse, and is prominently featured in the concert tour DVD, Hot as a Pistol, Keen as a Blade.  While touring with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint  in the Fall of 2006 and Summer of 2007, he earned consistent reviews as a musical force and star soloist. Big Sam has played with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Dave Matthews, Ozomatli, and Widespread Panic. He has also shared the stage with U2 and Green Day for the emotional and energetic re-opening of the Superdome which was broadcast live on Monday Night Football.
Big Sam's Funky Nation is a festival favorite across North America and their contagious tunes and memorable live performances have attracted fans far and wide, ranging from France, to the United Kingdom, to Greece, to Brazil, to Canada. BSFN is a favorite on the festival circuit and has sealed its mark on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Telluride Blues & Brews, Doheny Blues Festival, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival, Wakarusa, Voodoo Music Experience, Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival, LEAF & many more. Get funky with Big Sam at FestForAll!
Each year, approximately 100 visual artists and master craftsmen from over a dozen states are juried into FestForAll.  Festivalgoers can shop for pottery, woodwork, stained glass, jewelry, and much more from award-winning artists and enter to win some fabulous FestForAll shopping prizes!! In addition to Louisiana’s finest, this year artists will be traveling from these 15 states to be a part of FestForAll: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The Arts Council has established cash awards at FestForAll to recognize the achievements of original design and craftsmanship of the talented visual artists. The FestForAll distinguished judge will present the following awards on Sunday, March 29th during the festival:
Best of Show:                      $ 2000
Award of Excellence:           $ 1000
3 Awards of Distinction:       $ 500 each
2 Awards of Achievement:   $ 250 each
5 Awards of Merit:              Complimentary booth at FestForAll 2016
Visitors to the festival will see art in action with demos in wheel throwing and hand-building techniques at the Southern Pottery Clay Mobile.  Watch how all pottery begins as raw malleable earthen clay and with the right touch and technique is transformed into functional or sculptural objects for use or display.
Pick up a paintbrush and be inspired to join in the fun. Community Arts and Outreach instructor Anita LeJeune will guide festival-goers in creating a one-of-a-kind work of art at FestForAll.
Festival attendees will enjoy Burt's quick wit and personable style as he takes a blank log and turns it into a work of art. Owls, eagles, bears, alligators - Burt can find all these and more inside logs and pieces of wood and all in an hour or less while you watch.  Much like Michelangelo freed his subjects from marble, Burt frees woodland creatures from tree logs.  
Each year the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge partners with the Junior League of Baton Rouge to coordinate the FestForAll Children’s Village. Children’s Village features hands-on art activities, live performances, great music and a lot of fun! We encourage young people and families to get creative while enjoying musicians, puppeteers, storytellers, jugglers, magicians, stilt walkers, and watch fun and entertaining stage performances on the Children's Village Stage.  FestForAll's Children's Village will take place on the grounds of Louisiana's Old State Capitol. All of these fun activities are free!
FestForAll 2015 Children's Stage Performances include these highlights:
  • Baton Rouge Music Studio
  • Mrs. Dorothy & Her Traveling Shaky Egg Band
  • David Vincent’s Martial Arts
  • Cangelosi Dance Project
FestForAll 2015 Children's Village Activities include these highlights:     
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Twister
  • Junior League - Hands on Art Activities with Blue Dog and Mardi Gras themes
  • Arts Council’s Community Arts and Outreach Mini Art Lessons
  • Mini Art Lessons coordinated by the Arts Council
  • Bounce Houses
The Children’s Village hands-on art activities will follow the theme of “Let the Good Times Roll through Louisiana.” Children will have the opportunity to create several pieces of art work that will guide them on a journey through the five major regions of Louisiana: Sportsman Paradise, Crossroads, Cajun Country, Plantation Country, and Greater New Orleans. These activities will include creating  themed art after George Rodrigue’s  famous “Blue Dog” while in Cajun Country or making Mardi Gras masks in Greater New Orleans.  Each activity will have a lesson that teaches about the history and importance of the different regions that make up the wonderful culture of Louisiana.
Since FestForAll will take place the weekend before Easter this year, kids should make plans to hop on over to the Children’s Village as a special art egg hunt is planned around the grounds of Louisiana’s Old State Capitol!
Take a tour of public art in downtown Baton Rouge and surrounding neighborhoods Sunday, March 29, from 9:30 a.m. to Noon. The Velo des Artes Bicycle ride is coordinated by Bike Baton Rouge. It's a short and easy ride. The ride starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Louisiana State Museum, 4th St. at Spanish Town Rd.  Conveniently park your bicycle at the Bike Baton Rouge bicycle corral throughout FestForAll weekend.
Mockler Beverage and Baton Rouge Coca-Cola beverages will be for sale as well as a variety of delicious food items from our participating food vendors including bloomin’ onions from the Texas Custom Catering, Chicken Shack, Snow-2-go, Crazy Cajun and icy treats from Snow Day. 
The Arts Council is proud to present FestForAll, a showcase of all the great things that are going on in Baton Rouge. It is a chance for families to come downtown and eat, play, dance and shop. Children and adults can experience visual arts, music, and dance in a wonderful festival atmosphere as FestForAll celebrates the creative energy of our great community!
FestForAll is a program of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and has been a Baton Rouge tradition since 1974.  Its distinguished 40+year history has garnered it a reputation as one of Louisiana's finest art and music festivals. FestForAll is free & open to everyone.


The Arts Council is proud to present FestForAll, a showcase of all the great things that are going on in Baton Rouge. It is a chance for families to come downtown and eat, play, dance and shop. Children and adults can experience visual arts, music, and dance in a wonderful festival atmosphere. FestForAll celebrates the creative energy of our great community.
FestForAll is a program of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge and has been a Baton Rouge tradition since 1974 and is free & open to everyone. FestForAll has a distinguished 30+year history garnering a reputation as one of Louisiana's finest art and music festivals.