Janelle Monae was featured in the Ladies of Jazz Fest post but we’d be remiss if we left her off of any kind of All-Rookie Squad post after her electrifying performances at Voodoo Experience 2009 (in the rain) and festival-highlighting show on Halloween at Voodoo 2010. Monae is a rare talent, entertaining enough to be invited to open for Prince at Madison Square Garden, theatrical and odd enough to join of Montreal’s touring circus and with enough of a broad appeal to play the 2011 GRAMMY awards and serve as the house musician at the ESPYs in the same year. With a talented band, a seemingly endless well of charisma and panache to draw from and an infectious enthusiasm, you’re going to be apart of this dance party when the time comes. Without question one of the better live performers out there today and quite possibly the can’t miss performance of the entire festival.
Lafayette indie standouts GIVERS had a huge 2011, releasing their acclaimed debut In Light, signing to Glassnote Records, making several major festival debuts and racking up 3 awards at January’s Best of the Beat Awards. After playing a big Sunday set at Voodoo this year, the next piece of the puzzle for the local-ish band is to rock the Fairgrounds at their first Fest. If you haven’t seen them play, make sure you’re in the crowd for some of feel-good sunny day pop tunes straight outta Louisiana.
GARY CLARK JR.
27 year old soul man Gary Clark Jr. is an exceptional blues guitar talent hailing from Austin, TX who somehow managed to fly mostly under the radar outside of his hometown until 2011. In ATX, Clark’s exceptional talent has been recognized since a very young age. In 2001, Austin’s mayor, declared May 3rd to be
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