New Orleans,
14:23 PM

Audubon Zoo Hosts 14th Annual Soul Fest

Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

Thousands of locals are set to converge upon Audubon Zoo on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 for the 14th annual Soul Fest.

On Saturday, March 3 the family fun begins with performances by the Hot 8 Brass Band, Naydja CoJoe and The Lagniappe Section and the Royal Essence Show Band. Those performers will be joined by other jazz, rhythm & blues and gospel artists for one of New Orleans' biggest celebrations of African-American culture.

On Sunday, March 4 Soul Fest will feature a special guest appearance by Eric Benet, one of R&B’s premier singer-songwriters.

Benet will close out the festive weekend at the Capital One Pavilion with a performance that showcases his smooth tenor-to-falsetto range that has been thrilling his fans for nearly 25 years.

Benet, a four-time Grammy nominee, has released seven studio albums, scoring numerous hits, including “Spend My Life with You,’’ “You’re the Only One’’ and “Sometimes I Cry.’’

Other performers on Sunday will include Rechelle Cook, Caren Green, Tara Alexander, and Jelly Joseph as Soul Fest highlights the African American woman in all genres of music.

Guests will be able to purchase soul food prepared by local restaurants and caterers, and enjoy a stroll through the world-class Audubon Zoo.

Festival-goers also can visit with representatives of local health, education and social service organizations and receive valuable wellness and lifestyle information. Considering the recent shortages of blood, due to the flu epidemic, the Blood Center of New Orleans will host a blood drive during Soul Fest as well.

“This event truly has become a staple in our local community; bringing together people from every walk of life to celebrate the African-American culture,” said Soul Fest coordinator Eileen Lumar-Johnson. “It’s indeed a celebration of a vibrant past; yet also a time for Audubon Nature Institute to remind our guests of our corporate responsibility to conserve animal species for future generations,” said Lumar-Johnson.

Soul Fest is included with Zoo admission or Audubon membership.

No outside food or beverage or tents are allowed at Soul Fest. Portable folding chairs and blankets are welcomed.

Soul Fest is presented by AARP and sponsored in part by The Bardell Company, Marathon Petroleum LP and Ron Austin & Associates.

For more information on Soul Fest, click here.

2018 Soul Fest performance schedule:

Saturday, March 3

(Stage announcements by Kelder Summers; DJ duties by DJ Niecee)

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Lusher High School Jazz Band

11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. New Soul Inc.

12:20 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. Pastor Jai Reed

1:25 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Royal Essence Show Band

2:30 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Naydja CoJoe and The Lagniappe Section

3:40 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Hot 8 Brass Band

Sunday, March 4

(Stage announcements by Kelder Summers; DJ duties by DJ Captain Charles)

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Lusher High School Jazz Band

11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m. Rechelle Cook and the Ree Generation Band

12:20 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. Caren Green

1:25 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Tara Alexander

2:30 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. Jelly Joseph

3:40 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.  Special Appearance: Eric Benet

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.