New Orleans,
14:05 PM

Shamarr Allen Headlines Soul Fest at Audubon Zoo

Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Audubon Zoo hosts the 14th annual Soul Fest, one of New Orleans' biggest celebrations of African-American culture that features live performances by jazz, rhythm & blues and gospel artists, soul food prepared by local restaurants and caterers and wellness and lifestyle information provided by representatives of health, education and social service organizations.

Versatile vocalist and trumpeter Shamarr Allen and his band The Underdawgs will head a lineup of talented local performers who will keep the music flowing throughout the annual two-day Soul Fest at Audubon Zoo.

On Sunday, March 5, Allen will close out the festive weekend at the Capital One Pavilion with a performance that showcases his impressive repertoire from jazz, hip-hop and funk to blues and country.

Allen, who has collaborated with the likes of Willie Nelson, Patti LaBelle, Harry Connick Jr. and Lenny Kravitz, has toured Central Asia with his band members as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department. In 2013, Allen and The Underdawgs were invited to play at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The 14th annual Soul Fest opens on Saturday, March 4 with performances by Robin Barnes, Philip Manuel, Tonya Boyd Cannon and other jazz, rhythm & blues and gospel artists for one of New Orleans' biggest celebrations of African-American culture.

Cannon, a former Orleans Parish deputy sheriff who was a contestant on the hit television show “The Voice’’ in 2015, will close out the first day of Soul Fest on Saturday afternoon.

Guests will be able to purchase soul food prepared by local restaurants and caterers and enjoy the Zoo's collection of exotic animals.

Festival-goers also can visit with representatives of local health, education and social service organizations and receive valuable wellness and lifestyle information. The Daughters of Charity Health Center’s medical mobile unit will be on site offering dental, vision, behavioral health, glucose (diabetes) and blood pressure screenings.

Audubon Nature Institute is delighted to bring families together for one of the city’s biggest celebrations of African American history. Through this family-friendly event, Audubon can also spotlight important issues that affect everyone, including the ever-growing need to conserve species for future generations and community concerns and health issues facing African Americans today.”
Eileen Johnson, Director of Community Relations at Audubon Nature Institute

On Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m., Soul Fest will host its first African American History Makers Tribute, recognizing local Historically Black Colleges & Universities. Dillard University, Xavier University and Southern University at New Orleans will all be spotlighted.

There also will be a call out for all African-American Greek letter organizations following the tribute.

Soul Fest is included with Audubon Nature Institute membership or Audubon Zoo admission. No outside food or beverages are permitted.

Soul Fest is presented by AARP and sponsored in part by The Bardell Company; Marathon Petroleum, LP; and Ron Austin & Associates. Soul Fest is proud to recognize The Daughters of Charity New Orleans as its 2017 community health sponsor.

For more information, click here.

2017 Soul Fest performance schedule:

Saturday, March 4

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

11:15 – 12:05 a.m. – Robin Barnes

12:20 - 1:10 p.m. – Phillip Manuel

1:25 – 2:15 p.m. – Tyrone Jefferson and the Abundant Life Tabernacle Choir

2:30 – 3:20 p.m. – T-Ray the Violinist

3:35- 4:50 p.m. – Tonya Boyd Cannon

Sunday, March 5

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

11:15 – 12:00 p.m. – Rochelle Cook

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. – Just Right Band featuring Ve’Al

1:15 – 2:00 p.m. – Tara Alexander

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. - African American History Makers Program

2:45 - 3:30 p.m. - Gina Brown

3:45 – 4:55 p.m. – Shamarr Allen & The Underdawgs

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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.