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John Boutte

John Boutte plays Jazz Fest 2012 on May 5 & 6. (Image courtesy of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)

HBO’s Treme series has exposed a whole new audience to the gritty side of New Orleans, as well as many of its finest hometown performers. An artist receiving a lion’s share of that exposure is native son John Boutte, who provides the show with its theme song.

That honey-coated soul is unmistakable, and he represents the city with a classy panache all his own. Ever sweet and spiritual, it’s damn near impossible not to be transported by that voice!

Those of us who live in New Orleans are lucky enough to have easy access to his live performances, which often take place at dba on Frenchmen Street. And those of us who live in New Orleans and/or plan to attend this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be lucky enough to catch him in the WWOZ tent on May 5 and the Gospel Tent on May 6.

For the full musical lineup, visit the Jazz Fest site.

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