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A legend in the music world, James Rivers has played theJazz Fest every year since its 1970s inception in Congo Square.
A staple of The Big Easy jazz and blues scene, the veteran multi-instrumentalist is a lot more famous than he’d ever let on. Even Clint Eastwood’s a fan, having enlisted Rivers for countless movie soundtracks and that famous "Bridges of Madison County" appearance.
In the 1950s, Rivers found himself in the middle of the Golden Age of New Orleans rock & roll as an in-demand studio musician. His recording sessions resulted in monster hits, including the original “Sea Cruise” recording with Bobby Marchan and Gerri Hall (before Frankie Ford’s vocals took over for the radio). Before “You Send Me” made Sam Cooke a household name, Cooke and Rivers fine-tuned the song in a Pensacola, Fla. hotel room on guitar and sax. Al Johnson’s “Carnival Time” got its Mardi Gras luster with saxophonist Rivers’ flow.
We are overjoyed to welcome the James Rivers Movement to the Saloon stage!