Johhny Vidacovich and Steven Bernstein. Photo by Greg Aiello

A number of late night shows helped bridge two weekends of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival performances at the city’s famed Fairgrounds. As expected, most of these shows featured a variety of guests in New Orleans for the festivities. Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno celebrated the release of his new CD Reminisce with a performance at Maison Wednesday night. In addition to his solo vehicle Chapter 2, Krasno invited Warren Haynes, Oteil Burbridge, Trombone Shorty, Terrence Blanchard and Kofi Burbridge onstage during his set.

Earlier in the week two generations of jazz/funk musicians shared the stage at the Blue Nile when Dr. John performed with Will Bernard Tuesday night. The weekend’s unofficial host Galactic performed at Tipitina’s Uptown Monday as part of an Instruments a Comin Benefit. The show featured guest appearances by Anders Osborne, among many others. Galactic also welcomed Luther Dickinson, Cyril Neville and Corey Henry onstage during its performance onboard the Riverboat Cajun Queen last Saturday. In addition to his previously confirmed sit in with Hill Country Revue, Dickinson appeared with Skerik, Johnny Vidacovich and James Singleton at the Maple Lead on April 22.

Finally, this past Sunday numerous musicians came together to play a free open house party in a old firehouse located on Dauphine St. Several different musicians performed together in different configurations, including members of The Slip (guitarist Brad Barr, bassist Marc Friedman), Tea Leaf Green (bassist Reed Mathis), Levon Helm Band (trumpeter Steven Bernstein, Aalto saxophonist Erik Lawrence, keyboardist Brian Mitchell) and Lettuce (keyboardist Nigel Hall). In addition, guitarist Will Bernard, drummers Derrick Freeman and Nick Hughes and keyboardist Doc Sharp participated in the event. After two sets, Nigel Hall offered a bonus living room performance that boasted a “live Donny Hathaway solo.”