Dragon Smoke is a band that formed as part of the New Orleans Jazz Fest tradition known as the "Superjam". The "Superjam" idea is to put together a band of people who don't normally play together and see what happens. With the dual vocals of Neville and Lindell, matched with the Galactic rhythm section, the band quickly realized, "We are on to something" and has played every Jazz Fest since it's inception in 2003. This inception took place at the famed Dragon's Den, hence the name of the band.
The music centers around Lindell's blue eyed soul , Neville's funk and R&B, and Galactic's groove. Besides a few trips to the West Coast, this band has been strickly playing in New Orleans. With everyone in the band being a leader on their own, it is rare to get this band together. And when it does, it shows that these guys are really having FUN! From the interplay between the members, you would think that Dragon Smoke has been playing shows forever.
Dragon Smoke is looking towards the future, with plans to write and record an album and to do more touring outside of New Orleans and the Bay Area. So be on the lookout for the Smoke—IF YOU SEE SMOKE, YOU KNOW YOU WILL SEE FIRE!
Billy Iuso & Friends ft. Nori Naraoka (Bonerama/Papa Grows Funk)
"Don't miss the opportunity to be inspired" is Billy Iuso's mission. His musicianship and abilities have a certain polish and maturity that only a self-taught guitar player can posses. Three decades after honing his skills, he is widely known for his funk-driven jam sound with Brides of Jesus and The Restless Natives.
Billy was influenced by great music which prompted him to form his first band at the age of 17. The experience provided a working stage for him to hone is skills of both covers and original works.
Iuso formed the Brides of Jesus in the early nineties and the band gained much notoriety and success in the jam band scene. They played opening week at Club Wetlands NYC, the first club dedicated to the Jam Band scene, alongside artists such as Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors. Brides of Jesus opened for major acts such as the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic and George Clinton. The band toured and performed together for a decade, with three major album releases, and throughout the lively touring schedule Billy became familiar with the band The Meters, who introduced him to his current home in New Orleans where he has lived since 1996.
Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives formed in New Orleans in 2002 . They perform an eclectic mix of original songs and covers and are continually one of the city's top jam/funk bands performing at many festivals and clubs in New Orleans and across the United States.
Recently, Iuso has kept a very busy schedule touring and playing guitar with The Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians and Anders Osborne's Band, along with The Restless Natives.
In the past five years Billy as been an artist at large on many festivals. He is a part of Grateful Feat which includes Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett(Little Feat). G.A.B.E (George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne, Billy Iuso, Eric Bolivar)
This past January he played Gov't Mules Island Exodus IV in Negril, Jamaica.. He has had the honor of sitting in with Steel Pulse, Warren Haynes, The Funky Meters, Dumpstaphunk and many more.
Iuso is frequently part of New Orleans cultural events such as French Quarter Fest and JazzFest, many benefit concerts and other live events. In August of 2011, Offbeat Magazine said: "In an era of music when imitation is as important as innovation, Billy Iuso shows his ability to do both while maintaining a sound that has developed a solid identity within New Orleans music."