Archived Story

Jazz Fest announces lineup

Published 12:10pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bands Bonerama, Robert Randolph and the Family Band to headline

Bands Bonerama and Robert Randolph & The Family Band are among the list of performers set to take the stage at the 22nd annual Alexander City Jazz Fest June 8 and 9.

The Alexander City Jazz Fest committee released Wednesday the full lineup for the event, which will be held June 8 in Alexander City at Strand Park and June 9 at the Lake Martin Amphitheater on Highway 63.

Jazz Fest Chairman Henry Foy said Friday night’s events will start at 6 p.m. and feature Bibb City Ramblers, Guitar Shorty and headliner Bonerama.

Saturday night’s festivities will start at 6:30 p.m. and feature Jonathan Bloom Band, Nelo and headliner Robert Randolph & the Family Band.

“I think it’s a good variety, and a good mix and something that will be very exciting,” Foy said.

Foy said that Wildman Steve would once again emcee the show both nights.

“Bibb City Ramblers is Wildman Steve’s new band,” Foy said. “They’re bluegrass, so that’s going to be a little different, but it’s really going to get it kicked off with some excitement I think.”

Guitar Shorty, also known as David Kearney, is a blues guitarist/vocalist. According to Shorty’s website, he was a member of Ray Charles’ band for a year out of high school and is also the brother-in-law of the late Jimi Hendrix.

Bonerama is a New Orleans-based brass funk rock band. Bonerama’s website states that the six-man band has been repeatedly recognized by Rolling Stone magazine, and trombonists Mark Mullins and Craig Klein were both formerly members of Harry Connick’s band.

“The ‘bone’ in Bonerama is the trombone,” Foy said. “They’re great.”

Attendees can expect an “acoustic vocal and harmonica performance” from Jonathan Bloom Band, according to the band’s Facebook page.

The Alexander City-based band has shared the stage with legends like the Allman Brothers, Charlie Daniels, Willie Nelson and more.

Texas-based Nelo is a six-man band that has released two albums since its debut in 2006. The band regularly performs at large venues like The House of Blues in Dallas and Houston and Granada Theatre in Dallas. According to Nelo’s website, the band has supported acts like Pat Green, Sister Hazel and Everclear.

Robert Randolph & The Family Band is a multicultural American funk and soul band led by pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph.

The band has toured with big acts like Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and The Roots, according to its website.  In 2009, Rolling Stone included Randolph in David Fricke’s picks of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

“We expect that Robert Randolph is going to draw a really big crowd,” Foy said.

Admission to the music festival is free on both nights.

Foy said anyone who would like to sponsor the event this year can call 256-234-3461 or visit  At the Friday night show, Strand Park is set up with tables and chairs for the sponsors near the stage. Each table seats 10, and a contest is held for the best decorated table and food presentation. Prizes are awarded for first place in each category.

Foy said food vendors will also be on site both nights and all attendees are invited to bring tables, blankets, chairs and coolers to the shows.

Foy added that, while it’s hard to get a headcount on attendance at Jazz Fest, they estimate that they had around 5,000 attendees last year.

“I think we’ve been very fortunate over the past two years that I’ve been chairman, and hopefully it will stick this year, to have had really good high quality performances,” Foy said. “And that in turn brings a nice crowd. We said two years ago that it was the biggest crowd we had ever seen, and last year topped it.”