Smash Mouth, Cupid and the Dance Party Express Show, LA ROXX and John Papa Gros among headliners for Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival


The Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival has announced its headliners for its 23rd Annual Festival, set to take place on the downtown Natchitoches riverbank May 10-11.

Smash Mouth, featured on the cover of their self-titled album.

Smash Mouth, 1990s and 2000s hit makers, will close the show Saturday night and will be preceded that day by: Resurrection, a Nashville-based Journey tribute band; former Bad Company lead singer, Brian Howe; South Louisiana R&B artist, Cupid and the Dance Party Express Show; New Orleans Funk/Jazz/R&B legend, John Papa Gros; and local favorites Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs.

Song/video link for All Star:

Song/video link for I’m A Believer:

Friday night will be highlighted by Zydeco/R&B legend Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band and “the world’s greatest Hair Band tribute,” LA ROXX.

Festival Chairman, Rodney Harrington said that the motto for this year’s event could be “Hits Through the Decades” or “Something for Everyone.”

Smash Mouth formed in 1994, but reached their peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s when they had several hit songs including “All Star,” “Walking on the Sun,” and a remake of the Monkees’ hit, “I’m A Believer,” which was featured prominently in the hit movie, Shrek. They sold millions of records, and their 1999 album, Astro Lounge, went multi-platinum.

The group still tours regularly and are known for their high-energy shows, punctuated by numerous crowd sing-a-longs.

Resurrection is widely regarded as the nation’s premier Journey tribute band featuring crack Nashville musicians and a lead singer whose voice sounds uncannily like former Journey lead singer, Steve Perry. The band takes the audience back to relive a 1980s Journey concert.

Englishman Brian Howe was Bad Company’s lead singer from 1986 until 1994 and actually was the lead vocalist on some of their most popular and critically acclaimed work, including the album Holy Water, which spawned several hit songs in the early 90s.

As a guest of Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, Howe will perform many of Bad Company’s best-known hits, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” “Feel Like Making Love” and more multi-platinum sellers during the 1970s and, into the 80s and 90s.

Festival Entertainment Chairman Daniel Page said that anyone who has listened to the radio or other music from the 1970s until today should recognize most or all of the music that will be played Saturday, May 11.

“I mean, Bad Company, Journey, and Smash Mouth were some of the biggest hit makers of the last four decades,” said Page. “If you like popular music, you’ll be able to find something you like in there. It’s going to be epic!”

Cupid and the Dance Party Express Band

Louisiana native Cupid had a massive hit in the 2007 with “Cupid Shuffle,” a song describing a dance, vaulted Cupid into stardom and became a triple-platinum seller. To this day, dance floors immediately fill up when the first notes of “Cupid Shuffle” are played. Now the Cupid and the Dance Party Express Show will feature high energy R&B and hip hop tunes and with “Cupid Shuffle,” no doubt being prominently featured in the set.

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John Papa Gros

John Papa Gros will bring a funk-flavored band featuring some of New Orleans hottest musicians. Gros, who formally headed up the hugely popular PaPa Grows Funk stays true to his New Orleans roots in this New Orleans Funk/Jazz/R&B set.

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Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band are one of the most popular Zydeco and R&B groups in Louisiana and have been for nearly 30 years.


LA ROXX is a perennial favorite at the Festival with their high-energy Hair Band Tribute show.

Harrington emphasizes that the Festival will feature some music that should appeal to a wide range of tastes.

“Of course, we will have plenty of Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, but in addition, we’ll have rock, country, zydeco, funk and just about anything else you can imagine,” Harrington said. “If you can’t find some music you like at the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival, then you probably just don’t like music.”

The full lineup and schedule for the Festival will be announced shortly as will ticket information. For more information, visit