Is there a better combination than the blend of blues and nature? On Thursday, September 28th, the soulful sound of blues will be flowing among the hoots, howls and roars of the animals at Alexandria Zoo.
Les Fest is the Zoo’s signature adult evening filled with live music, delicious food and fun in an inviting outdoor atmosphere. The event celebrates the late zoo director Leslie “Les” Whitt, who dedicated his life to serving the citizens of Alexandria and promoting the conservation of the world’s wildlife. Two of Whitt’s great loves included the Alexandria Zoo and music, both of which take center stage at Les Fest.
Musician and wetlands preservation advocate, Tab Benoit, will bring his acclaimed bayou blues sound back to Alexandria Zoo. Benoit, a Houma native, is an American blues guitarist and singer. Winner of multiple Blues Music Awards, including the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Contemporary Blues Male Artist, Benoit was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2003, he co-founded Voice of the Wetlands, a volunteer-based non-profit organization “focused on driving awareness about the loss of the wetlands in southern Louisiana.”
Alexandria native Eric Johanson will be opening the night with his soulful blues guitar. Johanson has toured across the U.S. and internationally as lead guitarist for the legendary Cyril Neville, Grammy-winning Zydeco artist Terrance Simien, and performed onstage with Tab Benoit, JJ Grey & Mofro, Eric Lindell, Mike Zito, Anders Osborne, the Neville Brothers, and many more.
In addition to music, the evening will feature a superb lineup of food, soft drinks, margaritas, beer and wine available for purchase. Local area restaurants and caterers will be donating their culinary talents to compose an enticing menu of both savory and sweet creations. Vendors include Atwood’s Bakery, Back Woods Catering, Copeland’s, Julia’s Mexican Restaurant, Panaroma Foods, Southern Creations, Spirits Food & Friends, and Tunk’s Cypress Inn.
Gates will open at 6:30pm. Individual tickets are $25.00 through September 21st and $30.00 thereafter. Tickets and reserved tables are available for purchase on the zoo’s website, www.thealexandriazoo.com, and at the Alexandria Zoo office. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate during Les Fest.
Proceeds from Les Fest help advance the zoo’s conservation mission and aid projects designed to enrich the lives of animals at the Zoo.