The blues will fill the stage as the 24th annual MississippiGulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival returns to the Jackson CountyFairgrounds on Saturday.
Gates will open at 1 p.m. and the firstperformance will be at 3:30 p.m. Performers, in order of appearance,will be Will Easley, Kern Pratt, Katrenia Jefferson, Jose Francois &The Road Home Band, and Nathaniel Kimble.
Kimble is known for hishit “Can You Bagg It Up.” A native of Benoit, Kimble sang in the churchchoir while pursuing his interest in the blues. Other popular singlesof his are “2 Steps,” “Happy,” “Let Me Luv U” and “Full of That Juice.”
Pratt,also a Delta native, is known for playing blues with a rock edge and aLouisiana feel. He is touring in support of his 2015 album “BrokenChains.” He has opened for such greats as B.B. King and Bo Diddley.
Easley,who is out of Atlanta, started his career at age 14 when he won atalent competition in Pensacola, Fla., and the prize was to open forCharlie Pride. Easley is known for “Don’t Ya Like It,” “Loop the Loop””Wiggle When She Walk” and “If I Let You Go.”
Jefferson is aSouthern soul diva, also out of Atlanta. She was named Best FemaleVocalist 2012 by Daddy B. Nice for her single “That Thang.” Her latestsingle is “What If I.”
Jose Francois & The Road Home Band are asix-piece blues, soul and jazz band out of Houston. Their songs include”I’m a Bluesman,” “You Think You Got It Going On” and “From the Moment(I Saw You).”
The festival also has vendors with barbecue, grilled seafood and more. Families may bring their coolers.
PhyllisOwens, event coordinator, said it’s a great longstanding tradition puton by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission.
“We have a big nice stage and a covered pavilion, so the show will go on rain or shine,” Owens said.
Advancetickets are $20 and are available at the Vernon Gilbert Elks Lodge inBiloxi, Taylor-Harris Drug Store and Elaine’s The Place to Be inGulfport, Byrd’s Music Store in Moss Point and Maynard’s Music in OceanSprings. Tickets are $25 the day of the show. Children 13 and youngerare admitted free.
The fairgrounds is at 2902 Shortcut Rd. in Pascagoula.