The Coral Reefer Band’s Jimmy Buffett Tribute at Jazz Fest

The Coral Reefer Band along with Will Kimbrough, Scotty Emrick, Jake Shimabukuro, Sonny Landreth, Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed a tribute show for Jimmy Buffett at the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Sunday May 5th.

The set list from the New Orleans Jazz Festival – Jimmy Buffett Tribute (05/05/2004):

It’s Five o’clock Somewhere – Mac McAnally and Scotty Emrick
Changes in Latitudes – Scotty Emrick
Son of a Son of Sailor – Scotty Emrick
I Will play for Gumbo – Irma Thomas with Sonny Landreth
Volcano – Scotty Emrick
Come Monday – Mac McAnally
USS Zydecoldsmobile – Sonny Landreth
One Particular Harbour – Nadriah Shakoor
Cheeseburger in Paradise – Mac McAnally
University of Bourbon Street – Will Kimbrough and Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Ukulele Tribute – Jake Shimabukuro
A Piece of Work – Will Kimbrough, Mac McAnally, Nadriah Shakoor, and Tina Gullickson
Scarlet Begonias – Peter Mayer
Southern Cross – Peter Mayer
Brown Eyed Girl – Will Kimbrough
Pencil Thin Mustache – Mac McAnally with Trombone Shorty
A Pirate Looks at 40 – Mac McAnally
Fins – Nadirah Shakoor (intro Savannah)
Margaritaville – Mac McAnally, Scotty Emrick, Will Kimbrough along with Delaney and Savannah

From Jazz Fest 2024 Day 8 Recap: Bonnie Raitt, Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire and a tribute to Jimmy Buffett

The spirit of Jimmy Buffett was present all over Jazz Fest, where the late singer-songwriter was a fixture both on the stage and as a man of the people known for having a great time in the crowd.

Buffett died last September at 76 from an aggressive and rare form of skin cancer, and the 2024 festival honored his legacy in a few ways, including with a photo exhibit in the Grandstands, and a second-line parade yesterday.

But the biggest tribute of all was the penultimate show at the Festival Stage on Sunday by his longtime band The Coral Reefer Band.

Throngs of Parrotheads turned out to celebrate Buffett’s life and music, while a roster of high-profile artists made cameos on stage to honor their friend.

The Coral Reefers kicked off the set with “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” Buffett’s collaboration with Alan Jackson.

The group then played a catalog of hits celebrating the lighter side of life, including “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” “Son of A Son of A Sailor,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” as well as the more romantic and soul-searching tune “Southern Cross,” originally written by Stephen Stills.

The band dedicated the love song “Come Monday” to Buffett’s widow, Jane.

Louisiana artist Sonny Landreth, who had toured and recorded with Buffett, joined in for “I Will Play For Gumbo,” alongside Irma Thomas.

Trombone Shorty made an appearance for “Pencil Thin Mustache,” and members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined in for an especially festive version of “University of Bourbon Street.”

Throughout the set, bandmates shared stories and fond memories of Buffett, who by all accounts was a generous man with a zest for life.

In his earlier days when he was a relatively unknown artist singing in small bars, they noted he always made sure his fans’ beer mugs were full.

“New Orleans is where Jimmy Buffett figured out how to be Jimmy Buffett,” a bandmate said.

Unsurprisingly to anyone who has ever been to a Buffett show, the mood at the Festival Stage was one of celebration, not of sadness.

Jazz Fest’s executive director Quint Davis, a longtime buddy of Buffett, joined members of his family on stage toward the end.

Buffett’s daughter said, “We’re gonna show you how much we love you,” before the band finished the tribute with “Fins” and, of course, “Margaritaville.”

It was obvious from the set just how much Buffett fully embraced New Orleans and how it embraced him right back.

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