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iFest Bringing Bootsy, Baby and a Boatload of Brazilians

This was a surprise. The Houston International Festival, sort of like ACL goes to the museum, just announced its 2013 lineup about half an hour ago, right out of the blue. Get ready to get funked up in Sam Houston Park rather than outer space.

Topliners include funk warlord Bootsy Collins, New Orleans crooner Aaron Neville, reggae droppers The Wailers, jam band Leftover Salmon, (both previously announced), British soul singer James Hunter, Zimbabwe's Oliver Mtukudzi, Austin's Grupo Fantasma, the Stooges Brass Band, Texas Brass Band and Houston's increasingly popular Bombon Sound System.

This year's spotlight country is Brazil, the homeland of featured performers Diogo Nogueira, Forro In the Dark, Morena Soul, SambaDa and Jovino Santos Neto, among others, plus all the capoeira and samba lessons you can handle. Of course, iFest will also include the usual cooking demonstrations, folkloric dancing presentations and even a couple of Carnaval parades.

The International Festival is now in its 43rd year, almost all of them in downtown Houston. Festival hours run 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21 and 27-28. A headlining act for April 27 is still TBD.

Ticket prices start at $18. See more information at

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray