South by Southwest might largely be about discovering young new bands, but quite a few veteran performers come to town for the event each year as well. Here’s a dozen highlights among legacy acts:
Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The renowned New Orleans outfit has a history that stretches back more than 50 years. Tuba player Alan Jaffe started the group in the 1960s at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter, with his son Ben Jaffe carrying the torch after his father’s death.
The band is at SXSW largely in conjunction with the film “A Tuba to Cuba,” which will be shown three times during the SXSW Film Festival. It documents the band’s 2015 journey to the country whose music helped inspire the elder Jaffe to start the group in the 1960s. That trip also informed last year’s “So It Is,” just the second Preservation Hall album to feature all-original music. The album was recorded in Texas, at Sonic Ranch studio near El Paso.
A sad note: The band reported via social media recently that the signature Sousaphone tuba with its logo painted on the horn was stolen after a show in New Orleans. They’re offering a reward for its return.
The band performs at 10 p.m. March 14 at Mohawk outdoor. Film screenings of “A Tuba to Cuba” are 2 p.m. March 10 at Alamo Lamar; 3:30 p.m. March 14 at the Paramount; and 2:30 p.m. March 16 at Alamo Ritz.
Superchunk. The vanguard of cutting-edge label Merge Records, this North Carolina band still somehow feels like the new kid on the block, even though they’re now nearly 30 years into a stellar career as one of America’s best-ever indie bands. Perhaps it’s because they keep releasing vital, vibrant music. “What a Time to Be Alive,” issued last month, addresses the present American condition head-on, with all the rage and rancor the moment requires.
In addition to two early-week SXSW showcases — 10:45 p.m. March 12 at the Mohawk outdoor, and 8:15 p.m. March 13 at the Main — the band’s founding duo of Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance will be the subject of a featured panel at 12:30 p.m. March 14 at the Convention Center.
Todd Rundgren. A self-proclaimed wizard and true star (see the title of his 1973 album), Rundgren has had smash pop hits such as “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me” and produced multimillion selling classic albums such as Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell.” He was in town last year playing with Ringo Starr’s All-Star Band, and in 2015 as the headliner of the annual All ATX benefit concert.
His 1 a.m. March 15 at Elysium caps a showcase of acts on Los Angeles label Cleopatra Records, which released Rundgren’s 2017 album “White Knight.” He’ll also take part in “How About a Little Fanfare,” a panel discussion about the creative process of songwriting, at 3:30 p.m. March 15 at the Convention Center.
Chris Stamey. A longtime influence on the North Carolina music scene as a producer and with rock-pop bands the dB’s and Sneakers, Stamey was at SXSW last year helming the Big Star’s Third tribute project in honor of Alex Chilton (with whom Stamey played in New York in the late 1970s).
In Austin earlier this year as music director of Alejandro Escovedo’s annual ACL Live show, Stamey returns partly in conjunction with a memoir called “A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories,” due out in April on University of Texas Press. In addition to his showcase at midnight March 17 at the Driskill’s Victorian Room, he’ll be part of the panel “From CBGB to the World: A Downtown Diaspora” at 2 p.m. March 16 at the Convention Center, and will be signing copies of the book immediately after.
Rita Coolidge. A star since the 1970s when she made three albums with then-husband Kris Kristofferson and scored two top-10 pop hits on her own, Coolidge published her memoir, “Delta Lady,” two years ago. At 72, she’s returning with a new album, “Safe in the Arms of Time,” that’s due out in May and features a duet with Keb’ Mo’ on the lead single “Walking on Water.” (9 p.m. March 16 Cooper’s BBQ)
Low. Begun in the early 1990s in Duluth, Minn., as a minimalist collaboration between Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, Low gradually rose to national prominence, joining the roster of renowned indie label Sub Pop and attracting the attention of Robert Plant, who recorded two of the band’s songs on his 2010 “Band of Joy” album. They’re now working on a new project inspired by Italian Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s work “Doubting Thomas.” (11 p.m. March 13, St. David’s Historic Sanctuary; 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Stubb’s outdoor)
Linda Perry. After rising to stardom with the San Francisco pop band 4 Non Blondes in the early 1990s, Perry went on to become a songwriter and producer of hits for artists including Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys. Her latest project is the recording/publishing/management company We Are Hear. (1 a.m. March 12 at Townsend)
Wedding Present. Singer-guitarist David Gedge has been the one constant in this English alt-rock band whose origins date back to the mid-1980s. The group’s 2016 album “Going, Going…” was a multimedia chronicle of a North American tour that included videos for each of its 20 songs. (9:45 p.m. March 13, Barracuda Backyard; 12:30 a.m. March 15, Seven Grand; 10:10 p.m. March 16, Barracuda Backyard)
Terminal Mind. A recent reissue of this pioneering Austin punk/new-wave trio’s songs from the late 1970s has sparked renewed interest in their music. Original member Steve Marsh has recruited a new rhythm section of drummer Coby Cardosa and bassist Lucky Santiago. (7:45 p.m. March 12, Sidewinder outdoor)
Janiva Magness. At 61, the dynamic singer has become a widely respected figure in blues music, with Blues Foundation awards and a Grammy nomination among the highlights from a career spanning more than a dozen albums for labels such as Alligator and Blue Elan. (10 p.m. March 16, Cooper’s BBQ)
Veldt. Rising stars in the fertile early-1990s North Carolina indie-rock scene, the Veldt never quite broke through despite a couple of major-label deals. But their sound, which draws upon British shoegaze influences while adding elements of urban grit and rhythm, still sounds relevant and perhaps even predictive of contemporary pop acts. 10:30 p.m. March 15, Seven Grand)
Bubble Puppy. The 1960s psychedelic band scored one of Austin’s first pop hits with “Hot Smoke and Sassafras.” While they never reached that level of notoriety again, they’ve continued to perform after a 2011 reunion when they were voted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame. (7 p.m. March 15, Hotel Vegas Patio)
On 512Tech.com: SXSW will return to crowds, criticisms and lots to talk about