8 bands, several other musicians to take stage at fundraiser at Destrehan Plantation Sunday

The fundraiser will benefit Jeff Willett.

Several bands will take the stage this Sunday at Destrehan Plantation for Jeff Rocks for ALS, which will be held from noon until 8 p.m. on May 19.

Admission is free, but cash or Venmo donations are encouraged.

All donations from the event will support expenses as well as go towards ALS treatment for Jeff Willett. Willett, from Luling, was diagnosed with ALS in 2021. His love of music parlayed him into being a lifelong musician.

He first learned how to play music from his grandfather. He graduated from Hahnville High School in 1979 and began playing in a band shortly after that. Willett has played in many bands throughout the years, and considers his time playing music and meeting new people through those musical experiences as some of the best days of his life.

“I am so lucky,” he said. “I mean … what little bit of talent the Good Lord blessed on me I worked hard … I would give 100 percent for every performance. I’m just blessed to be around these musicians who have way, way more talent than I’ll ever have. To be able to be out there with people and meeting so many people in my life … it was a fun thing. It really kept a smile on me in my life. I love to have the smiles outdo the frowns.”

Bands who will perform at the event include Rockin’ Dopsie, Local Option 2, Rollin’ Fifties, Tuff Guys/Bellaire, Emily Coulee, Bad Habit, Fender Bender and We & Mrs. Jones. Other musicians who will perform include Tiffany Clarkin, Emily Faschan, Bennie Hebert, Andy V., Jody Haydel, Jaime Taylor, Shane Matherne, Jimbeaux, Herb Borne, Gonzo, Chris Piekos and Jimmy Trant.

“We will be selling both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, hot dogs with all of the fixings, various chips and probably a few sweet treats,” Tracy Smith, executive director of Destrehan Plantation, said.

Smith added that those who donate will receive a $10 discount coupon off the regular price of a tour of the plantation, which is good for up to 30 days.

This is the second time Destrehan Plantation has hosted the event, which will be held on the planation grounds at the pavillion/stage area. Entry point is the Mule Barn gate.

“It is highly recommended that you bring a chair or blanket to sit on,” Smith said.

There are no outside food, drinks or coolers allowed.

“What better way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon than under the shady oaks at Destrehan Plantation listening to a wide variety of top notch music and musicians, all for a great cause,” Smith said.