Billboard Bits: Carousel Of Hope, I-FI Fest, Crowell

News on Carousel Of Hope, I-FI Fest, Rodney Crowell

StingSting, Elton John, and B.B. King will perform at the 15th annual Carousel of Hope fundraiser, set for Oct. 15 at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The event, to be hosted by Jay Leno, raises funds for childhood diabetes. To date, the organization has raised over $60 million the Denver-based Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, which plans to double in size over the next three years.

Actor Sidney Poitier will be presented with the Brass Ring award by actress Halle Berry at the event, for which President George Bush and First Lady Laura Bush will serve as the honorary chairmen. Veteran producer David Foster is the evening musical director.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks are confirmed to headline the inaugural I-FI Fest, set for July 4 in Atlanta's Masquerade Music Park. Dinosaur Jr. principal J Mascis and Ugly Casanova, the side project of Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock, are also on the bill. "Our shows do not fit a niche, but rather, extend across multiple genres of music," states upstart Atlanta-based concert promoters I-FI on the company's official Web site . "We love music and love bringing it to the people live. I-FI is dedicated to producing the highest quality events around the Southeast that feature the most innovative artists from around the globe." I-FI Fest will also feature performances by area bands such as the Sunshine Fix, which features former Olivia Tremor Control member Bill Doss, plus the Kingsbury Manx, Jet By Day, L.O.A. and the Jawz of Life. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 on the day of the show. The date is a one-off for Malkmus, who is reportedly at work on a follow up to his self-titled 2001 solo album and eyeing an autumn release on Matador. Mascis, who recently recorded tracks with members of Cobra Verde for the follow up to his 2000 effort "More Light," begins a month-long string of dates June 14 in San Francisco. Ugly Casanova launches a North American trek in support of the recently released "Sharpen Your Teeth" (Sub Pop) June 15 in Seattle.

Country artist Rodney Crowell will take on the emcee chores for this summer's Down From the Mountain bluegrass and roots music tour. Featuring music from the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack, the trek kicks off June 25 in Louisville, Ky., and is slated to end Aug. 21 in Birmingham, Ala. Select shows on the tour will feature the newly added talents of Rosanne Cash, folk artists Kate & Anna McGarrigle backing up Emmylou Harris, David Holt, Colin Linden, and Tim Blake Nelson. As previously reported , Down From the Mountain will feature a line-up of Harris, Ricky Skaggs, the Del McCoury Band, Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Dan Tyminski and Jerry Douglas, Ralph Stanley, Patty Loveless, Norman & Nancy Blake, Chris Thomas King, the Whites, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, the Cox Family, the Fairfield Four, the Flatlanders, and the Peasall Sisters, all under the tutelage of musical director Bob Neuwirth.