It was in 1970 when the first Jazz Fest painted bright hues and drizzled music all over the lively town of New Orleans. Back then, the jamboree was called Jazz Fest and was produced by the great, George Wein. After several decades, and now sponsored by Shell, the internationally-known music festival bears its new name: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
New Orleans, by itself, is already a vibrant portion of the state. When the dates for the Jazz Fest arrive, the city’s tones and tints amplify together with thousands of revelers adding an overflowing zest. If you missed the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year, don’t worry. There will always be next year; by that time, be sure not to miss.
What, Where, & When
More than a week of live music, food, culture and entertainment. During the Jazz Fest, multiple activities happen all over the Fair Grounds Race Course, and usually all at the same time. So expect your senses to get bombarded, but all in a good way. This year, 5 music stages, and 3 performance stages were built for the festers; but the whole map of NoJazzFest has endless on-going acts each year, which you can all find if you’re a keen explorer. Nearby restaurants and bars feature local artists all-year-long. These performers are typically more deserving of the festers’ attention if you want to feel the real spirit of the festival.
The next New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will happen again on April 27-May 6 2018. So mark your calendar, you still have almost a year to prepare!
Who Did You Miss
The most-anticipated performances of 2017 were familiar names and are usual partakers of the Jazz Fest. Acts from mainstream artists like Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, Kings of Leon, Usher & The Roots, Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, Pitbull, Widespread Panic, Wilco, Patti LaBelle, and Earth, Wind & Fire were the highlights of the music stages. But festers were also as stunned to see performances from local favorites including Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Irma Thomas, Dr. John and the Gris-Gris Krewe, Big Freedia, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers, Tank and The Bangas, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Aaron Neville, and many more.
The Immersive Culture
Annually, festers of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival also look forward to its culture. Partakers of the Fest are immersed in different artisan marketplaces that are offered yearly. The exposure to these different cultures is one of the enticing charms of the event. For 2017, the NoJazzFest offered three different cultures: Congo Square African Marketplace, Contemporary Crafts, and the Louisiana Marketplace.
Each location and village bore crafts, traditions and cultural treasures. There were artworks, and demonstrations of cultural practices, as well as local food and indigenous performances.
The Must-Try Foods
Food plays a permanent role in every music festival. Missing to explore different cuisines means missing a vital part of the Fest adventure. For a place like New Orleans, you don’t need a festival to get a valid reason to go on a food trip. You’re luckier if you’re heading to the Jazz Fest for food – no doubt, you came at the right place. Foodies never fail to try crayfish and alligators; such exotic grubs are a must-try of the city. In New Orleans, expect the chances of eating different-than-ordinary meals. So if you love to explore different kinds of food, being at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is hitting multiple birds with one stone.
This year, different areas of the Jazz Fest offered various dishes. Food Area 1, Food Area 2, and Congo Square were specially built to give joy to the eaters. In these areas, festers were offered Crawfish Bread, Shrimp Bread, Cajun Jambalaya, Fried Chicken, Hot Sausage Po-Boy, Alligator Pie, Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp, Seafood Au Gratin, BBQ Brisket Sandwich, Ya Ka Mein, Spicy Natchitoches Meat Pie, Strawberry Shortcake, Key Lime Tart, Shrimp Yakisoba, Gyro Sandwich, Cuban Sandwich, Jamaican Chicken, Caribbean Fish, Jama-Jama, Sweet Potato Turnover, ice creams, cold refreshments, fresh juices and teas, and so much more!
If that weren’t enough to satisfy the famished, there were also snacks sold near the stages. Such a happy place for people who love food! Jazz Fest surely is a gleeful land for the music enthusiasts, and the bon viveurs!