It's that time of year again where New Orleans go all out to prove they are one of the most culturally rich cities in North America with their annual two-weekend event, the New Orleans Jazz Festival.
The Jazz Festival has expanded to two long weekends since its inaugural year in 1970, meaning that more people than ever can get the chance to enjoy the fine music culture of Louisiana. The Queen of Gospel Mahalia Jackson appeared at the first event alongside renowned orchestral composer Duke Ellington, and from then on the festival has gone from strength to strength and has never once lost the spirit that has made it so loved.
The music isn't the only culture you can experience over the Spring weekends; the New Orleans Jazz Festival is well prized for its extensive local cuisine which has become such a major part of the event that you can now even see demonstrations from various chefs on the Food Heritage and Cajun Cabin Stages. Also, you'll never be short of something to look at with the numerous crafts displays such as the Congo Square African Marketplace and Louisiana Marketplace.
Eric Clapton will no doubt be a weekend highlight
Music is, however, the heart of New Orleans' favourite occasion and with twelve different stages to choose from, everyone's bound to find something they can immerse themselves in. Most of the fun will be taking place at the Acura Stage, Samsung Galaxy Stage and Congo Square Stage, with Acura being the place to be on day 1 (April 25th) as it showcases legends such as Latin rockers Santana to newcomers like chart sensation Laura Mvula. North Carolina's The Avett Brothers will also be worth a look over on Samsung Galaxy. April 26th brings more joys with Boz Scaggs in the Blues Tent, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, ad lib icons Phish and 'Blurred Lines' hitmaker Robin Thicke. The following day continues to build the excitement with celebrated guitarist Eric Clapton and New York rockers Vampire Weekend.
Arcade Fire will be bringing a taste of pure rock to festival proceedings
Weekend 2 begins on Thursday, May 1st with Beyonce's talented sister Solange at Congo Square and bluegrass favourites The String Cheese Incident at Acura. May 2nd is all about the big voices of Chaka Khan and Christina Aguilera, while Alabama Shakes share their roots with New Orleans on the Samsung Galaxy Stage. Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band will be the main focus of May 3rd at Acura, with Trey Songz highlighting Congo Square and Foster The People bringing power to Samsung Galaxy. May 4th will by no means be a comedown with the likes of Arcade Fire and soul legend Bobby Womack on the bill.
The New Orleans Jazz Festival has such a wealth of musical culture that it would be a shame for anyone to miss out. It's probably a little late to order tickets now, but if you can get yourself over there for tomorrow or next week it's just $70 per weekend on the gate.
Line-up Highlights include:
Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band
The String Cheese Incident
Foster The People
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
The Avett Brothers
Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters
Rubén Blades & Roberto Delgado Orchestra
Rebirth Brass Band
The Head And The Heart
The Radiators Return
North Mississippi Allstars
Maze Feat. Frankie Beverly
Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk With Special Guest Art Neville
Chick Corea & The Vigil
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
John Hiatt And The Combo
Branford Marsalis Quartet
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers
Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Walter "Wolfman" Washington & The Roadmasters
The Rance Allen Group
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Robert Earl Keen
Better Than Ezra
Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys
Jon Batiste And Stay Human
Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
Bobby Jones & Nashville Super Choir
Joe Louis Walker
Bernard Allison Group
Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings
The Terence Blanchard Group
René Marie - With Love To Eartha Kitt
The Infamous Stringdusters
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys
Alexis & The Samurai
Dr. Michael White & The Original Liberty Jazz Band With Thais Clark
Spencer Taylor & The Highway Qc's
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