"Have you been to Jazz Fest?"
Whenever we mentioned about the number of times we've visited New Orleans, this was one of the first questions we heard. We can now answer "Of course!"
The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a seven-day musical
more--spread over two weekends. Over the years Jazz Fest (as it has come to be called) has received many honors, including being named the Festival of the Year four times by Pollstar magazine, "the country’s very best music festival" (Life magazine), and "(a festival) that “showcases a wider, deeper lineup of essential American musical styles than any festival in the nation…” (The Wall Street Journal).
"...Festival is a singular celebration. The event has showcased most of the great artists of New Orleans and Louisiana of the last half century" and "has always blended in a wide mix of internationally renowned guests" (nojazzfest.com).
While listening to the Latin music of Ecuador-born and long-time New Orleans resident Javier Tobar and Elegant Gypsy, we heard the sounds of a brass band behind us. It was one of the parades scheduled that day. The Storyville Stompers Brass Band (photo #3) were leading the parade that included Dumaine Gang, Divine Ladies, and Family Ties Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (photo #4).
"Mahalia Jackson, often called the greatest gospel singer, returned to her hometown to appear at the first Festival in April of 1970. While attending the Louisiana Heritage Fair in Beauregard Square, she and Duke Ellington, who also appeared at the event, came upon the Eureka Brass Band leading a
"This spontaneous, momentous scene—this meeting of jazz and heritage—has stood for decades since as a stirring symbol of the authenticity of the celebration that was destined to become a cultural force" (nojazzfest.com).
"Collectively, their organizations are called 'tribes.' There are about 38 tribes, ranging in size from a half dozen to several dozen members.
"As the 20th century progressed, physical confrontations gave way to assertions of status by having better suits, songs, and dances.
"territorial establish-ments" around the grounds was this inventive model. A fitted sheet was secured at the four corners by attaching them to the backs of chairs. A fine escape from the sun.
Quite a first day. On to Day 2.