A little rain couldn't keep tens of thousands of people from descending on the New Orleans Fair Grounds for the second weekend of Jazz Fest, 2013. We captured a slice of life at the Fest this past Thursday.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival continues its 44th year of music today at the Fair Grounds. This morning a new music education center was dedicated to one of the festival’s founders, George Wein, and his wife Joyce.
Helen Regis is a cultural anthropologist who has been studying the Jazz and Heritage Festival for 10 years. In some ways, she says, you can think of the Jazz Fest as a city.
“The people who build the festival every year — the construction crew, the electricians — feel like they’re building a city. They do. It’s this physical infrastructure. It has lights. It has plumbing. Sort of.” Regis says, in some ways, it’s kind of a fantasy city. "In some ways it looks like New Orleans, but it’s not."
Ground crews poured sand around the festival lawns and walkways this morning.
The Fair Grounds were already muddy even before the rain started around noon.
Thursday is known as locals' day, and veteran festival goers had ponchos, umbrellas and rain boots ready to go.
WWNO’s Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!, was at the Food and Heritage stage, cooking gumbo for one of the day’s demonstrations. The kitchen is at the far end of the Grandstands, the inside portion of the festival.
When the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival first began in 1969, it was radical. Here in the South, still reeling from the Civil Rights movement and race integration, the festivals’ founders — Quint Davis, George Wein, and Allison Miner — created a safe space for New Orleanians to come together, to hear each others’ music and to party — together. Eve Abrams brings us this profile of Allison Miner, a titan in New Orleans music, and the only person with a Jazz Fest stage named for her.
Martha Redbone and her Roots Project Band return to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year to perform songs from her internationally acclaimed new CD, The Garden of Love — Songs of William Blake.
The CD is a switch for Redbone, as the indie-soul diva returns to the music of her childhood, growing up in the hills of Kentucky.
Martha Redbone performs Sunday, April 28 at the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival at 1:30 p.m.