The second weekend of Jazz Fest kicked off to a soggy start today with festival goers donning ponchos and rain boots. In the spirit of locals’ day, I spoke to a festival veteran who has weathered his fair share of Jazz Fest storms. Chuck Blamphin began working as a stage manager 40 years ago and currently oversees the Fais Do Do stage. Needless to say, he has seen the festival undergo some significant changes throughout his storied tenure.
Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis got a good lesson and lasting influence out of a teenage attempt to hornswoggle a new trombone from older brother Wynton. The lesson and the influence came in the form of a recording by trombone great J.J. Johnson.
A one way sign is put up for Jazz Fest a week in advance, but until the day of, these signs are covered and ignored by residents of Bayou St. John (seen here at the corner of Mystery St and Esplanade Ave).
Nina Feldman learns from residents and business owners in Bayou St. John how the Jazz Fest (and the traffic that comes with it) temporarily transforms their neighborhood.
In shady Bayou St. John, the neighbors really know each other. The same crew assembles each morning at the local coffee house to read the paper and debate its assertions; another crowd convenes at the various watering holes each evening.
“It’s one of the great things about this neighborhood,” says Fortin St. resident Jonas Bishop. “The fact that I know everyone on my block… It’s definitely a community-centric area that you don’t find a lot of places.”
Delanie Manuel, server at Liuzza’s by the Track and Jonas’ neighbor, agrees. “I thought I’d be a Quarter Rat forever,” she admits. “But no, I love it here.”
As Jazz Fest enters its second day, folks may be waking up this morning a bit haggard from yesterday’s festivities. For those battling the brown bottle blues, fear not: there may be help for you at the Fair Grounds.
Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!, says first you’ll need to visit Ms. Linda’s Ya Ka Mein stand, right near the Congo Square Stage.
Two weekends. Seven days. Even the most casual Jazz Fest fan knows those numbers.
However, from food to facilities, a festival that draws upwards of 450,000 attendees is bound to result in some other remarkable numbers you might not have heard before. Here are some of our favorites, courtesy of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.