Jazz Fest

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rain cancels Saturday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Jazz Festers wade through the Fairgrounds for a bite before leaving after bad weather and rough conditions at the festival canceled the remainder of the afternoon's performances.
  • Jazz Festers wade through the Fairgrounds for a bite before leaving after bad weather and rough conditions at the festival canceled the remainder of the afternoon's performances.
Stevie Wonder's Saturday morning soundcheck included Prince's "Purple Rain," seemingly setting up his headlining set at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for one of the biggest tributes to the late artist over the two festival weekends.

Instead, Wonder sang it with the crowd through a megaphone from the Acura Stage after announcing his 5 p.m. show had been canceled. So were all other stages for the rest of the day — including sets from Beck and Snoop Dogg and the second half of sets from Dr. John and Hurray for the Riff Raff, among others — after heavy downpours formed shin-deep pools and winds sent water onto stage equipment. Jazz Fest last shut down early during an anticipated but lightning-filled Wilco set in 2015.

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More from Friday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Nicholas Payton performs at Jazz Fest. - NATHAN MATTISE
  • NATHAN MATTISE
  • Nicholas Payton performs at Jazz Fest.

Even the most strident Jazz Fest supporter would admit seeing legends can be a mixed bag. Last year, Elton John proved every bit the showman and pianist, but his high register had long faded and that changed songs like “Levon.” Last weekend, Van Morrison’s performance came across differently depending on who you asked.
But while Paul Simon has visibly aged, his abilities haven’t. During an 90-minute set, he remained every bit the musician of memory. Simon never backed away from an iconic musical snippet, and he immersed himself in the set even when away from the mic. Simon frequently turned to conduct his band, calling for phrasings or instruments to come to the forefront. A subdued whistling verse in “Me and Julio” aside, Simon strummed the well-knows riffs, gracefully handled high note choruses like in “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and sustained in-sync multipart harmonies including an acapella opening to “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”

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Friday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 30, 2016 at 12:57 PM

The Creole String Beans perform at Jazz Fest. - FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • FRANK ETHERIDGE
  • The Creole String Beans perform at Jazz Fest.
Steady breezes and a merciful late-afternoon cloud cover kept things pleasant Friday at Jazz Fest.

Dressed in a vibrant-colored black kimono, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James showed why he’s among the best frontment in the business. Leading the band to wailing walls of crescendos, accented by the sinister step-out leads of guitarist Carl Broemel, James delivered on Jacket staples such as “Believe.” He welcomed frequent collaborator Ben Jaffe on tuba and other Preservation Hall players to crush two Prince covers: “Sign O the Times” and a deep grooving “Purple Rain,” which purple-shirt clad drummer closed delicately on the high hats. The band delivered an epic set-closing “One Big Holiday,” one of many monsters in the band’s considerable canon and one ripped up by James’ soaring vocals and shredding Gibson Flying V guitar play.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Jazz Fest 2016: Photos from Thursday, April 28

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 8:11 AM

       

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 10:19 PM

Jazz Fest endured intermittent thunderstorms on Thursday
  • Jazz Fest endured intermittent thunderstorms on Thursday
Jazz Fest fans endured intermittent but hard thunderstorms Thursday at the Fair Grounds, but sunshine prevailed as light crowds enjoyed open spaces.

The Lost Bayou Ramblers started its set during a downpour but finished under sunny skies. After a few songs, Rickie Lee Jones came on stage wearing a clear plastic disposable poncho as the rain poured and sat down at the grand piano. It came as no surprise when she played one of the songs off her 2015 album The Other Side of Desire, named for street in her Bywater neighborhood. "Valtz de Mon Pere" was inspired by Ramblers fiddler Louis Michot, who plays on the album. She also played "J'a Connais Pas," a New Orleans R&B-inflected tune from the album.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

More from Sunday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 3:46 PM



Members of the Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association parade at Jazz Fest.
  • Members of the Young Men Olympian Junior Benevolent Association parade at Jazz Fest.

Headliners including Pearl Jam and Van Morrison drew huge crowds Saturday at Jazz Fest, but even Sunday's more moderate draw left few seats or patches of grass open at tents and smaller stages.

The crowd had plenty of time to build in the Blues Tent for Rhiannon Giddens' set. Problems with sound delayed the beginning by 20 minutes (though the crowd eventually got the full 70-minute set). It's no small trick to microphone the arsenal of stringed instruments in Giddens' band — multiple violins and banjos, mandolins, stand-up bass, cello, etc., plus an accordion. But Giddens quickly won over the crowd, opening with Bob Dylan's song "Spanish Mary," followed by Dolly Parton's "Don't Let It Trouble Your Mind," which Giddens drains of any country twang or over-pronounced rhyming, delivering a plaintive account of a woman who is sad but firm in shedding a partner who no longer loves her. Giddens offered a similarly earnest and heartfelt version of "She's Got You," made famous by Patsy Cline.

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Y@ Speak: dearly beloved

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 2:52 PM

New Orleans mourns the loss of The Purple One.

Also: nude dudes at Jazz Fest, which goes to peoples' heads on #NOLAscanner, 

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Jazz Fest 2016: Sunday styles

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 2:09 PM

KAT STROMQUIST
  • KAT STROMQUIST

Yes, there were the usual shirtless, sunburned dudes at the Fair Grounds on Sunday for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but plenty of other festivalgoers kept their (stylish) clothes on.

Using prints, retro-90s looks, and a fanny pack shaped like a watermelon, attendees did their part to create a Jazz Fest style that went beyond the "festival" section of fringed tops and cut-offs at H&M.

Much like New Orleans, the looks in this slideshow are colorful, eccentric and a little off-balance — but in a good way.

Slideshow
Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles
Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles

Jazz Fest: Sunday Styles

Yes, there were the usual shirtless, sunburned dudes at the Fair Grounds on Sunday for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, but plenty of other festival-goers kept their (stylish) clothes on.


Using prints, retro-90s looks, and a fanny pack shaped like a watermelon, attendees did their part to create a Jazz Fest style that went beyond the "festival" section of fringed tops and cut-offs at H&M.

Much like New Orleans, the looks in this slideshow are colorful, eccentric and a little off-balance — but in a good way.


By Kat Stromquist

Click to View 15 slides

 

PHOTOS BY KAT STROMQUIST

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