Jazz Fest

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Jon Batiste returns to New Orleans for Civic Theatre show

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:07 AM

Jon Batiste.
  • Jon Batiste.
Jon Batiste and Stay Human — bandleader and house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert — returns to New Orleans for the band's first club performance in the city since taking over the late-night gig. 

The band will headline the Civic Theatre during the second week of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 30. (The band also performs earlier that day at the Fest.) Tickets are $25 and go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26. 

Colbert enlisted Batiste for Late Show house band duties after Colbert was announced as show host following David Letterman's retirement. The Kenner native and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts grad has developed a casual, goofball rapport with Colbert, showing comic chops on New Orleans segments, whether teaching Colbert how to lean on Frenchmen Street or how to play jazz.

Batiste and Stay Human spans jazz, R&B, pop, funk and soul, driven by Batiste's piano, melodica and lively stage presence. The band has released several albums, including the acclaimed 2013 LP Social Music and the 2016 release The Late Show EP, featuring six new songs, including The Late Show theme. The EP, which Baptiste says aims to capture the band's in-studio performance, includes two live tracks, and another, of course, with Colbert himself.

Batiste also recently jammed with most-famous-Muppet Kermit the frog (and apparent college pal from their Juilliard days). Watch below:

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2016 — complete daily lineups

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Neil Young returns to Jazz Fest in 2016. - DANNY CLINCH
  • Neil Young returns to Jazz Fest in 2016.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced its 2016 lineup. Headliners include Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket, Gary Clark Jr. Bonnie Raitt and many more.

The festival takes place April 22-24 and April 28-May 1 at the Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots. Ticket information is here.

Full lineup by day is after the jump.

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2016 Jazz Fest lineup revealed: Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder to headline

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:55 AM

Pearl Jam performs at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. - DANNY CLINCH
  • Pearl Jam performs at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Beck, J. Cole, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Maxwell, Ms. Lauryn Hill, My Morning Jacket, Snoop Dogg, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Red Hot Chili Peppers are among the many performers coming to the 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The festival announced its lineup today — check the list of performers below the jump.

The 2016 Jazz Fest is April 22-24 and April 28-May 1 at the Fairgrounds Race Course.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jazz Fest 2016 lineup is coming Jan. 19 — who do you think is on it?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 5:15 PM

  • Ravi Coltrane.
The 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins April 22. Historically, the lineup would be out by now. Last year, the lineup was revealed Jan. 12. In 2014, the lineup was out Jan. 14. But the lineup will be released next Tuesday, Jan. 19. So now that there's a whole weekend of speculation ahead — who's playing? Will I have to skip the second weekend to see Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds at Austin's Levitation Festival? Will Brian Wilson come to us instead

This much we know: Nicholas Payton will be there. So will everyone's favorite impression Michael McDonald, according to him. Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane has a Jazz Fest date on his tour schedule. Last month, Paul Simon said he'll be back for Jazz Fest during a performance at La Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre for a benefit for New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness. Bob Seger told Billboard that playing Jazz Fest is on his bucket list, a theme for his 2016 tour.

Tickets to the April 22-May 1 festival also will be announced next week.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Steve Winwood, Kacey Musgraves and more from Jazz Fest 2015's final day

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Kacey Musgraves.
  • Kacey Musgraves.

Performing an encore from its late-night, sweaty honkytonk performance at Siberia on Saturday night, Lafayette Cajun folk and rock band Feufollet hit the Fais Do Do Stage bright and early on Jazz Fest's final Sunday. The band's latest incarnation, with twangy fiddle player and singer Kelli Jones-Savoy, built a mighty Cajun wall of sound with rock 'n' roll and high-powered country. A cover of Brian Eno's slightly ominous "Baby's On Fire" was lit up with a propulsive accordion riff.

Naughty Professor brought the crowd to its feet when the band concluded its Lagniappe Stage set. The standing ovation definitely was earned — the New Orleans band's acrobatic, tightly knit horn lines and fluid sonic changes are unpredictable and deeply funky. The crowed hollered each time the band wound its way back to the slinky main riff from "The Elephant Hunt" from its upcoming album Out on a Limb.

Spotted in the crowd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Chris Rose.

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Y@ Speak: skywriters in flight, afternoon delight

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 1:30 PM

A skywriter clogged everyone's Instagram feeds as if one person's sky was different from everyone else's, Jazz Fest concluded its second weekend with a small country of crowds, and hey, remember when it rained terrifyingly hard and a train fell off a bridge? Good times. Also in this week's Twitter roundup: libraries, New Orleans Saints news and a vandalized St. Roch Market.

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Jazz Fest 2015: Music and art came together at the NOCCA Pavilion

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:56 AM


While visual arts, food and musical performances were spread across the Fairgrounds over the seven days of Jazz Fest, they came together in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion each day, where New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) student artists and alumni performed and demonstrated their work. 

Brandan "Bmike" Odums, the NOCCA alum responsible for the explosive graffiti project ExhibitBe in Algiers last fall, designed the  backdrop for the stage in the pavilion, which changes each year to reflect a different culture. This year the pavilion was dedicated to NOCCA, and a photographic retrospective detailed the years-long relationship that's formed between the school and the festival. 

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The Meters, Lenny Kravitz and Anders Osborne at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:48 AM

Anders Osborne performs on the Acura Stage. - WILL COVIELLO
  • Anders Osborne performs on the Acura Stage.

On the closing day of Jazz Fest, the Acura Stage hosted a parade of guitar rock sets. George Porter Jr. kicked off the day with his Runnin' Pardners and returned for a reunion of The Meters. Anders Osborne and Lenny Kravitz also performed before Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue closed the festival.

Fans may have wondered whether Osborne would be able to perform. He tweeted earlier in the week that he had a back problem, and he managed it by playing guitars mounted in set positions on their own stands. Stage hands replaced them stand-and-all throughout the set. The show featured many of the harder-edged rock and rumbling, fuzzy blues he's often brought to Jazz Fest sets, such as "Move Back to Mississippi" and "Dyin' Days," which included a brief detour into Neil Young's "Down By the River." But the set also featured some mellower tunes, such as a song cowritten with John Michael Rouchell called "Tchoupitoulas Street Parade," which Osborne said he was debuting. The end of the set was an extended light reggae jam of "Sarah Anne." 

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Elton John, Aaron Neville and Midnight Disturbers at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sun, May 3, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Aaron Neville sings in the Blues Tent. - JENNIFER ODELL
  • Aaron Neville sings in the Blues Tent.

At the first Jazz Fest in 1970, there were 66 paid admissions, said Preservation Hall Jazz Band tuba player and creative director Ben Jaffe. Speaking from the stage in the Blues Tent Saturday, he told the crowd his mother, Sandra Jaffe, had pointed that out to him earlier in the day.

“It’s amazing what it’s become,” Jaffe said, before thanking the audience for supportinging New Orleans. The sentiment put a positive spin on one of the busiest festival days in recent memory. The day was marked by long lines, and crowds for Jerry Lee Lewis set at the Acura Stage sprawled, leaving areas of the track and infield normally used for transit clogged with fans. But the attendance was a testament to the strength of a pair of headliners – Lewis and Elton John. Their music's  relevance to jazz piano links them to New Orleans’ music heritage.

Lewis’ voice isn’t what it once was, but by the time he got to “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” he’d satisfied the crowd with enough lightning fast excursions up and down the keys that nobody seemed to mind. His chatter between tunes was difficult to understand, but he eventually kicked out a solid “Great Balls of Fire” jam before wrapping up his set early. It was at least 10 or 15 minutes before he was scheduled to close when Lewis gave a wave to the crowd, picked up his cane and sauntered off as the band continued to play.

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