Jazz Fest

Friday, May 5, 2017

Widespread Panic, The Chilluns and others at Jazz Fest on Thursday

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 5:10 PM

The Iguanas perform at Jazz Fest. - FRANK EHERINGE
  • FRANK EHERINGE
  • The Iguanas perform at Jazz Fest.

Blustery winds filled “locals day” at Jazz Fest, which proved delightful for swirling bubbles and metallic confetti adrift over the Acura Stage audience, but it was also hard on sound at some stages.

A heavy vibe surrounded headliner Widespread Panic as its fans and family followed the surreal circumstances of the death Monday night of Col. Bruce Hampton — “our daddy,” as frontman John Bell often called him — on stage with members of Panic at a concert celebrating his 70th birthday at the Fox in Atlanta. The mystic Hampton shifted into ether on stage during an encore of “Lovelight” — which George Porter Jr. covered to close his set at Acura earlier in the day.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: Tartuffe

Posted By on Wed, May 3, 2017 at 5:05 PM

LOUIS MAISTROS
  • LOUIS MAISTROS

Moliere wrote Tartuffe 350 years ago, but Richard Wilbur’s English translation of the French script feels contemporary. The social satire concerns a cleric who presents himself as pious while bamboozling a family, and the production running at Valiant Theatre in Arabi draws big laughs.

The son of a prosperous tradesman, Moliere became the palace playwright for King Louis XIV in 1665, where he gained insights into power and privilege. Moliere often got himself in trouble for mocking the aristocracy and the Roman Catholic church, which banned performances of Tartuffe.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 6:45 PM


The Liberty Place obelisk came down in the wee hours of April 24, and gun-carrying, Confederate-flag-waving, false-Yelp-review-leaving encampments popped up at the Jefferson Davis monument. Meanwhile, Jazz Fest survived the rain, and everyone roasted Vogue.

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Tom Petty, Elle King and The Mavericks at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 3:07 PM


The Mavericks performed Sunday at Jazz Fest.
  • The Mavericks performed Sunday at Jazz Fest.

Not all the irregularities in Jazz Fest’s Sunday schedule were deficits. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played until 7:15 p.m., and with the crowd clamoring for more, the band returned to the Acura Stage for an encore, performing “American Girl.”

Earlier in the day, before Jazz Fest announced its delayed opening, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers could be heard doing a sound check, teasing fans as they waited outside the grounds. When Petty came out on stage for the set, he looked as groovy as ever, with a patterned head scarf and vest. Petty promised the audience “no artificial sweetener rock and roll” before launching into a two-hours-plus performance. Playing Jazz Fest on its 40th anniversary tour, the band kicked off with the first song on its first album, “Rocking Around with You,” a tune Petty co-wrote with guitarist Mike Campbell in 1976. For four decades, the band has sustained all of rock stardom’s success, excess and ego to stay in tact while releasing a chain of hits.

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Lorde, Dr. John and the Midnite Disturbers at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 1:49 PM

The Midnite Disturbers features members of Galactic, horn players from several brass bands and others. - JENNIFER ODELL
  • JENNIFER ODELL
  • The Midnite Disturbers features members of Galactic, horn players from several brass bands and others.

After Jazz Fest’s delayed opening Sunday, a green suit-clad Dr. John (Mac Rebbenack) settled in at the Acura Stage with his star-stuffed band of New Orleans musicians. With Herlin Riley on drums and Roland Guerin on bass, the grooves on classics like “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” “Right Place Wrong Time” and “Such a Night” were loose and funky, giving Rebennack plenty of room to stretch out on piano and keyboards beneath his husky growls and incantations. (Back-up singers Regina and Ann McCrary’s soaring R&B vocals, which also appeared on Locked Down, provided a nice contrast.)

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What’s new to eat at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 1:22 PM

The crab-stuffed beignet, from Loretta's Authentic Pralines. - HELEN FREUND
  • HELEN FREUND
  • The crab-stuffed beignet, from Loretta's Authentic Pralines.

Whether it’s the cochon de lait po-boy from Love at First Bite, Prejean’s pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo or a bowl of peppery crawfish Monica, everyone has their go-to favorites for Jazz Fest grub.

While many popular vendors and items remain constant, there are always a few new things to try. Here's what's new this year.

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Jazz Fest 2017: Photos from Sunday, April 30

Posted By on Mon, May 1, 2017 at 1:43 AM

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The first Sunday of the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was almost a washout due to severe thunderstorms that rolled through the area all morning and early afternoon. However, gates opened at 3 p.m. and fans of Dr. John, Lorde and Tom Petty, to name a few, were not disappointed with the quality of the music that ended the last day of the first weekend.


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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 9:47 PM


Gente de Zona performs at Jazz Fest.
  • Gente de Zona performs at Jazz Fest.

Severe weather caused a delayed start at Jazz Fest Sunday, and the gates opened at approximately 3 p.m. But the attendees were able to hear a host of headliners, minus Pitbull, and there were no lines other than to get in the gates.

Cuban reggaeton group Gente de Zona performed to a limited but enthusiastic crowd at the Congo Square Stage, and several in the audience waved Cuban flags. The duo of Alexander Delgado and Randy Martinez, backed by a large horn section, seemed to enjoy their upbeat set  The duo teased the audience several times, mentioning the 1990s hit song and dance "Macarena," and eventually they performed it in its entirety, which the crowd enjoyed.

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Jazz Fest delays opening Sunday, adds Maceo Parker

Posted By on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 11:05 AM


Maceo Parker will perform at Jazz Fest. - INES KAISER
  • INES KAISER
  • Maceo Parker will perform at Jazz Fest.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced a delayed opening for Sunday. It did not announce an opening time. It will post updated information on its Facebook page and social media.

Also, Maceo Parker will perform from 5:40 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Zatarain's / WWOZ Jazz Tent. He replaces George Benson, who will not perform at the event.

Parker played saxophone in James Brown's band and also toured with George Clinton and Prince. He's performed in New Orleans regularly with his funk and jazz band.

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Usher and The Roots get caught up at Jazz Fest

Posted By on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Usher and The Roots perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival April 29. - PHOTO BY SCOTT SALTZMAN
  • PHOTO BY SCOTT SALTZMAN
  • Usher and The Roots perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival April 29.

Jazz Fest is at its best when it encourages collaboration. Whether that means putting New Orleans musicians onstage with other artists or booking seemingly unlikely pairings, the festival can help bridge the gulf between the "heritage" part and the big mess of music on the grounds or elsewhere. The Roots — an endlessly versatile hip-hop outfit that can play pretty much anything — distilled pure funk and a thrilling, raw performance from one of the best-selling R&B singers (or any kind of singer) of all time April 29 on the Congo Square stage.

Topped with a shock of blond hair, Usher smiled wide as he stepped onstage in a cream jacket (on the back were two fighting figures circling one another, a design by artist Cleon Peterson, evoking figures on Ancient Greek pottery). He'd eventually ditch the jacket, then a shirt, then another. He mopped sweat from his brow with a black towel, which, an hour and several gallons of sweat later, he tossed to the crowd.

The set showcased Usher's dynamic performance — a charming stage presence, dance moves, a killer voice, and endless energy, all brought out with the aid of the Roots' seemingly effortless versatility, gently transforming Usher's already-massive hits into classic funk and soul arrangements, helping contextualize Usher's rightful place in pop.

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