The 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the 45th annual return of this week-long celebration and this year’s event lineup is looking almost unbelievably fantastic. Let me drop a few names so you can see what I mean:
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Like I said, just a few. If you want to see the full list (don’t say I didn’t warn you) you should check out the video below.
Just like the first festival in 1970, the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is more than just a chance to groove to good music. It is seen as an important event with great cultural significance and popular appeal; a festival worthy of the New Orleans’ legacy as the birthplace of jazz.
The first real New Orleans Jazz Fest was put together by George Wein, a man already responsible for the popular Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival, at the behest of the city – but that’s not the whole story. New Orleans had tried starting jazz festivals before but with little lasting success.
The story has it that gospel legend Mahalia Jackson, back in her hometown for that first festival, heard the Eureka Brass Band leading a crowd of second-line revelers through the Festival grounds. Seeing Mahalia Jackson standing there, enjoying the music as the band passed, George Wein handed her a microphone and, well, she just joined in on the parade and sang joyously along. And that spontaneous reaction, they say, that meeting of jazz and heritage was when the spirit of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was born.
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 25-27 & May 1-4, 2014
Of course, you’ll need somewhere to rest those feet of yours after dancing all day and night long at the festival – why not do yourself a favor and get yourself some authentic digs while you’re here – and that’s a New Orleans Bead and Breakfast Inn. There are a number of us here, keeping it real in historic homes, with authentic N’awlins breakfasts, and a good, working knowledge of what there is to see, hear, and do in the Big Easy, so look us up. You wont be disappointed.