New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

Late April to early May
A 10-day feast for the ears, the eyes, and the stomach held in New Orleans, Louisiana. The festival's forerunner was the New Orleans International Jazz Fest organized in 1968 to celebrate the city's 250th anniversary. Among the jazz greats on hand were Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. After it disbanded, George Wein, the founder of the famed Newport Jazz Festival ( see JVC Jazz Festival), urged the initiation of a festival to celebrate the regional culture of New Orleans, and in 1970 it was underway. A high spot in the festival was the evening when Eubie Blake, then 95 years old, was honored as a ragtime and jazz pioneer; he played several of his own tunes, including "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Memories of You."
Today it brings together thousands of musicians, artisans, and cooks who do their thing for more than half a million visitors. The concerts feature not only traditional and contemporary jazz, but also other music forms developed in New Orleans: ragtime, country, Cajun, zydeco, gospel, folk, and Latin. Food tents serve a multitude of indigenous foods, such as jambalaya, andouille, crawfish bisque, gumbo, frog legs, and so on. Hundreds of artisans also display their crafts.
CONTACTS:
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation
336 Camp St., Ste. 250
New Orleans, LA 70130
504-410-4100
www.nojazzfest.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 71
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 194
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