Jazz Fest

George Rodrigue

congo square

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is a celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana held yearly since 1970. Use of the term ‘Jazz Fest’ can also include the days surrounding the Festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the Festival event weekends. The festival celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, so the music encompasses every style associated with the city and the state: blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun music, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, bluegrass and everything in between. And of course there is lots of jazz, both contemporary and traditional.

Jazz Fest is currently held during the day, between the hours of 11am and 7pm at the Fair Grounds Race Course, a horse track, on the last weekend in April (from Friday through Sunday) and the first weekend in May (Thursday through Sunday). The Festival also features a wide variety of vendors with local foods and crafts. The official food policy of the Festival is ‘no carnival food.’ Indeed, there are more than seventy food booths, all with unique food items, including but not limited to: crawfish beignets, cochon de lait (suckling pig) sandwiches, alligator sausage po’ boys, boiled crawfish, softshell crabs, crawfish Monica and many other dishes. All food vendors are locally owned small businesses.

 

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