The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
has grown steadily since 1970, when jazz impresario George Wein (who also established the Newport Jazz Festival) decided to showcase the genre on its home turf. Since then, the festival has hosted performances by a number of jazz icons – Ella, Miles, Ellington, etc – while welcoming such varied artists as LL Cool J, the Dave Matthews Band, and Bonnie Rait.
The Jazz Fest (as the festival is commonly called) has assumed even greater importance in recent years. Along with Mardi Gras, it’s one of New Orleans’ biggest drivers of tourism. With the city still reeling from Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, the Jazz Fest has been an anchor of sorts – a source of pride, tradition, and legacy that no storm can wash away.
This year’s festival will be held on two weekends: April 27-29
and May 4-4
. "Tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend," explains the festival’s press release, "with each ticket valid for a single day’s attendance. Prices are $35 in advance, $45 at the gate." Prices go up to $45 per day once April 26th hits, so buying them in advance (via Ticketmaster
) is your smartest bet.
As for the lineup, there’s an eclectic slew of artists on board for 2007: Harry Connick Jr., Rod Stewart, Steely Dan, Norah Jones, ZZ Top, John Legend, Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Counting Crowes, Allman Brothers Band, Better than Ezra, Joss Stone, New Edition, Allen Toussaint, George Benson, Lucinda Williams, Taj Mahal, Dr. John, T-Bone Burnett, Calexico, Roy Hargrove, and... well, over 500