The 42nd annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is scheduled to take place from April 27 through May 6, 2012. Widely considered one of the country’s finest music festivals, the seven-day New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival upholds a long tradition of celebrating American culture with soul-stirring music, delicious cuisine, artisan goods, and community spirit.
Each year, more than 400,000 people flock to the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans to take in this unforgettable festival. In 2004, the Wall Street Journal said the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival “showcases a wider, deeper lineup of essential American musical styles than any festival in the nation.” It’s still true! In addition to traditional and contemporary jazz music, the festival features music from all of the indigenous and cultural genres of Louisiana and New Orleans, including blues, R&B, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, Latin, rock, rap, country, and bluegrass. But, of course, music isn’t the only thing the festival has to offer.
Celebrating Louisiana’s heritage is a major focus of the popular, seven-day festival. In the Louisiana Folklife Village, visitors can watch master artisans create meticulously crafted goods using generations-old techniques. From handcrafted accordions and water-ready skiffs to decorative iron pieces and papier-mâché floats, you’ll be amazed at what you find in the Folklife Village. In The Cultural Exchange Pavilion, spectators will get an insider’s peek into the creative and communal culture of the Mardi Gras Indians.
In addition to its special exhibits, educational seminars, and musical showcases, the festival features a wide array of foods and crafts for purchase. From eclectic delights to traditional favorites, there’s sure to be something for everyone! This year, J&M Seafood will serve up shucked oysters on the half shell at the Grandstand, while Heritage Square will play host to Vietnamese cuisine, crawfish bisque, barbeque pork ribs, beignets, café au lait, and old-fashioned handmade ice cream sandwiches. Hungry eaters can also find Louisiana’s famous sweet potato pie in Congo Square. Other goodies offered at the festival will include gyro sandwiches, crawfish strudel, creole’s stuffed bread, Cuban sandwiches, Jamaican chicken, gelato, homemade pies, and more.
Visitors can also purchase handcrafted clothing, leather goods, musical instruments, paintings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, and more from local, national, and international artisans at booths throughout the festival. Louisiana’s finest traditional and contemporary artists will display their unique cultural pieces in the Louisiana Marketplace, while the Congo Square African Marketplace will showcase work from throughout the African Diaspora.
With all this exciting festival has to offer, it’s no wonder the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has won Festival of the Year time and time again. This year, join the fun! Tickets are on sale now! To purchase, visit http://www.nojazzfest.com/.