After rain muddied City Park’s Festival Grounds to such a degree that the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience had to cancel its last day last year, this weekend’s forecast looks like payback. Predictions call for a weekend with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-60, and less than a 10 percent chance of rain.
Today, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell held its annual one month out party and released the schedule. For me, the biggest surprise is that few days pose hard challenges for me. First Sunday: Vampire Weekend or Rodriguez to finish the day? I was really impressed by Vampire Weekend at SXSW a year ago when Vampires of the City was about to be released.
We look forward to the announcement of the talent lineup for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell with the same sort of eagerness that we wait for Christmas. Then it gets here, we eagerly see what we got, and find a pair of socks. A shirt. Things we need or can use, but they're not on par with the anticipation. Maybe nothing could be, but still ...
[Updated] Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is the most current version of the modern sound that Jazz Fest lives as an unspoken antidote to. The festival is one of the last places where traditional notions of talent rule. If you sing well and play well, there's a stage and an audience for you. Whether by design or what it's come to represent for its patrons, Jazz Fest is often a musical safe haven from the heathens on the charts with their Auto-Tunes and computers and so on.
Charles Bradley is an old school soul man, musically baptized by James Brown when he was a teenager. He's now part of the Daptone musical family and performs with the Menahan Street Band, who joined him for this in-studio video shoot for KEXP in Seattle.
Bradley plays Jazz Fest Saturday, April 27 at 5:40 p.m. in the Blues Tent.