Jazz Fest: Friday's Best at the Fair Grounds and the Clubs

Friday’s schedule is typical of this year’s Jazz Fest. There’s a lot to see, but it’s not obvious where everybody will be, nor is it obvious who people should see. Among the headliners, Sturgill Simpson is far more relevant in 2018 than Sting or Steel Pulse, but Jazz Fest doesn’t usually put a premium on relevance. After Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr. may matter more right now than all three.

Schedules and Highlights for the Second Weekend of Jazz Fest 2017

One of the pieces of news last Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell was how well the grounds held up to the morning rain. It’s hard to imagine we’ll be as lucky on Thursday after the overnight storm. If you’re not a Widespread Panic fan, it’s hard to see many reasons to face the soggy grounds on most Locals-Only Thursday lineup I can remember. We can hope that Herb Alpert will be more "Tijuana Taxi" than “Rise,” but I know where I’d bet my money.

Jazz Fest: Janelle Monae Says an Emotional Goodbye to Prince

Jazz Fest 2016  began with Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys, Thibodeaux dressed for Saturday night on Friday morning. In long-sleeved black pearl-snap shirt, black slacks and a black fedora, he played Cajun music the way it has been played for at least 50 years. It’s the sort of sound that Jazz Fest has long maintained as its musical heart, but ironically, there are few of the old guys who can or still do play their Louisiana music the old way. Some have tried to change with the times, some have passed away. 

Jazz Fest Preview: Our Picks for Weekend One

During Jazz Fest, picks and are closer to a wish list than a plan. I can say now that I intend to see these acts, but if something I'm passing by catches my ear (or looks good to eat or drink), then the plan is sidetracked if not derailed completely.

My default mode is usually the international music since the international groups are the ones I'm least likely to see or hear again. They don't all hold my interest equally, but I try to check them out. 

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