Jazz Fest: Tuesday Night in the Clubs

In recent years, Jazz Fest at night has been a jam fest, and that’s certainly going on. Every night this time of year, some combination of guys who don’t usually play together are playing something funky somewhere in New Orleans. Fortunately, this year’s offerings have been broader than that. People are still jamming, but we also get nights like tonight, where our highlights have a little range to them.

Jazz Fest: Monday's Highlights in the Clubs

This first weekend of Jazz Fest 2018 is in the books, and while little music on the weekend was memorable, the weather and small to moderate crowds made it a great time to be at the Fair Grounds. You could rest your feet today after three days of stomping the track, but if you do, you’ll miss out on some pretty cool shows. Monday night is Instruments a-Comin’, a benefit for Tipitina’s Foundation, and the lineup inside is Tipitina’s boiled down to its essence.

Jazz Fest: Saturday's Best at the Fest and the Clubs

Saturday at Jazz Fest, Rod Stewart tags in for Aretha Franklin. I give Stewart credit for aging into the Great American Songbook--even if I don't want to hear him sing those songs--but when he last played Jazz Fest in 2007, he closed with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." That might be a question that the then-62 Stewart wondered in his heart of hearts, but making it his final statement/question to the audience made him seem desperate and shallow.

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.

Our Schedules and Highlights for Jazz Fest's First Weekend

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell starts Friday, and it approaches, thoughts inevitably turn to the weather. Friday and Saturday look beautiful, but as of this writing, Weather Underground shows a 70 percent or greater chance of rain with thunderstorms starting at 10 a.m. and continuing into Monday morning. The takeaway: Enjoy Jazz Fest while you can.

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