Jones, Staples Top a Thursday at Jazz Fest That Has Gone Through Changes

The most compelling music during Jazz Fest’s first weekend came in the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, where Moonlight Benjamin created all the rock ’n’ roll excitement you could ask for from a Haitian singer, a psychedelic European art rock take on the blues, and some rhythms that split the difference between cultures of origin. In the center of it was Moonlight Benjamin, who was a rock star.

Broadsides, Boyfriend Best at Jazz Fest Thursday, and Friday Highlights

Think of Thursday at a test drive for this year’s Jazz Fest. The lineup was a Locals Thursday lineup and lacked the firepower to get a lot of people out to the Fair Grounds, and the morning rains further discouraged attendance. For that reason, the first day of this year’s festival didn’t feel like much of an event, but there were still some impressive shows. 

Rolling Stones are Quint-essential Jazz Fest

Before Tuesday’s announcement of the lineup for the 50th anniversary edition of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell, photographers crowded close to get shots of festival producer Quint Davis welcoming Mayor LaToya Cantrell. The greeting was official and cordial, but it also served as a reminder that Jazz Fest isn’t simply a musical or cultural event.

Dale Watson was a Fashion Icon Thursday at Jazz Fest

[Revised] Men in the crowd Thursday at Jazz Fest envied Date Watson’s wardrobe. The Texas “Ameripolitan” singer and guitar player performed on the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do Stage dressed in a Johnny Cash-like long, black coat, black vest, and black slacks, and he looked not only sharp but warm. Thursday at the Fair Grounds was the first time I’ve been cold at the festival without also being wet, and I like so many others I made clothing choices based simply on the premise that the rain had passed.

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