Jazz Fest ‘Business’ Beyond The Fair Grounds

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell
“Family Portrait: Jazz Fest at 50” is the official 2019 Jazz Fest poster by New Orleans artist and musician Scott Guion.


When jamming to Santana or Van Morrison in front of the Acura Stage this weekend, with a cup of Crawfish Monica in one hand and a scoop of Mango Freeze in the other, it’ll be easy to tune out anything other than the 50th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell.

But, Jazz Fest will be exporting some cultural economy beyond the boundaries of the Fair Grounds Race Course in the next two weekends that will cater to half a million people who’ll attend and help generate more than $300 million in economic impact.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other funds, for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. Currently, the Foundation is distributing grants, hosting events and even giving away some festival freebies.

Credit: The Jazz & Heritage Foundation

Through Friday, May 3, at The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, 1225 N. Rampart St., The Jazz & Heritage Gallery’s new exhibit “Outside the Tent” will showcase the unique talent and craftsmanship of local artists participating in the 50th annual Jazz Fest in a gallery setting.

“Outside The Tent” features select work of artists you’ll see at the Congo Square African Marketplace, the Louisiana Marketplace, the Louisiana Folklife/ Native American Village and Contemporary Crafts.

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Leah Chase (Top), Evan Christopher and Gregory Agid (L to R); Credit: The Jazz & Heritage Foundation

The Jazz & Heritage Concert Series, a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, will host two free concerts on both Saturdays of Jazz Fest at The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, at 9:30 p.m.

New Orleans jazz singer Leah Chase will perform “Cabaret Tremé” on Saturday, April 27, and clarinetists Evan Christopher and Gregory Agid will perform together in a show called “Bechet to Batiste” on Saturday, May 4.

Doors open at 9:00 p.m. 

No tickets or advance registration are required.

Credit: The Jazz & Heritage Foundation

Applications are being accepted for 2019-2020 Community Partnership Grants, the funding outreach program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. 

Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded in four categories:

• Jazz & Heritage In-School Education Programs in Music, Arts and Cultural Traditions

• Jazz & Heritage After-School and Summer Education Programs in Music, Arts and Cultural Traditions

• Jazz & Heritage Presenting: Festivals and Concerts in Music and Performing Arts

• Jazz & Heritage Archive: Documentation and Preservation


The deadline to apply is Friday, May 17, and activities funded by these grants must take place in Louisiana between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020.

A workshop will be held Wednesday, May 8, in the auditorium of The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center, at 5:00 p.m., for those who have questions about the Community Partnership Grants program.

To date, more than $5.3 million has been awarded in Community Partnership Grants, and last year 273 grant applicants (88 percent of those who applied) received $807,350 in funding, an average of $2,957.33 per grant.

Edna Karr High School, led by band director Chris Herrero, took the top prize of $10,000 at the eighth annual Class Got Brass contest sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.
Credit: The Jazz & Heritage Foundation

Edna Karr High School was recently awarded $10,000 worth of instruments for the school’s music programs as the winner of the 2019 Class Got Brass competition.

A total of 19 schools competed for $47,000 worth of instruments in the eighth annual contest, sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.

Edna Karr, that competed in Class Got Brass for eight years, scored its first win in the advanced category and Langston Hughes Academy was named first in the beginner category, winning $5,000 in instruments for the school.

“This means a lot,” said Edna Karr High School band director Chris Herrero. “It’s the culmination of the hard work that these kids have put into the brass band over the past several years. We got over the hump, and it’s a great feeling. Some of our kids are seniors and have been participating in the bass band for all four of their years in high school and now they get a chance to go out on top.”

Since 2012, Class Got Brass has awarded $301,250 to schools that have participated in the brass band competition.

Credit: The Jazz & Heritage Foundation

On Friday, May 10, Smithsonian Folkways will release “Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” a five-CD boxed set of live recordings from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. 

Included are previously unreleased recordings from 1974 through 2016 by Trombone Shorty, Irma Thomas, Big Freedia, Professor Longhair, The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins, Terence Blanchard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Champion Jack Dupree, Buckwheat Zydeco and more.

Celebrating jazz, blues, soul, R&B, Cajun, Zydeco, funk and bounce, the boxed set comes with a 135-page book filled with exclusive photographs and historical essays.

“We are simply delighted with this collaboration,” said Smithsonian Folkways director and curator Huib Schippers. “It immediately made sense to us as soon as we started discussing it. There is a compelling and beautiful synergy between the first fifty years of an iconic music festival and a 70-year old record label committed to documenting and celebrating this country’s sound legacy and keeping it available in perpetuity, in whatever format, for a listenership of 230 million and growing. We are so pleased that we can bring some of the amazing sounds and sights and impressions from New Orleans to new and familiar audiences.”

Credit: New Orleasn Jazz Museum

On Monday, May 1, the New Orleans Jazz Museum, 400 Esplanade Ave., will host an opening reception for its new exhibit “The Wildest! Louis Prima Comes Home,” at 5:30 p.m.

Celebrating the life and legacy of New Orleans’ own Louis Prima (“Buona Sera,” “Just A Gigolo,” “That Old Black Magic”), the exhibit, on view through Friday, May 15, 2020, will showcase rare artifacts belonging to the iconic trumpeter, singer, songwriter and performer including awards, photos, stage wear, jewelry, musical instruments and gold records.

“The Foundation is so thrilled that this comprehensive exhibit on the life and times of Louis Prima is here in his hometown,” said Anthony Sylvester from the Gia Maione Prima Foundation. “We know his fans will enjoy it and learn more about his career, and we also believe that this exhibit will introduce a new generation to the exciting music of Mr. Prima.”

The event is free and open to the public and will include live musical performances by the Arrowhead Jazz Band and by Louis Prima’s daughter Lena Prima at 6:30 p.m.

Credit: The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, 921 Canal St., is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jazz Fest, the 36th anniversary of French Quarter Fest and the 25th anniversary of the Essence Festival, with two Canal Street window displays celebrating the theme “Nothing is More New Orleans Than a Festival.”

International artist RJ Raizk, in collaboration with local artist Kit Wohl, assembled the colorful art installations consisting of suspended, hand painted musical instruments.

Credit: City of New Orleans

As for transportation to and from Jazz Fest, taxis will only be permitted to drop off and pick up fares at two designated taxi stands:

• Fortier Park, Esplanade Avenue

• Stallings Playground, Gentilly Boulevard


A pedicab stand will be located on Mystery Street next to the taxi stand.


Uber and Lyft are required to direct customers to the following locations to hail a ride:

• North Carrollton and Esplanade Avenues

• North Broad Street and St. Bernard Avenue

• North Broad Street and Ursulines Avenue

• Gentilly Boulevard and Paris Avenue


In addition, Lyft is partnering with Deutsches Haus during both Jazz Festival weekends.

There will be a dedicated pickup and drop-off spot for Jazz Fest goers at 1700 Moss St., and Jazz Fest attendees can show Deutsches Haus employees their Lyft receipt to receive a $5 discount towards a beer and a bratwurst.

“Deutsches Haus has been a great partner for Lyft,” said Sam Bond, Lyft Southeast’s general manager. “We’re so pleased to partner with them to offer a convenient option for festival goers and a great incentive to see their new Haus.”


The City of New Orleans will be trying to drum up some business of its own, so remember:

• Parking enforcement personnel will be monitoring surrounding streets for illegal parking. 

• Don’t block hydrants, driveways and sidewalks.

• Don’t park within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop sign.

• Park in the direction of travel on one-way streets and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets.

• Call (504) 658-8100 for parking enforcement.



Categories: Leslie’s List