The annually-anticipated Jazz & Heritage Festival “cubes” were unveiled with proper flourish at the New Orleans Fairgrounds this morning, in the area that Fest-goers will know as the site of the Lagniappe stage. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band opened the proceedings with a mini-set and Festival Productions CEO, Quint Davis took the stage, emphasizing as always that the festival is essentially about New Orleans culture. No other festival, he said, is “as indigenous, or as close to the community as this.” And indeed, there is a notable spotlight on local acts this year, with most days featuring New Orleans and Louisiana acts playing all but the closing sets on the Acura stage.
Especially notable is the establishment of a “Celebration of Native America” area (“a village, if you will,” said Davis) to the left of the Congo Square stage. This newly created area, perhaps the most significant re-organizing of the Jazz Fest’s Fairgrounds layout in years, will feature Native American historical recreations, arts, drumming, dancing and more. All of this ties in with the booking of the Native American/electronica band, A Tribe Called Red this year—a rare Fest booking in either genre. Adding to the international flavor are a couple of Magery Lords of Bahia-Brasil, salsa legend Eddie Palmieri, and underground Jamaican artist Brushy One-String.
Davis also announced this year’s Jazz Fest Fundraiser Gala theme and line-up, a Glass House Reunion that will salute the historical brass-band hotbed club, with Kermit Ruffins, the Rebirth Brass Band and Dirty Dozen. The annual gala will be held Thursday, April 11 at Antoine’s Restaurant. Not to be forgotten, was the display of the first swath of this year’s brass-themed Hawaiian shirt, a longtime New Orleans Jazz Fest tradition. But of course, the real news for most everyone was the unveiling of the Jazz Fest grids, finally revealing who’s up against who. Make your own discoveries and start planning your Jazz Fest days here…
Stay tuned later today for OffBeat.com’s search-able, sort-able online Jazz Fest schedule grid – also accessible on your mobile device via our OffBeat.com mobile app.
Jazz Fest 2013
April 26 – 28, May 2 – 5
New Orleans Race Track & Fairgrounds
In the meantime, view or download the complete Jazz Fest 2013 schedule cubes by day here!