The headlines a 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival lineup covers more than a century of jazz history: from its earliest roots to present day smooth jazz. Internationally renowned jazz greats appearing during the seven-day festival (stretched out over two weekends) include Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Dianne Reeves, Trombone Shorty, Esperanza Spalding, and Ellis Marsalis, the pianist who is the patriarch of the Marsalis jazz family.
As usual, the festival will also showcase several local jazz bands, among them Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John and Allen Toussaint.
And, in keeping with the JazzFest’s mission of offering a wide variety of musical genres, this year’s event also stars such renowned contemporary artists as:
- Al Green
- Herbie Hancock
- Bruce Springsteen
- Cee Lo Green
- Maze feat. Frankie Beverly
- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
- Janelle Monáe
- Yolanda Adams
- Steel Pulse
- Paulina Rubio
- Zac Brown Band
- Bonnie Raitt
- Dianne Reeves
- Bobby Rush
…and hundreds more groups and solo artists. For a complete day-by-day lineup click here.
Begun in 1970 to commemorate the great heritage of jazz in New Orleans, JazzFest has expanded into nearly all genres of popular music. Besides traditional (Dixieland) styles, JazzFest now features blues, gospel, soul/R&B, international music (especially African, Latin and Caribbean), funk, country/western, hip hop, Cajun/zydeco, folk and just plain good ol’ rock and roll. Even New Orleans’ famous and colorful Mardi Gras Indians! In short, there is something for everyone with any sort of musical taste and preference. A great mix of local performers and internationally renowned “big names.”
In addition to the music, there is also an abundance of culture and food scattered widely around the festival site. Artwork, works of craftsmanship, collectable posters, books, CDs, DVDs and much more are offered for sale, along with some of the most fabulous food you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Crafts & Marketplaces
- Painters, sculptors, jewelry designers, basket weavers and many more skilled craftspeople have their handiworks on display and for sale during each day of JazzFest. The number of regionally and nationally acclaimed artists has now grown to more than 300, concentrated in four distinct event venues.
- At Congo Square you can experience music and art from Africa and the African Diaspora. The Congo Square stage features performances by African, African-American, African-Caribbean and Latino musicians. Shop at Congo Square African Marketplace for original paintings, sculpture, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, and an array of handcrafted artworks.
- Contemporary Crafts is a nationally recognized showcase of alluring handcrafted clothing, beautiful leather goods and hand-blown glass, along with a brilliant array of paintings, photographs, sculptures and irresistible jewelry.
- In the Louisiana Marketplace, the state’s finest traditional and contemporary artists display and sell hand-colored photographs, pine needle baskets, whimsical jewelry, and other creations that evoke the state’s unique cultural history.
Nowhere else will you find such matchless cuisine as is found at JazzFest. The Food Fair offers classic New Orleans staples and over time has expanded to include Creole and Cajun offerings as well as international cuisine. You’ll find everything from appetizers to yummy desserts: whatever your tastes happen to be. In addition to the dozens of fine foods offered, there are two cooking stages at the Fair Grounds Grandstand demonstrating the rich culinary history of New Orleans and offering samples of signature dishes featuring local ingredients from celebrated chefs, farmers, fishermen, and home cooks.