The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival or, simply "Jazz Fest" as locals refer to it, kicks off its two week celebration this weekend, April 27-29 and next, May 4-6. (Jazz Fest always takes place the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May.) In addition to the major activities at the New Orleans Fairgrounds (the third oldest horse racing track in America), the festival also offers evening concerts at various venues around town during the week and late night on weekend nights. The Jazz Fest, now in its 37th year, is vital to New Orleans tourism as the major annual event in New Orleans only rivaled by Mardi Gras.
The festival features a mixture of New Orleans music, food and culture. Its music combines every style associated with the city and region. Along with jazz, there is blues, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, folk, Latin, rock, rap, bluegrass, reggae...and that's just for starters. Along with many local acts, the festival features nationally known "headline" artists making the Jazz Fest the internationally known major event that it has become.
Featured artists for 2007 are: John Mayer, Harry Connick, Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Steely Dan, ZZ Top, Norah Jones, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, New Edition, Counting Crows, Better than Ezra, Rod Stewart, Irma Thomas, Van Morrison, Brad Paisley, Jill Scott, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Ludacris.
In addition to great music, another popular feature of Jazz Fest is the variety of local food vendors featuring their signature favorites of Cajun and Creole style dishes. Additionally, the arts and crafts section on the fairgrounds is popular as well.
So get your hat and comfortable dancing shoes on, put on your sun screen lotion and come enjoy the 2007 Jazz Fest. You'll be sure to have a great time!