Embracing Local Art at New Orleans Jazz Fest

March 24, 2024

New Orleans Jazz Fest 2024

Every year in late spring New Orleans hosts the famous Jazz Fest, where artists, musicians, and food vendors gather for a weekend of singing, dancing, and celebration. This year, Jazz Fest covers two weekends April 25-28 and May 2-5, 2024, and has a stacked lineup from The Rolling Stones to Queen Latifah to Earth, Wind, and Fire, there is something for everyone. So, come on down south to the Big Easy and get a feel for New Orleanian culture. Don’t forget to go on a New Orleans airboat tour in your free time.

a saxophone and microphone closeup at a concert

Jazz Fest’s Diverse Lineup

One of the best parts of Jazz Fest is the diversity of artists. This year there is a wide variety of different types of music from rock to pop to indie to folk and of course a ton of jazz. Not only does Jazz Fest bring out the big guns like The Rolling Stones and Chris Stapleton, but it also highlights local artists and gives them a space to perform and share their art, because, at the end of the day Jazz Fest is not about headliners, it’s about music (and art and food and good times). Jazz Fest has historically been an environment that emphasizes nurturing blooming artists. Find your next hidden gem in the heart of New Orleans by coming on down to listen to great music and celebrate artists of all genres.

Experience The Heartbeat of New Orleans at Jazz Fest

New Orleans has famously been a breeding ground for musicians and up-and-coming artists. With New Orleans’ rich musical history, it’s no wonder we produce amazing artists, and at Jazz Fest, we put them all together so you can literally feel the soul of the city. Along with the artists on the big stage, the entire festival is full of impromptu performances by local artists. You should not be surprised if you see random jazz bands playing for you while you wait in line for crawfish. Jazz Fest is the ultimate celebration of music.

Cultural Immersion at Jazz Fest

New Orleanian culture is truly one of a kind. New Orleans is proudly singular and sets itself apart from every other city in the world through music, art, and food. Jazz Fest allows you to experience all aspects of New Orleans’s culture by mixing all the best aspects of the city and putting it all in one unforgettable festival (and one thing to note about New Orleans is we will celebrate anything and everything). Learn about the history of jazz music and the cultural significance of brass bands, peruse local art, and discover the more artistic side of New Orleans, or even try your first crawfish, at Jazz Fest, there is always something new to explore.

Creole Cuisine at Jazz Fest

All that dancing and walking around is sure to work up an appetite, and Jazz Fest has got you covered. At every corner, and every crevice, of the festival is a food truck where local vendors serve you mouthwatering Creole cuisine. So, here is a quick crash course of famous New Orleans dishes and what you can expect at Jazz Fest.

Gumbo (Gum – bow)

A bowl of gumbo is the classic New Orleans comfort meal. A hearty stew that features a medley of seafood, sausage, and okra, usually served over rice. Traditional gumbo is seafood gumbo but over the years, gumbo has evolved and has so many different takes on the classic recipe. But, at its bare bones gumbo is stew over rice, a simple dish but it’s guaranteed to hit the spot.

Étouffée (Et-oof-ay)

Étouffée is similar to gumbo with some key differences. It is essentially a shellfish sauce served with rice. While gumbo is more soup-like, Étouffée has a thicker gravy-like consistency due to the use of more flour. Most Étouffée is made with shrimp stock.

Jambalaya (Jam-buh-lah-yuh)

Jambalaya is basically a big mix of meat, rice, and vegetables. There is no right or wrong way to make jambalaya as long as all three ingredients are implemented in some kind of way. The meat could be anything from chicken to pork to sausage to shrimp to even crawfish (crawfish jambalaya is amazing, by the way). Then you add rice and veggies and mix them all together in a pot. Eat it by itself or serve it with a side, no matter how you mix and match it, jambalaya will be the star of the dish.

Boudin (Boo-dan)

Boudin is not really a complete dish, but it is a famous Louisiana food that should not be ignored. It is cooked pork, rice, and veggies stuffed into a sausage casing. Nowadays, there are so many different variations of boudin (some with seafood, some with just veggies) but traditionally its pork and rice stuffed into pork casings. Eat it with rice, mix it in your jambalaya or even serve it with gumbo, boudin is a must-try when you are down in New Orleans.

Red Beans and Rice (we think you can get this on your own)

The last dish is humble but mighty: classic red beans and rice. This comfort food classic combines red beans, rice, and meat, usually sausage. A delicious New Orleans staple, that will be sure to fill you up and make you feel all the warm feelings of a good home-cooked meal.

Jazz Fest Artist Spotlight

Now that we have covered all the best parts of Jazz Fest, it is time to show off some amazing local artists that will be on display during the festival.

Trombone Shorty

Born as Troy Andrews, Trombone Shorty is a famous New Orleans artist that plays the Trombone (who would have thought?). He has continuously pushed the boundaries of jazz music by mixing traditional New Orleans-style brass instruments with a funk twist. Trombone Shorty is a torchbearer of New Orleans’ musical heritage, and he will be playing at Jazz Fest!

Jeffrey Broussard and The Creole Cowboys

Jeffrey Broussard is one of the most influential accordionists in modern zydeco music. He is a dynamic performer who mixes elements of classic Creole music with folk and the American roots style. Jeffrey Broussard shows off his musical prowess with passion and commitment while also educating his audience on traditional Creole sounds.

Lost Bayou Ramblers

The Lost Bayou Ramblers specialize in Cajun music. They have won two Grammys in the American roots category and have received numerous accolades for their other works. They frequently make music for cinema and have toured most of the United States and Canada and have even made it to Europe. Be sure to check them out at Jazz Fest.

Experience Jazz Fest

There is a reason that Jazz Fest brings hundreds of people and talented artists together. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that everyone should strive to attend. The combination of culture, music, and food is like no other. Experience the allure of New Orleans at the famous Jazz Fest. While you’re in town don’t forget to get out of the city and explore more of what Louisiana has to offer with a New Orleans airboat tour! Because at the end of the day, New Orleans is about jazz and gators.