What a great time of year. January in New Orleans marks the start of Carnival season and the initial release of the Jazz Fest schedule.
For the Jazz Fest junkies, this is the peak of our excitement. It’s all about possibilities. We have the schedule broken down by day but not yet the stages and times. That allows us to fantasize that we can actually catch all of the acts that we want to see. It won’t be until later that the “cubes” get released and we realize that the performers that we most want to see on any given day are scheduled opposite each other on opposite ends of the fairgrounds. Ah, well – dreaming before reality hits …
There are the usual local & regional acts to catch – Astral Project‘s best set of the year (banner photo on the website appears to be from a Jazz Fest performance), John Boutte and whomever he enlists for his set, a wealth of good dancing at the Fais-Do-Do stage, uniquely Creole sounds of Don Vappie, a rare opportunity to hear Patrice Fisher, …
The most fun can be targeting the performers that we rarely get to see ’cause they rarely (never) make New Orleans stops but Jazz Fest is enough to attract them. Clapton‘s making his first appearance at Jazz Fest. Springsteen is coming back very soon after his last appearance – must be liking the experience here. Phish is making their first appearance since 1996.
Sixto Rodgriguez of “Searching For Sugarman” (96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) fame is a good inclusion. He was here not too far back at Tipitina’s but that show sold out. It will be a chance to catch up for the people that were left out of that show.
Bob Wilber & the Crescent City Cats are a nice touch – he being one of the co-founders of the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. Joe Louis Walker will bring a nice dose of soulful blues.
The modern jazz includes some good legends – Chick Corea, Pharoah Sanders, Al Jarreau, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Chick Corea, in particular, should be good fun. He usually comes to play and have a good time.
Of course, there’s much more than just these performers, but it’s a good start.