New Orleans Jazz Fest weekend one is underway! The longstanding music and cultural festival carried on through day two yesterday, boasting hundreds of local and national acts of many styles across twelve stages and tents.
The day opened bright and early with a soulful set from Nigel Hall on the Acura (main) Stage. Nearby, Johnny Sansone rocked out in the Blues Tent. Fans continued to flock in as Leo Nocentelli took the main stage, joined by special guests Bernie Worrell of P-Funk and American Idol finalist Elise Testone. Elise will appear in Thankful for Amy: An All-Star Tribute to Amy Winehouse this Tuesday at the Howlin Wolf. The incredible Bill Dickens also made an appearance on electric bass guitar, along with Galactic’s Stanton Moore on drums and Skerik on sax. Fans were honored to be in the presence of so many funk OGs and newer sensations on one stage.
The day carried on with a rockin’ set from Anders Osborne, who will also appear at the NOLA Crawfish Festival this week. Anders shredded on the Acura stage and got down and dirty with his top-notch band. Simultaneously, Big Sam’s Funky Nation brought an upbeat, funk-fueled dance party to the festival on the Gentilly Stage.
New Orleans staple Galactic was up next on the main stage to bring the funk to their hometown. They were joined by past bandmember Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet for a spectacular performance.
NOLA-born rapper Mystikal was up next on the Congo Square Stage. The NOLA-born rapper brought funky hip-hop vibes to the fest, making sure everyone was on their feet and getting the funk down.
Pearl Jam closed out the festival on the main stage, bringing a fiery performance to the crowd of tens of thousands. The band concluded with an epic encore consisting of a cover of The Who’s “The Real Me” with a horn section featuring Skerik, followed by Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Josh Klinghoffer. Watch fan-shot footage of the latter below, via Space City Shows 2.
Across the grounds, Van Morrison rocked the Gentilly stage for the final hours of the first Saturday of the fest. Fittingly, he weaved Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” into his set, amongst his many classics.
Simultaneously, soulful crooner Maxwell did his thing over on the Congo Square Stage with a passionate set. While he didn’t cover any Prince, the singer acknowledged the recently deceased icon, declaring, “The feeling of love through music is going to explode because Prince left so much behind for all of us. All together now, can we say, ‘We love you, Prince!”
Jazz Fest carries on today with sets from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, Better Than Ezra, Rhiannon Giddens, J. Cole, and many more. Stay tuned to L4LM for continued Jazz Fest coverage!
Take a look at some photographic highlights from Jazz Fest day two by Marc Millman.