New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
You don’t have to be a jazz-head to dive into America’s most renowned jazz festival.
This ten day celebration of music and culture has been showcasing immense talent from New Orleans and Louisiana since 1970. It all started when Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, and the Eureka Brass Band got together to hold a small parade. Today’s incarnation is a celebration of music, food, culture, crafts, and heritage in the birthplace of Jazz. Locals and tourists alike seize the opportunity to see internationally renowned talent perform–from jazz and gospel to folk.
Jazz: America’s Rich Musical Heritage
The credit is due to George Wein–the head honcho behind the Newport Jazz and Newport Folk Festivals. He started the movements that brought attention to the richest musical heritage in the country. In 1970, only about 350 people attended, half of them being musicians. Just two years later, the event was moved to a racetrack, where it kept growing in attendance and duration.
During the 80’s, Jazz Fest had gone mainstream, with attendance bursting beyond the 300,000 mark. However, it wasn’t just jazz being represented here. Blues, gospel, Cajun, afro-centric, and worldly music were also getting some attention.
In 2001, the event celebrated Louis Armstrong’s centennial, and 650,000 people were there to see it. Will this be another year that you sit on the sidelines or will you finally take the plunge and give Jazz Fest a try? Last year’s lineup included hoards of local Louisiana talent, plus heritage acts like Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Stevie Wonder, Beck, and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Just get the tickets and book a hotel. You won’t regret it.
Ace Hotel New Orleans
Jazzfest is all about immersing yourself in the art of it all. Ace Hotel’s unique charm and rich aesthetic offers the perfect balance of quirky and comfy, all while being steps away from the crowds of artists, drunks, hippies, and college kids. Or the elusive drunk hippie college artist. His name is Steve and we’re told he exists.
Have you ever wanted to wake up in the middle of the night, not quite sure if you’ve travelled back in time to 19th century French Quarter? Then Hotel Provincial is the hotel for you, look no further. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places which is the closest most of us will come to spending a night at a museum.
As one of the last great family-owned-and-operated hotels in New Orleans, Hotel Monteleon can be traced back through five generations to 1886 and a cobbler shop owner turned hotelier named Antonio Monteleone. Its rich historical context is rivaled by it’s attention to detail and sophisticated charm. That being said, this is probably not the best choice for budget travelers or those looking to get on a mic and invite the entire afterparty to an after-afterparty back at their hotel.
- W New Orleans
If you’re a fan of the W, then you’re choice is already made. Here’s what you can expect: the traditional W treatment within walking distance from the French Quarter. This is a great choice for those looking to opt-in and out of the Mardi Gras experience throughout the day.
- Hotel St. Marie
Let’s be honest, Hotel St. Marie is the more affordable version of a 19th century French Quarter experience. It fulfills many of the New Orleans pre-requisites while being a bit lighter on the wallet, and perhaps more family friendly. Ask for a view of the Mississippi River, because why not?