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Revisit 50 years of Jazz Fest with comprehensive box set of live performances

on March 7, 2019 No comments

Fans of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be treated to a half-century’s worth of live performances in a very special commemorative box CD set being released in celebration of Jazz Fest’s 50th anniversary.

In honor of Jazz Fest’s golden anniversary, Smithsonian Folkways is releasing five discs of live performances from past years’ festivals. Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will arrive on May 10 and is currently available for pre-order, here.

According to Jazz Fest organizers, the box set focuses on “the roots of Louisiana music,” placing emphasis on genres like jazz, bounce, zydeco, brass band, gospel and R&B. Some of the artists featured are Trombone Shorty, Irma Thomas, Big Freedia, Professor Longhair, The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint (solo and in a duet with Bonnie Raitt), Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins, Terence Blanchard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Champion Jack Dupree, and Buckwheat Zydeco.

“We are simply delighted with this collaboration,” says Smithsonian Folkways director and curator Huib Schippers. “It immediately made sense to us as soon as we started discussing it. There is a compelling and beautiful synergy between the first fifty years of an iconic music festival and a 70-year old record label committed to documenting and celebrating this country’s sound legacy and keeping it available in perpetuity, in whatever format, for a listenership of 230 million and growing. We are so pleased that we can bring some of the amazing sounds and sights and impressions from New Orleans to new and familiar audiences.”

Accompanying the music is a 135-page book with exclusive photographs from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s archive, The Historic New Orleans Collection and various independent photographers. Keith Spera and Karen Celestan contributed historical essays, as well.

Allen Toussaint and Bonnie Raitt – What Is Success – New Orleans Jazzfest 2000

For more information on the CD set, click here: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.


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Bonnie Raitt gave New Orleans Jazz Fest crowd something to talk about

on May 9, 2012 No comments
By Alison Fensterstock Follow on Twitter
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Bonnie Raitt, who kicked off her 2012 summer tour Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, did not start slow. After her introduction by festival producer Quint Davis – “Ladies and gentlemen, the great Raitt!” – she tore straight into what was to be pretty much 90 straight minutes of hard-hitting, sharp-toothed rock ‘n’ roll, taking no prisoners with a vicious bottleneck guitar and that sandpaper-and-smoke voice, which seems to age like a good Scotch. At nearly the very end of the 2012 fest, the guitar goddess delivered one of its most memorable shows.

Raitt, who as Davis pointed out in his introduction, was the first non-New Orleans-dwelling artist to perform at Jazz Fest, is no stranger to the city. Her shiny, zebra-striped turquoise shirt, she said, was intended to “honor the spirit of Ernie K-Doe. We drove by the Mother-in-Law Lounge on the way here.” She praised John Mooney and the Malone Brothers’ Saturday performances at Jazz Fest with a “man, it was slammin’.”

“In my long and notorious life,” she said, “I’ve been so glad I always have New Orleans to come back to.”

The guitarist was flanked by a band of veterans. Drummer Ricky Fataar has been with her since 1981; bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson since 1983, when the two were introduced by the Neville Brothers. Second guitarist George Marinelli joined 20 years ago; road soundman Paul Middleton has been around for 25. Together, they occupied the stage like the old buddies they are, relaxed, chatty and engaging with the crowd, and making it look easy with the music.

Raitt played old-school hits like John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” which she popularized in her 1974 “Streetlights” album, and, of course, “Something To Talk About,” from 1991’s “Luck of the Draw.” But for the most part, the set was drawn from her 2012 release “Slipstream” – her first studio album in seven years.

bonnie raitt–angel from montgomery–jazzfest 2012

Jazz Fest 2012 Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Allen Toussaint and Bonnie Raitt

I Believe I’m In Love With You

Right Down The Line

Bonnie Raitt, Jon Cleary, and Allen Toussaint – I Believe I’m in Love with You – Jazz Fest 2012

bonnie raitt at jazz fest, 05 06 2012

Jazz Fest 2012 111 Bonnie Raitt @ Gentilly Stage

“Slipstream” was recorded after a tough year for Raitt, during which she lost her parents, her brother and a best friend. She doesn’t write much, and for “Slipstream,” she chose songs that reflected her pain, and her emergence from it. Some of the album tracks are for an artist who is experiencing loss, and some are for an artist who has known enough of it to treasure love and joy when she finds it. (And at least one – “Down to You,” which she co-wrote with Randall Bramblett and performed Sunday at Jazz Fest, is about putting the first and second experiences together and arriving at a third perspective: taking no mess. As the set’s penultimate song, she rocked it.)

Rain sprinkled the crowd as the band turned Bob Dylan’s “Million Miles” into a gritty, low-down blues, complete with slinky barroom piano solo from keyboardist Mike Finnegan. Before “Can’t Fail Me Now,” another “Slipstream” track written by Loudon Wainwright and Joe Henry, Raitt and Marinelli had to pause to re-tune due to the wetness.

But the sun emerged as if on a timer for one of the show’s few quiet moments. Rays beamed down as Raitt sat atop a stool sans guitar, hands folded in her lap, for the hushed ballad “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Smartphones flew into the air to capture the performance; most folks sang along. After a set of high-octane joking and rocking, it was a lovely interlude of pure emotion.

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Jazz Fest | 04.30-05.03 | New Orleans, LA

on May 6, 2009 No comments

by: Amanda Anderson

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival :: 04.30.09 – 05.03.09 :: Fair Grounds Race Course :: New Orleans, LA

Grease Is The Word

 

Bonnie Raitt is happy to have stood the test of time. She’s also at Acura, and even from a great distance I can spot her shocking red hair. She brings plenty of locals to the stage, playing “A Real Good Thing’s About To Come To An End,” with Jon Cleary scorching the piano, followed by an old Sippie Wallace tune from the 20s, “Woman Be Wise” with Glen David Andrews on trombone and his cousin James Andrews on trumpet. More locals add an extra accompaniment, the beer vendors clanging cowbells for every person tipping the jar. Even onstage, it was hot in the afternoon sunshine, prompting Raitt to give the Fest’s best advice yet: “Get into that grease, honey.” She then launched into the lusty “Something To Talk About,” which I sang all the way to the next act.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 5/1/2009
Gallery (36)
Bonnie Raitt performing at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 01 2009
Bonnie Raitt performing on stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009 in New Orleans.
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Source: © Copyright JamBase

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