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NOLA Jazz Fest: "Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler"

The 42nd edition of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival -- Jazz Fest -- runs April 29noj-Rollins - May 8, 2011 on 12 stages at the New Orleans Fair Grounds in Louisiana.

From the very beginning, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was envisioned as an important event that would have great cultural significance and popular appeal, an event worthy of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of jazz.

With 12 stages of soul-stirring music -- jazz, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, blues, R&B, rock, funk, African, Latin, Caribbean, folk, and much more -- Jazz Fest has showcased most of the great artists of New Orleans and Louisiana of the last half century, and has always blended in a wide mix of internationally renowned guests.

This year‛s lineup is no less a feast of riches. Included are:

Arcade Fire
The Avett Brothers
Jimmy Buffettnoj-WJean
The Decemberists
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Kenny G
Arlo Guthrie
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Ahmad Jamal
Wyclef Jean
Cyndi Lauper
John Legend & The Roots
Maze featuring Frankie Beverly
John Mellencamp
Mighty Clouds of Joynoj-FantasiaKeb’ Mo’
Charlie Musselwhite
Willie Nelson
RAM and Boukman Eksperyans of Haiti
Michelle Shocked
Ricky Skaggs
The Strokes
Vickie Winans

Louisiana artists, the heart and soul of the Festival, are scheduled to appear, among them:

Shamarr Allen
Big Sam’s Funky Nationnoj-Arcade
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles
Big Freedia & Sissy Nobby
Buckwheat Zydeco
Cowboy Mouth
The Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians
Dr. John
Honey Island Swamp Band
Hot 8
Ellis Marsalis
Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk
John Mooney & Bluesiananoj-Shocked
Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes
Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste
Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue SwingersSonny Landreth
Marcia Ball
The Neville Brothers
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Allen Toussaint
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Walter “Wolfman” Washington

The Jazz Fest Food List is no less spectacular, vegetarian fare included.

The Food Areas are serving up such dishes as:

  • Pecan Catfish Meunière, Seafood Mirliton Casserole, Fried Crab Cake w/ Snoj-Alligatormoked Tomato & Jalapeño Tartar – C.P.G. Catering, Mandeville, LA
  • Alligator Pie, Crabmeat Stuffed Shrimp, Fried Green Tomatoes – Cajun Nights Catering, Metairie, LA
  • Boudin, Boudin Balls, Crawfish Remoulade, Creole Hot Tamales – Papa Ninety Catering, Belle Chasse, LA
  • Pheasant, Quail & Andouille Gumbo, Crab & Crawfish Stuffed Mushrooms, Crawfish Enchilada – Prejean's Restaurant, Lafayette, LA
  • Shrimp Macque Choux, Shrimp & Sausage Macque Choux, Fry Bread, Indian Tacos – United Houma Nation, Golden Meadow, LA

And that‛s only the entrées.  Check out the desserts:

  • Crawfish Strudel, Mocha Mousse, White Chocolate Bread Pudding – Coffee Cottage, River Ridge, LA
  • Pralines: Assorted Flavors, Praline Pecan and Sweet Potato Cookies, Praline Shoe Soles, Pecan Crunch – Loretta's Authentic Pralines, New Orleans, LAnoj-PralineShoe
  • Locally Made Artisan Gelato and Sorbetto featuring Crème Brulée, Chocolate Azteca and more – La Divina Gelateria, New Orleans, LA
  • Roman Chewing Candy – Roman Chewing Candy Company, New Orleans, LA

Zatarain‛s Food Heritage Stage features Spotlight on Haiti, discussions with:

  • "Misé Fè Macaque Mangé Piment" Culinary Cousins: Haiti and New Orleans, presented by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, author of the new book High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
  • "A Mirliton by Any Other Name: New Orleans and Haiti‛s Culinary Connection via the Chayote Squash" with Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats! and Dr. Lance Hill, Executive Director, Southern Institute for Education and Research
  • Stuffed Mirliton Nicola by Tory Stewart of Broussard‛s
  • "Haitian Foodways" by Marie-José Poux

among other food demos with culinary luminaries.noj-Mirliton

In Zatarain‛s Cajun Cabin, food features include:

  • Grilled Quail with Blackberry Lacqueur by Ben Thibodeaux, Palace Café
  • Barbecue Wild Hog with Troy Landry and Terral Evans (TV‛s Swamp People)
  • Creole Cream Cheese Popsicles by Kathia Duran, Latino Farmers Cooperative of Louisiana 

Cultural offerings include

Louisiana Folklife Village – where cultural treasures are made using generations-old techniques: Cajun musicians handcraft accordions, boat-builders carve bald cypress into pirogues and skiffs. Architectural tradesmen forge decorative ironwork and fashion intricate wood trim characteristic of historic New Orleans homes, and float makers create carnival masterpieces from papier-mâché. One can learn traditions of Mardi Gras Indians and Marching Clubs.noj-Macque

Native American Village – the village celebrates the rich heritage of Louisiana‛s indigenous peoples. Under a palmetto-thatched chickee, visitors enjoy traditional drumming and singing by Southeastern dance and pow-wow troupes.

Haitian Pavilion – This year‛s Jazz Fest hosts the largest celebration of Haitian culture in the U.S. since the devastating earthquake one year ago. Present this year are icons of Haitian music and culture including Wyclef Jean, Tabou Combo, RAM, Boukman Eksperyans, Emeline Michel, Djakout #1 and Ti-Coca & Wanga Négès

Some highlights include traditional Vodou drumming performances, folk crafts demonstrations led by visiting master artisans, and rara band DJA-Rara parading throughout the Fair Grounds.

Also scheduled is Haiti & New Orleans: Cultural Crossroads, a series of scholar-led panel discussions, some of which are:

  • Historical Overview: the Haitian Influence on New Orleans
  • Haitian Immigrants' Influence on New Orleans Architecture
  • Vodou Practice in Haiti and New Orleans
  • The Recordings of Alan Lomax in Haiti in 1936-37

A Festival that educates as much as it entertains, it‛s no wonder Jazz Fest is regarded by many as America‛s best festival.

For further information, visit

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 29 - May 8, 2011

New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course
1751 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70119

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