Jazz Fest 2004: Insider Information
Saturday, May 1st, the Dave Brubeck Quartet makes an appearance on the jazz stage. Whenever acts of this magnitude and history perform, the crowds begin to arrive early and tend to camp out for the day. With Terence Blanchard, Kidd Jordan’s Improvisational Arts Quintet and Victor Goines all performing at the same stage, it may not be a bad way to spend an afternoon. Inside tip – Sneak away from the jazz tent and catch Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown wherever he performs. This Slidell, Louisiana resident is a versatile composer, guitarist and bandleader who always makes it worth the price of admission.
The final day of the Fest always belongs to the Neville Brothers. They have been closing the festival since the beginning and will do so on Sunday, May 2nd. However, in an unprecedented celebration of South Africa Hugh Maskela leads an All-Star Musical Tribute featuring Jabu Khanyile, Busi Mhlango and Vusi Mahlasela. But the music does not stop here as vocalist Dianne Reeves, Latin-jazz group Los Hombres Calientes and vocalist Aaron Neville all perform. Neville has recently been performing jazz standards and quite possibly could do so here at the festival. Insider tip – It will be crowded, but it is worth being there for the closing acts. Typically, the biggest problem is choosing where you’d like to be when the curtain falls on this year’s Jazz Fest. Pete Fountain performs, as does bluesman Robert Cray. The good news is, you can’t go wrong. The bad news is, you have to make a choice.
In no way does this list represent the entire festival line-up. Evening concerts are scheduled, as are educational workshops. For more information, go to www.nojazzfest.com .
Until next time, see you ‘Round About New Orleans.