New Orleans Jazzfest Picks – Ryan’s 14th Year

Fess @ the Fest

In 1996 I visited New Orleans for the first time, in order to experience the Jazz and Heritage Festival. I saw Dr. John and the Neville Brothers perform. I saw George Porter, Jr, and the Funky Meters. Saw some hip-hop, saw some gospel, saw some rock. Ate a ton of food, washed it down with chicory coffee, Abita and copious hurricanes. Must’ve had a good time because somehow I’ve been returning every year since. The picks for my 14th year are admittedly a l’il slim: I’m volunteering for Habitat much of Saturday (5/3) per recent tradition, and frankly, I’m getting older. Still, hoping to catch the following acts the next few days, all logistics permitting:

Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet, Kermit Ruffins, Poncho Sanchez, Iguanas, Julian Marley, Kings of Leon, Neil Young, Sonny Landreth, Dr John (perf + interview), Allen Toussaint, Jon Scofield, C. J. Chenier, The O’Jays, Los Lobos, The Neville Brothers, Buddy Guy (!), Charmaine Neville, Aaron Neville, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers, Ellis Marsalis, Jon Cleary and whatever else we should stumble upon

Any more suggestions out there? What or whom do you think I should see (or eat) at the fairgrounds, and in the clubs all night and morning this weekend? Interested to hear your picks. If you have an opinion or a tip on an artist (or po’boy…or gumbo…or cochon…) that you feel I should check out, fire it off to or twitter (@losanjelaous); most importantly, have a great weekend wherever you end up.

» 2008 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Photos/Words