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2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival: Day one is da bomb

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

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The New Orleans Jazz Festival is the best music festival in the country for many reasons. This is the forty-fifth year of its existence and the lineup this year is insane! Music is not the only draw here. The Festival has the best food and arts and crafts to tempt the fest-goer. The only thing that can put a damper on it is torrential downpour rain. This first weekend we have been lucky! For more Jazz fest info, click here.

Santana
© MF Andrews

First stop was the Gospel tent for the festival invocation and blessing for this seven-day event. It is a good start to a fest with 11 stages and so much to choose and a need to orient yourself to what you want to see and hear. Next was the Blues tent for some Tommy Singleton and Little Freddy King. The trek to the Acura stage was not far to catch Javier Gutierrez and his band Vivaz. Wayne Toups brought his Cajun flavor and was more guitar driven than in the past. UK’s Laura Mvula changed the genre with her version of soul music. Her band was adorned with a harp, a cello, violin, keyboards, and bass. She definitely added a touch of class to the mid-day sun.

Ruben Blades and the Roberto Delgado Orchestra brought their legendary Latin music to Fest. Blades is a Latin music icon to put it mildly and he ran for president of his homeland in the 1990s. Speaking of his orchestra, "They all have visas," he quipped, alluding to the ensemble's Panamanian origins. Visas that might as well be stamped, "magni¬ficico."

On the Samsung stage, Jason Isbell, Muscle Sholes native, gave a wonderful set of his Southern Rock blend of music. He is a former member of the Drive-By-Truckers Band. His writing is gut-wrenching to say the least. He and the band really brought it to Jazz Fest.

Carlos Santana was the crown jewel of the first day at Jazz Fest. He brought music from his whole career to the set that please the huge crowd. Meanwhile, Public Enemy and the Avett Brothers cleared a path to mingle with the crowds! It was a great day for the fans at the New Orleans Jazz Festival!