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New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival





Fast Facts

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Time of the Festival:
1st Weekend: April 24, 25 and 26, 2009
2nd Weekend: April 30, May 1, 2 and 3, 2009
How to Reach:
Air
New Orleans is served by the Louis Armstrong International Airport. All major airliners operate regular flights from all parts of the US to New Orleans. There are a number of international flights as well. American and United offer special discounts in their flights for Jazz Fest travelers. You can use the airport shuttle or hire cars and cabs to take you to the Jazz Fest venue from the airport. If you have already booked a packaged accommodation, the hotel provides for transportation to and from the Jazz Fest venues to the hotel, as well as airport pick and drop facility.
Bus
Ride to the Big Easy from your hometown on a Grey Hound bus. There are buses available from all major American cities to Central New Orleans.
Train
You can reach New Orleans on a Amtrak train. The journey is wonderful and is a great way to get yourself prepared for the festival.
Cruise
You can reach New Orleans on a themed Mississippi cruise. Sail through the cradle of American folk music, it is bound to be a wonderful experience.
Entry Fee:
Tickets:
1st Weekend Single Day Tickets (April 24, 25 or 26)
Advance Adult Ticket: $40 (valid only for a single day)
Gate Price: $50
Child's Ticket (children between the age of 2-11): $5 (same advance and gate price)
1st Weekend Discount Ticket Package (April 24, 25 and 26): $105 (at the rate of $35 per day)
These tickets are limited in number and are better booked in advanced from www.ticketmaster.com.
2nd Weekend Single Day Tickets (April 30, May 1,2 and 3)
Advance Adult Ticket: $40 (valid for a single day)
Gate Price: $50
Child's Ticket (children between the age of 2-11): $5 (same advance and gate price)
2nd Weekend Discount Ticket Package (April 30, May 1,2 and 3)
Advance Adult Ticket: $140 (at the rate of $35 per day)
These tickets are limited in number and are better booked in advanced from www.ticketmaster.com.
You can also buy the special passes in advance like the Big Chief VIP Experience, The Grand Marshal VIP Pass and the Krewe of Jazz Fest.
All tickets can be bought online at www.ticketmaster.com, or be procured from all Ticketmaster outlets. You can also buy tickets in person from the Louisiana Superdome Box Office (Gate A, Ground Level) or the New Orleans Arena Box Office. The rates are subject to additional service charge and handling charges. You can also call at (800) 745-3000 for additional information and bookings.
Nearest airport: Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans
Nearest rail station: New Orleans

It a lazy, hazy, crazy summer day of 1970, and Mahalia Jackson — the undisputed queen of Gospel - was back home in New Orleans. She was at the Beauregard Square (presently Congo square) with the grandmaster of swing, Duke Ellington attending the nascent Jazz festival at her hometown. The Eureka Brass Band was blowing hot on the bandstand, and George Wein of Newport Fest fame, the mastermind behind the event, was lurking close behind. Not one to loose on an opportunity of impending drama, Wein handed Jackson the microphone and sho 'nuff, she was soon singing with the band comping their hearts out. The spirit of the festival was born — music came a full circle in New Orleans — heritage met Jazz, and the route to the Fest's glory was charted out. There was no looking back from that point onwards.

The New Orleans Jazz Festival has always been a huge and historic event that is held close to the hearts of music lovers, in keeping with its reputation as one of the prestigious Jazz and heritage festivals in the world. In prestige, it is unequaled. After all, New Orleans the universally accepted musical cradle in the US — particularly Afro-American music and other forms of ethnic music. Be it Jazz, spirituals, gospels, blues, zydeco, Cajun: New Orleans, more than any other place, has always been at the forefront. As a result, the organizational infra-structure presently is much more expansive than what it was even a decade earlier.
New Orleans Jazz-Fest always featured a fair share of Mardi Gras, Blues, and Gospels. However, later on World Music also started to make its presence felt strongly in the music scene globally, and New Orleans was not one to be left behind. As a result, a need was felt to enhance the performance arenas. In 2008, as many as 11 stages were set up to cater to the various forms of musical genres. While the Acura Stage, the most important center of activity is the Primary Main Stage, the Gentility Stage is also equally popular as the Secondary Main Stage. These two stages, being the primary features of the festival, usually host performance by the best of the music industries — the top draws — irrespective of their musical styles. The other stages are more or less well defined as far as musical styles are concerned. Whereas the Blues Tent is devoted exclusively to the Blues, the Congo Square is devoted to world music, with a strong Afro presence.

Contemporary Jazz gets an opportunity to get show-cased at the Jazz Tent, and the Gospel singers find their home gorund at the Gospel Tent. Cajun and zydeco have always been important musical genres in the largely Creole dominated New Orleans society. The Fais Do-Do Tent is exclusively devoted to the Cajun and zydeco forms of music. The purists find the Economy Hall Tent close to their heart, as it presents traditional New Orleans style Jazz being played there. Of similar ilk is the Jazz and Heritage stage, which presents both New Orleans brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians.

Two tents stand out from the remaining nine in their purpose and natures of performance The Lagniappe/Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage is devoted exclusively to small bands and interviews, and the cats of the future get an opportunity to showcase their skills at the Kids' Tent.

The tents, the stages and the numerous stalls give the entire festival the feel of the heritage fair where communication and music flow freely. Thousands arrive here from all parts of the world. They include members of the musical fraternity as well as general tourists. The festival has something to offer to everyone. Apart from the music, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also becomes a wonderful platform to present the cultural wealth of the state. There are traditional food stalls, craft stalls as well as culture stands, all with the traditional New Orleans touch and spiced up by the true Southern hospitality. Do not forget to taste the Crawfish preparations at some of the wonderful food stalls in the festival arena. Look for authentic African and Afro-styled crafts at the Congo Square. They include paintings, sculptures, jewelry and of course, musical instruments. There are African-American, African-Caribbean and Latino musicians and artists to be found in this square to give you a first-hand demonstration of their crafts to get you started. There are also contemporary craft stalls as well as the traditional Louisiana marketplace.

Accommodation is never a problem in New Orleans during the Jazz-Fest weekends, provided you book well in advance. Remember that there is immense crowd at New Orleans during this time, and the city almost bursts in its seams because of the sheer volume of visitors who arrive here from all parts of the world and North America. However, if you book your hotels in advance, you are likely to get great discounts. Some of the most popular hotels of New Orleans are Best Western French Quarter Landmark, Astor Crowne Plaza, Bienville House, Bourbon Orleans, Chateau Dupre, Embassy Suites, Doubletree New Orleans, Hilton New Orleans St. Charles and Riverside, La Quinta Inns & Suites Downtown, Le Pavilion, New Orleans Marriott and Omni Royal Crescent. However, there are plenty more hotels in New Orleans and all of them provide great rates during festival time. You are advised to check out the hotel websites for accommodation and availability related information.

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2009 is going to be bigger than ever before. The line-up itself is great and formidable and feature the best exponents from a wide range of musical fields. Some of the top draws will be Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Earth, Wind and Fire, Kings of Leon, Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, Erykah Badu, Sugarland and Joe Cocker. To get into the festival arena and watch the performances of your favorite artists, you can buy daily tickets at the gate or book them in advance. Apart from the daily tickets and the package weekend tickets, there are a number of entry options for you at the Jazz Fest 2009. You can also choose from among the following special options:

Big Chief VIP Experience:

The best way to experience the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The tickets are, however, limited and are sold on a first come first serve basis. The following facilities are given to the ticket holders:
  • Daily Admission to the Jazz Fest
  • Access to VIP viewing stands
  • Access to Private VIP Hospitality Lounge
  • Special Reserved On-Site Parking
  • Jazz Fest Program Guide
Rates:
1st Weekend - $850; $1000 (with daily reserve parking)
2nd Weekend - $800; $1100 (with daily reserve parking)

The Grand Marshal VIP Pass:

Exclusive access to a golden circle viewing environment at the three main stages: the Acura Stage, The Gentility Stage and The Congo Square. Watch your favorite artists up front.
Rates:
1st Weekend - $550; $700 (with daily reserved parking)
2nd Weekend - $600; $800 (with daily reserved parking)

Krewe of Jazz Fest:

This is a new facility for the 2009 Jazz Fest. The Krewe of Jazz area will feature high-end folding seats, private restroom facilities and you will also get special discount on the beverages.
Rates: 1st Weekend - $350; $500 (with daily reserved parking)
2nd Weekend - $400; $600 (with daily reserved parking)

Related Links :

http://www.nola.com/jazzfest/: For comprehensive information on all aspects of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, click on this link. You will find lots of necessary inputs on schedule, food, transportation and accommodation.

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=17yAv4xnSFM: Stevie Wonder and Frederic Yonnet tradic licks on the harmonica to a wild crowd. If you are still wondering as to what it feels to be at the heart of the Jazz Fest action, watch this video!

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=pfNtwNCEFh8: A touch of Old School at the Economy Hall. Travel back to the heady days of Swing, watch this video!

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=FoWfyRvbBGg: Two of the greatest voices in rock history, Robert Plant and Alison Kraus at the New Orleans Jazz Fest join forces on the 'Battle of Evermore'. More reasons for you to be there, in person!




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