Jazzfest – What is wrong with The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival?

May 2, 2013 | By | 1 Comment

Why did Billy Joel play Jazzfest last week?

Apparently, Jazzfest The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, suffers from the same malady that has afflicted the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame for years, identity crisis.

Which of the following artists are great jazz musicians?

A Bruce Springsteen

B The Beach Boys

C Elvis Costello

The correct answer according the organizers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival would be all of them. I am not picking on Billy Joel, but using him as a recent example.  Like the Allman Brothers or John Mayer, Billy Joel is neither jazz nor of the ilk of New Orleans.  Joel’s last release was classical music.  The introduction on a song like Miami 2017 again classicalesque. Billy Joel is rock and roll.  If you need to add a sidebar, by his own admission, it would be classical.  Yes I know Billy played some Dixieland, but that isn’t the norm.

Jazzfest has gone commercial to the max.

When I was last there, the Allman Brothers were headlining.  Although one of my favorite bands, I choose to see the Hackberry Ramblers. That is what Jazzfest was for- seeing the real deal musicians. The bands like Preston Frank and his Family Band who weren’t going to be at the local arena every year.  Exploring the heritage of New Orleans.

South By Southwest, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.. they all forgot why they started.

Donna Summer a Rock a Roll Hall of Famer WTF 

Jazzfest, having the Boys of Summer, the perpetual Beach Boys as headliners, the Rock and Roll Hall Of fame inducting the proclaimed Queen of Disco.

Am I the only one who is bothered?

I guess it all comes down to the terminology right?  If it was the New Orleans Music and Heritage Festival, i’d have noting to write about.  Well I’ve still got the Rock and Roll idiots but that is an entire other post.

Eric Clapton Understands English

Eric Clapton has the Crossroads Guitar Festival.  It isn’t blues, it isn’t rock, its guitar. So in 2013 at Madison Square Garden, Clapton has 2 accomplished jazz guitarist perform.  It fit the billing properly    it was the celebration of the instrument not a genre.

Jazzfest if you look at the headliners, would you know it is a jazz festival.


You judge for yourself and laissez les bons temps rouler





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Category: Music

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