Thursday / Picture this : Jazz Fest is largely concerned with the musical showcase; however, its lesser publicized visual arts outlets are your time.
While, yes, Jazz Fest does incorporate smaller acts, let’s be honest, the lineup reaction, and subsequently — the lineup itself, are largely based on a name-game of musical big guns. The Angela King Gallery (241 Royal) will be showcasing iconic Jazz Fest acts through an artistic medium. From the Thursday premiere (5 – 7 PM) through the end of Jazz Fest (May 4th — in case your calendar doesn’t demarcate this in obnoxious highlighter markings) New Orleans artist Steven Forester will be showing 15 archival, black-and-white photographs of iconic jazz musicians — such as Ray Charles, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, Fats Domino, Ella Fitzgerald (with a photo dating back to the 10th New Orleans Jazz fest), and more — at the gallery. The event is free and open to the public.
For more don’t-miss Jazz Fest art showings, click here.
Thursday / Winers welcome : Wine store and bar Pearl Wine Company (3700 Orleans Ave.) is celebrating their one-year anniversary with a public celebration (officially qualified as Pearl’s Premiere Anniversaire Party, because they’re fancy). Beginning at 5 PM (running until wine runs out), Pearl invites Pearl regulars and newbies, alike, to attend their party featuring music by well-known Nola clarinetist Evan Christopher & an always-talented group of musician friends; wine, beer, and liquor tastings; and a fresh oyster bar. The event is free and open to the public.
Friday – Sunday / The fest must go on: There’s this small festival in town… Jazz Fest, I think it’s called. Beyond the official Jazz Fest lineup, a myriad other after hours shows will be happening — because “fest is over” doesn’t stop this city. For our top picks, check out NolaVie’s Post-Fest show guide. And for a chance to win tickets to many of these shows, learn how you can enter here.
Friday – Sunday / Please, no more jazz hands : Maybe Jazz Fest isn’t your scene — it’s alright; no one’s judging. This doesn’t mean you don’t like to fest though. If the idea of Jazz Fest-related crowds (life-sized amoebas) makes you cringe, it’s not a bad time to skip town this weekend.
A safe two-hours from the Jazz Fest-inundated Nola landscape, Arnaudville will be hosting a three-day Étouffee Fest (which — both étouffee and eating, as a New Orleanian, you either like, or… you’re living in the wrong city) featuring, as nominally suggested: various preparations of étouffée. Highlights include a Saturday morning cook-off; Saturday and Sunday pageants; carnival rides; and live music from zydeco singer and band Chubby Carrier & Bayou Swamp, swamp pop singer Don Rich, and jazz-funk band Krossfyre. The festival is free and open to the public. The festival will be held at Little Flower School Grounds (370 Main St., Arnaudville, LA); hours vary by day. For the full lineup and more information, click here.
Sunday : All that azz : Azzfest (nope, not a typo), an Uptown Afrobeat event, makes for a solid, musically-oriented Jazz Fest alternative (or Sunday intermission).
The event (at Gasa Gasa, 4920 Freret) — celebrating Brazilian (yeah, you get the pun) music, dance, visual arts — will be hosted by the Nola’s all-female entertainment company, Funk Baby, and New Orleans Society of Fly Ladies, a network of female entrepreneurs focused on the arts and culture of philanthropy. The weekend, or “cheekend” if you will, will begin with an art market, Brazilian DJ Dudao Melo, food, dance performances, and body painting from 4 – 8 PM — all free and open to the public. Then, from 8 PM – midnight, there will be a show with music from BateBunda, an Afro-Brazilian street music act, and EMEFE an Afro-Indie dance music act. Tickets to the show are $10.
Chelsea Lee is associate editor at NolaVie. Email comments to her at email@example.com.