Rejoice! Listen up, WAY up! Anywhere!

Before (and after) the plague, New Orleans hosts its annual Jazz and Heritage Festival on the last weekend in April and first weekend in May.

Dancing at the Congo Square stage

On 12 stages, music rings out across the Racetrack Fairgrounds in the Gentilly neighborhood from late morning to dinner time. 

Obviously, not this year…except, except:

http://www.WWOZ.org presents “Jazz Festing in Place” Thursday, April 22, through Sunday, April 25; then Thursday, April 29, through Sunday, May 2. The city’s wonderful, always funky NPR station streams archival recordings of stellar sets at past Jazz Fests.

The schedule roughly mirrors a real down-there, in-person, all-the-fun-you-can-stand Jazz Fest, but obviously with only one act playing at a time on WWOZ.

The station’s full Jazz Festing in Place schedule is charted here in the “cubes” format of in-person Jazz Fests. But remember: a single day’s musical offerings at a regular Fest would occupy the same sized page and be even more complex.


I can vouch for some of these; I was there: “Jazz Festing in Place” includes some of the better Jazz Fest sets I ever saw:

Thursday (22): The great pianist Henry Butler (2012)

Friday: (23): Zion Trinity (2008 – my first Jazz Fest), Little Freddie King (2012)

Saturday (24): Alejandro Escovedo (2008), Allen Toussaint (2015)

Sunday (25): Marva Wright (2008), Trombone Shorty (2008)

Thursday (29): Bonerama (2013)

Saturday (1): Rosie Ledet (2015)

Sunday (2): Charmaine Neville (2008)

Rosie Ledet
Charmaine Neville

WWOZ’s “Jazz Festing in Place” features many vanished giants, demonstrating both how durable their music is and how beautifully Jazz Fest preserves their memory.

Thursday (22): Ella Fitzgerald (with Stevie Wonder, 1977), Richie Havens (1991), Henry Butler (2012), Shirley Horn (2004); and we have to list the Meters (1970) since Art “Papa Funk” Neville passed

Friday (23): Pete Fountain (1970), Fats Domino (with the Dave Bartholomew Band, 1999)

Saturday (24): Juanita Brooks (2000), Danny and Blue Lu Barker (2000), Joe Cocker (2009), Frederick Toots Hibbert (of the Maytals, 2005), Allen Toussaint (2015) 

Sunday (25): Mahalia Jackson (1970), Clifton Chenier (1970), Marva Wright (2008)

Friday (30: Ellis Marsalis (2018), Duke Ellington (1970), Al Hirt (1970), the Allman Brothers Band (2010 – originals Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were long gone before this version of the long-running southern rock juggernaut played Jazz Fest; Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks have passed since), Clarence Gatemouth Brown (2005)

Saturday (1): Wilson Pickett (2001), Snooks Eaglin (2005), Dr. John (2000)

Sunday (2): Ernie K-Doe (2000), Teena Marie (2010), Eubie Blake (1977), the Neville Brothers (2003 who played Jazz Fest almost every year until Art and Charles Neville passed)

Tune in, turn it up and enjoy. And consider supporting WWOZ, just as we support WAMC, WMHT, WEXT, WOOC, WRPI and WDST here.

Allen Toussaint
In a Second Line parade.