A GUIDE TO THE MUST-SEE LOCAL ARTISTS AT JAZZ FEST THIS YEAR, INCLUDING JON BATISTE, IRMA THOMAS, AND BIG FREEDIA
It is no surprise the birthplace of jazz is also a generator of modern-day musical masterminds. From composers to genre-benders and everything in between, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival showcases local artists taking the world by storm. This year, the festival will host talent every attendee must experience live.
Born and raised on the outskirts of the Crescent City, composer and singer Jon Batiste has become an international icon. Batiste holds numerous Academy Awards and Grammy Awards for various works. Although Batiste is known for composing the soundtrack for Pixar’s Soul, his masterpiece album “We Are” also won Album of the Year at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. He will perform on Thursday, May 4, 2023.
Maggie Koerner is a blues rock vocalist with an influential stage presence. Her full-bodied performances blend movement and emotion with echoing vocals to captivate any viewer on sight. Those staying in the city can usually find Koerner making surprise appearances at after-shows throughout the two weekends. Koerner will perform at the festival on Saturday, April 29, 2023.
Flamboyant and unapologetic in her wake as a rapper, Big Freedia is known for popularizing the New Orleans hip-hop genre, bounce. In doing so, Freedia garnered collaborations with iconic artists such as Drake, Beyonce, and Lizzo. While exposing the world to her bounce music, Freedia advocates for uniqueness and self-confidence. See Big Freedia live at Jazz Fest on Friday, April 28, 2023.
Having performed at Coachella and Bonnaroo, jazz-funk and jam quintet Galactic is well seasoned to take the stage at Jazz Fest. The band’s classic New Orleans sound has an irresistible layer of bluesy vocals anyone can enjoy. Galactic will perform on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Tank and The Bangas
Tank and the Bangas rose to fame shortly after winning the Tiny Desk Contest in 2017. Vocalist and poet, Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s deeply authentic lyrics atop funky beats push boundaries, unlike any artist in the genre. The band was Grammy-nominated for Best New Artist and continues to be a New Orleans favorite. The band will perform on Friday, April 28, 2023.
The bilingual indie pop band, Sweet Crude, fits right into the gumbo pot lore of New Orleans. As an ode to the lead singer’s family heritage, the band blends English and Louisiana French into eccentric boogie-inducing lyrics. Enjoy the band live on Saturday, April 29, 2023
American blues singer and guitarist Tab Benoit plays hauntingly nostalgic riffs to all who will listen. Benoit builds upon his work by playing alongside infamous New Orleans musicians like Anders Osborne, Ivan Neville, George Porter Jr., and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. Catch his live set on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Carrying on the iconic Neville family legacy in New Orleans, Dumpstaphunk’s funky jam has shaken the city to the core since its conception. The band’s performances have generated a massive loyal fanbase, including jam band legends like Bob Weir, Phish, and Carlos Santana. Don’t miss the fun on Sunday, April 30, 2023.
Attending Jazz Fest without seeing the Soul Queen of New Orleans is like eating an undressed po’boy. Rhythm and blues singer Irma Thomas performs with raw emotion and soul to which anyone can relate. She also possesses a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Thomas will perform several times throughout the two weekends of Jazz Fest.
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Rooted in resilience and reclamation, Hurray for the Riff Raff blends country, folk, and Americana in a uniquely southern way. Fittingly, the band’s song “Daniella” was featured in the HBO television series Treme. Hurray for the Riff Raff is sure to shake up the crowd at Jazz Fest on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Stay at Hotel Mazarin
One of the best ways to experience the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is by staying at a hotel in the middle of it all. Hotel Mazarin is ideally situated in the heart of the French Quarter. Make a reservation at Hotel Mazarin today.