Today we explore jazz music. Jazz has historical roots in Louisiana, so it is fitting that we celebrate this aspect of our culture through festivals. Up in the northwest corner of the state, music lovers will enjoy the thirteenth annual Highland Jazz and Blues Festival on September 17 this year. Highland is a historic neighborhood just south of downtown Shreveport.
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz. It began in the late 1800s with a trumpeter named Buddy Bolden. Soon after came musicians like Louie Armstrong and Joe Oliver, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Marsalis family. For more information on the history of jazz in New Orleans, read here and here.
Stroll down any street in New Orlean's French Quarter today and you'll likely hear someone somewhere playing jazz. Bob and I enjoyed this street musician on a visit to NOLA last year.
The Highland festival website thus far is sparse for information -- they say they'll post the entertainment lineup this summer. But they do have a fundraiser associated with the festival coming up a week from today on April 19 that sounds like fun. A "Dish Crawl." Ticketholders will sample food and drinks from several different restaurants and breweries along the route. Live music, presumably jazz and blues, is included.
Thinking of jazz musicians, I'm personally fond of Harry Connick, Jr. Who is your favorite jazz artist?