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Karen Dalton-Beninato Headshot

New Orleans Jazz Fest: More Like Coachella Than You'd Think

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Now that the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has hit forty-something, the regulars have found a groove. What's unexpected is the extent to which a new generations of festers is making it their own.

Saturday's acts included Cee Lo Green, Feist, DJ Soul Sister, Kristin Diable, Empress Hotel and an accompanying field scattered with hipsters. I don't consider the label hipsters a pejorative, I consider them Us 20 Years Ago. Think long-haired boys, short -haired girls and outfits that would require a mumu intervention on anyone who comfortably wore them the first time around. The classic elements of a Jazz Fest experience are all still there. I'd list them, but regulars know what they are and why spoil the surprise for first-timers?

Jazz Fest has not reached the uber-hipster level of a Bonnaroo Lollapalooza Coachella, and we like it that way. But it is evolving. Chances are the kids were never going to pick up the red bean cabana shirt mantle; they'll probably come up with Jazz Fest hankie shirts or something undreamt of as yet.

To music lovers young and old -- see you on the track.




Cheikh Lo from Senegal


DJ Soul Sister in the booth


Republic of California represented


Cee Lo Green and the reunited Goodie Mob


Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians join the crowd