Panthers Around the World: Maddie’s Trip to New Orleans Jazz Fest 

Madeline Volpe, Multimedia Video Editor

On April 28-May 7, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year, I had the privilege of attending. 

On May 5, I had my AP Art History test until 4:00 p.m., and the moment I finished, I left straight from school to the airport to head to Louisiana. Once I had landed in New Orleans, I caught a cab right to my hotel. That night, my parents and I went to dinner and then met up with my parent’s best friend since middle school. We walked down to Frenchmen Street, and on the way, we passed Jackson Square where there was live music and people selling poetry. 

The next day, it was time to head to Jazz Fest. All of Saturday there were scattered thunder and lightning storms, but that did not stop us from listening to the live artists. When we got to the festival, we went to the main stage — Festival Stage — to secure our spots. While at the Festival Stage, we listened to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which was formed in the 1960s. After that, Dead & Company — the headliners of the festival — went on to play. Dead & Co consists of the original members of The Grateful Dead with three other musicians, one being John Mayer. 

Throughout the day at the festival, I walked around and tried foods from different stands. I tried jambalaya and crawfish monica, among others. As the first day came to an end, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the next day of the festival. 

During day two of the festival, we wandered around to different stages like Gentilly Stage, Jazz Tent and Blues Tent. When we got there around 2:00 p.m., we went over to Gentilly Stage to watch The Radiators, a band my mom liked in college. After the performance ended, we walked over to the festival stage to watch the closing headliner Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue; this performance was by far my favorite one from all of the ones I saw that weekend. I had also gone over to the Jazz Tent to watch a bit of Herbie Hancock’s set then went to the Blues Tent to listen to a few of Melissa Etheridge’s songs.  

As the last day of the festival came to an end, we walked back, taking in all the live music that was being performed around the perimeter of the festival grounds. Throughout my time there, it opened me up to different artists that I was not fully familiar with but now will be listening to regularly, and will definitely be attending Jazz Fest again. Since hearing about my parents going since I was a little kid, I was ecstatic to go experience it; it lived up to my expectations.