2024 New Orleans Jazz Fest Bass Recap

500,000 Fans Attend Historic 2024 New Orleans Jazz Fest and Bass Magazine Was There to Capture It

2024 New Orleans Jazz Fest Bass Recap

500,000 Fans Attend Historic 2024 New Orleans Jazz Fest and Bass Magazine Was There to Capture It

Earth, Wind & Fire

Adding an extra day and bringing the Rolling Stones to the event for the first time, the 2024 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell was attended by 500,000 fans, Jazz Fest organizers announced today. During the expanded 8-day format, the Festival played out almost entirely under sunny skies as it shined a light on the importance of New Orleans to American and world culture.

Shelby Means

The first day included headline performances from Widespread Panic (Dave Schools) and The Beach Boys (Keith Hubacher) who last performed there in 2012 as part of their 50th Anniversary Tour. Widespread Panic last performed at Jazz Fest in 2019 coming in as a replacement for Fleetwood Mac which had been the Rolling Stones replacement. Widespread Panic had the longest set of both weekends with 2.5 hours.

Adam Blackstone

Friday included annual performers from New Orleans The Revivalists (George Gekas), Astral Project (James Singleton)  and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Ben Jaffe). Headlining was The Killers (Mark Stoermer) and Jon Batiste. 

Robert Mercurio (Galactic)

Saturday saw the return of Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway (Shelby Means), but this time on the Festival Stage. Closing out the Festival Stage was J.T. Cure (Chris Stapleton), Vampire Weekend (Chris Baio) on the Gentilly Stage, and Fantasia (Darius Jamar). 

Richard Cousins (Robert Cray)

Sunday, the final day of weekend one was headlined by Heart (Tony Lucido) who reformed last year after a four year hiatus and Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals.

Verdine White

Weekend two began with performances across all stages and on the Festival Stage the New Breed Brass Band with Trombone Shorty guesting, followed by Samantha Fish, and Dumpstaphunk. Just four days earlier Dumpstaphunk and Neville Brothers bassist Nick Daniels III passed. Dumpstaphunk performed with just Tony Hall on bass and the performance was a tribute to Daniels showing a photo of him on the screens at one point. Dumpstaphunk was the last band to take the stage that day before the most anticipated performance of the festival which took five years to happen. The Rolling Stones were set to play the festival’s 50th anniversary in 2019 but had to cancel for Mick Jagger to undergo heart surgery. Then the following two years the festival was canceled. Since co-founder Bill Wyman left in 1993, Darryl Jones has been the bassist. 

Greta Van Fleet

Saturday included locals like Stanton Moore with Jimmy Earl on bass and Galactic with Robert Mercurio on bass. The Foo Fighters closed out the Festival Stage and had been scheduled to perform in 2022 but had to cancel with the sudden passing of Taylor Hawkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers filled in. Hozier closed out the Gentilly Stage and Steel Pulse (Amlak Tafari) on the Congo Square Stage.

George Porter Jr.

Saturday had legendary Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli with Bill Dickens on bass and local favorites Cowboy Mouth (Brian Broussard). The headliners were  Neil Young & Crazy Horse (Billy Talbot), Greta Van Fleet (Sam Kiszka), and Queen Latifah (Adam Blackstone). The final set of the day in the Jazz Tent was a tribute to Wayne Shorter with Danilo Perez, John Patitiucci, and Brian Blade.

Dave Schools (Widespread Panic)

The final day had performances from Legendary Meters bassist George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, super group Dragon Smoke (Robert Mercurio), The Gospel Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas, local legends The Radiators (Reggie Scanlan), The Coral Reefer Band celebrating Jimmy Buffett, Joe Bonamassa, and Jeffrey Osborne. The Coral Reefer Band (Jim Mayer) led by Mac McAnally, a member since 1994 paid tribute to the iconic Buffett who passed last year and had performed at Jazz Fest numerous times and lastly in 2022. Thomas, Trombone Shorty, and Sonny Landreth all guested. Closing out the Festival Stage was Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. who took over the closing slot from the Neville Brothers in 2013. Bonnie Raitt (Hutch Hutchinson) closed out the Gentilly Stage, Earth Wind and Fire (Verdine White) closed out the Congo Square space which had been a spot held by Maze Ft. Frankie Beverly for years but are now on a farewell tour. Tower of Power (Marc van Wageningen) closed out the Jazz Tent and George Thorogood and the Destroyers (Bill Blough) closed out the Blues Tent.

Bill Blough (George Thorogood)

Over its two weekends Jazz Fest presented the region’s best music—blues, gospel, rock, R & B, traditional and contemporary jazz, Cajun and zydeco, brass band and Mardi Gras Indian music, and much more—along with the greatest American roots and world music. Jazz Fest also served up more than 100 different dishes of Louisiana’s irresistible cuisine from a menu that offers fine-dining quality food in a festival setting. Three acclaimed arts and crafts fairs also offered handmade crafts from Louisiana and beyond.

The Beach Boys

The historic, sold out appearance of the Rolling Stones on Thursday, May 2 was the triumphant conclusion of a 5-year effort to bring the band to Jazz Fest, after cancellations in 2019 and 2021. Few Festival performances have been more anticipated, and even fewer, if any, better received by fans. Other highlights this year included: Jon Batiste’s only-in-New-Orleans set that paid homage to the city’s piano legends, including Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint; the Foo Fighters electric return to Jazz Fest; a multifaceted tribute to the late Jimmy Buffett, featuring a photo exhibit in the Grandstand, an emotional jazz funeral, the unveiling of a statue alongside other Jazz Fest ancestors, and culminating on the final day with a performance by the Coral Reefer Band with special guests; Chris Stapleton, the Killers, Queen Latifah, Vampire Weekend, and Fantasia’s unforgettable performances; Jazz Fest debuts by Anderson .Paak, Heart, Greta Van Fleet, Samara Joy, and others; and the return of beloved food items, such as crawfish bread, jama jama, and others to the Festival menu. The Festival’s celebration of Colombian music, art, and cuisine in and near the Expedia Cultural Exchange Pavilion was the largest presentation of its kind ever at the event, testimony to Jazz Fest’s ongoing commitment to the exploration of global culture and its relationship to New Orleans and south Louisiana.

George Gekas (Revivalists)

Next year’s event is scheduled for April 24 – May 4, 2025. For the most up-to-date Jazz Fest info, visit www.nojazzfest.comand follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Darrius Jamar (Fantasia)
Ben Jaffe (Preservation Hall)
JT Cure (Chris Stapleton)
Brian Broussard (Cowboy Mouth)
James Singleton Astral Project

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation’s proceeds from Jazz Fest are used for year-round activities in the areas of education, economic development and cultural enrichment. Visit http://www.jazzandheritage.org/ for more information on the Foundation.

Alex Kluft   By: Alex Kluft