The Cultural and Economic Impact of the New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival

As one of the most important economic seasons in the city, the New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival brings together large numbers of people from ticket sales to hotel accommodation and local retail and restaurant sales. Every year, the festival attracts more and more international and popular artists, as well as the best musicians from Louisiana and around the country. It is, without a doubt, the largest and best-attended multi-style music festival in the world. Spanning full days of performances on a dozen stages strategically organized around the Fair Grounds racing circuit, it also brings with it dozens of nightly performances at New Orleans music venues.

Since its inception in 1954, the New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival was conceived as an important event of great cultural importance and popular appeal. It was created and designed by pianist and jazz-businessman George Wein, at the beginning of the festival era. The big event takes place over two weekends, always on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. It has received many honors over the years, including being named Festival of the Year four times by Pollstar magazine.

The New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization, was created to oversee the festival. Its mission is to promote, preserve, perpetuate and promote Louisiana's music, arts, culture and heritage. The festival has become inseparable from the culture it presents, connecting people of all ages and races to showcase their heritage, music and food. The main artists of the JazzFest are usually announced in February or March; however, the full musical lineup always includes big local jazzy bands, Cajun and rhythm and blues bands, and the very popular choirs in the gospel tent.

In 2004, AEG Live joined forces with JazzFest, opening up even more opportunities for international stars to perform at the Festival. In April 1970, Mahalia Jackson returned to her hometown to perform at the first New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival. The New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival is an event that celebrates Louisiana's culture and heritage while providing an economic boost to its local businesses. It is a spring rite for hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, across the United States and many other countries.

It is a unique opportunity to experience some of the best music in the world in no less than its birthplace - American jazz.