Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jazz Fest!

New Orleans' annual Jazz Fest is coming up, April 27-29 and May 4-6. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a huge event that started with Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson, and some street jazz bands in 1970. It celebrates jazz, blues, zydeco, funk, rock, country, and other forms of music, embracing the New Orleans spirit. Last year's Jazz Fest was the first one after Katrina, and was a huge morale builder, a psychological landmark, for a lot of local people. Its return showed that yes, New Orleans can come back. Performers this year include Harry Connick Jr., Norah Jones, Ludacris, John Mayer, Counting Crows, Joss Stone, Branford Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Brad Paisley, Bonnie Raitt, ZZ Top, the Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Thorgood, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison, Lucinda Williams, Soulive, Percy Sledge, T-Bone Burnett, and literally hundreds more. If you're in the area, adult tickets are $35 per day.

But I mention it for another reason: the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir is headed down! Me so proud. :) My roommate Bo is actually in the Gospel Choir, although he won't be making this particular trip. Nonetheless, this is really cool news. Per a College press release:

"The Dartmouth Gospel Choir has been invited to perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, a rare recognition for a school group from outside Louisiana. The group will sing on Saturday, April 28, as the opening act for the New Orleans-based Bishop Paul S. Morton and the Greater St. Stephens Mass Choir.

In addition, the choir will take part in a Katrina-related community service project on Friday, sing in church on Sunday, and perform at one or two high schools on Monday, before returning to Dartmouth, said Joshua Price Kol, director of student performance programs at Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts.

Almost ready to disband four years ago, the Dartmouth choir has experienced a rebirth under Cunningham's leadership, Kol said. 'Everywhere this choir goes to perform, audiences are wowed by the artistry of the group and stunned—Dartmouth College has a world-class Gospel Choir? Well, we do.'"

No comments: