Today is the day that is eagerly awaited by tens of thousands of fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The daily stage and time schedules were released at a press conference at the New Orleans Fairgrounds.
The paddock area, home to the Lagniappe stage over the seven days of the festival (April 28-May 6, 2012), buzzed with anticipation since many of the members of the local media are also longtime fans of the signature event of the New Orleans festival season.
This being a Jazz Fest crowd, music was required and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which is celebrating 50 years of existence, provided the entertainment with special guests and poster stars Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Shamarr Allen. During a spirited version of “Bourbon Street Parade” the two special guests and Hall regulars Mark Braud and Freddie Lonzo sparred during an all-horn breakdown.
Presentations were made by many of the key movers and shakers including Jazz Fest producer/director Quint Davis. Refering to the annual press conference, which always takes place a month before the fest begins, Davis said, “Today is the New Orleans version of thirty days until Christmas.”
The official posters, which are hungrily sought after by collectors across the world, were also unveiled for the first time. The Jazz Fest poster features Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and the Congo Square poster pictures Shamarr Allen.