Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes With New Orleans Greats Irma Thomas, George Porter Jr And Trombone Shorty

The Jazz & Heritage Fest in New Orleans has finally come to a close for the 2024 season. This past Sunday, Jazz Fest took a step inward to focus on New Orleans’ greats, closing out the festival with good vibes and some great music.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On the Festival Stage we saw George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners. The funk group is composed of Porter, who is best known as the bassist of The Meters, along with musicians Art Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste. Porter was laid back, casually strumming away at his bass and singing in his signature rainbow tie-dye shirt. 

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

John Mooney and his Bluesiana Band put on a casual blues set in the Blue’s Tent around noon. Mooney showed off his guitar skills by playing some of his classic tunes that are a mix of funky Delta blues and the second line beat of New Orleans.

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Over in the Gospel Tent, which is a must stop on any Sunday of Jazz Fest, we watched the New Orleans Gospel Soul Children. The choir, composed of “children of God” of all ages delivered an energetic and empowering set. One member shook a tambourine to the beat of the gospel songs, hyping up the crowd and overcome by emotion. 

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

After her big duet moment with The Rolling Stones, the legendary Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas garnered a sizable crowd at the Festival Stage on Sunday. Thomas, wearing this years’ Jazz Fest dress, sounded amazing as she sang through her R&B classics, like “Love Don’t Change,” “Time is On My Side,” “It’s Raining” and “I Need You So.” 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Joe Bonamassa rocked it out on the Gentilly Stage around 4pm. The blues rock guitarist and singer stood out in a royal blue suit accompanied by his red electric guitar. Fans packed the fields to see him and jammed out to his bluesy sounds. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

A Jazz Fest regular, Jimmy Buffett died last September at 76 from a rare form of skin cancer. The festival this year sought to honor his legacy in a few ways, including a photo exhibit in the Grandstands, a second-line parade, and biggest of all, his band The Coral Reefer performing to celebrate his life. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Coral Reefers started their set with the famous “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” Buffett’s collaboration with Alan Jackson. The group played many other favorites such as “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Southern Cross,” even dedicating the love song “Come Monday” to Buffett’s wife, Jane.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

George Thorogood & The Destroyers wrapped up music at the Blue’s Tent for 2024 with their rock & roll energy. The band sounded fantastic, with Thorogood delivering powerful vocals while throwing his hands in the air, asking the crowd for more. 

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Last to perform on the Fais Do-Do Stage were The Wallflowers, a rock band from Los Angeles. Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Dylan, dressed in one of his signature hats, rocked out with fans as the festival came to a close. They sang a Van Morrison cover of “Into The Mystic” and their 1996 lead single “6th Avenue Heartache,” among others. 

JacobPhoto Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. & the Wild Magnolias made a grand exit on the Jazz & Heritage Stage. The Mardi Gras Indian costumes that the performers always take months to create with the ornate and detailed sewing art. Dollis, in a patterned baby blue suit jacket kept the crowd full of energy and groove as he sang along to his band’s funk music. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

On the main Festival stage, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue closed out the festival with some high-spirited songs. In the spirit of Jazz Fest, the band switched between their originals to medleys of New Orleans classics. They played the Mardi Gras Indian tune “Ooh Na Nay,” some of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the R&B tune “Here Come the Girls.” Troy Andrews even brought out Cyril Neville to sing “Fire on the Bayou.”

Jazz Fest 2024 Closes with New Orleans Greats
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The jazzy rock group also played a version of “Fire and Brimstone,” sung by vocalist Tracci Lee. At the end of the set, each band member got to show off with an extended solo. Even though the group has many different talented artists, they all come together so beautifully to create a band great enough to hold the final slot of Jazz Fest. 

We can’t believe that Jazz Fest 2024 went by so fast! The headliners all put on a great show, and all of the other bands and artists we saw definitely proved themselves worthy of gracing the many Jazz Fest stages. We hope next year’s festival is just as exciting and full of surprises as this years’ was. See you next year! 

Words by Emily Cigan @emily.cigan and Amy Harris @thetraveladdictig

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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