Bass player George Porter Jr. was a founding member of the celebrated New Orleans funk band The Meters when the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival started in 1970. Now on the sprawling Fair Grounds Race Course, the festival draws hundreds of thousands over two four-day weekends. Back then, it was at a relatively small park near the French Quarter and it drew about 300.
During a Jazz Fest program Friday, Porter joked: "That's all they had room for." He's also scheduled to take a Jazz Fest stage again later with Foundations of Funk. The project teams him with fellow The Meters founder Zigaboo Modeliste and members of New Orleans' musical Neville family.
Folks are two-stepping in the Louisiana mud on the second day of the 50th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Friday's abundant sunshine couldn't bake away all of the water that drenched the festival grounds during Thursday storms that delayed the opening. But that didn't stop the dancing by people — some in boots, some in flip-flops — as Zydeco music wailed from the Fais-Do-Do (FAY-doh-doh) stage.
Meanwhile, stirring gospel rang out from one tent, traditional jazz from another and rock from other stages while people lined up at food booths to feast on Louisiana favorites like gumbo and crawfish or a variety of international cuisines.
Santana is among closing acts set for Friday evening. The festival takes place on the infield and grand stand of the Fair Grounds Race Course.
Sunshine and Santana. Both are expected to be welcome sights on the second day of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
There have been some disappointments in the run-up to the 50th annual Jazz Fest. The celebration was to have been marked by a May 2 performance by the Rolling Stones but the group had to cancel for health reasons. So did Fleetwood Mac.
Then there were the storms that delayed Thursday's opening.
Friday's forecast calls for warm, dry weather for the dozens of acts that will play throughout the day on 10 stages.
Santana is set to close out a main stage in the evening. Other highlights include high school choirs raising spirits in the Gospel Tent and Grammy winner Terence Blanchard at the WWNO Jazz Tent.