New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2023: Recap + Photo Gallery

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival returned to the N.O. Fairgrounds Race Course and Slots for two weekends — April 28th-30th and May 4th-7th. The festival brought together a staggering 460,000 people over both weekends.

There were many highlights from artists and drummers throughout the festival, but shining in particular was Dead and Co., who made their return to the festival after their appearance was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Not long before this year’s festival, it was announced Bill Kreutzmann would not take part in the farewell tour — a replacement was not named, but it was speculated that it would be once again be the original Primus and Bob Weird drummer Jay Lane who had filled in for Kreutzmann in 2021. On Saturday May 6th, Dead & Co. played a 2.5 hour set opening with none other than “Truckin” followed by “Shakedown Street,” and it was indeed Lane playing drums.

As always, the festival was filled with renowned drummers and many local greats. Weekend one saw the likes of Stanton Moore with his supergroup Dragon Smoke and Jason Marsalis with Warren Wolf. Sunday included Deven Trusclair (Dumpstaphunk), JJ Johnson (Gary Clark Jr.), Tedeschi Trucks’ dual drummers Tyler Greenwell and Isaac Eady, Dave Salinas (Kenny Loggins), Alfredo Ortiz (Los Lobos), and the great percussionist/singer Cyril Neville (Neville Brothers). Advertisement

Weekend two’s first day headliner was none other than Santana, who played with his trio of Cindy Blackman and percussionists Karl Perazzo and Paolo Mejias. Before Santana was Buddy Guy with Tom Hambridge as well as Johnny Vidacovich with Astral Project. The weekend continued with Joe Saylor (Jon Batiste), Mickey Hart and Jay Lane (Dead and Co.) Chad Cromwell (Anders Osborne), Terrence Houston (George Porter Jr.), Jeremiah Fraites (The Lumineers). The final day included the iconic Zigaboo Modeliste, Stanton Moore with Galactic, Chris Maas (Mumford & Sons), and Frank Bua (The Radiators).

The 2024 edition of the festival is set for April 26th through May 5th. See below for our gallery of photos from New Orleans Jazz Fest 2023.