New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival 2024: Second Weekend Highlights

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s second weekend, held from May 2nd to May 5th, featured a performance five years in the making. The Rolling Stones, originally scheduled for the festival’s 50th anniversary in 2019, finally took the stage after numerous delays. Due to Mick Jagger’s heart surgery, the band canceled their 2019 appearance, and the next two years saw the festival canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, co-founder and drummer Charlie Watts passed away in 2021, with Steve Jordan stepping in as his replacement. Jordan, now on his third tour with the Stones, played a pivotal role in their Jazz Fest set.

Rolling Stones Headline with Memorable Performance

The Rolling Stones closed out the first day of the second weekend, taking the stage at 5 PM. This marked the second show of their Hackney Diamonds tour, which began on April 28th in Houston, TX. They kicked off with “Start Me Up” and delivered a set filled with classics like “Get Off of My Cloud,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Woman,” and “Miss You.” Accordion player Dwayne Dopsie joined them for “Let It Bleed,” while Irma Thomas, the Gospel Queen of New Orleans, joined for “Time Is on My Side.” The encore featured “Sweet Sounds of Heaven” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Diverse Acts Delight Crowds

Friday’s performances included notable drummers such as Chad Cromwell with Anders Osborne, and Steve Jordan returning to play with Davell Crawford. Stanton Moore performed with Galactic and Pedro Segundo on percussion, while Oscar Seaton played with Terence Blanchard & E Collective. Cyril Neville joined his group on percussion, and Herlin Riley performed with Peter Harris & Firm Roots. The Foo Fighters, featuring Josh Freese, closed out the Festival Stage, with Hozier and Reggae legends Steel Pulse performing on other stages. Stefon Harris closed out the Jazz Tent. Advertisement

Saturday Highlights

Saturday’s lineup featured the Meters’ guitarist Leo Nocentelli with drummers Jamal Batiste and Felix Pollard on the Gentilly Stage. Terence Higgins performed with blues great Tab Benoit on the Festival Stage, while Cowboy Mouth, fronted by drummer Fred LeBlanc, played on the Gentilly Stage. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, together for the first time since 2014, closed out the Festival Stage. Greta Van Fleet, Queen Latifah, and a tribute to Wayne Shorter featuring Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade rounded out the day’s highlights.

Sunday’s Grand Finale

The final day saw George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners and Dragon Smoke featuring Stanton Moore on the Festival and Gentilly Stages, respectively. Legendary Irma Thomas performed, followed by The Radiators, who have been performing since 1978 with all original members. The Coral Reefer Band celebrated Jimmy Buffett’s legacy, joined by Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty, and Sonny Landreth.

Closing Acts

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. have been the annual Festival Stage closers since 2013, taking over from the Neville Brothers. Cyril Neville made a surprise appearance, and Shorty played drums towards the end of the set. Bonnie Raitt, with former Beach Boys drummer Ricky Fataar, closed out the Gentilly Stage. Earth, Wind & Fire performed on the Congo Square Stage, succeeding Maze Ft. Frankie Beverly. Tower of Power, with new drummer Peter Antunes, closed the Jazz Tent, while George Thorogood & The Destroyers and The Wallflowers closed out the Blues Tent and Fais Do Do Stage, respectively. Advertisement

The festival showcased an incredible array of talent, celebrating the rich musical heritage of New Orleans and beyond.