The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is an annual celebration of local music and culture held at the Fair Grounds Racecourse in New Orleans, Louisiana. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the city to take part in the festivities. Unfortunately, this year's festival has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place in October.
My father, Dwight Miller, co-founder of Original Pinstripes Brass Band, first performed at the festival with the Doc Paulin Brass Band, and I have attended every year since. When the festival announced on July 22 that it had booked the Rolling Stones for a unique midweek show at Jazz Fest, it seemed like a sure sign that organizers thought they could make it happen with the right safety protocols in place. Regardless of the date, the cancellation shocked a vast network of people who depend on Jazz Fest for most of their annual income. This includes hundreds of musicians and culture carriers, artists and food stall operators, and stage builders and support workers who create the vast expanse of Jazz Fest delights.
Willie Nelson canceled his Jazz Fest show and postponed several other programs following a positive case of COVID in the Willie Nelson Family Band. The festival is known for showcasing a wide range of talents and musical genres found in Louisiana, such as zydeco, gospel, blues and jazz. Sage Rouge by Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes was one of many performances that were cancelled due to the pandemic. The promise of the return of Jazz Fest this fall was a shining beacon of hope for musicians, festival workers and fans.
Unfortunately, Willie Nelson had to cancel his upcoming performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and postpone other shows after a positive case of coronavirus in his band. For diehard fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the launch of daily music programming for this year's festival has sent them to websites to purchase tickets. However, due to the cancellation, they will have to wait until next year to experience all that Jazz Fest has to offer. The cancellation of this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is a huge disappointment for many people who look forward to it every year.
It is also a major financial blow for those who depend on it for their livelihoods. Hopefully next year's festival will be able to go ahead as planned so that everyone can enjoy all that it has to offer.