[All Photos by Gustavo Escanelle]

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Sunday 0n May 5, 2024

22:35 May 05, 2024
By: Gustavo Escanelle

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with Irma Thomas, Groupo Niche, Celebrating Jimmy Buffett with the Coral Reefer Band, Tim Laughlin, Joe Bonamassa, and closing out the Jazz Festival 2024 with Trombone Shortly & Orleans Avenue.

The very last day of Jazz Fest's 2024 edition was filled with fun in the sun. Mercifully, it was overcast enough throughout the day that you really didn't have to fret too much about getting a sunburn. Even with the very fortunate weather, I spent a lot of time under the tents and inside because the acts within them were irresistible to me.

Local rockers Johnny J & The Hitmen performed a bevy of original tunes with classic rock and roll hits between them at the Blues Tent. I always love hearing Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock" about a man having to climb so many stairs to see his lady that he's just too tired to rock at the top.

In The Grand Stand, radio show hostess Poppy Tooker was making a big batch of decadent Cafe Brulot as three of her favorite drag queens put on lively Earth, Wind & Fire-themed performances. As Poppy's fiery concoction filled the room with aromatics, the dancers whirled and twirled. Debbie With A D even jumped rope using her own floor-skimming pigtails.

After a sip of Cafe Brulot, I had a little pep in my step heading over to the Fais Do Do Stage which always has something good cooking. We were treated to Colombia's Cimarron, and it was an incredible show. The speed with which the men played their respective instruments was something I have not seen outside of a heavy metal show. There were moments of group dancing where everyone except for one guitarist would pound the stage with equally blazing fast footwork. Vocalist Ana Veydo donned at least three outfits to illustrate her words.

I had to pull myself away from Cimarron, almost literally, to go catch George Thorogood's interview at the Alison Miner Stage. It was absolutely packed with many people having to stand to see it. George was in great spirits and wanted it on the record that this is probably the most well attended interview they've had. His uproarious demeanor and great storytelling just made me more excited to see his set later in the day.

In the afternoon hours, I traveled lazily between various tents and stages, just visiting with friends and soaking up some more serene moments of the final day. I waded into the Blues Tent for that big set that George Thorogood promised. He was indeed fantastic: funny, edgy, and engaging. His massive white guitar contrasted with his jet black clothes and sunglasses. He definitely looked like a rock star. "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" was a popular song that most people sang along to (in fact, it was the first song he performed when he was a budding musician), but you can't deny the heart-pumping banger that he finished with: his biggest, baddest hit "Bad to the Bone."

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