Celebrating New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018!

Artist Demonstrations Cultural Exhibits Music Stage Schedule

City of New Orleans by Ellen Macomber

This year, Jazz Fest celebrates the City of New Orleans’ 300th anniversary.  The Cultural Exchange Pavilion will serve as a focal point of the Tricentennial Celebration at the Festival with a special program highlighting the multicultural fabric of the City. In addition to the New Orleans’ renowned Creole and African heritage, the Pavilion presentation will shed a light on lesser-known contributions by Native Americans, Germans, Irish, Italians, Vietnamese and Hispanics among others, through artist demonstrations, live music and dance showcases, authentic food, parades, photo exhibits and cultural displays.

Bamboula 2000 Salute to Congo Square kicks off the musical journey through New Orleans and around the world. While Sidi Toure’s hypnotic blues, Kod Kreyol’s vodou drums, and Kora virtuoso Sona Jobarteh illustrate New Orleans’ African and Haitian roots, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion Stage also features Socks and the Frying Pan of Ireland, Acadian trio Ten Strings and a Goat Skin of Canada and New Orleans-based Santiman & Garifuna Generation of Honduras. Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson and Louis Prima are among New Orleans’ most influential musicians who will be honored through special musical tributes on the Cultural Exchange Pavilion Stage.

Offstage performances include The Versailles Lion Dance Team, The Ordóg Irish Session, and Native Nations Intertribal Pow Wow. Each weekend, an Irish and Irish-Italian parade will complement the Mardi Gras Indian Parades and Second Lines coming through the Pavilion each day.

Inside the Cultural Exchange Pavilion, a New Orleans visual timeline punctuated by altar displays and live demonstrations illustrates how New Orleans has drawn, since its foundation in 1718, a great variety of ethnic groups who have created a local culture unlike any of its antecedents, and yet unlike the rest of the U.S.  Among other presentations, Houma Nation members Joby Verret and August “Cocoa” Creppel will demonstrate the carving of a dugout canoe outside the Cultural Exchange Pavilion.  Inside the Pavilion, Festival-goers can learn how to make Isleños Teneriffe lace, Italian kissing canes, and Mexican sugar skulls.

The celebration of New Orleans’ Tricentennial would not be complete without a taste of the traditional Calas or rice fritters served at Loretta’s Authentic Pralines food booth near the Pavilion. Other specialties include Stuffed Beignets with Lump Crab, Chocolate or Praline.