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3 Can't-Miss New Orleans Summer Music Festivals

- Tuesday, June 02, 2015

It's summer time and you know what that means, hot times and hot music.  When it comes to music festivals, New Orleans has some of the hottest!


 1. Essence Festival

The Essence Festival is the crown jewel of contemporary R&B music festivals. It’s far more than a smattering of musicians haphazardly smashed together on the same bill. It’s a seminal cultural event that takes place over the course of a week. In addition to the wide range of musical acts that include Kendrick Lamar, India Arie, Mary J. Blige, and Charlie Wilson, the 2015 Essence Empowerment Experience will include Al Sharpton, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant and Megan Good, to name but a few. This year's fest falls neatly over the fourth of July weekend running July 2-5, 2015.

I was there in 2007 working with some of the New Orleans production crew on behalf of Time Inc. We produced all the video content surrounding the event, including main stage mash ups.

The highlight, though, was my interview with Kelly Rowland, where she complimented my baby blue Guess button up. My wife was hit on by Esai Morales. I win.

You can get a preview of this year’s events:

2. The Louisiana-Cajun Zydeco Festival
Governmental scientists have demonstrated in a lab that no human can say ‘Zydeco’ without smiling. Try it. What, you can’t pronounce it? I know. That’s why we’re laughing at you. This year’s festival takes place June 6th and 7th. And it’s free!

I know, you don’t know what Zydeco is. Neither did I until I looked it up, and it boogies.

If you don’t get up and dance, rush to the emergency room to see if you still have any boogie in your woogie.

3. Satchmo Summerfest
The Satchmo Summerfest is billed as " “The premier American jazz festival dedicated to the life, legacy, and music of New Orleans’ native son, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.”  The free event takes place August 1-3 on the grounds of the Louisiana State Museum’s Old US Mint. 

If you think there’s money left at that mint, I have prime swamp-side real estate not far from New Orleans that I want to sell you.

If you’re wondering how Satchmo fares on YouTube amongst Gangnam Style and piano playing cats (as in literal cats, not  'Jazz afficianado') you might be surprised to learn that “What A Wonderful World” has nearly 150 million views across its different uploaded versions.

We'll see you in New Orleans.  When you're here, take a lot of pictures and #nolive!

If you’re interested in learning more about New Orleans music and culture, check out New Orleans Live at and help make sure this program is distributed worldwide.    
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New Orleans Live is a  music performance television show featuring local, regional & some nationally known musical artists.