Jazz Fest and French Louisiana: Jazz Fest at 50 Time Capsule

Published on: April 22nd, 2019

On the afternoon of Thursday, April 23, 1970 -- the very first day of the very first Jazz Fest -- the schedule included a collection of acts simply called "The Musical World of French Louisiana." The list of performers included Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, the Cajun accordionist Ambrose Thibodeaux, and the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier.

The chance to hear artists from French Louisiana was one of the "musical experiences" promised by the new festival. And though it doesn't seem so today, in 1970 New Orleans, artists from rural French Louisiana were pretty exotic. It was unusual for "country" musicians, as Cajun and Zydeco were then described, to play such a high-profile event in the city.

Find out more about the long connection between French Louisiana and Jazz Fest in this Jazz Fest at 50 Time Capsule.


 See more from our Jazz Fest at 50 series


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