If you didn’t tune in for the first weekend of this fall’s edition of WWOZ’s Jazz Festing in Place the past weekend (with the live, in-person version of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival once again cancelled due to the continued pandemic), you missed hearing some terrific archival sets from musicians from throughout the festival’s five-plus decade history. In addition to some well-known blues acts like B.B. King (1994), John Lee Hooker (1991), Bonnie Raitt (2009), Dr. John (2009), Clarence Gatemouth Brown (2000), Samantha Fish (2018), Marcia Ball (1999), Champion Jack Dupree (1990) and Walter “Wolfman” Washington (2016), highlights of this weekend’s lineup also included a 2013 set from Guitar Slim Jr. and the famed 1974 Professor Longhair “Fire Benefit” show — featuring the Professor himself as well as the likes of Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, The Meters, Earl King, and Snooks Eaglin — along with performances from such other greats as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder, Irma Thomas, the Allman Brothers Band, Buckwheat Zydeco, The Band, Dianne Reeves, John Mayer, the Funky Meters, Mahalia Jackson, Carole King, the Voice of the Wetlands All Stars and Herbie Hancock, among others.
The good news is you don’t need to be too bummed about missing it: you can listen to any or all of the past weekend’s sets for the next couple of weeks on WWOZ’s online two-week archive. And there’s also a second weekend of the virtual festival starting this Thursday, featuring a whole different slate of performances, including sets from Allen Toussaint, Fats Domino, Jon Cleary, The Neville Brothers, Joe Cocker, Trombone Shorty, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Ellis Marsalis, Henry Butler, Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Santana, The Meters, Anders Osborne and more!
All of which is to say, if you’re not finding some way of Jazz Festing in Place, whether it’s catching the sets upon their initial broadcast or later through the online archive, you’re really missing out!
And many thanks of course to WWOZ for helping to “let New Orleans live in (all of us)” with the once-again fantastic programming!