It’s been a long time since May 5, 2019 – when the high temperature that beautiful sunny Sunday barely hit 72 degrees at the New Orleans Fairgrounds and Jazz Fest 2019 called it a wrap. The following year, the festival went silent, one of the earliest high-profile events forced to cancel due to the unfolding global pandemic. Plans for a 2021 edition of the fest were also scrapped. With the festival gates finally open again this spring, Louisiana Eats is celebrating this happy return with some Jazz and Heritage Festival favorites.

Festival vendors of all stripes are now back serving guests for the first time in three years. It’s a relief for those who rely on Jazz Fest income annually – vendors like sculptor and jewelry designer Thomas Mann, who has been exhibiting his work there since 1977. Thomas joins us to give a firsthand perspective on how important Jazz Fest is to his bottom line.

And if you’ve ever admired the artisan woodworking of Greg Arceneaux – a perennial favorite in Jazz Fest’s Louisiana Marketplace, get ready for a crash course in what sets his work apart from the rest.

We also have a visit with our own house band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. The band shares some of their Jazz Fest gig memories with us, along with the meals they enjoy off and on the stage.

Finally, we close out our festival day with Terrance Osborne. You may have spotted Terrance’s artwork at previous Jazz and Heritage Festivals, or perhaps you’ve seen his official, highly sought-after Jazz Fest posters, like this year’s official poster featuring Jon Batiste.