NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — The 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was scheduled to end Sunday, May 8, with heat in the air and on its stages.
The Jazz Fest has treated thousands of music, food and culture lovers to its unique flavors of New Orleans over the past two weekends. And the Mother’s Day finale, played in glorious sunshine and 90-degree heat, brought a scorching end to the festival’s triumphant return.
Fox 8 meteorologist Zack Fradella warned Sunday attendees to prepare for the blistering heat, including staying hydrated and protected from the sun’s rays with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and umbrellas.
The coronavirus pandemic forced Jazz Fest to go dark in 2020 and 2021. But visitors from around the world flocked to the fairgrounds for the festival’s return in 2022, enjoying headliners such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, The Black Crowes, Erykah Badu and The Who.
Anthony Kiedis and Flea’s Chili Peppers were a well-received emergency replacement for the Foo Fighters as the main stage headliner on the first Sunday. Dave Grohl’s band canceled all scheduled 2022 dates about a month before Jazz Fest, after drummer Taylor Hawkins died on March 25 while touring with the band in Bogota, Colombia.
Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith paid tribute to his friend with a custom “Taylor” skin on his bass drum and a fierce performance last weekend that Grohl and other Foos watched from backstage.
The coronavirus has always had an impact on the performance range. COVID-19 infections among band members or crew forced Willie Nelson and Melissa Etheridge to drop their respective headliners. The Zac Brown Band and Mavis Staples replaced them on short notice.
Legendary New Orleans bassist George Porter Jr. of The Meters also announced he had contracted the virus, forcing him to drop out of scheduled shows at both Jazz Fest and several nightclubs for one of the weeks. most lucrative of the year for local musicians.
Among those performing on the final day of the festival are Buffett, Irma Thomas, The Radiators, Nicholas Payton, Kool & The Gang, Norah Jones, Buddy Guy, the Zac Brown Band and Maze with Frankie Beverly.
And, as he has done every year Jazz Fest has been held since 2013, local hero Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews had the honor of closing the show on the Festival’s main stage with his band Orleans Avenue.
Festival producer Quint Davis is expected to release final Fest attendance figures later this week, before getting to work booking numbers and filling in the calendar cubes for next spring’s big show.
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