The History of the JazzFest: Where it All Began

When you hear the word “JazzFest”, legions of long-standing fans know exactly what you mean. The annual New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival, which was first held in Congo Square in 1970, now draws nearly half a million attendees to the festival site. Listeners can enjoy all genres of music, from jazz/gospel to R&B and rock, on the multiple stages of the fairgrounds. Between musical sets, visitors can explore juried craft vendors at the Marketplace Festival, sample culinary delights in the food court, and meet and greet the artists.

The Hampton JazzFestival has been bringing the best of jazz/pop/blues, soul and R&B for more than five decades. Every year is more exciting than the last. The first Hampton Jazzfestival was held at Hampton University's Armstrong Stadium in 1968 to celebrate HU's 100th anniversary. The New Orleans Jazz/Heritage Festival is a spring ritual for hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, across the United States and many other countries.

Maze is also worth celebrating with Frankie Beverly, who holds the record for most Hampton Jazzfestival performances with 17 appearances. While the price of tickets for the JazzFest continues to rise, it's still possible to see some Grade A headliners for a bargain price compared to similar (or even smaller) festivals. For more information on how to bring a bike to the JazzFest, head here and keep in mind that bike rentals will fill up quickly as the festival date approaches.