Festival is Here / by Zack Smith

Yes its that time of year again. Jazz Fest. A ritual i have been fully participating in since i arrived in New Orleans a little over 10 years ago. From 2001-2008 i provided full coverage of the festival for Jambase.com - sometimes running tandem with my great friend, writer, Aaron Kayce. It was a great way to get into the festival, and shoot whoever i wanted to cover for the world. I made sure to concentrate on local groups - and cover the many night and late night shows that were out there.

for about 10 days in a row, going non-stop i'd hit so many shows it seems i wouldn't know where i was till the fest was over. And these were the days of film - and now i have a serious archive of musicians in my belt.

Since 2009, i have been hired by The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival as one of their festival photographers, documenting a large percentage of the acts, missing only a few each year...but only seeing acts for an average of 15min. But this is the way it goes...we are image and emotion farmers trying to capture the essence of the show in just a short time - i dont have the whole show to wait...i need to find it, and find it fast. Night shows are mostly out these days, i can't run around 8+ hrs in the sun and then see a show. But now that my band plays the festival and does night shows...those are bout the only shows i see the full show of...but i get a good night sleep. sometimes...

I love this time of year, the energy in the air, the music, the friends from around the country visiting all for the MUSIC. can't beat it.