Jazz Fest means so much to so many people and I hope you enjoy this photo gallery of what it means to me as an observer of the inside scoop and witness to the tantalizing fringe.The name "Jazz Fest" (all caps of course, Amen.) in New Orleans is now synonymous with an over reaching 24 hour a day, 10 day work week of music, moments, and more music. During the fairgrounds portion of this music marathon, the Mid City/Bayou St. John neighborhood gets over run with daytime wafting decibels. At night, the countless clubs, bars, and faubourg haunts carry multiple musical acts and sunrise shows to be remembered and soon dubbed "legendary". But what happens during these watershed moments are the hours spent in recording studios, rehearsal halls, and off the beaten path venues that makes Jazz Fest legendary. Musicians flock to New Orleans to play a gig or two, or ten but you can find them recording in local studios and taking part in very non-traditional music happenings around town.
During the course of this years Jazz Fest Season I had the pleasure of photographing for a different department at Jazz Fest thus finding new moments and new angles for what I thought was an overshot fest. I was wrong. There are so many undiscovered views that uncover themselves when looked at with new eyes. Photographing the world around us with a fresh set of eyes, a new perspective, can often lead to new discoveries.
As part of my ongoing portrait series at The New Orleans Airlift Music Box, I was able to photograph Mike Dillon's New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium and Dustan Louque's Dub Down Babylon, all with amazing performers and special guests. During this festival season I was also asked to document an epic recording session from local transplant blues man, Seth Walker. The session was done at The Music Shed and featured the legendary New Orleans drummer Johnny Vidacovich, New York jazz organist John Medeski, and bassist Myles Weeks.
I hope you enjoy this gallery from 10 days of festival life, love, and magic moments!
ALL IMAGES ©Zack Smith Photography and may not be used outside of this gallery. If you like the images, share the gallery! If you're in the image, send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSIC BOX PORTRAITS: An ongoing Story
Take a short break from Jazz Fest and enjoy some Portraits from the Music Box. I have been documenting every artist that has been featured at the New Orleans Airlift's new home in the 9th Ward. Each group that comes through, I coordinate with them to create unique portraits which feature the amazing artistry of Music Box Village and the personalities of the musicians. The goal is to create a unique document of the special collaborations of music, sculpture, and moments.
Behold: The musicians of Mike Dillon's New Orleans Punk Rock Percussion Consortium: Tiff Lamson, Brian Haas, Simon Berz, Paul Thibodeaux, Mark Southerland, Mike Dillon, Andre Bohren, Clint Maedgen, Steven Montalvo, Otto Schrang and much much more!
Dustan Louque's DUB DOWN BABYLON featuring Nels Cline
Blato Zlato, Margaret Hebert, Rob Cambre, Eric Heigle, Josh Werner, and Simon Berz round out the Dub Down Babylon set!