Jan 152014

Jean-Paul Villere

Despite my darnedest divining, turns out maybe my best JazzFest prognosticating days are behind me.  As I tweeted Monday night my top 10 artist guesses in anticipation of Tuesday’s announcement proper, I came up very short with a paltry 2 correct out of 10.  And even as I read over the girth of talent slated for the annual racetrack shindig, it read more like a gobbledygook of sure things than what my version of the event might look like.  Or as one friend commented yesterday: “Robin Thicke but no Dave Jordan?!  Time to rename JazzFest.”

My top ten predictions read like so:

And if you’ve read the actual lineup published yesterday both Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire are indeed playing, but none of my other conjured suppositions (at least yet, though lineups tend to change some times).  I thought about adding Bruce in there with his new album and he’s a crowd favorite, but I figured he’d just played not so long ago, which means twice since Katrina.  And with his 2014 appearance that’ll make three times in 9 years.  Clearly people love their Bruce.

As to my other choices I reveal a little logic to my selections in my tweets, and what was fun was some of the responses I received.  I didn’t realize Lauryn Hill was tardy one year, so yes, perhaps she won’t be asked back.  But then perhaps she declined?  That’s the funny thing about lineups; you never know the little details of who gets asked, who responds and how.  One thing is for sure: looks like I’ll have to get my Coachella on if I ever want to see Beck again.  Maybe VoodooFest can do me a solid come October.

The eyebrow-raising in the class of 2014 for me came in the form of Christina Aguilera, Eric Clapton, and Phish.  I believe Ms Aguilera has a great voice but her presence seems unusual.  Nonetheless she’ll probably wow.  And though Mr. Clapton just played the Crescent City recently, I’m guessing the daytime outdoors will provide a different energy to his set.  But from what I remember about Phish’s first (and only other, right?) JazzFest appearance years ago I thought the consensus was they wouldn’t be asked back per their fandom, but again, I must be incorrect.

And then there’s Robin Thicke.  The “Really!?” heard round the globe.  Face palm, Quint Davis.  Really.

Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

  7 Responses to “Jean-Paul Villere: The top eight acts we (probably) won’t see at JazzFest this year”

  1. There are kids who view Jazzfest as their grandparents’ entertainment. Phish might be there, but that’s their parents’ entertainment. So, there are some current — let’s call them “pop” — acts they see on tv and twitter-tube. Christina, Thicke. So what? The kids who come for that “pop: will still pass through a second line parade, watch a Cajun carve a pirogue, stop at the Economy Hall tent to wonder what that’s about, maybe see some gospel or the exhibits in the grandstand. Y’all can go watch Thicke at Acura on first Sat., I’ll be over at Gentilly with the Mavericks. I’m happy with that.

    At the very first Fest in 1970, do you think Duke Ellington saw pop star Fats Domino or funk group The Meters and muttered, “hey that’s not jazz, what’s it doing here?” I don’t think so. It’s a trite complaint that is really saying, “why can’t they just have the people I like.”

    • Ever notice what’s on most juke boxes? With the usual “top 40” you find many recordings made in the 50s and 60s! Why is that, do you suppose? Because it is the music most people want to hear. In fact, many of the patrons of bars were not even BORN when these recordings were made. All of the professional musicians in my personal circle say that they became musicians because of “their parents or grandparents and their record collection”. Something deep inside the heart and mind is attracted to this music. Try this for an experiment: saunter up to the juke box, play some Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Fats Domino, Duke or the Count, and see how many people smile at you and pat you on the back for your selections.
      Even notice why so many contemporary artists make “Great
      American Song Book” recordings? Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Rod Stewart, etc.? Tony Bennett packs ’em in at the age of 85! And who is in the audience? Twenty-somethings and up.
      I think it was Ellington who said, “There’s only two kinds of music: good and bad.”

  2. where’s dr. john?

    • Funny, 2 months ago I replied to this with a link to his tour schedule, and Disqus says that was marked as spam. Just weird.

      • Travelar- I actually can’t find the comment you’re referring to. I can tell you that in my experience Disqus is not crazy about comments that only or mostly feature links, because that’s how spam generally looks. Sorry your comment didn’t show up, but without this kind of filter, the number of spam comments coming in is literally overwhelming.
        Here’s the schedule, for anyone looking: http://www.nitetripper.com/tour.html

  3. I am a little peeved at the inclusion of Marvin Gaye rip-off artist Robin Thicke. Why reward such douchebaggery with a prime slot at JazzFest?

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