Sony Pictures Classics is set to release a documentary that looks at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in the film Jazz Fest: A New Orleans story. Today, I share my review of the film and whether or not you should check it out.
Directed by Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern
SYNOPSIS: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, aka “Jazz Fest,” is the signature annual music and cultural event of the city and has been called America’s greatest festival. Celebrating the music, food, and arts and crafts of all of Louisiana since 1970, Jazz Fest is an essential showcase of the rich heritage of the region, and hundreds of thousands attend the event each year. Local music heroes are joined on 14 stages by some of the most important figures in entertainment, highlighting the connections between Louisiana culture and the world.
One of the things this documentary got right was that we heard from these artists themselves. They talked about the festival’s importance and highlighted what it meant to them to perform at it. So, those who maybe never heard of the festival or have but don’t understand its importance walked away with an understanding of the impact and level of pride these artists took by performing at it.
Another thing I liked about Jazz fest: A New Orleans story was they covered the festival from the ground up. We are talking about a festival that has been around for over 50 years and not only being able to see footage from that time, but to hear the stories of how it was built and how it grew was informative and cool to hear.
The music, how can I not talk about the music? The performances were intertwined perfectly by directors Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern. They let these stars be the stars in many ways, but seeing the artists perform was the icing on the cake. You are jamming while learning and you can’t ask for much more than that if you ask me.
Overall, I loved every moment of this documentary. From the telling of the festival’s story by those who performed at it to getting to hear the artists break down the understanding of how important it was down to the cultural impact throughout the years, it was incredible. I can’t recommend checking this one out enough.