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Jazz Fest is 66-year old, Chuck Blamphin’s labor of love.

“My main responsibility is getting the acts off and on, on-time,”  he said.

For 40 years, he’s worked as a Jazz Fest stage manager.

“I mainly make sure everything is set up right on the stage,” Blamphin said.

It’s a lot of work, but he makes time for play.   Over the years he’s seen Jazz Fest grow in major ways.

“A couple of years we had a stage set up on the back of a flat-bed truck to make it look like French Quarter balconies,”  he said.

Even though he’s been at it for four decades he is still humble about his work.

“I’m not a legend.  A lot of people have been congratulating me.  I think Jazz Fest is the legend,”  Blamphin said.

It’s Shane Bartley’s first Jazz Fest.  He was impressed by Blamphin’s work.

“It’s my first Jazz Fest.  It’s good to know there are people behind the scenes who over the years have helped to make Jazz Fest as great as it is today,”  Bartley said.

You can expect to see Chuck continue to work for Jazz Fest in upcoming years.

“I’m going to shoot for 50.  I hope I can make it.  That will be one heck of a celebration,”  he said.

 

News with a Twist
05/03/13

Jazz Fest & mud!

It’s been a rainy Jazz Fest, but the show must go on … even when there’s more mud than dry ground on the Fair Grounds!

WGNO’s Erin Nicole shows us how people deal with the mud.

(News with a Twist – 5/3/13)

If you’re craving any of the Jazz Fest staples, the show is definitely still going on, despite the bad weather.

WGNO’s Erin Nicole found out the Tea Ladies are brewing something special and new this year.

(News with a Twist – 5/3/13)

Do you think you look like someone famous?

It’s Wednesday afternoon at Blue Nile on Frenchmen St. and Mia Borders and her band are rocking and rolling in an empty upstairs room. The floors are vibrating, the sun is shining in through the windows and between songs, very few words are exchanged between band mates. The energy is positive and everyone seems to be on the same page. After going through the set list, I sit down for a one on one interview with Mia.

“Tell me about the road to Jazz Fest,” I begin.

“A lot of once a month gig-ing for a couple hundred bucks split four ways, playing for tips, struggling to write songs I thought were good enough,” replies Borders.

“Jazz Fest is a pretty remarkable experience, just to go, so to be a performer it’s a remarkable experience.”

This is Mia’s fourth year playing at Jazz Fest and her first time on the Acura stage.

“I feel really lucky with the group of guys I have and I’m really lucky to be playing with them, especially at Jazz Fest because it’s so important to me… the history of it all, the history in regards to my family.”  Mia’s grandmother in particular has been invaluable to her music career.

“She always makes it out to Jazz Fest and she always dresses up like it’s a big occasion,” says Borders. Before a big show, the homegrown rock goddess admits she has a few strange habits “I stretch probably unnecessarily, I yawn a lot which I think people probably think is weird because I’m on stage at Jazz fest yawning like I don’t care, but I care.”

“I mean the nerves are still there, the excitement is still there and it’s still as much fun as it used to be. Being in this business is a risk, not going to law school was a risk but I didn’t want to be a lawyer.” This woman was born to perform and her fans are just glad they get to experience part of her journey.

For more information on Mia Borders, upcoming shows and her latest album, visit www.miaborders.com

Jazz-fest(NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL) -

A few performance times have been tweaked for the 2nd weekend.  There have been no major cancellations, but we wanted to share the latest cubes with you to keep your community updated.

The attached cubes include updated performance times in the following locations:

Acura Stage on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5

Gentilly Stage on Sunday, May 5

Please also note the Cultural Exchange Pavilion’s updated schedule on Thursday, which can be found at the bottom of the Thursday cube.

We look forward to another great weekend.

See the updated schedule here: 2013-nojhf-cubes-weekend-2

News
04/28/13

Wet and Wild at Jazz Fest

Today’s rain showers made day three of Jazz Fest a complete wash-out.     Reporter Kenny Lopez explains how the rain, mud, and winds weren’t enough to dampen the mood.

The first day of Jazz Fest brings music lovers from across the globe and an enormous boost to the New Orleans music scene.

WGNO’s Tyler Wing shows thanks by honoring fans with the 2013 Jazz Fest awards.

Watch to see who wins jazziest fan, best hat, best kissers, most prepared, cutest couple and a whole host more.

With a dozen stages and tents at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, there’s a lot of music going on and dancing! So you have to know a lot of different styles. WGNO’s Alyson Titkemeyer asked some experts at Dancing Grounds Studio to show us what we need to know to keep our feet moving at Jazz Fest.

(News with a Twist – 4/26/13)

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