Meet the artist behind those famous Jazz Fest signs

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NEW ORLEANS -- You've seen her signs all over the Fair Grounds at Jazz Fest.  They're in parking lots giving out directions, and they are by the stages showing who's playing.

Now it is time to meet the woman who's handwriting you've seen on these signs for over thirty years!

News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez introduces us to Nan Parati, the Jazz Fest sign writer!

Nan Parati isn't a musician or a food vendor, but her work is easily one of the most recognizable things you'll find at Jazz Fest.

"I do all the signs, the directional ones, and the ones with the music acts for the stages.  I used to hand write every sign, but it got to be too many.  Now we have some that are computer generated, but I still do two thousand signs every Jazz Fest," she said.

Her name isn't one you may recognize, but it is the names she writes that you will know.

"I feel like I know these musical artists.  I've been writing these signs for over 34 years.  I feel like they are my friends, and I wonder how they are doing," she said.

Her signs have become very popular with not only the Jazz fest fans, but with the musicians too.

"Every now and then an artist will ask who does the signs.  Bonnie Raitt took me out to lunch one day, because she loved my signs."  Parati said.

Nan was discovered 34 years ago by Jazz Fest officials.  She currently is the co-coordinator of the Arts Department for Jazz Fest along with Bill Darrow.  They do all the signage and stage design.  She was discovered while working at a food market near the Fair Grounds.  Art runs in her blood because her father was a graphic designer.  When she and her family were on the road, her dad would teach her what made a good sign.

"I'm the most collected artist in America, but nobody knows who I am.  The fans want to take home the signs with them and have the musicians sign them, and then sell them on E-bay," she said.

Nan has two styles of writing for the signs.  One is more of a cursive look, and the other is bold and dark with all capital letters.  She uses magic markers to make the signs. Her handwriting has become so popular that she's even named it.

"The title of my font is 'nanostyl' because my name is Nan and styl because I think that is trendy."

In addition to being a sign writer, Nan owns a restaurant called Elmer's Store in Massachusetts.

For more information about Nan, click HERE.


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