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NOLA Tourism Booming as JazzFest Looms

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 in Local Issues

New Orleans festivals are as strong as they've ever been, and their growth shows no signs of stopping. Take French Quarter Festival, for instance, which took place in mid-April. It started almost 30 years ago as a small festival for locals. But in recent years it has blossomed into a roughly $300 million moneymaker for the city. It brings in some 500,000 music fans each year, as does the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest. Jazz Fest spans two weekends, April 27-29 and May 3-6, at the Fair Grounds racing track, followed by New Orleans Cajun-Zydeco Festival in June, Essence Music Festival in July, Satchmo Summerfest in August and the Voodoo Music Experience in October. There are countless other festivals throughout south Louisiana packed between the months of April and October. "We're just experiencing good times," said Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, who worked on an album with Rebirth Brass Band that just won a Grammy, the first ever such accolade for a New Orleans-style brass band. "For New Orleans, the music is the heartbeat of everything," Andrews said. "Now that we're on the path to becoming stronger again, everything is just looking beautiful for us. It's wonderful. I'm happy to be in New Orleans. I'm happy to be from here and be a New Orleans musician." Both Trombone Shorty and Rebirth Brass Band are set to play at JazzFest.

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