Tulane library hosts new exhibit celebrating Jazz Fest's first decade

Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC) will present “Music IS the Scene”: Jazz Fest’s First Decade, 1970-1979, on display from Friday, March 4, through Friday, May 27, in the TUSC gallery on Tulane University’s uptown campus. The exhibition will feature archival materials and audio recordings related to the first 10 years of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, also known as Jazz Fest. 

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, returns in spring 2022 after its pandemic cancellations during spring 2020, spring 2021, and fall 2021. Despite meager attendance during its first year in 1970, Jazz Fest is now one of the top 10 music festivals in the United States, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars annually to the New Orleans economy. Though world renowned, the festival remains a local favorite due to its dedication to celebrating New Orleans and its surrounding regions.

“Tulane University Special Collections holdings contain extraordinary Jazz Fest materials that I hope will entertain, educate, and enliven gallery visitors as we welcome the return of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival,” said Melissa A. Weber, curator of the Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz. “This exhibition not only celebrates Jazz Fest, but also speaks to the power of archives to document history.” 

The TUSC gallery is located on the second floor of Jones Hall, 6801 Freret St., in room 208A. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Special evening hours for the exhibition take place on “Moonlight Mondays” from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on March 28, April 25, and May 23. Special weekend hours are 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12; Sunday, April 3; Saturday, May 21; and Sunday, May 22. 

In addition to the gallery exhibition, visitors can view the materials online via the Tulane University Digital Library. The online exhibition will remain on view past May 27. 

For more information about the gallery and online exhibitions, visit library.tulane.edu/tusc-jazzfest.  


Onward Brass Band performs at Jazz Fest
Onward Brass Band performs at Jazz Fest in 1976. From left to right: Louis Cottrell, clarinet; Oscar Rouzan, alto saxophone; Waldren “Frog” Joseph, trombone; unidentified sousaphone player (possibly Jerry Greene); Freddie Lonzo, trombone; and Wendell Eugene, trombone. Photo by Harriet Blum, Hogan Archive Photography Collection, Tulane University Special Collections.