New Orleans’ most significant weekly cultural concert series, Jazz in the Park, is coming to Austin April 7. Jazz in the Park is bringing its music and Cajun food show to Austin with a twist. The show will incorporate Austin’s best bands and food as part of the entertainment to create a Jazz in the Park Nola/Austin culture bonanza.
Jazz in the Park Nola/Austin will incorporate Austin’s choirs, dance troupes and local bands, and will merge with New Orleans culture. This includes second line parades, Mardi Gras Indians and New Orleans bands, blending into a show meant to provide a unique spiritual experience that will satisfy the soul.
To kick things off right, the celebration will showcase a traditional New Orleans-style second line parade, featuring the Sudan Social Aide and Pleasure Club and the All For One Brass Band. Jazz in the Park will also highlight Austin’s Minor Mishap Marching Band, a 30-piece marching band, along with The All For One Brass Band.
One of New Orleans’ most unique local expressions of culture, second line parades are the descendants of the city’s famous jazz funerals and, apart from a casket, mourners and a cemetery visit, they carry many of the same traditions with them as they march down the streets. Straight from the French Quarter, Austin will see its own take on this Nola staple. The parade will include a brass band, jubilant dancing in the street and members decked out in a wardrobe of brightly colored suits, sashes, hats and bonnets, parasols and banners, melding the pomp of a courtly function and the spontaneous energy of a block party, albeit one that moves a block at a time.
The second line will start at Austin City Hall’s plaza and will parade down on Guadalupe Street all the way to Republic Square. Second lines are an integral part of the Jazz in the Park experience and will lead attendees to the main stage,where they can enjoy Austin/New Orleans top bands, as well as the Gospel Tent, where folks can get uplifted through song and dance.
In addition to music and fun, “Jazz in the Park” will be a culinary experience that features Cajun delicacies prepared by authentic Louisiana-inspired chefs and Austin’s local chefs. Guests at the series are in for a real treat as they feast on fresh crawfish straight from Louisiana, jambalaya, gumbo, etouffee, alligator, muffuletta, andouille, and beignets, plus the best barbecue and Mexican cuisine from Austin. Guests will be able to wash it all down with a variety of cold beers from Austin while enjoying national recording artists providing diverse cultural musical entertainment. The event will be completed with arts and crafts including art, jewelry and sculpture on display and available for purchase.
For seven straight years, People United for Armstrong Park, the proud producer of “Jazz in the Park,” has highlighted New Orleans music, food and culture. This year, support from the City of Austin, a media partnership with Visit Austin, and sponsorship from Downtown Austin Alliance and the Urban League are contributing to the inaugural Austin event.
The event runs from 1 – 8 p.m. For more info visit jazzintheparkatx.com or call at 225-284-3658.