I just returned from the fortieth anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Jazz Fest is perhaps the greatest combination of food, music and good times available at a music festival. That combined with the Crescent city as a backdrop, provides an incomparable experience. I witnessed wonderful performances by Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson, Solomon Burke, Emmylou Harris , and the Neville Brothers to name a few. I wanted to thank the friends of PAE who joined us for our reception at the Ritz Carlton. It was nice to meet with folks who share our passion for concert poster art and live music. I kept holding out hope that Neil Young ( his gleaming vintage tour bus parked out front), who was also staying at the Ritz, would somehow appear for a drink.
Not only is Jazz Fest a source for a top shelf eclectic gumbo of music, but the festival organizers have been producing a wonderful series of posters for several years.The Jazz Fest poster was first produced in 1975, and in recent years has featured portraits of New Orleans' musical royalty . This years edition featured an image of Allen Toussaint and was created by New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos. The Congo Square poster was introduced in 1979. This year the Congo Square poster showed an image of one of thebest young emerging New Orleans musicians today, Trombone Shorty.
The Jazz Fest poster is a terrific example of limited run posters that are currently being produced. Posters, although still being used to advertise live musical events, are more predominantly being sold in a commercial vein. Today's poster artists are using all of the modern printing techniques & papers that are available to them. Although the posters are beautiful and collectible (I have several Jazz Fest posters myself) they will never have the scarcity or the potential value that vintage 1960's concert posters have. Any poster that is manufactured as a collectible rarely has the qualities that grace them with the high pedigree of the psychedelic concert poster.