Though it ends on Sunday, the second weekend of Jazz Fest is a can’t-miss event that celebrates the history and heritage of jazz in New Orleans. We’ve outlined some of our favorite acts this weekend, plus what to do after Jazz Fest is over each evening (hint: it involves even more music). Happy festing!


Elton John takes the stage at Jazz Fest for the first time ever this year. Securing him to perform has been a mission over the years according to Jazz Fest founders, so Saturday is a particularly special day representing years of hard work.

elton john

Elton John performs at Jazz Fest on Saturday. (Photo courtesy

This legendary performer, whose career has spanned five decades, takes the Acura Stage at 4:50 p.m. for one of the Fest’s longest sets: it lasts until 7 p.m. Our recommendation? Get to the Acura Stage early and stick around for another famous piano man, Jerry Lee Lewis, who starts his set at 3 p.m. Other standout acts on Saturday include:

  • Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers, Congo Square Stage, 2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
  • Big Freedia, Congo Square Stage, 4:10 – 5:10 p.m.
  • Aaron Neville, Blues Tent, 4:20 – 5:35 p.m.
  • Ed Sheeran, Gentilly Stage, 5:15 – 6:55 p.m
  • T.I., Congo Square Stage, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Blues Tent, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

After the fest is over Saturday night, head to Hotel Monteleone for their Jazzy Jam series in the elegant Carousel Bar & Lounge. It’s a fitting end to a full day of music.


The last day of Jazz Fest! Take the last day to soak in all you might have missed from smaller stages. For example, check out Cynthia Girtley at noon in the Gospel Tent and clap your hands to uplifting spirituals. Or, listen to “Cajungrass” (a Cajun/Bluegrass hybrid) at the Lagniappe Stage at 12:45. Still, there are plenty of big acts worth waiting for on Sunday.

dr. john

Another John – Dr. John – plays at Jazz Fest on Sunday. (Photo courtesy

At the bigger stages like the Acura Stage, Gentilly Stage, and Congo Square Stage, you’ll find the following:

  • John Boutte, WWOZ Jazz Tent, 2:40 – 4:40 p.m.
  • The O’Jays, Congo Square Stage, 3:40 – 4:50 p.m
  • Lenny Kravitz, Acura Stage, 3:50 – 5:15 p.m.
  • Steve Winwood, Gentilly Stage, 3:55 – 5:25 p.m.
  • Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Acura Stage, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Kacey Musgraves, Fais Do Do Stage, 5:45 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Dr. John, Gentilly Stage, 5:55 – 7:00 p.m.

The Hotel Monteleone also hosts their last night of Jazzy Jam on Sunday starting at 9:00 p.m. The Luther Kent Jazz Band will take the stage in the Carousel Bar all the way on through until midnight.