Jazz Fest 2012's final day



The Rebirth Brass Band shows off its Grammy Award.
  • The Rebirth Brass Band shows off its Grammy Award.

A festival full of big guitar rock and local celebrations, Jazz Fest 2012 came to a close today. Several sets featured a sort of victory lap for folks visiting or sitting in with other bands. Galactic's show on Acura literally featured a Carnival parade full of guests as it played many of the songs on its recent release Carnivale Electros. Living Color's Corey Glover handled vocals on many songs, including "He Na Na" and Living Color's "Cult of Personality." Other guests included Trombone Shorty, Shamarr Allen, Pedrito Martinez, Casa Samba and War Chief Juan Pardo.

The Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl noticed Jazz Fest didn't feature the band's typical fans. He was more amused by the beach balls bouncing around the crowd than the audience's lack of volume (if not knowledge) on the choruses he asked it to sing. But he gamely handled them himself and covered most of the Fighters' bigger hits, as well as a cover of Tom Petty's "Breakdown." And he led the crowd in singing happy birthday for guitarist Chris Shiflett, who got to blow out candles on a cake. Grohl was entertainingly snarky, but the band was all business in turning in a loud set including its better known material, including "Learn to Fly," "My Hero," "Big Me" and "Monkey Wrench."

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band finished the day on the Gentilly Stage and presented its own parade of guests, including Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, Steve Earl and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The Rebirth Brass Band also come onstage to play several songs, and in case anyone wanted to have a look at the Grammy the band just won, it was prominently displayed during the band's appearance.

As the Preservation Hall again celebrated its 50th anniversary, it offered an appropriate finale. Joining the band for the final songs were trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, who turn 101 in July, trombonist Wendell Eugene, who is nearly 90 years old, and the next generation of musicians, the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz Band. There had to be at least four generations of musicians playing along on "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "I'll Fly Away." It was as joyous as it was reverent.

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