Jazz/R&B Festival first live music event in almost 2 years

JazzFest Chairman and performer Rodney Harrington said right before Headliner Neal McCoy performed, he remarked “How cool is this!” Photo by Hannah Richardson

Hannah Richardson | ­Lifestyle Editor

Approximately 3,000 music lovers came out to hear live bands and dance to their heart’s content at the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival on the Natchitoches Riverbank Saturday, May 22. Rodney Harrington, Festival Chairman and leader of one of the performing bands, Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs, said they were glad visitors could enjoy music Saturday.

According to Harrington, the board and committee felt the event was a huge success. Many of the bands and artists were impressed with the venue on the riverbank, with beautiful Cane River in the background. Several festivalgoers arrived via Cane River, so the riverbank was lined with boats.

Harrington said right before headliner Neal McCoy performed, he remarked “How cool is this!” Country music artist McCoy sang his top hits for the crowd and gave a high-energy performance. Many visitors were impressed with the variety of live music that could be found throughout the day and it was nearly impossible to find something you did not enjoy. From an artist standpoint, Harrington said all of the bands and performers wanted to give it their all after such an eventless past year due to COVID.

Jazz/R&B Festival attendees were entertained by a variety of live bands. Photo by Steven Enlow-Clanton

After the past year saw hardship for many businesses, Harrington said the sponsors, including Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, Southern Scripts and Alliance Compressors, who sponsored the three stages, really stepped up to make this year’s Jazz Festival a great event. Approximately 100 volunteers worked throughout the day, the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival came back in full force to give these festival lovers a fun-filled day of great live music!