This week featured the unveiling of this year’s Jazz Fest and Congo Square posters. Since the late 1970s, these posters have been sought after by jazz aficionados and art collectors alike. Some have complained that recent posters had become somewhat stodgy and last year’s portrait of Jimmy Buffett by local radio personality Garland Robinette ruffled a lot of feathers. This year, both posters feature local musicians, with the Jazz Fest poster painted by a well-regarded New Orleans artist.
The 2012 Jazz Fest poster features 26 year-old musician and singer Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, who is gaining national recognition for what he calls “supafunkrock.” Painted by Xavier University graduate Terrance Osborne, a veteran Jazz Fest/Congo Square artist. The poster beautifully captures the athleticism of Andrews ‘ playing.
The accompanying Congo Square poster is equally arresting and features trumpet player Shamarr Allen. It was painted by Carl Crawford of South Carolina, who received recognition for his artwork at last year’s Jazz Fest.
There is a great gallery of Jazz Fest/Congo Square Posters, past and present at Art4Now. You may also purchase posters and other collectibles from the site. For me, recent favorites include the 2008
poster featuring Irma Thomas, the “soul queen of New Orleans,” the poster of Allen Toussaint in front of the St. Louis Cathedral (2009), Osborne’s 2007 Congo Square poster of Rebirth Brass Band’s Phil Frazier, and his 2010 Congo Square poster featuring New Orleans icon “Uncle” Lionel Batiste.
Jazz Fest itself falls on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. However, the posters last forever.