‘Reminds them of home’: African and Caribbean artists are reviving New Orleans’ musical spirit

Beset by hurricanes and rising insurance prices, the city saw people leaving in droves – but a program is encouraging jazz artists to move to the ‘most exciting musical city in the world’

Hammered by hurricanes, rutted streets and rising insurance rates, the metro New Orleans area saw 45,000 people leave between 2020 and 2023 – a 4.3% outmigration worse than any other US urban area.

Those departures seemed a surreal idea as vast crowds streamed into the annual two-week Jazz and Heritage festival sponsored by Shell, set to conclude Sunday. Thursday marked the main event at the sprawling array of stages and food booths at the Fair Grounds race track – the Rolling Stones concert, sold out at $225 a ticket.

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