Jazz and Heritage Festival is less than a month away and has gotten bigger than ever. This event now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to New Orleans but had its humble beginnings in Congo Square, right outside of the French Quarter in what is now Louis Armstrong Park. Congo Square was originally the gathering space for New Orleans’ slaves on Sundays. Slave owners in Louisiana, being from French and Spanish decent had a more laid back attitude towards slavery than their protestant British counterparts in the colonies. In New Orleans, slave owners followed the Code Noir, a set of rules and regulations, which explicitly stated that slaves would have Sundays off. This time was used socializing, singing, dancing, and of course making music! Congo Square continued to be a designated congregation area for song and dance, and in 1970 the first Jazz and Heritage Festival was held in that very spot! Many people are convinced that this old stomping ground is actually the original birthplace of jazz.
Congo Square and Jazz Heritage
Mar 24, 2016 | History