top of page “Earliest Jazz Fest tapes discovered after 20-year quest"

Jazz Fest archivist

Some of the most remarkable time capsules unearthed for WWOZ’s “Jazz Festing in Place” date to the very first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 1970. Historic performances by Mahalia Jackson, the Meters, Pete Fountain, Duke Ellington and Al Hirt are, in some cases, being heard for the first time in a half-century.

For Rachel Lyons, finding those recordings culminated a 20-year quest.

As the archivist for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit that owns Jazz Fest, Lyons is responsible for the collecting, cataloging and caretaking of the festival’s history.


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