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Pedrito Martinez Group leads the charge at Jazz Fest / NolaVie

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Jazz Fest #48 is officially underway, and by all accounts weekend 1 was a huge success.  Even with the constant complaints of excessively high ticket prices and a scarcity of true jazz music, Jazz Fest continues to deliver plenty of those magical moments that keep the crowds coming back year after year.  The crawfish bread is still delicious, Miller Lite is the drink of choice, and gale-force weather is nothing more than a minor inconvenience when there's dancing to be done.  The night show scene didn't disappoint either, with the usual cast of world-class musicians throwing down epic performances until the wee hours of the morning at every club across town.

Thanks to the easing of travel restrictions, Quint Davis was finally able to book an extensive assortment of Cuban musicians this year.  As a Jazz Fest vet and one of the premier modern Cuban jazz artists, Pedrito Martinez and his band led the charge with their infectious and electrifying takes on traditional Cuban music.  Martinez is a master percussionist and managed to make his set of hand drums sounds as big as a full-on rock drum set while also handling vocal duties and leading his band like a true professional.  Look out for Martinez playing alongside other Cuban artists throughout the Fest on weekend 2.