The Meters Perform At The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival In 1990


Today is a downright sad one for live music lovers who appreciate the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a 51-year-old event celebrating the music, art and culture of the Crescent City as this year’s Jazz Fest was expected to start this afternoon at the Fairgrounds. Unfortunately, the coronavirus COVID pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 Jazz Fest. However, fans can still listen to sets from the iconic event’s storied history via WWOZ's Jazz Festing In Place. JamBase also launched a series of Jazz Fest Memories featuring images taken by photographer Adam McCullough at the past 15+ fests on Instagram and for Throwback Thursday, here’s a look at pro-shot video from The Meters’ set at Jazz Fest 1990.

In 1989, The Meters reunited for the first time since breaking up in 1980. Original members bassist George Porter Jr., keyboardist Art Neville and guitarist Leo Nocentelli all took part in the reunion, which featured Russell Batiste Jr. sitting in the drum seat originally occupied by Zigaboo Modeliste. While the band would soon change their name to The Funky Meters, they took the stage at the Fairgrounds on April 28, 1990 as The Meters.


Approximately 34 minutes of video from The Meters’ set at the 1990 Fest can be viewed below. The footage starts with a long, jammed-out “Africa” featuring impressive solos via Leo and Russell. From there, The Meters work their way through covers of Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With” and Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” sung by Art Neville. “Rockin’ Chair” came next along with the beloved “Ain’t No Use.” The “Ain’t No Use” which ends the video includes otherworldly solos from the rhythm section of Porter Jr. and Batiste.

Watch The Meters play the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 28, 1990 below:

JamBase Live Video Archive
JamBase Live Video Archive


The Meters at Fair Grounds Race Course

  • Fire on the Bayou
  • Africa
  • Soul Island
  • Cissy Strut
  • Love the One You're With  
  • Big Chief
  • People Say
  • Hey Pocky A-Way
  • Knockin' on Heaven's Door  
  • Rockin' Chair
  • It Ain't No Use