Along with the expansive lineup for this year’s celebration of 50 years of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that dropped earlier this week, the 2019 Jazz Fest poster was revealed to be a (nearly) all-inclusive portrait of dozens of the legendary and contemporary NOLA musicians who have made the iconic festival one of the greatest yearly music events in the country. One notable exclusion from the group, however, was Leo Nocentelli, guitarist for funk godfathers The Meters, and the musician has commented on the omission with some strong words.
In an Instagram post shared yesterday, Nocentelli that poster designer Scott Guion previously stated that the festival instructed him to remove Nocentelli from the poster (which does feature Nocentelli’s Meters bandmates Art Neville, George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste), but the guitarist calls that a lie, citing the fact that Nocentelli’s band is set to play the festival during the second weekend.
“You can not picture a group like THE METERS with out all of its members,” Nocentelli writes, adding that he’s also upset about the omission of other New Orleans artists like Dave Bartholomew, Rockin’ Dopsie, Deacon John and Walter “Wolfman” Washington, calling the “fake poster” an “insult.”
As Nola.com reports, Nocentelli also separately gave some vague reasons for his being taken off the poster, saying, “They took me off because what I stood for was self-respect and respect for all the other great artists. We weren’t going to receive that respect. It’s not about me; I was fighting for all the great artists in New Orleans.”
“I’m not telling anyone not to buy this poster,” Nocentelli writes in the Instagram post. “However, you will be buying a disgrace to the musical heritage of my great city.”