The Birdfoot Festival is a nonprofit.The organization was founded in 2011 by New Orleans community members and professional musicians committed to broadening access to live music performance while celebrating New Orleans’s classical heritage, and providing both professional and educational opportunities in chamber music.
This year, sixteen of today’s most outstanding artists will travel from all over the U.S. and the world (Canada, Thailand, the U.K., and Venezuela) to perform five concerts and five community outreach events for the Greater New Orleans area during Birdfoot’s third annual festival.
We are fortunate to also have the continued support of local restaurants in providing donations so we can offer full board to our visitors and allow them to experience our city and our culture by sharing meals together. You know first-hand the value and importance that our community places on food and live music, perhaps the two most important central hubs that draw our community together. You understand how effectively our iconic local cuisine and music serve to attract people from around the world to our city, our community, and our culture. In 2012, in our inaugural year, the Birdfoot Festival drew audience from at least nine states in addition to broad representation from across the Greater New Orleans area!
For many years, members of the New Orleans musical community have dreamed of a festival that would celebrate and cultivate chamber music. Chamber music is the ‘classical’ equivalent of a small jazz or blues combo—intimate, expressive, and direct.
Unique in the Gulf South, the Birdfoot Festival combines the qualities of an international music festival with a New Orleans flavor. Bringing dynamic live chamber music to the city each May, the festival aims to expand long-term opportunities for classical music and musicians in New Orleans by addressing the three biggest challenges (audiences, career opportunities, and education) facing classical music today in unique and creative ways:
• Birdfoot provides a forum for young professional musicians to hone their skills while performing in situations that require them to question and redefine the role of the musician in today's world.
• Our mentoring program helps develop the next generation of musicians by coaching local school-age music students in the creativity, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills intrinsic to chamber music.
• By presenting chamber music in intimate and innovative settings, the Birdfoot Festival engages new audiences, raises awareness, develops appreciation for, and builds community around live classical music in much the same way that other local festivals have done for jazz and other musical genres.