The 36th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival arrives April 22 – May 1, and if the music has come to be more, um, “heritage” than jazz, well, that’s still one outrageous line-up of talent (see below).
In an effort to explain the bewildering range of musicians, Quint Davis, producer/director of Jazz Fest, said, “Think of New Orleans and New Orleans music as the center of the music universe. Any music you can trace to or from that hub is music we’ve worked with renewed vigor to infuse into the party. Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rock, Cajun, Zydeco, Latin, R&B, Jam, Mardi Gras, Hip Hop, African, and a whole lotta music you can’t put into any one category will be presented in the powerful way that only Jazz Fest can serve up such a celebration.”
That would seem to leave participation pretty open-ended, everyone but John Cage and Arnold Schoenberg, but I don’t think anyone is complaining. Here’s the talent:
The Original Meters Reunion, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Nelly, Brian Wilson, B.B. King, Juanes, The Neville Brothers, Trey Anastasio, Isaac Hayes, Widespread Panic, Jack Johnson, Anthony Hamilton, Elvis Costello, The Roots, Steve Winwood, Kem, the Black Crowes, Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr., Steel Pulse, Wilco, Dave Bartholomew, Toots & the Maytals, Randy Newman, Smokie Norful, Better Than Ezra, Buddy Guy, Luciano, Irma Thomas, Jamie Cullum, Shirley Horn, Evangelist Shirley Caesar, Pete Fountain, Victor Manuelle, Julieta Venegas, Galactic, Zap Mama, Ike Turner, Kermit Ruffins, Ozomatli, Ellis Marsalis, Madeleine Peyroux, Los Lonely Boys, Cowboy Mouth, Tribute to Little Walter featuring Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Jerry Portnoy, Rebirth Brass Band, Doc Cheatham Memorial Jazz Band featuring Nicholas Payton, Banu Gibson & New Orleans Hot Jazz, Dorothy Norwood, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Radiators, Nickel Creek, Tribute to John Coltrane featuring McCoy Tyner, Ravi Coltrane, James Carter & Charnett Moffett, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fishbone, Ba Cissoko of Guinea, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Allen Toussaint, Susan Tedeschi, Los Hombres Calientes, Jazz Messengers Legacy / Benny Golson feat Curtis Fuller, Buckwheat Zydeco, G. Love & Special Sauce, Marcia Ball, World Leader Pretend, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Sister Rosetta Tharpe Tribute featuring Maria Muldaur, Tracy Nelson & Angela Strehli, Roy Haynes 80th Birthday Celebration, Tab Benoit, Heath Brothers featuring Jimmy Heath, Albert “Tootie” Heath and Percy Heath, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Howlin’ Wolf Tribute featuring Eddie Shaw, Hubert Sumlin and Henry Gray, Old Crow Medicine Show, Louis Hayes & Tribute to Cannonball Adderly, Ledisi, Trumpet Woodshed featuring Maurice Brown and Marlon Jordan, Slide Summit featuring Roy Rogers with Lil’ Ed, John Mooney, Bob Margolin & Drink Small, Donald Harrison.
Director Davis also says a new Festival stage will be devoted to traditional and contemporary New Orleans culture: brass band music, secondline dance clubs, Mardi Gras Indians, and other features of the city’s core culture:
“The Festival has always had daily secondline parades that move throughout the Festival grounds and those will continue. But the new stage will provide a base for all New Orleans parade-related energy and provide a destination where Festival-goers can revel in our living, thriving and ever evolving secondline and Mardi Gras Indian culture which doesn’t exist any place else in the world.”
As part of the Festival, the Louisiana Heritage Fair, held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, will run Friday through Sunday, April 22, 23, 24 and Thursday through Sunday, April 28, 29, 30 and May 1. The Heritage Fair features 12 performance stages, more than 100 different varieties of tangy Louisiana and international foods, and three crafts fairs.