photo: Douglas Mason
Life magazine has called it “the country’s very best music festival”. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, first held in 1970, continues to “celebrate the culture of Louisiana with the combined fervor of a gospel hymn and the joy of a jazz parade”, according to the website.
Just announced: the lineup of the 2015 edition, to be held again on two weekends: April 24th to 26th and April 30th to May 3rd. Among the hundreds of acts are again a lot of local musicians and bands but also genre-crossing artists who will certainly make this another great celebration.
Nicholas Payton, Snarky Puppy, and Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein & The Hot 9 are among the artists on the first Friday. The following Saturday will feature Cassandra Wilson with her Billie Holiday Tribute project, John Legend, Kenny Garrett, and New Orleans’ own Ellis Marsalis, among many others. The first weekend will end with performances by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and BWB featuring Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown.
The following longer weekend starts on the Thursday before the May 1st holiday with acts like Cyril Neville, Monty Alexander and his Harlem-Kingston Express, or the Stephanie Jordan Big Band. May 1st artists include The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Anthony Hamilton, Cécile McLorin-Salvant, Christian Scott, and Donald Harrison Jr. The long weekend continues on Saturday, May 2nd with Aaron Neville, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers, the Terence Blanchard E-Collective, and Elton John. And the festival will end on a high note with classic acts like The O’Jays, Buddy Guy, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Meters, Dr. John, the Christian McBride Big Band with special guests Dianne Reeves and Jeffrey Osborne, and lots more.