Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Orleans Jazz Festival Announces Lineup

The 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will feature a mix of New Orleans favorites, leading jazz musicians, and major stars, organizers announced yesterday.

The organizers said two weeks ago that contrary to initial expectations, the festival will take place at its traditional home, the Fair Ground Race Track, and its traditional time, the last weekend on April and the first weekend in May, despite the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"The true heart and soul of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as with New Orleans itself, is music," said producer-director Quint Davis. "It is the force that drives and defines us. Not merely for entertainment, but to feed our souls. It is overwhelming how our musical family has rallied to our cause, especially the New Orleans musical mainstays, many scattered throughout the country, all committed to returning to be a part of the renewal of our spirit."

Among the jazz musicians on the schedule are trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, pianist Ellis Marsalis with saxophonist Lew Tabackin, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist Marcus Roberts, and clarinetist Michael White.

Major pop stars include Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, the Dave Matthews Band, and Lionel Richie; rhythm and blues great Fats Domino, a New Orleans native who was rescued from the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is the featured performer and is pictured on the festival poster.

Among the blues and soul musicians scheduled to perform are Koko Taylor, Irma Thomas, the Ohio Players, Allen Toussaint, and Dr. John.

Tickets are $30 per day in advance and $40 per day at the gate. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.nojazzfest.com.

By Ben Mattison playbillarts.com

On the Net:
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: nojazzfest.com

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