Trombone Shorty, Aaron Neville close Jazz Fest
Daryl Hall and John Oates, right, perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Sunday, May 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — For more than two decades, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has closed with a performance by the city's own Neville Brothers.
On Sunday, that tradition changed. Aaron Neville performed on a stage with his new band while young brass band frontman Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews closed the festival's biggest stage — where the Neville Brothers once held court the last day.
Andrews and his band, Orleans Avenue, entertained a jam-packed crowd as the festival ended its 2013 run. A sea of faces stretched to the track's back fence.
Neville said he views the closing lineup change as kind of a "passing of the guard.
"Trombone Slim, as I call him, will do a great job," Neville said of Andrews. "I remember when it was Professor Longhair out there and then we did it for a long time. It's time. Slim is a big musician and I'm proud of the way he's handled himself."
The Black Keys perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, Sunday, May 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Neville is promoting his new album, "My True Story," released earlier this year. At 72, he says it's the right time to focus on a solo project.
"My brothers and I have been performing together like 35 years," Neville said. "I wanted to do some other things and I couldn't do both because of my age and my health, so I decided to back off the Brothers and focus on what I wanted to do. I don't know how much longer I'm going to be here and I would be mad at myself if I didn't take the time to do me."
His brothers — Art, Cyril and Charles — performed during the festival's first weekend under a new name, The Nevilles.
Still, he wasn't completely without family on stage. Charles Neville plays saxophone in his quintet. Aaron Neville gave fest-goers a good sampling of the new music which covers a musical genre close to his heart — doo-wop.