New Orleans begins first weekend of genre-bending Jazz Fest

AFP Relax NewsApril 26, 2012
New Orleans Jazz Fest begins April 27.

The 43rd New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, aka Jazz Fest, is a 10-day cultural feast with thousands of musicians from a variety of genres serving up a musical gumbo on twelve stages ranging from blues to gospel and Zydeco sounds. Rock acts have often performed, but this year the all-inclusive line-up seems to borrow from the Coachella Festival's appeal.

The usual 400,000 visitors could bulge with the number of contemporary rock and pop artists taking the stage, including Bon Iver, Florence + the Machine and Fiest. Young hipsters will join loyal jazz fans on the Fair Grounds venue, over two weekends, April 27-29 and May 3-6.

An all-star line-up of classic rock bands will also perform, including Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Foo Fighters and the Beach Boys.

The city of New Orleans' own Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will anchor the two-weekend event and jazz artists will include veteran Herbie Hancock, plus newcomers Trombone Shorty and Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding.

R&B offers Al Green, Mavis Staples, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, while hip hop presents Cee-Lo Green and Ne-Yo. The blues brings Bonnie Raitt to perform and Bunny Wailer will perform reggae. And that's just the start of the music schedule.

Arts and crafts and regional cuisine are a big part of this fair, which combines the spirit of Mardi Gras with the heavy talents of jazz fests and now adds more rock sounds.

One-day tickets on site cost $65.