How does a festival look forward and backwards at the same time? In the case of the 36th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, it broadens its musical horizons, including Nelly, Los Lonely Boys, Anthony Hamilton and Wilco, while featuring pioneers such as Ike Turner, Isaac Hayes and B.B. King. Jazz Fest veterans Randy Newman and James Taylor return, while Elvis Costello, Ozomatli and G. Love & Special Sauce make their festival debuts. This year, special sets will also pay tribute to John Coltrane, Howlin' Wolf and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Perhaps the two largest pieces of news this year are the long-awaited reunion of the original Meters, which takes place Saturday, April 23, and the addition of a new festival stage -- a brass band, Mardi Gras Indian and second line stage. The new stage provides a regular venue for arguably New Orleans' most indigenous music. To make room for such a stage, the best performers from the Native American stage will be incorporated into the festival, but the Native American stage has been eliminated.
This is also the first year for "El Dia Latino." On Sunday, April 24, the Congo Square stage is dedicated to Latin music with Juanes and Victor Manuelle headlining this festival-within-a-festival.
The Foundation Gala fundraiser stars Natalie Cole, with a "Trumpet Summit" featuring Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers with Big Sam and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. Tickets for the gala are available now by calling 410-4148, and more information is available at the foundation's Web site, www.nojhf.org.
Ticket prices have increased this year. Daily tickets for Jazz Fest are on sale now for last year's price of $20 through Feb. 22, after which they'll be $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. Daily tickets for children are $5 any time.
This year, Jazz Fest introduces "the Big Chief VIP Experience," a ticket package that includes admission with re-entry privileges, special viewing areas at selected stages and tents, the Jazz Fest poster, access to an air-conditioned hospitality room, and special access to bathrooms and concessions. Only a limited number of these ticket packages will be sold, and they cost $550 and $700 with parking on the first weekend, $650 and $850 with parking on the second weekend.
For more information and a complete list of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's workshops during Jazz Fest, see the festival's Web site at www.nojazzfest.com.
And now, the line-up:
Friday, April 22
Cowboy Mouth; Steve Winwood; Artist TBA; Wilco; Buckwheat Zydeco; Ozomatli; Zap Mama; John Mooney & Bluesiana; George Huff; Don Grusin presents the Hang with special guests Pete Escovedo & Alex Acuna; Tribute to Louis Armstrong featuring Marcus Belgrave; Donald Harrison; Bernard Allison; Sonny Landreth; Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys; Jeremy Davenport; Susan Cowsill; the Anointed Jackson Sisters; New Orleans All-Star Music Tribute; Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience; Boogie Kings; George French; John Boutté; Carol Fran; Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band; Olympia Brass Band; Humble Travelers; James Andrews & the Andrews Family Band; New Bumpers Dixieland Jazz Band of France; C.C. Adcock & the Lafayette Marquis'; Willie Tee; Lil' Stooges Brass Band; Lil' Buck Sinegal; Lionel Ferbos & the Palm Court Jazz Band; Sean Ardoin -n- Zydekool; Tim Laughlin; Magnolia Sisters; Liquidrone; Vivaz!; Patrice Fisher & Arpa; Pocket Foxx; Us3; Harry Hypolite; Native Nation Intertribal; Gospel Stars; Cedric Watson; Vivid; Kumbuka Drum & Dance Collective; Poor Clares; Driskill Mountain Boys; Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys; One A-Chord; Golden Star Hunters Mardi Gras Indians; Chris Clifton; Rhino; Dillard University Jazz Ensemble; the Wimberly Family; NOCCA Academy; the Clermont Jazz Falcon Band; Xavier University Gospel Choir; Chico and Rogerio Band of Brazil with puppeteer Cesar Liete; Old & Nu Style Fellas Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Hazel & the Delta Ramblers; Tri-Parish Singers; Old Zion Missionary Baptist Church Choir; Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians; New Orleans Free School Performers
Saturday, April 23
The Original Meters Reunion: Art, Zig, George & Leo; James Taylor; the Roots; Buddy Guy; Dave Bartholomew; Luciano; Irma Thomas; Shirley Horn; Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr. & the Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir; Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers; Dorothy Norwood; Susan Tedeschi; Fishbone; Deacon John; Marc Broussard; Ellis Marsalis; Snooks Eaglin; Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters; Jhelisa; Boogie Men; Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie; New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra; Eric Lindell; Jelly Roll Morton: Small and Hot Combos; Lil' Brian & the Zydeco Travelers; Wanda Rouzan & A Taste of New Orleans; Hezekiah Early & Elmo Williams; Brian Stoltz; Rob Wagner Trio; Truth Universal; Poncho Chavis & the Magic Sounds; Bobby Lounge; Rockie Charles & the Staxx of Love; Los Vecinos; Charivari; Gregg Stafford's Jazz Hounds; Last Straws; John Rankin; Beatin Path; Country Fried; Ronald Reggae; Beyond Measure; Mahogany Brass Band; Xavier University Jazz Ensemble; Wendell Brunious; Big Chief Donald & the New Sounds of Mardi Gras; Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble; Phillip Manuel; ERC; Brasilliance!; Sounds of Unity; Lighthouse Gospel Singers; SUNO Jazz Ensemble; New Orleans Spiritualettes; Hammond Strawberry Jammers; Abundant Praise Revival Choir; Mt. Hermon Baptist Church Mass Choir; Single Men and Single Men Kids Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries; Funky 7 Brass Band; Young Hunters; Flaming Arrows,and Geronimo Hunters Mardi Gras Indians; Paulin Brothers Brass Band; Randy Erwin; Big Nine Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Hard Headhunters and Yellow Jackets Mardi Gras Indians; Johnette Downing; the Jackson Travelers; Lady Rollers; Undefeated Divas and Men Rollers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Red, White & Blue Mardi Gras Indians; Clark Montessori Steel Band
Sunday, April 24
Dr. John; Nelly; Artist TBA; El Dia Latino presentando Juanes, Victor Manuelle, y mas!; Smokie Norful; G. Love & Special Sauce; ReBirth Brass Band; Tribute to Little Walter featuring Charlie Musselwhite, James Cotton, Jerry Portnoy, Carrie Bell and Jumpin' Johnny Sansone; Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Jazz Messengers Legacy Band with Benny Golson featuring Curtis Fuller; Campbell Brothers; Cyril Neville & the Uptown All-Stars; Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra; Ba Cissoko of Guinea; the Iguanas; BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet; Chris Thomas King; Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen; Swamp Pop Summit with Phil Phillips, King Karl, Warren Storm, Tommy McLain, and C.C. Adcock; Rosalia de Cuba; Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians; Sista Teedy & umami; NewBirth Brass Band; Carlos Nakai; Hackberry Ramblers & Friends; Trombone Woodshed featuring Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and Curtis Fuller; Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys; Bob French & the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band; Luther Kent & Trickbag; Danza; Hot 8 Brass Band; Almas Gemelas; Balfa Toujours; Tyronne Foster & the Arc Singers; Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders; Leigh Harris; Ingrid Lucia; Alvin Batiste; Lance Ellis; Brotherhood of Groove; Rockin' Jake Band; Jeff & Vida; Lil' Freddie King Blues Band; Native Nation Intertribal; 007; the Johnson Extension; Mighty Chariots of Fire; Otis Joseph & Zamar; Hot Club of New Orleans; Tribute to Frog Joseph; Furious Five Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Raymond Wiliams; Michaela y Fiesta Flamenca; Uptowner Hobo Clowns Social Aid and Pleasure Club; PinStripe Brass Band; Black Feathers Mardi Gras Indians; John Lee & the Heralds of Christ; Voices of Distinction; Roy Roget & the Sons of the Bayouneers; Olympia Aide; Divine Ladies and Untouchables Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Dimensions of Faith, Ninth Ward Hunters Mardi Gras Indians; Unstoppable Gospel Singers; Electro Rock with Adam Jupiter and Ray McCadney; Kayla Woodson; Basin Street Sheiks
Thursday, April 28
B.B. King; Jack Johnson; Nickel Creek; Los Hombres Calientes; Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown; the subdudes; Clarence "Frogman" Henry; Papa Grows Funk; Donavon Frankenreiter; Heath Brothers featuring Jimmy Heath; Albert "Tootie" Heath and Percy Heath; Howlin' Wolf Tribute featuring Eddie Shaw, Hubert Sumlin and Henry Gray; Banu Gibson & New Orleans Hot Jazz; Barrett Sisters; Mary Griffin; Sunpie Barnes & the Louisiana Sunspots; Walter Payton & Snapbeans; Benjy Davis Project; Kim Prevost with Amina Figarova; Coco Robicheaux & Spiritland; Savoy Family Cajun Band; Tom "The Blues Man" Hunter; Charmaine Neville & Friends; Morning 40 Federation; Roland Guerin; Bluerunners; Storyville Stompers Brass Band; Easter Rockers; Jeremy Lyons & the Deltabilly Boys; Treme Brass Band; Drums & Tuba; Corey Ledet; Ellipsis; Harold Batiste & AFO present the Next Generation; Red Stick Ramblers; Al "Carnival Time" Johnson; Willie West; Rudy's Caribbean Funk; Clancy "Blues Boy" Lewis; Sheba Kimbrough; Leviticus Gospel Singers; John Ellis; Lost Bayou Ramblers; New Orleans Jazz Vipers; UNO Jazz Ensemble; Waylon Thibodeaux; Kid Simmons' Local International All-Stars; June Gardner; Communion; G La Beaud; the Coolie Family Gospel Singers; Stephen Foster's Mid-City Jazz Studies Ensemble; New Orleans East Steppers and Bon Temp Roulez Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; New Wave Brass Band; Greater Antioch Full Gospel Choir; Gregg Martinez; Rosalie "Lady Tambourine" Washington; Smitty Dee's Brass Band; Friendly Five Gospel Singers; Bester Singers; McDonogh #35 Gospel Choir; Mondy Hip-Hop Spirit Dancers; New Zion Trio Plus One; New Orleans Quarter Shanty Krewe; Algiers Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Leviticus Gospel Singers; Chakula Cha Jua Theater Company
Friday, April 29
Better Than Ezra; Widespread Panic; Randy Newman; Marcia Ball; Jamie Cullum; Artist TBA; World Leader Pretend; Tab Benoit; Louis Hayes & the Cannonball Adderly Legacy Band; Ledisi; Henry Butler; C.J. Chenier; Doc Cheatham Memorial Jazz Band featuring Nicholas Payton; Trumpet Woodshed featuring Maurice Brown and Marlon Jordan; Ted & Sheri; Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers; Cootie Stark; Debrecen Dixieland Jazz Band of Hungary; New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra; Frankie Ford; Bryan Lee & the Blues Power Band; James Rivers Movement; Tondráe; New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars; Martha Redbone; Dora & the Zydeco Bad Boys; Jim McCormick & the Full Band; David Egan; Zion Trinity; Kim Carson; Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove; Tony Green Gypsy Jazz; Los Sagitarios; Mark Braud; Linnzi Zaorski & Delta Royale; Golden Wings; New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band; Goldman Thibodeaux; Fred Sanders & Trinity; Eh, La Bas; Bamboula 2000; Imagination Movers; Saaraba; Michael Skinkus & Moyuba; Higher Dimensions of Praise; Southern Wonders; Syc A Mo's Jass Band; Executive Steel Band; St. Joseph the Worker Mass Choir; NOCCA Jazz Ensemble; Coolbone Brass Band; Lady Rulers; Lady Sequence and New Generations Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; White Cloud Hunters Mardi Gras Indians; Lyle Henderson; Original Four Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Southern University Baton Rouge Jazz Ensemble; Mr. Richard; Lockport Chapter Mass Choir; Young Louisiana Voices Collective; 1st Church of God in Christ United Radio Choir; David Rhodes & Assurance
Saturday, April 30
Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Dave Matthews Band; Anthony Hamilton; Elvis Costello; Galactic; Toots & the Maytals; Evangelist Shirley Caesar; Ike Turner & the Kings of Rhythm; Allen Toussaint; Roy Haynes 80th Birthday Celebration; Nicholas Payton; Madeleine Peyroux; Theresa Andersson; Walter "Wolfman" Washington & the Roadmasters; Wayne Toups & the Zydecajuns; Astral Project; Old Crow Medicine Show; Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band; Marva Wright & the BMWs; the Dixie Cups; Big Sam's Funky Nation; Drink Small; Germaine Bazzle; Willis Prudhomme & Zydeco Express; Raful Neal Jr.; Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes; Glass House Reunion with the Original Dirty Dozen Brass Band; Thomas "Big Hat" Fields; Washboard Chaz Blues Trio; Fredy Omar con su Banda; Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony; the Malvinas; Los Calientes; Kidd Jordan-Al Fielder & IAQ; D.L. Menard; the Elements; Big Al Carson's Rare Connexion Band; Young Tuxedo Brass Band; Allen Fontenot & the Country Cajuns; Panorama Jazz Band; Clive Wilson & the New Orleans Serenaders with Butch Thompson; Tornado Brass Band; Chévere; Bobby J & Stuff Like That; John Mahoney Big Band; Franklin Avenue Baptist Church Mass Choir; Los Babies; Loyola University Jazz Ensemble; Rocks of Harmony; Water Seed; Thais Clark; Original Big Seven; Original C.T.C. and Secondline Jammers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Mohawk Hunters Mardi Gras Indians; Palmetto Bug Stompers; Percussion Inc.; Soul Seekers; Second Nazarine Church Choir; David & Roselyn; Inspirational Gospel Singers; Valley of the Silent Men and Dumaine Street Gang Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; White Eagles Mardi Gras Indians; Val & Love Alive Fellowship Choir; Lady Jetsetters Social Aid and Pleasure Club; Providence Baptist Church Mass Choir; Southern University Baton Rouge Gospel Choir; Allah Batu presents Bantaba; Jazz Peter & the Wolf; Storyville Stompers Brass Band; N'Krumah Better Boys and Pigeon Town Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs
Sunday, May 1
The Neville Brothers; Trey Anastasio; Isaac Hayes; Steel Pulse; Los Lonely Boys; the Radiators; Michael Franti & Spearhead; Pete Fountain; Tribute to John Coltrane featuring McCoy Tyner, Ravi Coltrane, James Carter & Charnett Moffett; Karl Denson's Tiny Universe; Sister Rosetta Tharpe Tribute featuring Maria Muldaur, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, Angela Strehli and special guest Irma Thomas; North Mississippi Allstars Hill Country Revue; Slide Summit featuring Roy Rogers & the Delta Rhythm Kings with Lil' Ed, John Mooney, Bob Margolin and Drink Small; Terence Blanchard; Euricka; Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas; Anders Osborne; Eddie Bo; Aaron Neville; Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers; Maggie Warwick & the Louisiana Hayride Band; Dr. Charles G. Hayes & Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir; Bonerama; Jean Knight; Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps; Reggie Hall; Creole Zydeco Farmers; Lil Rascals Brass Band; Umbria Jazz Melbourne/Francesco Cafiso & Harry Allen Quartet; Red, Black & Blue Mardi Gras Indians featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux; Paulette Wright & Volume of Praise; Otra; Jambalaya Cajun Band; Dukes of Dixieland; Leah Chase; Spencer Bohren; T-Sale; J. Monque'D Blues Band; Jo "Cool" Davis; Belton Richard & the Musical Aces; Jamil Sharif's Jazz Professors; the Revealers; Terence Higgins & Swampgrease; Connie Jones; Tribute to Sweet Emma Barrett and Billie Pierce; Amy Trail; Irie Dawtas; Melody Clouds; Ritmo Caribeño; Zulu Male Ensemble; Jazz Tribute to Norman Dixon; Naked on the Floor Orchestra; Irene Sage; Heritage School of Music; Andrew Hall's Society Brass Band; Harvey Spiritual Gospel Singers; the Crown Seekers; Helen Carter & the New Orleans Harmonettes; Original Lady Buckjumpers and Westbank Steppers Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Highsteppers Brass Band; Wild Tchoupitoulas and Trouble Nation Mardi Gras Indians; Judy Stock; Lady Prince of Wales; Nine Times and Original Prince of Wales Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs; Real Untouchables Brass Band; Eric McAllister; Wild Apaches Mardi Gras Indians; Curtis Pierre with Samba Kid
- Jack-of-all-musical-trades Elvis Costello performs for the first time at Jazz Fest on Saturday, April 30.
- Hip-hop band the Roots makes its Jazz Fest debut on Saturday, April 23.
- NEA Jazz Master Roy Haynes celebrates his 80th birthday on Saturday, April 30.
- Jeff Tweedy and Wilco open Jazz Fest on Friday, April 22.
- Contemporary bluegrass band Nickel Creek performs on Thursday, April 28.
- Jazz vocalist Shirley Horn performs on Saturday, April 23.