B.B. King, Jill Scott, Frank Ocean to Perform New Orleans Jazz Festival
Headliners include B.B. King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Hall and Oates and Fleetwood Mac. There’s also a cast of modern day hit makers such as The Black Keys, Maroon 5, Jill Scott, Kem, the Dave Matthews Band and New Orleans native Frank Ocean.
Fans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be treated to traditional jazz as well as rock `n roll, Cajun, gospel, blues, hip-hop, funk and zydeco.
“The way the talent fell into place this year, it became a very special year for us,” festival producer Quint Davis said. “It’s Jazz Fest, but it’s also B.B. King, Willie Nelson. It’s Ben Harper. It’s Hall and Oates. We ended up with probably the greatest living proponent in each kind of music we feature here.”
In all, about 5,000 entertainers will play the festival on 12 stages. The festival lasts until Sunday, May 5.
R&B soul singer, songwriter and producer Kem hasn’t played the festival since 2005 – before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
Kem said he loves playing in New Orleans.
“You all treat us so good,” he said. “The hospitality is tremendous. The food is unbelievable. But one thing that resonates with me also is that the city is so resilient. I take inspiration from that, that you all are not just standing, but thriving. I know there are places where people are still dealing with the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina, but what greater life message is there than to move and push forward. I identify with that.”
The festival also will spotlight Native American culture, crafts and food. Davis urged fans to check out Native American flute player Robert Mirabal and Canadian group A Tribe Called Red – an electronic DJ crew who do Native American chants over the music.