Jazz & Heritage Festival Announces Lineup

Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam and Steve Martin are just a few of the artists headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival scheduled for spring 2010.

The 41st annual event, set for April 23-25 and April 29-May 2 at the Fair Grounds Race Course, also welcomes the return of a few festival vets, including The Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, Widespread Panic and The Black Crowes.

Steve Martin, whose bluegrass album – The Crow: New Songs For The 5-String Banjo – was released in January 2009, appears with Steep Canyon Rangers

Making their J&H debut will be My Morning Jacket, Anita Baker, Gipsy Kings, The Dead Weather, Levon Helm Band, Drake and Jonny Lang.

Of course, several Louisiana acts are also on the lineup, including Dr. John, Neville Brothers and Buckwheat Zydeco.

“It’s just a way cool thing that Jazz Fest is so broad that it can embrace all these different things, all these different artists,” festival producer Quint Davis said. “We have jazz in the name, but it’s not just jazz music.”

The festival will also host a tribute to Louis Prima, the New Orleans-born trumpet player whose jazz and swing performances helped spread the music of the Big Easy throughout the world.

“He’s so New Orleans,” Davis said. “He was one of the first major voices in getting jazz and New Orleans to be dominant world powers in music. We have some very special things in the works to honor him.”

As with past Jazz & Heritage Festivals, the first lineup announcement only nails down the dates and artists but not individual day-to-day schedules.