Marsalis to headline jazz festival

New Orleans event set for April

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will headline the first day of the 40th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, performing his epic composition “Congo Square” with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with co-composer Yacub Addy and his band Odadaa!

The festival runs April 24-26 and April 30-May 3.

In April 2006, Marsalis, Addy and their bands debuted the piece at the actual Congo Square in New Orleans.

As usual the festival pulls in top stars from rock, jazz, blues, gospel, country and R&B as well as Louisiana musicians who specialize in zydeco and Cajun. Among those on the bill this year are Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, the O’Jays, Erykah Badu, Etta James, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, Toots and the Maytals, Dr. John, Spoon, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, John Mayall, Solomon Burke and Lil’ Ed & the Imperials.

Among the international and specialty acts booked are a Kind of Blue at 50 Tribute to Miles Davis, The Genius of Sydney Bechet: A Tribute featuring Bob Wilber, Dew Drop Inn Revisited hosted by Deacon John, George Wein and Friends with Randy Brecker, Tribute to Danny Barker, Amameresso Agofomma of Ghana, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers of South Africa, Ori Danse Club of Benin, Ladysmith Redlions of South Africa and Cheick Hamala Diabate of Mali.

Tickets for the festival, which takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, went on sale today.

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