NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jazz horns, Cajun fiddles, zydeco washboards and rock guitars — they'll all be heard at the same place when the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicks off tomorrow. Performances by soul singer Irma Thomas, the Beach Boys, the rock band Zebra, jazz clarinetist Tim Laughlin, Buckwheat Zydeco and others open this year's event.
The 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, presented by Shell, kicks off Friday at the Fair Grounds. We go Inside the Arts for conversation with jazz vocalist and native daughter Stephanie Jordan, who will pay homage to the legendary Lena Horne.
The Stephanie Jordan Big Band performs April 27th at 4:00 p.m., at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
New Orleans trombonist Mark Mullins, and his slidework colleague Craig Klein, formed Bonerama nearly 15 years ago to put the trombone front and center in a contemporary music ensemble – a notion Mullins began nurturing from his earliest days playing trombone. Mark Mullins and Bonerama play Jazz Fest Friday, May 4th.
Pianist Peter Martin – a former New Orleanian who maintains deep ties to the Crescent City – plays Jazz Fest with his trio Saturday, April 28th. He then backs Grammy-winning singer Dianne Reeves at Jazz Fest on Sunday, April 29th.
Big Easy Award-winning singer Sasha Masakowski is just back in New Orleans following a four month run at the swank Centro nightclub in the 5-star Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing – and ready to have big fun at Jazz Fest on Friday, April 27th.
Clarinetist and saxophonist Victor Goines is a New Orleans native of great musical accomplishment. A longtime member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, he also fronts his own quartet and quintet, and these days runs the Jazz Studies program at Northwestern University in Chicago. Victor Goines plays Jazz Fest with his outstanding quartet Sunday, April 29th.
Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti's youngest son – saxophonist and singer Seun Kuti – was just 15 when he took over the Egypt 80 band after his father's death in 1997. After struggling for a few years Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 are again touring the world, performing at important festivals and major venues. They play Jazz Fest Friday, April 27th.
Carolina Chocolate Drops singer and banjoist Rhiannon Giddens was preparing for a career in opera when she discovered the rich tradition of African-American string band music and performance in the Piedmont region. She completely changed directions, and co-founded the now Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Carolina Chocolate Drops play Jazz Fest Saturday, April 28th.