Aerosmith, Beck, Sting Top New Orleans Jazz Festival Bill

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Aersomith photo by Tim Mosenfelder and WireImage
Photo: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage

Aerosmith, Sting, Beck and Lionel Richie are to top the stacked line-up for the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The annual event will take place over two weekends, 27 through 29 April and 3 through to 6 May.

This year’s line-up also features Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Buffett, Sheryl Crow, David Byrne, Jack White, Anita Baker, Khalid, Sturgill Simpson, Common, Jack Johnson, Steve Miller Band, Cage The Elephant, Smokey Robinson, Juanes, Jason Isbell, Toots And The Maytals, Lyle Lovett, Charlie Wilson, Buddy Guy, John Mayall and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Plenty of New Orleans acts will also appear at Jazz Fest, including Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, the Revivalists, Aaron Neville, Big Freedia, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. New Orleans native and Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste will also perform alongside the Dap-Kings. The complete line-up and schedule are available on the Jazz Fest website.

Tickets for the 2018 New Orleans Jazz Fest are available via the festival’s website. Single-day tickets are priced at $65, but will cost $80 at the gate (children’s tickets are $5). A variety of VIP passes and travel packages are also available.

The prestigious New Orleans Jazz Fest dates back to 1970, when George Wein, jazz impresario behind the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival (begun respectively in 1954 and 1959) was hired to design and produce a unique festival for the city. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established to oversee the Festival.

In addition to Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington, the first Festival line-up included Pete Fountain, Al Hirt, Clifton Chenier, Fats Domino, The Meters, The Preservation Hall Band, parades every day with The Olympia Brass Band and Mardi Gras Indians, and many others.

In announcing the first Festival, scheduled for 22 – 26 April 1970, Wein said: “The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival represents a new and exciting idea in festival presentation. This festival could only be held in New Orleans because here and here alone is the richest musical heritage in America.” He also noted: “New Orleans, in the long run, should become bigger than Newport in jazz festivals. Newport was manufactured, but New Orleans is the real thing.”

George Wein’s concept of the Louisiana Heritage Fair—a large daytime fair with multiple stages featuring a wide variety of indigenous music styles, food booths of Louisiana cuisine, and arts and crafts booths, along with an evening concert series—formed a construct that would prove vastly appealing and enduring.

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