Ur­ban head­lines 1st day of Jazz Fes­ti­val

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE - BY STACEY PLAISANCE

Fri­day’s open­ing day of the New Or­leans Jazz and Her­itage Fes­ti­val will high­light a world­wide spec­trum of mu­si­cal in­flu­ences, — from the al­ter­na­tive Chicago-based rock band Wilco to Ir­ish singer-gui­tarist Hozier and the Ja­maican and reg­gae stylings of singer Jimmy Cliff.

Head­lin­ing the day’s big­gest stage is coun­try mu­sic star Keith Ur­ban, who fes­ti­val pro­ducer Quint Davis de­scribes as one of the world’s “mon­ster rock-bluescoun­try gui­tar play­ers.”

Davis said when the New Zealand-born Ur­ban was told the Tedeschi Trucks Band was play­ing be­fore his sched­uled Fri­day evening per­for­mance, his re­ply was: “They’re not open­ing for me, I’m closing for them.”

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is a Florida-based bluesy rock group founded by hus­band and wife mu­si­cians Derek Trucks and Su­san Tedeschi. This will be the group’s Jazz Fest de­but.

Ur­ban is a re­turn­ing head­liner, hav­ing last played Jazz Fest the year af­ter Hur­ri­cane Katrina.

“He’s one of the great­est gui­tarists,” Davis said. “Plac­ing him on open­ing day was sym­bolic. He helps set the tone for the fes­ti­val.”

Un­der a grey sky, mu­sic fans jock­eyed for spots in front of their fa­vorite stages when the gates opened at 11 a.m., lay­ing out blan­kets, putting up um­brel­las and erect­ing tall flags to mark their spots.

More than 50 acts will per­form through­out open­ing day on about a dozen stages in such gen­res as jazz, blues, gospel, Ca­jun, zy­deco and rock. Among the day’s lo­cal acts is the Honey Is­land Swamp Band, Brass- A- Holics, Wayne Toups, Lil Nathan & the Zy­deco Big Timers, the New Or­leans Rag­time Orches­tra and a host of New Or­leans brass bands.

The fes­ti­val con­tin­ues through Sun­day, and April 30, May 1, 2 and 3.

AP

Neke Nixon, Queen of the Black Mo­hawk Mardi Gras In­di­ans, pa­rades with Sage Mavens, 6, at the Jazz and Her­itage Fes­ti­val in New Or­leans, Louisiana on Fri­day, April 24.

AP

(Above) Lorenza Law­less, a mem­ber of the Black Mo­hawk Mardi Gras In­di­ans, pa­rades with the group at the Jazz and Her­itage Fes­ti­val in New Or­leans on Fri­day. (Right) Cate Beck­ett of New Or­leans dances to Gino De­lafose & French Rockin’ Boo­gie at the New Or­leans Jazz and Her­itage Fes­ti­val in New Or­leans on Fri­day.

AP

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