NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has got satisfaction: The Rolling Stones are among the headliners for the 50th anniversary festival.
Organizers on Tuesday confirmed reports that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will play. Also headlining the 8-day event, which runs April 25-28 and May 2-5, are Katy Perry, the Dave Matthews Band, Al Green, Pitbull, Santana, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aaron Neville and gospel great Shirley Caesar.
“Fifty years is very rare and to be here, still, just as strong, just as relevant is amazing,” festival producer Quint Davis said.
“For the Rolling Stones and Katy Perry — two of the most highly produced artists — to want to come play our festival, held in a tent, during the day with the scent of BBQ and oyster po-boys wafting over the field, that’s just incredible.”
Perry is scheduled to perform April 27, the first Saturday, while the Stones will take over the festival’s largest stage Thursday, May 2.
Seeing the Stones’ performance will require a special ticket good only for that day. Cost? $185.
Tickets go on a pre-sale Thursday for Louisiana residents only, to buy tickets for the Rolling Stones’ date. Up to two tickets can be purchased on the Plaza level of the Superdome from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For the first time, the festival’s 11 other stages will go dark when Jagger and company hit the stage.
“Even though it’s going to be a full fest day, with performances on all 12 stages, we don’t want the stages where the Stones aren’t performing to compete for an audience,” Davis said. “We don’t want the other stages to not have any people there, so we’re gonna shut them down about an hour before the Stones perform, encourage them to get something to eat, to get a good spot and enjoy the show.”
Before the lineup was announced at the news conference, Davis showcased musicians who performed at the first jazz festival — Ellis Marsalis on piano, vocalist Germaine Bazzle, bass player George French, James Rivers on saxophone and Johnny Vidacovich on drums. Blues great Little Freddie King on guitar, Ronnie Kole on piano, clarinetist Orange Kellin and Lars Edegran on banjo also performed.
Bazzle said she can’t believe 50 years have passed since she first took to a festival stage.
“It’s just mind-boggling,” she said. “It’s also overwhelming and very humbling to have an opportunity to do what I love doing and work with such quality musicians. I just can’t believe it. I’ll believe when I’m on that stage this spring!”
Davis said this year’s festival, presented by title sponsor Shell, also will include at least 20 tributes honoring artists who helped shape New Orleans’ musical landscape. These include performances dedicated to Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, Mahalia Jackson, Allen Toussaint, Pete Fountain, Al Hirt and Marsalis — whose famous musical sons — Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason — will pay homage to him.