NEW ORLEANS – Fats Domino, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon will join Keith Urban and Yolanda Adams at this year's New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival as it celebrates this city's music and culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Festival organizers on Wednesday announced a lineup filled with hundreds of the city's most famous musicians, many of whom are seasoned performers at the festival. The event is being billed as a homecoming for many musicians.
"The true heart and soul of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as with New Orleans itself, is music," said Quint Davis, the festival producer. "It's the force that drives and defines us. It's not just for entertainment, but it feeds our soul."
Many other big acts will grace the festival, such as the Dave Matthews Band, Lionel Richie and Jimmy Buffet.
The festival is scheduled to take place April 28-30 and May 5-7. As usual, it will be held at the New Orleans Fair Grounds, a horse racing track that flooded and was seriously damaged by the storm.
Irma Thomas, New Orleans' acclaimed soul singer, encouraged displaced New Orleanians to attend. "Find a way to come back home because this is where your heart is," she said.
The festival will feature, as always, many of Louisiana's favorite musicians. They include blues guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington, singers Charmaine Neville and Clarence "Frogman" Henry, clarinetist Michael White, voodoo rocker Dr. John, pianist Allen Toussaint, the Rebirth Brass Band, clarinetist Pete Fountain, singer Marcia Ball and the Dixie Cups.
The festival was born in 1970 and has grown into one of this city's biggest annual events along with Mardi Gras.