New Orleans, LA (December 16, 2008)—The 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell (April 24-26 & April 30-May 3) will celebrate 40 years of musical and cultural history at next year’s star-studded event. Started in 1970, the Jazz & Heritage Festival continues to showcase the most important names in music history alongside many of Louisiana’s favorite entertainers. A true heritage festival, Jazz Fest stands alone in presenting the highest caliber artists in such varied genres as gospel, blues, traditional and contemporary jazz, rock, pop, R&B, Cajun, zydeco and much more.
Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Dave Matthews Band, James Taylor, Sugarland, Joe Cocker, Ben Harper, Tony Bennett, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kings of Leon, The Neville Brothers, Wilco, Bonnie Raitt, Allen Toussaint, The O’Jays, Erykah Badu, Etta James, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Los Lobos, Robert Cray, Toots and the Maytals, Dr. John, Spoon, Third World, Common, Orishas, Emmylou Harris, Irma Thomas, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Mavis Staples, The Whispers, Hugh Masekela, Doc Watson, Pete Seeger, John Mayall, Solomon Burke, Jakob Dylan, Rance Allen, Chuck Brown, Meter Men; Zig, George, & Leo, Kinky, Drive-By, Truckers feat. Booker T. Jones, Better Than Ezra, Avett Brothers, Pete Fountain, Galactic, Marcia Ball, Roy Haynes, Patty Griffin, Kurt Elling, Poncho Sanchez, John Scofield & the Piety Street Band, Marc Broussard, Rebirth Brass Band, Esperanza Spalding, Kind of Blue @ 50 Tribute to Miles Davis, Del McCoury Band, Aaron Neville, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Odadaa of Ghana, The Genius of Sydney Bechet: A Tribute feat. Bob Wilber, Guy Clark, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Roy Rogers, Chris Owens, VaShawn Mitchell, Dew Drop Inn Revisited hosted by Deacon John, George Wein and Friends w/ Randy Brecker, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbeque Swingers, Terence Blanchard, Ivan Neville & Dumpstaphunk, Tab Benoit and the Wetland Allstars, Anointed Jackson Sisters, Ellis Marsalis, Dirty Dozen, Robert Mirabal, Trombone Shorty, The Vettes, Cedric Burnside, Lil’ Ed & the Imperials, Stephanie Jordan, Radiators, Buckwheat Zydeco, Amanda Shaw, The Ebony Hillbillies, Cowboy Mouth, Trout Fishing in America, Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, Tribute to Danny Barker, Amameresso Agofomma of Ghana, Crocodile Gumboot Dancers of South Africa, Ori Danse Club of Benin, Ladysmith Redlions of South Africa, Cheick Hamala Diabate of Mali and hundreds more are scheduled to appear at the 40th anniversary celebration. (The complete weekend by weekend schedule is available at nojazzfest.com.)
“From day one in 1970, the goal of the Festival has remained unchanged as Jazz Fest continues to celebrate the living breathing culture of New Orleans and Louisiana,” said Quint Davis, producer/director of Jazz Fest. “While the size and impact of the Festival have dramatically increased, we have never lost sight of the original goal of presenting this unique culture to the world through music, the finest in local cuisine, and the sheer celebration of life.”
Jazz & Heritage Festival Founder and Executive Producer, George Wein, proudly stated, “It is wonderful to see the Festival continue the joyous legacy that began almost four decades ago in Congo Square. There can only be one festival this grand, entertaining and important, because there is only one New Orleans.”
Randy Philips, president & CEO, AEG Live, which co-produces the Festival said, “The 40th Anniversary Jazz Fest is one of the most highly anticipated events of 2009. AEG Live is proud to play a part in taking this legendary annual celebration to new heights.”
Wynton Marsalis, the preeminent jazz artist and ambassador of his generation and one of New Orleans’ favorite sons, will headline the first day of the Festival, Friday, April 24, performing the epic composition Congo Square, featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Yacub Addy and Odadaa!.
“It’s an honor to be part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s 40th anniversary, thanks to the ongoing leadership of our friend George Wein,” stated Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Yacub Addy and I wrote and dedicated Congo Square to the great city of New Orleans and in April 2006, with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Yacub’s group, Odadaa!, we debuted the music on the actual site of Congo Square. We look forward to bringing the music back, celebrating New Orleans and this momentous anniversary for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”
Tickets for the Festival, which takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course, went on sale today. For the first time ever, a limited number of discount ticket packages including tickets to each day of a particular weekend of the Festival will be offered. Ticket packages purchased for all three days of the first weekend (April 24, 25 & 26) will be $105, while second weekend packages purchased for all four festival days (April 30, May 1, 2 & 3) will be $140. (Tickets included in each package are day-specific.) Advance single day Jazz Fest tickets are still only $40 with the gate price of $50.
Children’s tickets (ages 2 – 11) are only $5 in advance or at the gate. Single day tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend, with each ticket valid for a single day’s attendance.
The Festival’s popular Big Chief VIP Experience ticket package and the Grand Marshal VIP Pass return for the 40th anniversary celebration, as well as the newly unveiled Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass that allows for special covered seating at the Acura Stage audience area plus other amenities. All the hugely popular VIP packages are on sale now while very limited supplies last. (See nojazzfest.com for details.)
Tickets are available at www.nojazzfest.com and www.ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (800) 745-3000. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at the Louisiana Superdome Box Office (Gate A, Ground Level) or the New Orleans Arena Box Office. All Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges.
A listing of hotels offering special Jazz Fest rates is posted at www.nojazzfest.com, where patrons can effortlessly reserve their hotel rooms for the event. Festivalgoers can peruse room availability and book their accommodations early taking advantage of some of the best prices offered at participating hotels.
Shell is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival. Acura is proudly celebrating its 10th year as sponsor of the Festival’s main stage. People’s Health, Miller Lite, Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, AT&T, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (A Churchill Downs Company), Capital One Bank, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Pepsi, Rajen Kilachand and St. Charles Vision are all also official Jazz Fest sponsors.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell, and uses the proceeds from that festival for year-round activities in the areas of education, economic development and cultural programming. Programs and assets of the foundation include: radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive, the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture Series, the Jazz Journey concert series, the Community Partnership Grants program and the Raisin’ the Roof housing initiative. The foundation also produces community events such as the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, Fiesta Latina, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Down by the Riverside concerts and others. For more information, please call the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation at (504) 558-6100 or visit www.jazzandheritage.org.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell is a co-production of Festival Productions, L.L.C.(a wholly owned subsidiary of Festival Productions, Inc.-New Orleans) and AEG Louisiana Production, L.L.C.(a subsidiary of AEG Live).