The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has got satisfaction: The Rolling Stones are among the headliners for the 50th anniversary festival.
Other big acts for the eight-day event, which runs from 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 on April 27, the first Saturday, while the Stones will take over the festival's largest stage on Thursday, May 2.
Seeing the Stones' performance will require a special ticket valid only for that day. The cost? US$185 ($274).
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 line-up was announced, 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 can't believe 50 years have passed since she first took to a festival stage.
"It's just mind-boggling. It's 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."
Davis said this year's festival will include at least 20 tributes honouring 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.