The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has confirmed hundreds of artists for this year's 34th annual outing, which will be expanded to an 11-day festival for the first time, starting Thursday, A

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has confirmed hundreds of artists for this year's 34th annual outing, which will be expanded to an 11-day festival for the first time, starting Thursday, April 24 and running through Sunday, May 4. Some of the artists slated to appear at the festival include Bob Dylan, LL Cool J, Crosby, Stills & Nash; Gladys Knight, India.Arie, Musiq, the Neville Brothers, Lil' Romeo, Widespread Panic, Lucinda Williams, Michael Franks, Youssou N'Dour, North Mississippi Allstars, John Mayer, Angelique Kidjo, Ben Harper, Keb' Mo', and Los Lobos.

Artists set to play the festival's first weekend are first-day headliner Fats Domino, Williams, and Smokey Robinson (April 24); Dylan, Galactic, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown (April 25); Lil' Romeo, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Al Jarreau, and N'Dour (April 26); and Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Gerald Levert, Ornette Coleman, and Keb' Mo' (April 27).

Big names set for the festival's second weekend include Mayer and North Mississippi Allstars (May 1); Harper, Los Lobos, and Robert Randolph (May 2); Irma Thomas, Widespread Panic, LL Cool J, Mavis Staples, and the Funky Meters (May 3); and the Neville Brothers, Knight, the O'Jays, Buddy Guy, and Carlos Vives (May 4).

Popeye's will once again sponsor a Blues Tent on the festival grounds, which will also encompass several other events, including the evening concert series, the annual benefit gala (April 24, featuring Smokey Robinson), and a educational workshop series. Local food and contemporary and folk crafts will abound throughout the festival's duration.

Tickets for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival go on sale Friday (Feb. 21) via Ticketmaster. For more information, including schedules and individual event details, visit the festival's official Web site.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, the Superfly During Jazzfest concert series is set to run concurrently with the Jazz & Heritage Festival and will feature performances by Bela Fleck, Ween, and Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band has an 11-night residency on tap for Superfly.

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