The board of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation voted Sept. 9 to negotiate a new contract with Festival Productions Inc., which has produced the the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival since

The board of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation voted Sept. 9 to negotiate a new contract with Festival Productions Inc., which has produced the the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival since its inception 35 years ago. The board had been considering other producers.

Plagued by rain and a general downturn in the concert business, the festival lost money this year for the first time since the early '70s.

Besides Festival Productions, there were two other finalists for the producing job: Worldwide Entertainment, which is the parent of Florida-based promoter Jack Utsick Presents, and a partnership between AEG Live and Rehage Entertainment.

According to reports, each of the three finalists had agreed to put up $2 million to produce next year’s festival.