Trombone Shorty wants this year's halftime show to be "a big party, the way we do here in the Big Easy."
While Pharrell Williams is headlining the NBA All-Star Game Entertainment Series this year, with a performance during the player introductions on Sunday night (Feb. 16), the halftime show -- featuring Earth, Wind & Fire, Janelle Monae, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dr. John and Gary Clark Jr. -- is the evening's event that promises to synthesize the vibrant musical culture of this year's All-Star Weekend host city, New Orleans. Earth, Wind & Fire's soul classic "Shining Star" and Monae's "The Electric Lady" title track will be among the songs performed, and everything will be played live at the New Orleans Arena.
"It's been a great process, and... I'm blessed to be a representative for my city," Shorty, the city's most high-profile brass musician, told Billboard on Sunday, hours before the performance is broadcast live on TNT. Shorty has acted as a musical ambassador for the NBA, personally contacting other artists to see if they would be interested in collaborating on the halftime extravaganza.