New Orleans' Jazz Fest: Lenny Kravitz, Kacey Musgraves Top Final Night's Lineup

Lenny Kravitz photographed by Ellen von Unwerth
Ellen von Unwerth

Lenny Kravitz photographed by Ellen von Unwerth

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival wraps up its last of seven days of music, food and culture tonight. The festival, a celebration of Louisiana's heritage, features music stages dotted around the city's fairgrounds and booths selling food.

A few things to watch for on the last day of the festival:

- Lenny Kravitz, hot off his 2014 album Strut and roles in the Hunger Games movie franchise, might be the headliner at most music festivals, but in a city where jazz reigns supreme, New Orleans' Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and his Orleans Avenue band will close out the main stage. The two have a connection. Trombone Shorty performed in Kravitz's horn section during a 2005-2006 tour. His music incorporates various musical styles from New Orleans - jazz, gospel and R&B - along with hip-hop and rock.

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- Closing out the Jazz & Heritage Stage will be the Stooges Brass Band, headed by band leader Walter Ramsey, an institution in the New Orleans music scene. Speaking to The Associated Press, Ramsey said the festival is an opportunity for local residents to see national artists and for people from out of town to experience the music, culture and food of New Orleans: "That's the importance of Jazz Fest to me."

- Every year concert organizers highlight a specific country or cultural institution. This year it's the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a high school for the arts that's marking its 40th anniversary this year. The school's graduates include Ramsey, Terence Blanchard, and Wynton and Branford Marsalis. NOCCA students and recent grads like Sasha Masakowski will perform throughout the day at the NOCCA Pavilion. NOCCA graduates will also perform a musical tribute to Ellis Marsalis, the patriarch of the Marsalis family and the founding jazz teacher at NOCCA.

- Other acts performing Sunday include country singer Kasey Musgraves and singer-musician Steve Winwood, whose hits include "Back in the High Life Again." New Orleans favorite Kermit Ruffins will also perform a tribute to Louis Armstrong.


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