Wednesday, February 25, 2004

New Orleans gears up for music fest

Harry Connick Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Smokey Robinson, Branford Marsalis, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck and B.B. King are among scores of acts - some widely known, others with small but faithful followings - set for this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Others set for appearances during the festival's 35th anniversary run from April 23-May 2 include the Neville Brothers, Shaggy, Emmylou Harris, the Steve Miller Band and Irma Thomas.

Most of the acts take place on any of a dozen stages during the festival's Louisiana Heritage Fair, held at the Fair Grounds Race Course (Friday-Sunday, April 23-25, and Thursday-Sunday, April 29-May 2).

The Heritage Fair also includes three crafts fairs (folk, contemporary and African/African-influenced), and booths serving more than 100 different kinds of Louisiana foods. There are also concerts scheduled at various venues in New Orleans during the entire run of the festival.

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