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2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival: Saturday, May 2 

click to enlarge ELTON JOHNACURA STAGE4:50 p.m. - 7 p.m.

PHOTO BY Robert M. Knight

4:50 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Though it has only a couple of recorded songs available online, TYSSON doesn't have to prove its credentials in the local pop scene. It's headed by John Michael Rouchell, formerly of MyNameIsJohnMichael. The lineup includes Rouchell, Dumpstaphunk's Alvin Ford Jr., Cardinal Sons' Joe Shirley and The Bridge Trio's Max Moran and Joe Dyson Jr. They've moved away from the guitar-driven MyNameIsJohnMichael sound, dropping the horns and creating buoyant electronic pop with hooks reminiscent of chart-topping R&B.
11:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m.
Gentilly Stage

New Orleans native Dee-1, aka David Augustine, returns to Jazz Fest fresh off his first national headlining tour. Dee-1 began rapping as an LSU student and worked as a middle school teacher in the Baton Rouge area, where he was inspired to dedicate himself to a music career. "I was Mr. Augustine and I was cool, but I realized Lil' Wayne, Lil' Boosie and everybody else really had [the students'] ear, so when I chose to walk away from teaching, it's because I wanted to get in this game and make a difference," he says in the coda to "My Student Got Murdered (Both Sides of the Gun)." It's a thoughtful, wrenching cut from his new EP, 3's Up, released in February through RCA's Inspiration imprint. Dee-1 is the only rapper among Inspiration's roster of gospel and soul singers (labelmate Marvin Sapp performs at 3:55 p.m. in the Gospel Tent), but with a vocal faith in God and a commitment to make consciousness-building music, he is in good company.
12:15 p.m.-1:05 p.m.
Congo Square Stage

click to enlarge DEE-1CONGO SQUARE STAGE12:15 p.m. - 1:05 p.m.
  • DEE-1
    12:15 p.m. - 1:05 p.m.

Larry Sieberth feat. Mehnaz Hoosein
This special Jazz Fest one-off pairs pianist and improvisational powerhouse Larry Sieberth on electric keys with Mehnaz Hoosein, an Indian pop singer who got her start studying Hindustani classical music in her native Mumbai. The ensemble is rounded out with Mike Dillon on percussion, Woodenhead's Jimmy Robinson on guitar and Calvin Turner on bass. Expect an eclectic mix of sounds reminiscent of Joe Zawinul's multi-cultural Weather Report work and Tabla Beat Science's electronic take on Indian music.
12:20 p.m.– 1:10 p.m.
Zatarain's/WWOZ Jazz Tent

Jerry Lee Lewis
It's easy to associate legendary rock 'n' roller Jerry Lee Lewis with Memphis and Sun Studio, but he's a native of Ferriday, Louisiana. (And, of course, his cousin is Baton Rouge-based TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart.) The Killer made his last appearance at Jazz Fest in 2007, when he graced the festival's official poster. The 79-year-old original wild man has been busy since, releasing two albums. In October 2014, he issued Rock & Roll Time, a classic covers collection that came out in conjunction with a new biography of Lewis by Rick Bragg. If Lewis wants to work the local angle at Jazz Fest, he could play his boogie woogie version of Fats Domino's "Sick and Tired," but it's a pretty good bet we'll hear his '50s hits "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On."
3:05 p.m.-4:05 p.m.
Acura Stage

Pastor Marvin Sapp
Marvin Sapp's career is marked by loss: the deaths of his father in 2007 and his wife three years later. His father inspired the breakthrough gospel hit "Never Would Have Made It," and Sapp's last album, 2012's I Win, was presented as a tribute to his wife MaLinda. The message of faith in the face of adversity is a simple one, but Sapp's sincerity resonates with fans and has made him one of the biggest names in contemporary gospel music. When he's not on tour, Sapp is the senior pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of several inspirational books. His eighth album, You Shall Live, is due for release in June.
3:55 p.m.-4:55 p.m.
Gospel Tent

Charles Lloyd Quartet
Charles Lloyd's New Quartet is not so new anymore — the group is approaching its 10th anniversary. Lloyd formed the quartet with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland in the mid-2000s, and the 77-year-old saxophonist has enjoyed something of a renaissance with the group, issuing well-regarded albums including Mirror and Rabo de Nube. The 2013 release Hagar's Song features Lloyd and Moran as a sax/flute and piano duo. In addition to its own compositions, the quartet mixes classic jazz and popular tunes into its live sets, including pieces by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and The Beach Boys.
4:10 p.m.-5:20 p.m.
Zatarain's/WWOZ Jazz Tent

Taj Mahal Trio
Fingerpicking polyglot Taj Mahal is a familiar face at Jazz Fest, first appearing at the festival in 1973 and as recently as 2013. Through the years, he's pursued the blues with a broad approach, blending folk, jazz and R&B and incorporating a wide range of African, Caribbean, Latin and Cajun influences. With more than two dozen albums to his name, the raspy-voiced Harlem native continues to challenge the mushy concept of "world" music. The trio lineup includes drummer Kester Smith and bassist Bill Rich. The three have played together since the 1970s.
4:20 p.m.-5:35 p.m.
Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do-Do Stage

Elton John
Sir Elton John last visited New Orleans for a concert at the Smoothie King Center in March 2014. He typically eschews outdoor festivals, and following his summer tour he'll return to Caesars Palace Las Vegas, where he signed a contract to perform regularly for the next three years. He's released nearly 30 albums, not including his soundtracks (The Lion King), and his performances typically pull from a slew of 1970s hits, including "Rocket Man," "Tiny Dancer," "Bennie and the Jets," and the rock 'n' roll jam "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting."
4:50 p.m.-7 p.m.
Acura Stage

Ed Sheeran
It's been hard to miss the ascent of Ed Sheeran over the past year and a half. At age 24, the English singer-songwriter has helped write hits for Taylor Swift and One Direction, while launching his multi-platinum solo career. Anyone who's missed the soulful strains of his love ballad "Thinking Out Loud" likely will hear the hit covered at a wedding reception sometime soon. With his boyish looks and earnest, heart-on-his-sleeve delivery, Sheeran attracts passionate devotion from fans who call themselves "Sheeranators."
5:15 p.m.-6:55 p.m.
Gentilly Stage

Fifteen years into his career, Atlanta-born rapper T.I. doesn't get as much respect as you might think. Perhaps longtime collaborator Pharrell oversold him when he called him "the Jay-Z of the South" — not an easy billing to live up to — but he's the biggest hip-hop act at Jazz Fest and can live large this weekend. His latest album Paperwork didn't fare as well as its conceptual predecessor, 2008's Paper Trail, but T.I. has more than enough business savvy to compensate. In addition to preparing a trilogy-completing album titled Paperwork: Traps Open, he's a mentor to Australian rap star Iggy Azalea and is pursuing a burgeoning acting career with roles in Get Hard and the upcoming Marvel film Ant-Man.
5:45 p.m.-7 p.m.
Congo Square Stage

The Terence Blanchard E-Collective
Just when you thought you were familiar with New Orleans trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, he changes it up with an electric quintet — hence the "e" in "E-Collective." The combination featuring pianist Fabian Almazan, guitarist Charles Altura, bassist Donald Ramsey and drummer Oscar Seaton brings energy and groove to Blanchard's newly unbridled horn playing. Keep an eye open for the Cuban-born Almazan, a rising star in his own right. The 31-year-old has worked with Blanchard since 2007 and in October released a second record, Rhizome, under his own name. The E-Collective currently is gearing up for its debut Breathless, which is set for release in May on Blue Note Records.
5:45 p.m.-7 p.m.
Zatarain's/WWOZ Jazz Tent


The cubes: Printable schedules to plan your weekend

A map of Jazz Fest on the Fair Grounds

The 411: All you need to know about going to Jazz Fest


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