NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival landed Sir Elton John to perform in May, organizers say they also worked hard to craft an entire day that hits all the right notes with a parade of piano royalty.
On May 2, the day the “Rocket Man” singer-pianist takes the stage, there will also be performances by longtime Louisiana blues player Marcia Ball, rockabilly pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis, rising hometown star Davell Crawford and others.
Crawford will perform a tribute to New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame performer Fats Domino, whose hits include “Blueberry Hill,” ”Walkin’ to New Orleans,” ”Blue Monday” and “Ain’t That a Shame.”
“It’s an entire piano day, and it’s going to be exciting,” said Jazz Fest producer Quint Davis.
The lineup this year also includes the rock band No Doubt, as well as Ed Sheeran, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Keith Urban and Chicago.
“It’s always my list to God’s ears, but this time almost everything that we’ve ever dreamt of, much less wanted, fell together,” Davis said.
The festival spans seven days over two weekends between April 24 and May 3.
Bennett, who has played the festival before, will take the stage with first-timer Lady Gaga. The duo collaborated on an album and video last year. They will perform April 26, along with Jimmy Buffett, Pitbull, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and the Cajun band Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet.
Other Jazz Fest first-timers include Chicago and No Doubt on May 1, Ed Sheeran on May 2, Keith Urban on April 24 and The Who on April 25.
John Legend, who topped charts with 2013’s “All of Me,” performed at Jazz Fest with The Roots a few years back but is returning April 25 under his solo artist name.
Also returning is Jimmy Cliff on April 24.
Another local highlight is a reunion of The Meters, the original New Orleans group made up of Art Neville, George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli and Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, who have all since gone on to launch solo careers. They perform together on May 3.
“This is the four original guys together again, and it’s not just exciting, this band’s hot, and it’s historic,” Davis said.
Jazz Fest annually draws hundreds of thousands of music fans to New Orleans for two weekends of jazz, blues, Cajun, zydeco and gospel.
In all, more than 500 acts will perform on 12 stages, and about 425 acts are from Louisiana, Davis said.
The festival will run April 24, 25 and 26, and April 30, May 1, 2 and 3.
Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.