jill scott*New Orleans – The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, presented by Shell is one of the most anticipated music festivals in the country. Jazz Fest takes place each year at the Fairgrounds Race Course. The dates for 2012 is April 27-29,and May 3-6,2012.

Late addition to the Festival line-up will be Bruce Springstein & the E-Street Band to close out the first weekend of Jazz Fest on Sunday,April 29.Eddie Veddar is scheduled to perform on Thursday,May 3rd.

Springtein return to the festival after “what was widely regarded as one of the most powerful performances in 2006 with his Seeger Sessions project after Katrina.” Those in attendance stated “this was the most wonderful performance in the Festival’s more than four decade history.

Quint Davis,producer/director of Jazz Fest,said “for anyone who was there that day in 2006, for Bruce ministering to the people of the Festival,that performance will forever remain a life-catharsis,when moved by the sheer force of his spirit and artistry,we experiencea rare moment in time when the healing power in music was taken to an ultimate level.”

You will want to be at Jazz Fest on Sunday, April 29, added Davis “when Springstein returns with the full-fledged Bruce Springstein and the E-Street Band,with new music that speaks profoundly to the New Orleans and American stories.The stage is now set for another legendary Jazz Fest moment.”

This is a partial list of artist appearing at this years Jazz Fest including the Eagles,Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers,Foo Fighters,Beach Boys Reunion, Zac Brown,Trombone Shorty,John Mayer,The Neville Brothers,Al Green,Herbie Hancock,Ne-Yo,My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver, Paulina Rubio, Jill Scott, Florence + the Machine, Allen Toussaint, Feist,Bunny Wailer,Bonnie Raitt,Irma Thomas,Maze featuring Frankie Beverly,Dr.John,Janelle Monae,Yolanda Adams,Iron & Wine,Pete Fountain,Rodrigo and Gabriela, Steel Pulse,Rebirth Brass Band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Esperanza Spaldings,funky Meters,Levon Helm with special guest Mavis Staples,Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Aaron Neville,Steve Earle,Galactic,Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary Jam, Mystikal,Wes Anderson and Aaron Fletcher, Los Hombres Calientes featuring Bill Summers and Irvin Mayfield, Evan Christopher, Ellis Marsalis, Gramaine Bazzle, Bucketwheat Zydeco, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Irma Thomas Tribute to Mahalia Jackson, Bobby Rush, Dav Koz, Israel Houghton and New Breed, Cheikh Lo of Senegal, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas,Dianne Reeves, C.J Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band,and many more.Visit http://lineup.nojazzfest.com to view the day to day complete line-up schedule.

The Jazz Festival offers three distinct VIP opportunities to experience the event in style:the Festival’s popular Big Chief VIP Experience ticket package provides special viewing access at most of the Festival’s stages,the Grand Marshal VIP Pass allows for up-close access at the three major stages: and the Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass entitles patrons to special covering seating at the Acura Stage audience area.All of the hugely popular VIP packages are on sale now while supplies last.The Festival offeres a special layaway arrangement for any of the VIP packages.For more information on layaway,please visit www.nojazzfest.com.

Jazz Fest also offers full service travel packages for fans wishing to take the guesswork out of attending the event.Visit www.nojazzfest.com to learn more about the official travel pacakges that incude hotel accommodations,travel to and from the Festival grounds and festival tickets,including the option for Festival VIP packages.

Tickets for the Festival,which takes place at the Fair Grounds Race Course,are on sale now.Advance single-day Jazz Fest tickets are only $45 through February 29.Starting March 1,advance single-day tickets will be $50,while the gate price ticket is $65.Children’s tickets(age 2-10) are still only $5 and are available at the gate only.Single day tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend,with each ticket valid for a single’s day’s attendance.

Tickets are available at www.nojazzfest.com and www.ticketmaster.com,at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (800)745-3000.Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at the New Orleans Arena Box Office.All general admission Jazz Fest tickets are subject to additional service fees and handling charges.

A listing of hotels offering special Jazz Fest rates is posted at www.nojazzfest.com, where patrons can effortlessly reserve their hotel rooms for the event.Festival-goers can peruse room availability and book their accommodations early taking advantage of some of the best prices offered at participating hotels.

Shell is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival.Major Jazz Fest Sponsors are Acura,Dell,Peoples Health,Miller Lite,and the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots(A Churchill Downs company).Coca-Cola,Sheralton New Orleans Hotel,WWOZ,Zatarain’s,and St.Charles Vision are also Official Jazz Fest Sponsors.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation,Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell.The Foundation used the proceeds from Jazz Fest,and other revenues,for year-round activities in the areas of education,economic development and cultural events.Education programs include the Don “Moose”Jamison Heritage School of Music and the Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture Series.Economic Development initiates include the Community Partnership Grants,the Sync Up entertainment industry conference and the Jazz & Heritage Talent Exchange web site.Cultural events include the Jazz Journey concert series and free community festivals:the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival,the Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival,the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival and the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival.The Foundation also owns the radio station WWOZ 90.7,the Jazz & Heritage Archive,the Jazz & Heritage Gallery and the Jazz & Heritage Center.

The 14th Annual Jazz & Heritage Foundation Gala will be held on April 26 at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside Hotel.The Gala is an evening of music,food,and fun that directly supports the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music,a free music instruction program that reaches more than 85 students each week.This year’s Gala will feature two of the Heritage School’s most outstanding alumni Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and his exciting group,Orleans Avenue;and Sam Williams with his Big Sam’s Funky Nation;plus very special guests James Andrews and Glen David Andrews.Tickets are $500.00 and include access passes to all seven days of Jazz Fest.The Gala always sells out,so please visit www.jazzandheritage.org or call 504-558-6100 to get tickets or inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell is a co-production of Festival Productions Louisiana,LLC.(a wholly owned subsidiary of Festival Productions,Inc.-New Orleans)and AEG Louisiana Production,LLC.(a subsidiary of AEG Live).

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer,music reviewer and photographer.Contact him via: liltampared@netzero.net.