The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, a cultural institution that goes back decades, has just announced the lineup of its 2023 festival, and it’s sort of overwhelming. The festival stretches over two weekends this spring — 4/28-30 and 5/4-7 — and an absolutely baffling array of big-name artists will play over those two weekends. The first festival has Ed Sheeran, Lizzo, and the team of Robert Plant and Allison Krauss as headliners. For the second weekend, the four-day lineup features Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Santana, and Dead & Co., the Grateful Dead/John Mayer group that’s currently in the midst of a farewell tour.
Further down the card, the two fests have piled together a massive list of names that generally fit the same prestige-heavy middlebrow mold. The festival’s bigger names include Jill Scott, H.E.R., the Steve Miller Band, Gary Clark Jr., Leon Bridges, Ludacris, Kenny Loggins, Jazmine Sullivan, and Herbie Hancock, as well as award-magnet local hero Jon Batiste. It’s also got the Wu-Tang Clan performing with New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels, which sounds both chaotic and fun.
Further down the lineup, there’s plenty to like, and you could definitely have a fun time over a couple of weekend seeing any number of these names: Ne-Yo, Tom Jones, Buddy Guy, Melissa Ethridge, Mavis Staples, Los Lobos, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Hurray For The Riff Raff, and Mdou Moctar. The festival has also taken definite steps to keep its New Orleans identity intact, so it’s also got local treasures like Trombone Shorty, Big Freedia, Irma Thomas, Galactic, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Terrence Blanchard, and the Rebirth Brass Band. You can find all the relevant details here.