SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE REBIRTH OF
NEW ORLEANS CULTURE
HISTORIC 37TH ANNUAL JAZZ FEST ANNOUNCES MUSIC LINEUP

American Express Initiative Focuses Spotlight on the City’s Musicians
And Secures the Return of the Festival’s Jazz & Heritage Stage



New Orleans, LA (February 15, 2006)—Heralding the comeback of New Orleans music and culture, organizers of the 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell today announced a music lineup filled with hundreds of New Orleans’ most beloved musicians, an array of superstars who have delivered some of the Festival’s most thrilling performances, and major artists making their Jazz Fest debuts at the first post-Katrina event on April 28-30 and May 5-7.

Fats Domino, Jimmy Buffett, Lionel Richie, Dave Matthews Band, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Keith Urban, Yolanda Adams, Allen Toussaint w/ Elvis Costello, India “The Princess of Salsa,” The Meters, The Ohio Players, Dr. John, Ani DiFranco, Keb’ Mo’, Irma Thomas, Hugh Masekela, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Koko Taylor, Donald Harrison w/ George Coleman & Eddie Palmieri, Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw, Little Feat, The Radiators, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. & the Greater St. Stephen Mass Choir, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Special Ed & Big Daddy Kane, Angelique Kidjo, Yerba Buena, Chris Owens, Le Grand Ballet “Ngalam” du Senegal, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Buckwheat Zydeco, Galactic, Deacon John, Rebirth Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Snooks Eaglin, Cowboy Mouth, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Roland Guerin w/ Marcus Roberts, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Sonny Landreth, Kermit Ruffins, Terence Blanchard, Ritmo Caribeño, Ellis Marsalis w/ Lew Tabackin, the subdudes, Nicholas Payton, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rockin’ Dopsie, the Wild Magnolias, Marcia Ball, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Ivan Neville, The Ladies of New Orleans R&B featuring The Dixie Cups, Wanda Rouzan & Jean Knight, Terrance Simien, Anders Osborne, Charmaine Neville, Banu Gibson, Stephanie Jordan, Sherman Washington & the Zion Harmonizers, Frankie Ford, Tab Benoit, Marva Wright, Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band, Amanda Shaw, and hundreds more are all set to perform.

Quint Davis, producer/director of Jazz Fest, said, “The true heart and soul of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, as with New Orleans itself, is music. It is the force that drives and defines us. Not merely for entertainment, but to feed our souls. It is overwhelming how our musical family has rallied to our cause, especially the New Orleans musical mainstays, many scattered throughout the country, all committed to returning to be a part of the renewal of our spirit. Jazz Fest 2006, the great New Orleans homecoming. Anybody who comes to this year’s Festival will bear witness to the healing power of music.”

American Express, a strong advocate of culture and the arts and the powerful role they play in community renewal, has joined the Festival this year as an important corporate partner. American Express’ new initiative, “American Express Spotlights New Orleans’ Own,” will promote the appearance of some of the city’s most treasured native musicians, including Irma Thomas and the Rebirth Brass Band, on the Festival’s main stages. The support from American Express also makes possible the return of the Jazz & Heritage Stage. The Stage, which debuted at last year’s Jazz Fest, features brass and bands, Mardi Gras Indian performances—the soul of New Orleans culture.

Howard Fulton, Vice President, Southern Region for American Express said, “This program will celebrate homegrown New Orleans’ musicians who have made an immeasurable contribution to the artistic legacy of the city. Our support of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and program to promote native musicians is just part of our broader commitment to spark community revitalization. We are also working with merchant partners to stimulate business and developing longer-term initiatives to bring travel and tourism back.”

Davis said that after some fine tuning of the music schedule, possibly as soon as next week, a day-by-day listing of the artists’ performances will be posted at the Festival’s official website, www.nojazzfest.com.

The Festival’s signature Louisiana Heritage Fair, held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each of its six days, with artists appearing on multiple stages at the same time. The Heritage Fair also features a famous Food Fair with over 100 varieties of irresistible Louisiana and international foods, as well as three important crafts fairs.

Tickets for Jazz Fest are on sale now at www.nojazzfest.com and www.ticketmaster.com, at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (800) 488-5252 (outside Louisiana) and (504) 522-5555 (New Orleans). Tickets can be purchased in person at the Jazz Fest ticket office located at New Orleans Arena, 1501 Girod Street. Today, February 15, is the last day to purchase a $20 ticket to either Jazz Fest Friday. Tickets to Jazz Fest are on sale by specific weekend, with each ticket valid for a single day’s attendance. Prices are $30 in advance, $40 at the gate. Children’s tickets (under age 12) are only $5 in advance or at the gate. Jazz Fest’s popular Big Chief VIP Experience also returns with full weekend passes and VIP amenities available for only $500 per weekend, $600 with parking. Additional ticket and VIP information is available at www.nojazzfest.com.

Gray Line Tours/Hotard Destination Services will operate continuous round-trip transportation – the Jazz Fest Express - from the Sheraton Hotel, the Gray Line Lighthouse at the Steamboat Natchez Wharf (Toulouse St. at the River – next to Jax Brewery), and Marconi Meadows (City Park) daily from 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. A special entrance will be used only by Jazz Fest Express vehicles to avoid traffic and bring Festival-goers inside the gates of the Festival. Add $15 ($12 City Park) to the price of a Festival admission ticket for this round-trip transportation service. Admission and Jazz Fest Express tickets are available for sale on the days of the Festival from these locations or in advance through TicketMaster. For more information, call 504-569-1401 or 1-800-535-7786. Gray Line is the official operator of the Jazz Fest Express.

Shell is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival. American Express, Tenet Choices, Inc., Acura, Miller Lite, Fair Grounds Race Course (A Churchill Downs Company), Louisiana Office of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Southern Comfort, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Rajen Kilachand, Zatarain's, Barq’s, St. Charles Vision are all also official Jazz Fest sponsors.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the non-profit institution that oversees the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses proceeds from the Festival to develop and support special projects designed to preserve and perpetuate the area’s rich music and cultural heritage. For information on the Foundation and its programs, visit nojhf.org or call (504) 522-4786.

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