The New Orleans Jazz festival is an event that never fails to deliver. The 2012  Jazz and Heritage Festival may be the best  in the music celebration’s 42-year history. Once here at the New Orleans Race Track, the home of the Jazz Fest you’ll be awed be the sea of activity and venue-after-venue of even more awesome musical line-up featuring the biggest names in the business.

Here you can catch Ne-yo performing on the Congo stage and Janelle Monae dazzling the crowd with her musical acrobatics a few stages over. After you’ve made the rounds to the jazz, blues and gospel tents, and indulged in amazing cuisine you may run into celebrities sitting-in on impromptu jam sessions with any of the dozens other acts going on over the four-day celebration.  Like Sly Stone making a guest appearance with local jazz sensation James Andrews — and the enigmatic legend stays on stage and standing throughout the show — priceless.

According to the official Jazz Fest website, “The Festival celebrates the indigenous music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana, so the music encompasses every style associated with the city and the state: blues, R&B, gospel, Afro-Caribbean, rock, rap, jazz and everything in between.

Once you arrive at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and find that practically every act that you can think of is playing on one venue or another. Premier artists performing this year include:

  • The Neville Brothers
  • Al Green
  • Herbie Hancock and his Band
  • Ne-Yo
  • Cee Lo Green
  • Maze feat. Frankie Beverly
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Yolanda Adams
  •  Steel Pulse
  • David Sanborn and Joey DeFrancesco
  •  Bobby Rush
  • Ellis Marsalis
  • Ruby Wilson’s Tribute to Bessie Smith & Ma Rainey
  • Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs
  • Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience
  • Dr. Michael White & the Original Liberty Jazz Band feat. Thais Clark