May 30th, 2024

Time is on their side: Rolling Stones to rock New Orleans Jazz Fest after 2 previous tries

By Chevel Johnson Rodrigue And Kevin Mcgill, The Associated Press on May 1, 2024.

FILE - Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones performs during the first night of the U.S. leg of their "Hackney Diamonds" tour on Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Houston. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is usually akin to a 14-ring musical circus, but that changes Thursday afternoon, May 2, when 13 stages go silent before The Rolling Stones make their first appearance at the 54-year-old festival. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is usually akin to a 14-ring musical circus – a variety of musical acts playing simultaneously on stages spread throughout the sprawling infield of a historic horse racing track.

That changes Thursday afternoon, when 13 stages go silent before The Rolling Stones make their first appearance at the 54-year-old festival.

“We didn’t want to have 13 empty stages and no people in front of them when the Stones start singing favorites like “˜(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ and “˜Jumpin’ Jack Flash,'” festival producer Quint Davis told The Associated Press ahead of the festival. “Everyone who bought a ticket for that day primarily bought one to see The Stones.”

Jazz Fest is the second stop for the Stones on their Hackney Diamonds tour, launched in support of the well-received album they released last year, their first album of original material in 18 years. They had been scheduled to appear at the 50th Jazz Fest in 2019 but had to cancel because of Mick Jagger’s heart surgery. A subsequent planned appearance was scrubbed in 2021 when the festival was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans of New Orleans rhythm and blues artists will be watching to see if the legendary group performs “Time Is On My Side,” which was an early hit for the band. New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas had success with the song in an earlier recording, and Thomas told WVUE-TV in an interview that “there’s a possibility” she might perform it with the band.

Thursday’s weather for the outdoor festival is a little sketchy. Forecasts show a mostly cloudy skyline, with temperatures in the mid-80s (around 30 Celsius), but there’s up to a 40% chance of rain in the afternoon.

Dumpstaphunk, a funk-fusion band born in New Orleans with descendants from the city’s well-known Neville family, plays just before the Stones hit the festival’s largest stage. Dumpstaphunk is mourning the recent death of bassist Nick Daniels III, a co-founder of the group who died Sunday. A cause of death has not been released.

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