It has been a notably rough year for dropouts from the initial schedule of the New Orleans jazz and Heritage Festival, but Quint Davis and company have managed to do their best to quickly fill in the gaps with similar artists.
Losing a legend like Levon Helm from the lineup is tough, and obviously someone like Helm is irreplaceable, but the team has scrambled admirably to fill in the gaps as soon as possible to ensure that the initially-impressive lineup doesn’t lose too much luster.
Continue for a brief history of some of the big talent switchouts since the initial lineup was unveiled in mid-December.
First, there was John Mayer being forced to cancel his entire tour a, including a Jazz Fest stop , due to granuloma in his throat, after already agreeing to step down from his headliner spot on the Acura Stage to allow The Boss to close down the main stage. Mayer’s departure from the festival lineup may have added some time to Springsteen’s slot and The Boss will now play a monster 2.5 hour set on the Acura Stage to close out weekend 1.
In early March Jill Scott vacated her spot to pursue a movie role and Cee-Lo Green (judge of The Voice, purveyor of “F**k You”, founding member of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley) will fill in for Scott’s Saturday, April 28 performance.
Last week it was Eddie Vedder cancelling his entire solo ukulele tour and Thursday Jazz Fest headlining spot; Jimmy Buffett (who appeared last year at Jazz Fest with the Coral Reefer Band) and Mac McAnally will fill in for the injured Pearl Jam front man with an acoustic set on Thursday, May 3.
Word got out on the Jazz Fest boards late last week that Levon Helm had fallen ill and would need to cancel his highly-anticipated collaboration with Mavis Staples, and it was announced this week that the Warren Haynes Band would fill in on the evening of the second Saturday. Haynes’ replacement makes a great deal of sense considering his recent (and much raved about) Stax soul album Man In Motion and the soul, blues and gospel flavored performance that was to ensue with Helms and Staples.
Warren Haynes – Man In Motion (Live at Bonnaroo 2011)
Finally, there was a quick and unexpected departure of Bunny Wailer, who will be appropriately replaced by Ziggy Marley as part of Ziggy’s Wild and Free tour, which also includes a night show at Tipitina’s Uptown on Thursday, May 3. Marley and his band will perform at Jazz Fest on Friday, May 4 and close down the Congo Square Stage.
You win some and you lose some, but the show must go on.
See you at the Fairgrounds on April 27!