The Black Men of Labor, one of the numerous New Orleans social groups that… (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles…)
Music fans who can’t make it to New Orleans this year will for the first time be able to check in live on the proceedings at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, courtesy of a new deal struck between the festival and the AXS TV cable channel.
AXS will broadcast live throughout the seven days of music over two weekends -- April 26 to May 5 -- and will broadcast continuously over the second weekend of May 3-5, officials announced Wednesday.
“Joining forces with AXS TV will allow Jazz Fest to further our goal of placing New Orleans and Louisiana culture alongside the biggest names in music and bringing this one-of-a-kind celebration to the world,” Jazz Fest producer and director Quint Davis said in a statement.
Jazz Fest typically showcases a broad swath of music from hundreds of performers across a dozen stages, jazz being just one component along with rock, blues, Cajun, zydeco, R&B, gospel, rap, folk, Latin, country and world music.
This year’s headliners include Patti Smith, Fleetwood Mac, the Black Keys, Frank Ocean, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Mayer, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dr. John, Gary Clark Jr., Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite and Widespread Panic.
The deal with AXS TV is part of the channel’s emphasis on live music events, and also reflects AXS' close working relationship with concert promoter AEG Live, which promotes Jazz Fest.
“AXS TV’s broadcast partnership with New Orleans Jazz Fest reflects our commitment to both music and live entertainment,” AXS TV Chairman and founder Mark Cuban said in the same statement.
AXS carried the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief in December and other benefit events, has spotlighted live shows with Linkin Park, Carrie Underwood, Aerosmith, Pitbull and Daughtry, and has partnered with the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles to highlight events at the facility and the Grammy Foundation’s MusiCares annual tribute to a pop music icon.
The channel also recently instituted a weekly series of live performances from the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood titled “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands,” featuring acts that salute the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Van Halen, U2 and others.
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