NEW ORLEANS — The Who, the iconic British rock band led by singer and guitar player Pete Townshend, is taking center stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Saturday.
The band is stopping in New Orleans for the second leg of a 17-stage tour of the United States this spring. The band is celebrating its 50th year together.
This will be the first time for The Who to perform at Jazz Fest, which is in its 46th year. This year's fest is marked by the debut of another icon of British rock — a show by Elton John next Saturday.
Besides The Who, Saturday's lineup features the usual mix of genres offered at the festival's 12 stages and performance tents — traditional jazz, gospel, funk, Cajun, zydeco, rock and more.
Here are some of the day's highlights from the festival:
THE BIG SHOWS
Besides The Who, the day's final late afternoon and evening shows — when the biggest names perform — feature alt-country singer and songwriter Ryan Adams, nine-time Grammy Award winner and rhythm and blues singer and pianist John Legend and five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray, a blues guitarist and singer.
RAIN OR SHINE?
The weather has been known to turn nasty during past festivals, turning the grounds inside a horse race track into a muddy mess. Thunderstorms were possible Saturday but conditions were expected to improve by the afternoon hours. The temperatures were expected to hit the low 80s.
Jazz Fest is not just about music but also culinary treats. Besides numerous Louisiana classics — spicy boiled crawfish, alligator pies, boudin, red beans and rice — the festival presents dishes from top chefs at the Food Heritage and Cajun Cabin stages. Among the cooking demonstrations: Boudin stuffed rabbit, crawfish bisque, gnocchi with crawfish and basil, whole grilled fish with jalapeno chimichurri, chargrilled oysters and shrimp and fried turkey.