NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on the opening day of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (all times local):
Sting drew throngs to one of the largest stages of the New Orleans & Heritage Festival as he launched into an array of crowd favorites like Synchohicity II and Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.
Thousands crowded onto the large infield of the Fair Grounds Race Course on Friday to hear him — or any of well over 60 other acts performing on more than a dozen outdoor stages.
Clear skies, light breezes and comfortably cool temperatures added to the joyous atmosphere.
The annual spring celebration continues through Sunday and picks up again next Thursday.
The joyous atmosphere was tempered for many by news of the death Thursday of saxophonist Charles Neville, a stalwart of the Neville Brothers Band for three decades. Charles Neville's brother Aaron is scheduled to perform next weekend.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has opened its annual two-weekend run in New Orleans
Crowds began pouring into the sun-drenched infield of the Fair Grounds Race Course Friday morning. That's where well over 60 acts were set to perform on more than a dozen stages throughout the day. Sting was set to close out opening day Friday evening.
Tens of thousands are expected for a festival that caters to a wide variety of tastes in music, food and art.
There was also sad news to temper the festival's joyous atmosphere: Thursday's death at age 79 of Charles Neville, the New Orleans-born saxophonist who gained fame with the Neville Brothers Band. The act closed out the festival for years. Impromptu tributes were expected throughout the day.