The 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell goes down at the Fair Grounds Race Course, Friday April 22 through Sunday May 1 and the line-up is going to be fierce.  Yesterday organizers for the famous festival announced the incredible talent set to grace the stage.  Just as years past the itinerary will be loaded with a diverse group of BIG names to include:

Lauren Hill, Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Maze, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole, Jazmine Sullivan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maxwell, The Isley Brothers, Janelle Monae', Boz Scaggs, Mavis Staples, CeCe Winans Flo Rida, Michael McDonald, New Orleans legends Big Freedia, Mystikal, Trombone Shorty, Aaron Neville and much more!

The first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival took place at Congo Square, April 1970 and was organized by festival producer George Wein.  The purpose was to showcase the cities legacy as the birthplace of Jazz and it's first artists included New Orleans legends Mahalia JacksonFats Domino, as well as the great Duke EllingtonClifton Chenier and many more. Some 350 people were in attendance. reports advance tickets are available now, with single-day tickets $60 plus tax through Feb. 2. After that tickets will be $65 plus tax from Feb. 3 through April 21. If you wait till the day of, tickets at the gate go up to $75 plus tax.  Click here for a map and stage layout.

Never been?  You've got to go at least once.  Be prepared for two main things; it's going to be EXTREMELY hot, so you may seriously consider sun screen and an umbrella and if you know like I know, you will want to bring a portable chair. Unless you buy designated seating tickets, you will stand ALL DAY!  Comfortable shoes and a little cash are a must for beverages and food.  For your convenience the Jazz Fest Express shuttles leave from to the River Walk and will bring you to and from the festival daily for a price of course. Make it easy they're well worth it.

Below is a look back at 2015's iconic performances:

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