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Published: 2006/05/08

37th Annual JazzFest Comes to a Close

Over the weekend, New Orleans’ 37-annual Jazz & Heritage Festival came to a close in its traditional Fairgrounds location. While the weekend featured well-received performances from such lauded acts as Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Jimmy Buffet and Robert Randolph, the festival’s closing headliner, Fats Domino, abruptly canceled his performance without issuing an official statement. A few days earlier, the 78 year old piano-icon also missed a schedule signing, leading many to worry about his health condition. One evening performance which featured a number of unexpected guests, however, was Saturday’s festivities at the Contemporary Arts Center. A triple bill featuring Govt Mule, Galactic and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the evening featured numerous special guests throughout the night. During Gov’t Mule’s segment, funky Meters guitarist Brian Stoltz and Smokey Greenwell both appeared on ’32/20 Blues’ at the end of Gov’t Mule’s first set. After set break, Mule returned with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s Efrem Towns for ‘Raining Pain In New Orleans.’ Galactic’s performance also featured a number of special guests including former pop-star turned/improvisational everyman John Mayer on ‘Groovy Lady’ and ‘Little Miss Lover.’ Warren Haynes also appeared on a set-closing ‘When the Levee Breaks,’ while Mike Dillon played percussion throughout Galactic’s entire performance.

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