NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It's been more than 25 years since Grammy Award winner Dr. John has played New Orleans' French Quarter Festival, but organizers say the singer-pianist is returning to the event this spring.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is among the 1,400 Louisiana musicians who are scheduled to perform on 21 stages during the free festival scheduled to run from April 10 to 13. It's held in an area that stretches from the Mississippi River to Bourbon Street and from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.
It's also the last big local music event before the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival opens for its two-weekend run from April 25 to May 4.
Dr. John will play April 11 at 4:30 p.m. on the riverfront Abita Stage, organizers said Wednesday during a news conference at which most of the lineup was released. A full schedule and lineup will be released in March.
Marci Schramm, executive director of French Quarter Festival, Inc., said they are thrilled that Dr. John is playing the festival for the first time since 1987.
"We asked him every year," Schramm said. "It was really hard to get him in recent years because he's been so busy and because of exclusivity clauses in his contracts. This year, though, seems to be our year, and he came back with open arms."
The performance will be Dr. John's only festival appearance in New Orleans this spring. He and his band, The Nite Trippers, are scheduled to headline the Baton Rouge Blues Festival on April 12.