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Tradition and sunshine close out Jazz Fest

Associated Press Modified: May 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm •  Published: May 6, 2012
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Neville Brothers has carried on the tradition of closing out the big stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The Funky Meters, regulars at the fest since 1989, were back. And festival founder George Wein played with an all-star cast at the Preservation Hall and Friends 50th Anniversary Celebration.

That was Sunday's big nod to tradition.

The closing day lineup also included Bonnie Raitt, the Foo Fighters and the Rebirth Brass Band as part of the more than 60 groups performing on 11 stages.

Although attendance would not be announced until later in the week, the festival was jammed throughout its 7-day run thanks to a combination of acts from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to more traditional jazz, blues and gospel performers.

The 86-year-old Wein proclaimed the festival had enjoyed its "biggest crowd ever."