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A half-century's worth of JazzFest performances are set for release on new Smithsonian Folkways box / Off BEAT

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Fans of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be treated to a half-century's worth of live performances in a very special commemorative box CD set being released in celebration of Jazz Fest's 50th anniversary.

In honor of Jazz Fest's golden anniversary, Smithsonian Folkways is releasing five discs of live performances from past years' festivals. Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will arrive on May 10 and is currently available for pre-order, here.

Jazz Fest organizers, the box set focuses on "the roots of Louisiana music," placing emphasis on genres like jazz, bounce, zydeco, brass band, gospel and R&B. Some of the artists featured are Trombone Shorty, Irma Thomas, Big Freedia, Professor Longhair, The Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint (solo and in a duet with Bonnie Raitt), Dr. John, Kermit Ruffins, Terence Blanchard, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Champion Jack Dupree, and Buckwheat Zydeco.

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