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Essence Fest Planner: Thursday, July 3

The 20th Edition of the Essence Music Festival kicks off Thursday (July 3) with massive sets from Nas and Trey Songz at the Superdome. After the dome unloads for the evening, slide into Independence Day with parties at Harrah's, Cafe Istanbul and more. Here's the highlights of today's schedule:

MSNBC Comes to New Orleans for Essence Fest

Essence Festival is bringing a slew of celebs and head honchos to New Orleans. So, naturally, the TV cameras are following. MSNBC is in town broadcasting live from the Festival, giving Hardball and The Ed Show shows a little Crescent City flare from the Morial Convention Center.

Beyoncé Added to Essence Music Festival Lineup

Beyoncé will get another chance to go lights out in the Superdome this summer. Less than six months after her acclaimed Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, Mrs. Carter will return to New Orleans for a headlining spot at the 2013 Essence Music Festival, organizers said Monday. 

Essence Music Festival to Bring LL Cool J, Brandy to New Orleans

Getting 4th of July plans in before the Super Bowl, the Essence Music Festival announced its 2013 lineup this morning. The annual Superdome event boasts rapper LL Cool J, as well as R&B singers Brandy and Jill Scott among the headliners. New Edition will also return to New Orleans for another Superdome engagement Click through for the July 4-7 extravaganza's full list.

Today in New Orleans: 7.8.12


Today, Essence Festival comes to a close with Aretha Franklin and a free block party, Delfeayo Marsalis & Uptown Jazz Orchestra perform for free in the Quarter, free swing lessons at WWII Museum, and Aaron Lewis goes solo at Mahalia Jackson Theater. On this day in history, Jelly Roll Morton recorded “Pep,” “Seattle Hunch,” “Frances” and “Freakish” for the Victor label in Camden, NJ (1929), swamp bluesman Larry Garner was born in New Orleans (1952), and Jim Halsell, Jr., the first astronaut from Louisiana, was launched aboard Columbia STS-65 (1994). Here's more about today:

Today in New Orleans: 7.7.12

Today, Essence is in full swing and comedian Kevin Hart is all over the place. Early in the morning, Ashé Cultural Arts Centers hosts a Maafa Commemoration Second-Line through Treme, French Quarter and Algiers Point. In the afternoon, Kevin Hart and Doug E. Fresh host the 14th Annual All White Daytime Affair at Generations Hall. In the evening, a mobile dance party will mob through the CBD and French Quarter in solidarity with a Global Floating Dance Party. Read about it:

Beyond Bounce

Audio Filé: Digging Into the Diverse New Orleans Urban Music Scene That's Hovering Just Below the Surface

New Orleans is famous for its music, but many outsiders find the city synonymous with only certain genres and styles. Flying under the radar of trendy press coverage of artists featured in HBO’s Treme and bounce on late night television, is a diverse and tight knit movement of young emerging artists with an intelligent world view and unique, genre-bending talent.

Healing From Slavery at the Heart of Maafa Commemoration

by Mary-Devon Dupuy

It’s Essence Fest weekend, a time for people from all over the country to come down to the Big Easy and enjoy the contributions of hip-hop, R&B, and soul to the local and national music scene, as well as get inspired at the Empowerment series. The people at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, organizers of this year’s Maafa observance, want New Orleanians to remember that, while many African-Americans are headlining at the Dome, many still face injustice head-on every day.

Today in New Orleans: 7.6.12

Today, Charlie Wilson, D’Angelo and Trey Songz perform at Essence Fest, soul writer meet at the Public Library, Motions hosts a pop-up style bar at the W, Biz Markie is in town, and Jimmy Robinson releases a new CD. On this day in history, late gospel singer Bessie Griffin was born in New Orleans (1922), , and Louis Armstrong died in his sleep at his Corona, New York home at the age of 69 (1971). Now back to today:

Sons of Old School Rappers Kick off 2012 Essence Music Festival

Fourth of July weekend isn't only about fireworks in New Orleans. The annual Essence Music Festival marks the largest confab celebrating African American music in the country, and every year it takes place at the Superdome. This year's lineup is heavy on throwback acts, what with Aretha Franklin (hopefully) making good on a long-awaited NOLA appearance, and the return of an R&B singer who in the 90s threatened to crush men's hopes of being seen as good-looking, D'Angelo.  Don't forget about the lead singer of the GAP band, either! Today is New and Next (aka kids) Day, but even in that there's a whiff of the past.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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