Maybe Keith Urban was inspired by his fellow American Idol judge — celebrated jazz vocalist, pianist and New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. — when he decided to join the lineup for the 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
And while you might be thinking, “Wait … what’s Keith doing at a jazz festival,” Urban’s music is full of such soul, heart and passion, his performance could go pretty much anywhere.
To back up such a claim, ladies and gentlemen, may we present Exhibit A: Urban’s smoking-hot interpretation of the James Brown classic “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” from the 2014 CMT Artists of the Year special.
Also to be noted is the increasing diversity of the Jazz Fest lineup over the years by welcoming acts from the rock and country worlds. Willie Nelson, Little Big Town and the Zac Brown Band have all played the famed festival in recent years.
This year, Elton John, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Jimmy Buffett, Widespread Panic, Jerry Lee Lewis, No Doubt, Pitbull, Chicago, Delbert McClinton and John Legend also join the lineup, along with jazz and blues greats like Cassandra Wilson, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint.
Urban won’t be the only one representing country music and Americana this time around. Alison Krauss & Union Station, Kacey Musgraves, Shovels & Rope, Sturgill Simpson and Shooter Jennings are also set to appear.
The festival takes place April 24-May 3.