NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Satchmo Summerfest opens its doors Friday at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter.
The 2015 festival brings a few changes, most notably being a small admission fee. Admission is $5 for adults and children under 12 are free. Organizers say the fee was implemented to keep the quality of the event high and build towards growth and future expansion.
The three-day event is a celebration of the life, legacy and music of New Orleans' native son Louis Armstrong. The annual festival, which started in 2001, has grown into a massive event filled with entertainment, education and fare from some of New Orleans most notable restaurants.
The festival opens with a second-line Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Washington Artillery Park. From there, the parade moves to the festival grounds for the official start of the 11 a.m. press conference. Following the press conference, the festival launches into an expansive lineup of music and entertainment.
Entertainment is scheduled on two stages from 11:45 a.m. through 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday's music cuts off at 8 a.m.
Performers for the weekend include Deacon John, The Palm Court Jazz All Stars, Jewel Brown, Bill Summers, Rebirth Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, James Andrews, Kermit Ruffins and the Treme Brass Band among many others.
To view a full schedule, click here.
A host of lectures and discussions about the influence of jazz in New Orleans will be held inside the museum, along with a keynote conversation commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina entitled Musical First Responders. The panel is set to honor those who worked to rebuild the city's musical infrastructure. Representatives Jordan Hirsch, Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Robert Lyall, Derrick Tabb, and Reid Wick will discuss lessons learned in the past decade.
Festival-goers can also check out the new, never-before-seen exhibit, Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans. Free dance lessons and children's activities will be available throughout the weekend.
Satchmo SummerFest runs July 31 to Aug. 2. For more information about daily events and performers, go to www.fqfi.org.