New Orleans Jazz Fest to pay tribute to Mahalia Jackson
By: Joseph Middleton
The 2011 New Orleans Jazz Fest is paying tribute to NOLA's native daughter, Mahalia Jackson. Though Mahalia was perhaps best known for "running" the Chicago gospel scene alongside Roberta Martin in the 40s-60s, New Orleans was her birthplace and place of residence until 1927. Mahalia made her one and only appearance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April 1970 with another New Orleans music great, Louis Armstrong. As New Orleans prepares to celebrate Mahalia Jackson's 100th birthday in October, a few tributes have been planned to honor Mahalia. The first tribute took place on April 30 and featured a set by R&B singer Fantasia, who will portray Mahalia in a biopic to be released later this year. Another tribute is scheduled for Friday evening, May 6th from 5:40pm to 6:40pm in the Gospel Tent at the Jazz Fest.