The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, often known as Jazz Fest, is an annual celebration of the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. The term Jazz Fest also refers to the days surrounding the festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the festival weekends.
Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. (born September 11, 1967) is an American singer, big band leader, talk show host and actor. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales. He has had seven top 20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in US jazz chart history.
Connick's best-selling album in the United States is his Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas (1993). His highest-charting album is his release Only You (2004), which reached No. 5 in the US and No. 6 in Britain. He has won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Grace's husband, Leo Markus, on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006.
Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film Memphis Belle (1990). He played a serial killer in Copycat (1995), before being cast as a fighter pilot in the blockbuster Independence Day (1996). Connick's first role as a leading man was in Hope Floats (1998) with Sandra Bullock. His first thriller film since Copycat came in the film Basic (2003) with John Travolta. Additionally, he played the violent ex-husband in Bug, before two romantic comedies, P.S. I Love You (2007), and the leading man in New in Town (2009) with Renée Zellweger. In 2011, he appeared in the family film Dolphin Tale as Dr. Clay Haskett and in its 2014 sequel.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band's original lineup was Tom Petty as the lead singer and guitar player, Mike Campbell as the lead guitarist, Ron Blair on bass, Stan Lynch on drums, and Benmont Tench on keyboards. The band has largely maintained this lineup, with a few exceptions. In 1981, Blair, who was tired of the touring lifestyle, left the band. Blair's replacement, Howie Epstein, stayed with the band for the next twenty years. Scott Thurston joined the band as a multi-instrumentalist, mostly rhythm guitar and second keyboards, in 1991. Blair returned to the Heartbreakers in 2002, the year before Epstein's death. In 1994, Steve Ferrone replaced Lynch.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were on the forefront of the heartland rock movement, alongside artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger, which arose in the late 1970s and 1980s. The genre eschews the synthesizer-based music and fashion elements popularized in the 1980s, such as synthpop and New Romanticism in favor of a straightforward classic rock sound and lyrics based on relatable, blue collar issues. Petty and the Heartbreakers are known for hit singles such as "American Girl", "Breakdown", "The Waiting", "Learning to Fly", "Refugee" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance". While the heartland rock movement fizzled in the 1990s, the band remained active and popular. They still tour regularly and continue to record albums. Their most recent, Hypnotic Eye, was released on July 25, 2014.
Although most of their material is produced and performed under the name "The Heartbreakers", Petty has released three solo albums, the most successful being 1989's Full Moon Fever. In these releases, members of the band contributed as collaborators, producing and performing as studio musicians.
Stevland Hardaway Morris (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins; May 13, 1950), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he is considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11, and he continued performing and recording for Motown into the 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth.
Among Wonder's works are singles such as "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" and "I Just Called to Say I Love You"; and albums such as Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2013, Billboard magazine released a list of the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 55th anniversary, with Wonder at number six.