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. Use of the term "Jazz Fest" can also include the days surrounding the Festival and the many shows at unaffiliated New Orleans nightclubs scheduled during the Festival event weekends.
Steely Dan is an American jazz rock band whose music also blends elements of funk, R&B, and pop. Founded by core members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1972, the band enjoyed great critical and commercial success in the late 1970s and early 1980s before breaking up in 1981. Rolling Stone has called them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies". Steely Dan reunited in 1993 and has toured steadily ever since.
Recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, Steely Dan's music is characterized by complex jazz-influenced structures and harmonies. Becker and Fagen are whimsical, often sarcastic lyricists, having written "cerebral, wry and eccentric" songs about drugs, love affairs, and crime. The pair is also known for their near-obsessive perfectionism in the recording studio: Over the year they took to record Gaucho (1980), an album of just seven songs, Becker and Fagen hired at least 42 studio musicians and 11 engineers.
Steely Dan toured from 1972 to 1974 before retiring from live performances, becoming a studio-only band. After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993 Steely Dan has released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001.
In a VH1 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, Steely Dan were listed at #82.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (also sometimes shortened to "The Chili Peppers" or abbreviated as "RHCP") are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, their music incorporates elements of jam band due to the improvised nature of much of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members Anthony Kiedis (vocals) and Flea (bass), longtime drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined in late 2009, replacing John Frusciante. Red Hot Chili Peppers have won seven Grammy Awards, and have become one of the best-selling bands of all time, selling over 80 million records worldwide. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The band's original line-up featured guitarist Hillel Slovak and drummer Jack Irons, alongside Kiedis and Flea. Because of commitments to other bands, Slovak and Irons did not play on the band's debut album, The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984). Cliff Martinez was the drummer for the first two records (Irons played on the third), and guitarist Jack Sherman played on the first. Slovak performed on the second and third albums by the band, Freaky Styley (1985) and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987); he died of a heroin overdose in 1988. As a result of the death of his friend, drummer Irons chose to depart from the group. Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist DeWayne McKnight was brought in to replace Slovak, though his tenure was short and he was replaced by Frusciante in 1988. Former Dead Kennedys drummer D.H. Peligro was brought in to replace Irons. his tenure, too, was short and he was replaced by Chad Smith that same year. The line-up of Flea, Kiedis, Frusciante and Smith was the longest-lasting, and recorded five studio albums starting with 1989's Mother's Milk. In 1990, the group signed with Warner Bros. Records and, under producer Rick Rubin, recorded the album Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), which became the band's first commercial success. Frusciante grew uncomfortable with the success of the band and left abruptly in 1992, in the middle of the Blood Sugar Sex Magik Tour.
After recruiting guitarist Arik Marshall to complete the tour, Kiedis, Flea, and Smith employed Jesse Tobias, who was replaced after a few weeks by Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction for their subsequent album, One Hot Minute (1995). Although commercially successful, the album failed to match the critical or popular acclaim of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, selling less than half as much as its predecessor. Navarro was fired from the band in 1998. Frusciante, fresh out of drug rehabilitation, rejoined the band that same year at Flea's request. The reunited quartet returned to the studio to record Californication (1999), which became the band's biggest commercial success with 16 million copies worldwide. That album was followed three years later by By the Way (2002), and then four years later by the double album Stadium Arcadium (2006), their first number one album in America. After a world tour, the group went on an extended hiatus. Frusciante announced he was amicably leaving the band in 2009 to focus on his solo career. Josh Klinghoffer, who had worked both as a sideman for the band on their Stadium Arcadium tour and on Frusciante's solo projects, joined as lead guitarist shortly after Frusciante's departure and the band spent the next year and a half recording their tenth studio album, I'm with You, which was released in 2011 and topped the charts in 18 different countries and included a world tour which lasted until April 2013. The band quickly followed up that tour a month later with another tour lasting into mid-2014 and that included an appearance with Bruno Mars as a part of the halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVIII, a performance that was viewed by a record 115.3 million viewers. The band started recording their eleventh studio album in January 2015 with producer Danger Mouse replacing longtime producer Rick Rubin however due to an injury suffered by Flea, production was delayed for over six months and resumed in August 2015. The album is expected to be released in 2016.
Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge over Troubled Water". The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity and Simon began a successful solo career as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott.
Simon has earned twelve Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named Simon as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. In 2015 he was named as one of The 100 Greatest Songwriters by Rolling Stone Magazine. Among many other honors, Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007. In 1986, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.