All-Star weekend music acts announcedPosted by Inside Hoops
Three-time Grammy™ Award-winning multi-platinum singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr. will join Grammy Award-winning jazz and classical saxophonist Branford Marsalis to headline an extraordinary lineup of New Orleans-themed musical performances featuring some of the biggest names in the Bayou including Jonathan Batiste, Marc Broussard, Davell Crawford, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jonathan Dubose, Dr. John, Stephanie Jordan, Ellis Marsalis, Art Neville, Ivan Neville, Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Amanda Shaw, Trombone Shorty and Allen Toussaint at NBA All-Star 2008 in New Orleans.
On Sunday, Feb. 17, Connick and Marsalis will take to the court for the 57th NBA All-Star Game at the New Orleans Arena. The Louisiana-born musicians collaborated on the evening’s performance lineup creating a unique musical set that will not only give fans a taste of New Orleans jazz, funk and blues, but will also celebrate the rebirth of their beloved hometown in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The performances will air live on TNT, Score Canada, ESPN Radio, and in 215 countries and territories beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET.
Connick will serve as musical director for an unparalleled halftime show featuring four original compositions performed by four pairs of pianists who span the spectrum of New Orleans jazz including Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Davell Crawford, Art Neville, Ivan Neville, Jonathan Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, and Harry Connick Jr. and his Big Band.
Marsalis will serve as musical director for the highly-anticipated All-Star Player introductions featuring a set of high energy big band melodies composed by Marsalis and performed by the acclaimed Rebirth Brass Band. The performance will also feature the dynamic musical stylings of award-winning trumpeter Kermit Ruffins and Offbeat Magazine’s 2007 Performer of the Year Trombone Shorty who will introduce the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star teams. Marsalis will also direct the U.S. national anthem performance featuring vocals by Stephanie Jordan accompanied by internationally acclaimed guitarist Jonathan Dubose. Canadian R&B singer, songwriter, and actress Deborah Cox, whose 1998 hit single “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” held the record for the longest-running No.1 single on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart, will perform the Canadian anthem.
“New Orleans is a vibrant music Mecca and I’m proud to call this great city my home,” said Harry Connick Jr. “Branford and I are truly grateful to the NBA for its commitment to put New Orleans and our extraordinary musicians on a global stage for the whole world to see.”
On Saturday, Feb. 16, prior to the start of All-Star Saturday Night, Louisiana-born singer songwriter Marc Broussard, who released his 2007 album S.O.S.: Save Our Soul to rave reviews, will open the night to perform his smash hit “Home” along with his band. Following this performance, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will play during player introductions for the All-Stars. All performances will air before a nationwide audience, live on TNT at 8 p.m. ET. Following 22-year-old New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott, whose 2007 album Anthem was inspired by Hurricane Katrina’s effect on the region, will perform the U.S. national anthem, while crooner Lamont Hiebert will perform the Canadian anthem.
That same night, legendary multi-instrumentalist Dr. John will pay tribute to NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility initiative, with a special performance of the Louis Armstrong original hit “What a Wonderful World.” Footage from some of the hundreds of NBA Cares events, featuring current and former NBA players working in communities around the world will be thread into the performance.
On Friday, Feb. 15, 17-year-old Cajun fiddler, singer, and actress Amanda Shaw, who narrated the 2006 documentary “Hurricane on the Bayou” about the erosion of Louisiana’s wetlands, will perform the U.S. and Canadian anthems prior to the T-Mobile Rookie & Youth Jam at the New Orleans Arena. Continuing the NBA’s tradition of having “American Idol” winners perform at All-Star, 2007 winner Jordin Sparks will perform her Billboard Top 100 single “Tattoo” during halftime of the game. Both performances will air before a live audience televised on TNT at 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET.