The second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell rolls into the Fair Grounds Thursday through Sunday.
The final round of 2015 Jazz Fest performances includes Friday appearances by No Doubt, the ska-pop outfit featuring Gwen Stefani, a former coach for “The Voice” and a solo star when she’s not singing with No Doubt; classic-rock horn band Chicago; and rhythm-and-blues star Anthony Hamilton.
Saturday brings another classic rock star, Elton John; first-generation rock ’n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis; young British singer, songwriter-rapper Ed Sheeran; and Atlanta-based rapper T.I.
The festival wraps Sunday with a return to Jazz Fest by rock-star Lenny Kravitz; British classic-rocker Steve Winwood; and New Orleans favorites Dr. John, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and, those masters of funk, The Meters, reunited for Jazz Fest.
The festival’s cube schedules contain dozens more great performers. Local and regional musicians — such as New Orleans music mainstay Deacon John Moore, the Sam Cooke-inspired John Boutté, singer-keyboardist Davell Crawford and the all-female Original Pinettes Brass Band — are the soul of the festival.
5:25 p.m. Friday, Acura Stage
No Doubt, the ska-pop foursome from Anaheim, California — starring singer and “The Voice” coach and judge Gwen Stefani — has just five performances scheduled for the rest of 2015. The first one takes place Friday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell.
No Doubt’s track record includes the multi-platinum albums “Tragic Kingdom” and “Rock Steady.” Stefani later became a solo star with the release of 2004’s “Love.Angel.Music.Baby,” featuring the hit, “Hollaback Girl.” Stefani, always distinctive in her look, also founded the L.A.M.B., Harajuku Lovers and Harajuku Mini clothing lines.
No Doubt’s awards include two Grammy Awards and five MTV Video Music Awards. They felt honored, too, when they performed at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010 in honor of Paul McCartney.
4:50 p.m. Saturday, Acura Stage
Elton John’s Saturday performance at Jazz Fest most likely will be a triumphant return to New Orleans for the enduring British singer, songwriter and pianist. John played a sold-out show at the Smoothie King Center in March 2014. Featuring 28 songs, the concert lasted nearly three hours, punctuated by frequent cheers.
“You’ve been an amazing crowd,” John told his Smoothie King audience before singing one of his many classics, “Your Song.” “Thank you for all the love and loyalty that you’ve given me for so long.”
John’s sales statistics include 37 gold and 27 multi-platinum albums and international sales of more than 250 million records. He has played more than 3,500 concerts in over 80 countries since his career became in 1969. At 68, he remains a prolific concert artist.
5:15 p.m. Saturday, Gentilly Stage
A newly risen star, 24-year-old British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran recently achieved his first Top 40 No. 1 single with “Thinking Out Loud.” In March, his second album, “x,” won a Grammy Award for album of the year. “x” reached No. 1 in 14 countries. In the U.K., it was the biggest, fastest-selling album of the year.
In a June review of “x,” Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Dolan described Sheeran as a pop-wise folkie who’s comfortable in coffee shops and the Top 40. Selena Fragassi’s September concert review for the Chicago Sun-Times mentioned Sheeran’s coffeehouse singer-songwriter style, too, and his ability to shift from folkie to rhythm-and-blues crooner to hip-hop emcee. “I’m not a rapper, I’m a singer with flow,” Sheeran told his audience at the Allstate Arena.
4:30 p.m. Friday, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage
Dr. John: Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch
5:55 p.m. Sunday, Gentilly Stage
Dr. John, along with his band the Nite Trippers and special guests, will play a Louis Armstrong tribute Sunday.
Dr. John released his latest album, “Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch,” in August. It features inventive, eclectic interpretations of songs recorded by Armstrong, the New Orleans-born singer and trumpeter who was among the 20th century’s most beloved music stars.
As Dr. John told many interviewers last year, a visitation by Armstrong during a dream inspired “Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch.”
“I picked out songs that hit my spirit,” he told The Advocate. “And I tried to get them rearranged to where it fit what Louis told me in my dream.”
Dr. John will also be at the Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage on Friday. Bruce Raeburn, curator of Tulane University’s Hogan Jazz Archive, will conduct the interview.
“Dr. John has always been effective in mining the past and bringing it to the attention of a new generation,” Raeburn said. “That’s what he did with the ‘Gumbo’ album in 1972. I cannot tell you how many musicians who are iconic in New Orleans today got turned on to the tradition by that album.
“Mac has got his own style, which is perfectly in keeping what New Orleans musicians do. But like other New Orleans musicians, he’s respectful of the tradition. He keeps bringing it back out so that it doesn’t go away.”