You’ve got a second chance to celebrate “The Last Waltz.” Producers of “The Last Waltz New Orleans: A Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of ‘The Last Waltz’ ” have added a second night at the Saenger Theatre during the second weekend of the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Most tickets for the initial show, on Saturday, April 30, disappeared quickly. The all-star cast will now stage the same “Last Waltz”-themed show on Friday, April 29.
Tickets range in price from $69 to $550 plus service charges, available through Ticketmaster.
Confirmed participants so far include former Allman Brothers and current Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes, country singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson, keyboardist John Medeski, Meters bassist George Porter Jr., Radiators guitarist Dave Malone, Dirty Dozen Brass Band drummer Terence Higgins and Bonerama trombonist Mark Mullins. Famed producer and bassist Don Was will serve as music director, along with Haynes.
The original “Last Waltz,” staged on Nov. 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, was the farewell concert by The Band. Special guests who joined The Band onstage that night included Dr. John and southwest Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles. Martin Scorsese directed a much-acclaimed 1978 concert film based on the show.
Allen Toussaint wrote the horn charts used during the original “Last Waltz” concert. The upcoming 40th anniversary shows at the Saenger also are being billed as a tribute to Toussaint, who died in November.
“The Last Waltz New Orleans” is a production of Blackbird Presents, a New York-based firm that specializes in unique, all-star tribute concerts. Blackbird Presents and founder Keith Wortman produced “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music” at the Saenger during the 2014 Jazz Fest, and “Nevilles Forever: A Celebration of the Neville Brothers and Their Music” at the same venue during the 2015 festival.
Don Was also was the music director for the Dr. John and Neville Brothers tributes. Those were each one night only and sold out well in advance. Given the demand for the previous shows, Wortman and his team felt confident about adding an encore show to “The Last Waltz.”
Follow Keith Spera on Twitter, @KeithSpera.