NEW ORLEANS – Willie Nelson has canceled an upcoming show at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and postponed other shows after a positive case of coronavirus in his band.
The 89-year-old musician posted His band’s website on Friday that “due to the positive Covid case in Willie Nelson Family Band,” the next two shows scheduled for May 6 and May 7 will be postponed and Nelson’s Sunday performance at the Jazz Festival will be cancelled.
Nelson was due to close the Gentile Theater – the same stage his son Lucas Nelson was performing earlier today with his band Promise Real Madrid. No replacement for the elder Nelson has been announced.
The news comes after Melissa Etheridge announced Thursday that she will not be able to perform on Saturday at the Jazz Festival due to a “Covid injury to my team.” Instead, Mavis Staples will perform during that time period.
“My heart aches not to be there. I know Mavis is going to be great. Hope to be asked again. Dave and the recovery crew. Thank you for all the good wishes. COVID, heartbreak,” Etheridge tweeted after announcing news of Staples’ appearance on Saturday.
Also on Friday, legendary New Orleans bass player George Porter Jr. said on Instagram that he has tested positive for coronavirus and that he will be absent for the rest of the festival.
The Times-Picayune / New Orleans Attorney She reported that Porter performed multiple shows during the first weekend of the Jazz Festival and had a number of shows scheduled outside the festival during the second weekend.
The seven-day festival began on Friday 29 April and ends on Sunday 8 May.
The event attracts tens of thousands to the city’s Fair Grounds racetrack, where up to 80 music shows perform daily on more than a dozen theaters, complimented by art and craft exhibits and an array of stalls featuring food from Louisiana and beyond.
While it attracts national and international talent like Nelson and Etheridge, the festival is also known for showcasing a wide gamut of Louisiana-based musical talents and genres like zydeco, gospel, blues, and of course, jazz.