The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival begins a two-weekend run Friday, showcasing a blend of traditional jazz and performances by pop stars that are expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and fill the city's hotels.
The 45th annual festival will be held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, its home since 1972.
Headliners include Carlos Santana, Christina Aguilera, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Lyle Lovett, Chaka Khan and Public Enemy.
And in keeping with its roots in Louisiana culture, there will be numerous jazz, gospel and zydeco performances.
In all, about 500 acts with 5,000 performers will entertain.
The festival began in 1970.
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