Inflated expectations temper the reaction to Kravitz's return to Jazz Fest for the first time since 2004.
America can relax. The speculation is over. The much-discussed TBA for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell has been announced to be Lenny Kravitz, who’ll perform on Sunday, May 3. Kravitz last played Jazz Fest in 2004 and will come to New Orleans as part of his world tour in support of Strut, the album he released in December.
The announcement came Tuesday and ended a flurry of speculation that began when Jazz Fest’s Executive Producer Quint Davis told WWL-TV that the unnamed artist “is going to be, not necessarily a tall, heavyset person in terms of 'bigger,' but it's going to be bigger than anyone that's listed there now.” The story qualified Davis’ promise, insisting that he was referring specifically to the Sunday, which at that point also included Steve Winwood, The O’Jays, Kacey Musgraves, Buddy Guy, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, a Meters reunion, and Dr. John’s tribute to Louis Armstrong. Nonetheless, the social mediaverse began speculating who the unnamed artist might be as if he, she, or it was bigger than the biggest names on the lineup—bigger than The Who and Elton John.
Perhaps because expectations had been built up, the announcement of Kravitz didn’t receive quite the buzz it might have under other circumstances. “It’s deflate gate all over again,” one commenter wrote on my Facebook page. Or maybe excitement is muted because we've been here before. As a fake Will Ferrell account tweeted Sunday, "Gas is under $2, Lenny Kravitz & Missy Elliot playing the super bowl halftime show, and Suge Knight just killed somebody ... the 90s are back!"
Here's a sampling of the reactions.