With much of the music world's attention focused on the devastating flooding in Nashville, [artist id="901"]Lenny Kravitz[/artist] is hoping to put some of that focus on the environmental disaster that continues to unfold on the Gulf Coast as a result of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kravitz, who is a part-time New Orleans resident, is the latest name added to an all-star benefit show, Gulf Aid, slated to take place on May 16 at Mardi Gras World River City. The concert will feature the rocker performing alongside Mos Def, Ani DiFranco, New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, environmental activist/ poet/ singer Zachary Richard, New Orleans trumpeter Jeremy Davenport and the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, which features Crescent City legends Dr. John, Tab Benoit, George Porter Jr., Waylon Thibodeaux, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Cyril Neville.
Also participating are the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Irvin Mayfield's Playhouse Revue, Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, Rebirth Brass Band, and others. Tickets are $50 and available exclusively at Elevate.com. Proceeds will be distributed to groups addressing wetlands/coastal environmental issues and the well-being of fishermen and the regional seafood industry, a vital part of the local economy.
"I've come home to New Orleans to lend my support to fishermen & wildlife," Kravitz tweeted on Monday.
The show will come almost three weeks after an explosion on an oil-drilling rig off the Louisiana coast burst into flames and sank, setting off one of the biggest oil spills in the history of the Gulf of Mexico. So far, efforts to contain the leak have failed, as more than 210,000 gallons of light crude spew into the water daily, threatening vital wetland ecosystems off the Louisiana coast as well as one of the nation's most fertile fishing regions.
On Tuesday, organizers of the upcoming Hangout Beach Music & Arts Festival (May 14-16) in Gulf Shores, Alabama, announced that all profits from the three-day event will benefit coastal conservation and restoration. Hangout will feature sets from Phish's Trey Anastasio and TAB, Zac Brown Band, John Legend, Ben Harper and Relentless7, Black Crowes, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Gov't Mule, the Roots, Ray LaMontagne, Jakob Dylan, Spearhead, Matisyahu, Girl Talk, and OK Go.