ELKHART — The Elkhart Jazz Festival is bringing a legendary voice this summer to the Lerner Theatre.
Iconic New Orleans singer Aaron Neville will hit the stage in June at the 1,700-seat venue as a top headliner for the jazz festival in the heart of downtown.
"Aaron Neville's performance at the Lerner Theatre will truly be a memorable moment for the Elkhart Jazz Festival," said David Smith, Lerner general manager and jazz festival co-chairman.
Festival organizers unveiled the Grammy Award-winning artist's upcoming appearance at a press conference Friday, Feb. 14, at the Lerner.
Neville, who will perform June 21, is known for hits like "Don't Know Much," "Tell it Like it Is" and "Everybody Plays the Fool" among others. His music has made its mark across a wide spectrum of genres including R&B, gospel, doo-wop, adult contemporary and, of course, vocal jazz. Aside from his solo success, Neville recorded and toured with his brothers Art, Charles and Cyril as The Neville Brothers.
"When he takes the stage Saturday night, I believe that there will be no doubt that this summer – June 20, 21 and 22 – will definitely be top shelf," Smith said.
Paul Thomas, one of the original jazz festival organizers and a longtime volunteer, said Neville's concert is a "big deal" for Elkhart.
"We have come a long way," Thomas said. "I don't know how we'll ever top that."
The announcement of Neville's concert rounds out the jazz festival's list of headlining acts. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, also from New Orleans will play June 20 at the Lerner Theatre. The Friday night performance, Smith said, will be "historic." The group recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay will take the stage June 22 at the Lerner.
"Sunday is going to be smooth," Smith said. "For the first time in 27 years, we will provide a special headline performance, this year featuring the incredible smooth jazz group Fourplay with Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason and Chuck Loeb all performing at their best."
Early bird festival passes are on sale for $110 to $250 online at thelerner.com, by phone at 293-4469 and at the Lerner's box office, 410 S. Main St.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.