NEW ORLEANS (AP) -Some of New Orleans' most famed musicians - Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Allen Toussaint and Art Neville - are slated to perform during the NBA All-Star game.
Marsalis will perform Sunday in a pre-game show with Rebirth Brass Band at New Orleans Arena. Dr. John will join the others during the All-Star game halftime show.
``American Idol'' winner Jordin Sparks will sing at halftime of the NBA rookie game Friday.
``New Orleans is a vibrant music mecca, and I'm proud to call this great city my home,'' Connick said. ``Branford and I are truly grateful to the NBA for its commitment to put New Orleans and our extraordinary musicians on a global stage for the whole world to see.''
Other New Orleans musicians slated to perform during the weekend are Ivan Neville, Ellis Marsalis, Kermit Ruffins, Rebirth Brass Band, Trombone Shorty, Jonathan Baptiste, Davell Crawford, Stephanie Jordan, and Christian Scott.
Connick and Branford Marsalis, both Louisiana-born musicians, collaborated to create the predominantly Louisiana lineup that includes artists with jazz, funk and blues backgrounds.
aid Monday the musical element is meant to serve as a celebration of the rebirth of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
Connick and Marsalis have been active in the city's recovery from Katrina. They helped launch the Musicians Village, a Habitat for Humanity project in the city's devastated 9th Ward neighborhood, to provide affordable housing for musicians and others who lost their homes.
At Musicians' Village, 68 homes are complete or under construction. Plans call for 72 single-family homes and five duplexes to be built, along with a music center and park. More than 40 families are living in the village; 23 are musicians.
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