Advertisement

Anderson .Paak Teases His Headlining Jazz Fest Set and Recalls His First Visit to the Big Easy

The musician is also curating programming with Expedia for Global Jam, an invite-only afterparty taking place during the festival weekend

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/israelshoots/?hl=en">Israel Ramos</a></p> Anderson .Paak

Israel Ramos

Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak is headed to the Big Easy.

Later next month the singer is headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, where he's also curating other talent and programming with Expedia for Global Jam, an invite-only afterparty. (One Key members can enter to win entry to the bash, along with tickets to Jazz Fest and a hotel stay.)

Reflecting on his first time visiting the city back in 1998, .Paak, 38, tells PEOPLE he still remembers taking in iconic performances alongside his parents.

"The first time I visited was for Essence Fest. We stayed at a really nice hotel where I tried gumbo for the first time," he recalls. "I saw Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo and we were blown away. Their stage presence, amazing bands and the electricity in the crowd was almost too much for my 12 year old brain. I remember really thinking that this is what I want to do. I want to be playing for people like this for the rest of my life."

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/israelshoots/?hl=en" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Israel Ramos</a></p> Expedia's Global Jam

Israel Ramos

Expedia's Global Jam

Decades later .Paak is now the one inspiring the next generation of musicians, and the star says he remains in awe of the unique culture in New Orleans.

Related: Anderson .Paak on Bringing His .Paak House Charity Concert to His Hometown: 'The Only Thing That Matters'

"The music scene is so special. I'm drawing on all those influences musically and culturally for the programming for the Global Jam event," he says of spots like Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, The Rabbit Hole and Toulouse Theatre. "We're going to have Tank and the Bangas doing a set. They're from New Orleans and you can hear those funk and soul influences."

Earlier this year .Paak teamed up with Expedia for a new film, A Big Jam in New Orleans, which was directed by child. and filmed in some of New Orleans' most iconic settings, including Bourbon Street and Preservation Hall.

<p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/israelshoots/?hl=en" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">Israel Ramos</a></p> Anderson .Paak in 'A Big Jam in New Orleans'

Israel Ramos

Anderson .Paak in 'A Big Jam in New Orleans'

In the short, .Paak rubs elbows with several local legends, including Secondline Jay5, Gregg Stafford and more.

"It was an absolute honor to work with New Orleans legends," he says. "Expedia wanted to create something special to capture the local sounds and voices in NOLA, and the film perfectly highlights the New Orleans music scene and the soul of the city."

As for his Jazz Fest set, the musician says fans can expect "high energy and lots of fun."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.