The Jazz Festival turns the big three-oh this summer, so it's fitting a big act is headlining: Lauryn Hill will play the festival's opening night. The official announcement just happened, and the $68 tickets go on sale this Thursday for the Tuesday, July 12 concert. (Check the fest's site to get tix and/or festival passes online, or to find offline vendors.)
If you've been a music fan for a solid chunk of the fest's 30 years, Hill needs no introduction. But if you're wondering what the deal is, realize that between her work with the Fugees and then her solo masterpiece The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, she was one of the most important musicians of the 1990s, and her influence has shaped artists you've definitely heard of, including Beyoncé. Maybe overnight megasuccess made her retreat from public life for a while, but her busy tour schedule is strong evidence she's ready to own stages again. The Jazz Festival couldn't ask for a better birthday present.
For a little Lauryn Hill education, here are three of her biggest hits, plus one of Hill's tracks from last year's Nina Revisited… A Tribute to Nina Simone. Apologies in advance for any ear worms or spontaneous sing-alongs.