CLEARWATER — Organizers of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday always wait until about a month before the festival to announce the lineup of musicians coming to Coachman Park.
But this time, the identity of one of this year's headliners has been leaked.
The Neville Brothers, New Orleans' first family of funk, will close out Jazz Holiday's 30th anniversary. They'll play the final day of the event, scheduled for Oct. 15-18.
The last time the Nevilles played Clearwater's free jazz festival, five years ago, they were a smash hit. They filled the park well past capacity on the biggest Saturday night in the festival's history. The total attendance that weekend was 42,000, and the event finished in the black for the first time in years.
Now they're coming back.
It's a bit of an open secret at this point. The group was recently pictured in full-page ads for Clearwater Jazz Holiday in a couple of national jazz magazines. Local blogger Philip Booth broke the news on his music blog, Between the Grooves. And the band has added a Jazz Holiday appearance on Oct. 18 to the "tour dates" section of its Web site.
The Neville Brothers — singer Aaron, keyboardist Art, saxophonist Charles and percussionist Cyril — are traditional show-closers for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and are often viewed as their hometown's musical ambassadors.
They've played together for four decades and regularly bring their mix of New Orleans R&B, funk, jazz, and African and Caribbean sounds to festivals around the world.
Mike Brassfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4160.