"We were able to offer some slots to hometown artists this year," said Hampton Coliseum Director Joe Tsao. "We're glad about that. We're showcasing local talent, supporting our local artists."
The festival, taking place in Hampton for the 46th year, will happen June 28-30. Tickets, $58.50 per show, go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday, March 23, from
Knight has been one of the festival's most reliable performers. This year's festival will mark her 15th appearance at the event. Her first show there was in 1974.
If there's an unspoken theme to this year's lineup, it's collaborations. Knight will team with The O'Jays as part of a Friday-night headlining performance called Family Reunion. On Saturday, June 29,
On Sunday, June 30, modern R&B singers Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank will link up as part of a seductive trio billed as TGT.
Tsao maintains that the increased number of artists playing this year's event -- 17 compared to 14 in 2012 -- helps explain a $2 increase in the ticket price over last year.
"We're trying to provide bigger and better artists," Tsao said. "And with inflation, the cost of doing business is going up. We want to be able to present the best possible talent on stage for our audience."
While the festival's jazz offering have been modest in recent years, there's something in this year's lineup to make fans of smooth instrumentals smile. On June 30, keyboardist Bob James and sax star David Sanborn will perform backed by the powerhouse rhythm section of drummer Steve Gadd and bassist James Genus. Genus is a Kecoughtan High graduate who has become an in-demand session player on the fiercely competitive
Here's the full lineup:
Family Reunion Tour featuring Gladys Knight and The O'Jays
Heads of State featuring Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant
Forte Jazz Band featuring Brian Pinner
TGT featuring Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank
Bob James and David Sanborn featuring Steve Gadd and James Genus