By KEVIN McGILL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Big-name, nationally known musical artists are always part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Lizzo and Ed Sheeran played last weekend. John Mayer and Mumford and Sons are among upcoming acts. But old-guard, New Orleans-based musical artists like George Porter Jr., Irma Thomas and Deacon John remain festival stalwarts. Producer Quint Davis says hundreds of Louisiana acts are what the festival is built on. Jazz Fest opens its second and final weekend Thursday. Thomas takes the main stage Friday evening before Jon Batiste. Porter and his band play that stage Saturday, followed by Anders Osborne, then the Preservation Hall Jazz Band — all before Mayer performs with Dead & Company.