The Chili Peppers invite Taylor Hawkins’ wife to the New Orleans Jazz Festival

The connection between Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Foo Fighters stickman Taylor Hawkins is well established, with Smith posting a touching tribute video to Hawkins following his death. Now the Red Hot Chili Peppers are headlining the Foo Fighters at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and they plan to celebrate Hawkins by doing so.

According to Smith, the band have invited Alison Hawkins, Taylor’s widow, to join them at the concert, and they plan to keep things upbeat over the musical weekend. The group will take the stage this Sunday (May 1).

“We’re taking Alison, his wife, with us and it’s going to be a party,” Smith told Billboard. “That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want it to be anything other than, “Let’s celebrate the music, let’s celebrate our friends, let’s celebrate Taylor.” That’s what he would want and he would be very happy for you to play and he would want it to be just a positive experience. So we are going to do all of this and she will be part of it and I am very honored that we can do this with her. … We’re going to play our hearts out.

Foo Fighters have revealed that following Hawkins’ death on March 25 while touring with the band, they will naturally be pulling out of their 2022 touring plans. As the band prepares to headline several festivals this year, a number of nominated actors filled the void, with the Chili Peppers headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

The two bands had a longtime friendship, with the Foo Fighters even opening for the Chili Peppers in their 1999 Californication to visit. Smith also joined the Foo Fighters for an appearance at a 2015 show in New York City.

Smith told Billboard he found Hawkins’ death “shocking” but felt the drummer’s energy still exists. “The essence of his creative energy is somewhere in another universe and he was able to express it here in his short life,” Smith said. “Wherever he is, I feel strongly and believe he is doing his Taylor Hawkins like only he can. He is doing that elsewhere and giving that love and that life to everyone wherever they are now that he is. did it here. So that comforts me a bit, but I’m missing the f— out of it.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at 5:30 p.m. on the Festival Stage at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this Sunday, May 1.

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