Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole and Brandy to Headline 2013 Essence Festival0 Comments Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole and Brandy are among 30 vocalists and groups scheduled to perform at the 2013 Essence Festival, a four-day event on eight stages across New Orleans in July, organizers announced on Monday. Now in its 19th year, the festival has become one of the most important forums for non-hip-hop black music and culture. In addition to the musical acts, dozens of speakers — among them the Rev. Al Sharpton, Representative John Lewis and the author Steve Perry — will give lectures on topics like politics and healthy living. Other performers on the main stage this year will include Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson and LL Cool J. The smaller stages will feature acts like Anthony David, Big Daddy Kane, Bridget Kelly, Blackstreet, Les Nubians and Mint Condition.