Jon Cleary to help British Airways pick musicians for Mardi Gras flight

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 15: Musician Jon Cleary, winner of the Best Regional Roots Music Album for "Go Go Juice", poses in the press room during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Grammy-winning piano man Jon Cleary is helping British Airways pick musicians to give a special performance during a VIP flight to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2017.

The airline, which announced non-stop service to New Orleans in October, is looking for “three undiscovered jazz musicians from around the world” to “busk” during the Mardi Gras flight. The buskers must be able to fly from London to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

While the direct flights to New Orleans aren’t scheduled to start until March 27, British Airways is previewing their services for the Carnival time flight.

“As someone that was born in London and grew up in New Orleans this new bridge between these two wonderful cities is very exciting, and it’s a privilege to be involved,” Cleary said in a press release. “I look forward to hearing the talent that’s to be part of the celebration. Here in New Orleans, celebration and music are something we’re famous for!”

As well as the live in-flight entertainment from Cleary, saxophonist YolanDa Brown, and Nicole Scherzinger, the 150 VIP guests will be treated to a New Orleans inspired Creole menu and shake signature cocktails with mixologists on board.

The charter will depart Heathrow at 10 a.m. on February 24, arriving into Louis Armstrong International Airport at 2 p.m., with the return flight departing New Orleans at 11:25 p.m. on February 27 and arriving in to Heathrow at 2:10 p.m. the following day.

The best buskers will each win a pair of seats on the flight, three night’s accommodation at the Hyatt Regency and Mardi Gras grandstand parade tickets, according to British Airways.

Musicians are invited to submit a video recording of themselves in performance by 5 p.m. on January 25, 2017. The competition is open to entrants across the globe, but winners must be in London to join the VIP charter that departs at 10 a.m. on February 24.

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