Norah Jones, Erykah Badu and George Benson Among Headliners for 2003 Verizon Music Festival

NEW YORK - Sporting an award-winning, diverse and totally cool lineup, the 2003 Verizon Music Festival kicks off in New York City next month.

Topping an all-star array of entertainers is Norah Jones, winner of five 2003 Grammy Awards. Jones will be part of the festival performances in Tampa.

Headlining concerts in other festival stops will be Erykah Badu, George Benson,
Bo Diddley, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gillian Welch and many others.

The festival -- which includes R&B, Latin, soul and jazz -- will run May 16-18 in New York; June 11-14 in Tampa; June 27-29 in Washington, and July 24-27 in Los Angeles.

As an added feature this year, the Verizon Music Festival will include a club series featuring one-night engagements in Philadelphia, Washington and New York. The Club Series will feature R& B, soul and reggae artists and appeal to a young, urban audience.

"In three years, the Verizon Music Festival has become one of the most widely anticipated events on the concert scene," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon's Retail Markets unit. "Quality artists at quality venues means quality entertainment for our customers. The Verizon Music Festival showcases some of the best artists in varying music genres, all reflecting the individual interests of Verizon's diverse communities."

The Verizon Music Festival will include premier ticketed concerts and free events to be held at a variety of venues ranging from concert halls, to intimate clubs, to outdoor sites. Performance locations will include Alice Tully Hall and the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center, The Apollo Theater and the Copacabana in New York; Tampa's Performing Arts Center, Mahaffey Theater, Jannus Landing, Skipper's Smokehouse and Coachman Park; Constitution Hall, Freedom Plaza, and Lisner Auditorium in Washington, and UCLA's Royce Hall, Wadsworth Theatre, Old Pasadena's Central Park and the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

"This year we have custom picked an exciting lineup of artists that reflect the cultural character of the city in which they are performing," said George Wein, CEO of Festival Productions, Inc., and producer of the Verizon Music Festival. "We are pleased to be working with Verizon again and anticipate that audiences in each city will enjoy this year's program."

Artist lineups and ticket information for the Verizon Music Festival will be announced shortly. For more information on the 2003 Verizon Music Festival, music lovers can call 212-501-1390 or visit the web site at www.verizon.com/musicfestival.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.