French Quarter Fest enjoyed it’s third straight day of perfect weather. Naydja CoJoe started us off with fun covers of Glamorous Life and Prince’s Baby I’m a Star. We brunched on fest newcomers Bratz Y’all and Jerk Chicken with Rice, Peas, Cabbage and Plantain from 14 Parishes Jamaican Restaurant then hit Treme Brass Band for some traditional standards.
Kids played with giant chess pieces from Big Chess. The fun-for-all-ages game is apparently at the Decatur/N. Peters split every weekend. We grabbed a comforting Bananas Foster Bread Pudding from Cafe Reconcile then headed inside the The Mint for Zydeco and stories from the Lost Bayou Ramblers. Award-winning author and journalist Michael Tisserand hosted founding brothers Andre and Louis Michot as they discussed the band’s involvement in the Oscar-Nominated movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Next to take the stage was the Grammy-winning Soul Queen of New Orleans, Miss Irma Thomas, with moderator Grammy-producer Scott Billington. Billington and Thomas guided us through a history of her songs and life choices. It’s always an honor to be in Miss Irma’s presence but it was really a treat to see inside her process. She talked about turning down My Toot Toot, how she was “hard on songs” and the prep that makes her “One take Irma.”
We wandered the New Orleans Jazz Museum and found Fats Domino’s and Dr. John’s pianos, Pete Fountain’s Mardi Gras suit and 2 of Louis Armstrong’s trumpets. Then it was crawfish time! We headed to Rouses Crawfish Boil for a Crawfish Family Platter as the New Orleans Nightcrawlers got the crowd dancing.
We ended the day with the all-female (and one male) Original Pinettes Brass Band. They were joined by Anjelika AKA “Jelly,” a vivacious singer who led us through funky jazz covers of disco hits like Boogie Oogie Oogie. The band played local standards then got the crowd going with their original, Ain’t No City Like The One I’m From. The dance party spilled out onto the street. Another great day.