I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.
The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code. Then I headed to the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association (NOGSBA) Book Tent and got ready for the signing for The Hidden Huntsman: A Charlotte Reade Mystery, the follow-up to local best seller The Secret of the Other Mother. Proceeds from the Book Tent go to children’s literacy so be sure to add it to your list of places to visit at Jazz Fest. I was thrilled that, Renee, one of the people who inspired a character in the book stopped by. Renee guides tours at Evergreen Plantation, an amazing historical site and the set for some of the scenes in Django Unchained.
I caught the tail of a Mardi Gras Indian parade then split a Plum Street sno-ball with Christine Miller of Two Chicks Walking Tours. Her character is in both Charlotte Reade mysteries! I has some of Miss Linda’s yummy Ya-Ka-Mein then headed to the Jazz & Heritage Stage for The Original Pinettes Brass Band. The world’s only all-female brass band, they were joined by Anjelika Joseph, a vivacious talent who goes by “Jelly.”
I wasn’t sure whether to bother trying to find a spot for myself in the ocean of people who’d come to see living-legend Stevie Wonder. But I gave it a shot and managed to find a little wiggle room where I could actually see the stage. Though he was a mile away, it seemed at times that he was singing right at me. It’s always cool when a giant crowd sings together and it felt like a love-fest as we all belted favorites like I Just Called To Say I Love You and My Cherie Amour.
It was a great day of music, food and book-loving people. I went home feeling inspired and went straight to work on the next Charlotte Reade Mystery – The Missing Ingredient.