Category Archives: Concerts

Satchmo Summerfest 2021 – Day 2

We started the second day of Satchmo Summerfest – a celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday – with the Treme Brass Band. The traditional jazz band has always evolved to accommodate additions, departures and passings. I was happy to see that this iteration included Corey Henry, who I’ve loved since his Rebirth Brass Band years. 

It was another steamy day in the 90’s with a heat index over 110, so people seemed glad for the tented stages on either side of the Old U.S. Mint – home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. We found shade at an umbrella-topped table and feasted of food booth yummies from local vendors. We started with Red Beans & Rice (w/ Fried Fish) ($10) from Krab Grab Seafood. Having enjoyed their Jerk Chicken on Saturday, we stopped at 14 Parishes for Jerk Pork – but they were already out. Must’ve been good. We got the Rice and Peas ($5) instead and rounded the meal off with a refreshing Tropicalia Salad (w/ Red Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Corn, Pepper & Almond) ($6) from Carmo’s.

Midday, it sprinkled for a time, then full-out stormed for a bit but the 2 stages of music never stopped. We returned to find Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns transporting the crowd to a sultrier world, free of the slick grass and trails of thick mud left after the recent drenching.

We’d really enjoyed Theaudric’s Real Clever Cuisine’s Vegan Fried Sprout of Brussels and Potatoes (with Truffle Fig Glaze) ($10) on Saturday so we returned for another serving as well as an inventive Shrimp Poboy Fatoosh (w/ Creamy Creole Remoulade) ($13) and Creme Bru Leches Bread Pudding ($7). Again, all plating and utensils were 100% compostable and bins were provided. 

Rounding the back of the Mint, I could see right away that Hot 8 Brass Band was hosting a full-on party from their stage. The band played a supremely funky version of Atomic Dog as the crowd gyrated in a soup of grass and mud. Dancing along to the beats ranging from funk and traditional brass to reggae and hip hop, I could feel my soul’s battery recharging. It has definitely been too long since New Orleanians have gotten to to be joyful together. 

Within the ranks of these brass band heavyweights, I was thrilled to see the young trombonist I’d first photographed playing with TBC Brass Band at Satchmo Fest 2018. Before the pandemic, I’d seen him learning his craft and getting stage experience with various bands so it was wonderful to him back – a bit taller and older – still working with our best. 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers closed out their stage to another delighted, but decidedly less rowdy, crowd. It’s hard to know if COVID will continue to interrupt our celebratory way of life, but it was nice to gather for a  festival and enjoy days of local food and music. 

(For some reason – WordPress won’t allow my post to be in an abbreviated preview mode. Apologies for the entire post appearing in the feed.)

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Satchmo Summerfest 2021

Cancelled last year for the pandemic, Satchmo Summerfest made an abbreviated return with 2 days of music and food celebrating New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday. The heat was extraordinary, dangerous even, as The Roots Of Music started things off with a concert outside the Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. Continue reading

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A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

French Quarter Fest, etc. And Coronavirus

As I mentioned in my last post, New Orleans has been staying home since before St. Patrick’s Day and it’s been a huge adjustment for this community-oriented tourist destination. This time of year, there are well-attended festivals and second line parades every week. The constant flow of visitors and convention attendees fill our hotels and flood our streets, restaurants, bars, parks and venues. I’ve accepted the loss of it all fairly well but today would’ve been the first day of my favorite festival of the year, French Quarter Fest. Continue reading

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New Orleans and Corona Virus

I miss New Orleans. I walk St. Charles and miss parades. The St. Patrick’s parade was cancelled well before the stay-at-home came. Then my favorite day of the year was cancelled, Super Sunday when the Mardi Gras Indians parade Central City in elaborately beaded and feathered suits they spent a year (and thousands) sewing. As the virus spread across the country and ravaged our state, in the city we retreated to our homes and looked for tips on finding toilet paper. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, Uncategorized, walking

New Orleans Mystery Books

When I started this blog, I was working on a novel, Lemonade Farm. Ten years later, I’ve finished that novel, an acting book,  Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments ints a Career with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner, Lou Diamond Phillips and many more – and with the release of The Family Secret: A Charlotte Reade Mystery – I’ve just completed a 5-book series.

The first book of the mysteries-not-murders series begins as the Saints are marching toward their Super Bowl victory during Mardi Gras in 2009-10. As actor/producer Charlotte aids in the search for a birth mother, she comes across a haunted chandelier, and a mystery in her own family’s past. Continue reading

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Satchmo Summerfest 2019

Satchmo Summerfest celebrates New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday with 3 days of music on multiple stages and food booths from local vendors. Always marked by summer heat, the festivals provides shady tents and symposiums on Armstrong and related topics in the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet.

The Roots of Music kicked things off Continue reading

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How To Birthday in New Orleans

From Sunday second line and Carnival parades to our many festivals and concerts, New Orleans is a city of celebration. If the city can party over everything from tomatoes to our departed, imagine how fun it can be to celebrate yourself here. For me, a New Orleans birthday has to include great company, incredible food, music whenever possible and the occasional “only in New Orleans” event.

Many people start the day by pinning money on their chest. Continue reading

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Creole Tomato Fest

It was a big weekend with the Creole Tomato Fest,  Naked Bike Ride and the Pride Parade (my next 2 posts). The Fest features cocktails, food booths, music and more. We try to never miss a chance to see Little Freddie King and his band playing their true-blues so we were thrilled to find him on the schedule. A local treasure, King looked as sharp as a tack but was as laid back as an easy chair.

We started our fest-feast with a bright and flavorful Burrata Caprese from PIZZA Domenica ($8). My favorite dish every year is Continue reading

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Oyster Fest & Krewe of Boo Dance-Off

It was 90 and humid for the 1oth New Orleans Oyster Fest and the first Krewe of Boo Dance-Off, but that didn’t keep us away from the festivities. Lunch was Crabmeat Ravioli ($10) from Andrea’s Restaurant & Catering, and Food Drunk’s Louisiana Crab & Crawfish Mac & Cheese ($10), then a Wedding Cake Snoball from Nola Snow (LG $7 w/souvenir cup). Nola Snow provided the snoballs for our wedding reception 5 years ago so it was a sweet remembrance. Then we headed to Spanish Plaza for Brian Kern’s Halfway to Halloween Dance-Off. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints