It was a gorgeous Saturday for Jazz Fest. Before heading to the stages, we passed through the craft area and saw creative shoebox floats and glittery Krewe of Muses shoes – a prized throw during Mardi Gras. There were also a few Mardi Gras Indians sewing beads and showing off this year’s suits. Big Chief FiYiYi, Victor Harris, showed us the incredibly detailed beadwork. Beautiful. We grabbed a requisite Panorama Fine Foods Crawfish Bread ($7) and Strawberry Lemonade ($5) then tried the refreshing Ajun Cajun Ninja Crab Sick & Cucumber Salad ($5) and Canseco’s Markets Cuban Sandwich ($8). Continue reading
Sunday, the closing day of French Quarter Fest, was a drizzly one so we started at one of the many indoor activities – the “Let Them Talk…” interview series at the Mint. Author John Broven led legends Allen Toussaint and Deacon John in a discussion of Cosimo Matassa, founder of both J&M Recording Studio and Cosimo Recording Studio. The event started and ended with Toussiant on the piano and Deacon John singing for us. Matassa was a local legend who is credited with helping to develop the rock and R&B sounds of the 50’s and 60’s. Fats Domino, Little Richard. Ray Charles, Dr. John, Ernie K-Doe, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Aaron Neville and the legends on the stage in front of us were just a few of the artists Matassa worked with as both studio owner and engineer. Continue reading
The 45th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival started last weekend treating hundreds of thousands of guests to artisan booths and demonstrations, fest food and cooking demonstrations, pop-up book and CD stores, interviews with musicians and, of course, over a dozen stages playing up to 8 shows each a day. I think that comes out to somewhere around 400 different concerts over the course of 2 weekends all on the Fair Grounds Race Course. But what if you couldn’t get here? Or what if you’re one of the locals fed up with yet another price hike? (It’s up to $65/day at the door now). You may not be able to eat the food or watch the Mardi Gras Indians parading past, but you can still hear Jazz Fest in a number of ways.
YLC’s Wednesday at the Square really outdid themselves with the one-two punch of Westbank Mike and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Lafayette Square was already packed when we arrived and Irene Sage was playing tambourine with the Westbank Mike boys. Even trumpeter Ian Smith joined in for the bluesy funky songs. For those not in the know, the “Westbank” is the part of New Orleans on the other side of the Mississippi, lead singer and guitarist Mike Doussan’s home. Continue reading
Wednesday was the last concert of the Harvest the Music series.
There’s free music all over town all year round but I will miss the 5 pm concerts until the Wednesday at the Square concerts benefitting the Young Leadership Council resume in March. Continue reading