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
We had planned to go tubing with John Schneider near his super-cool studio outside Baton Rouge Saturday, but the river was way too high and a downpour flooded the streets of New Orleans trapping many of us in our neighborhoods. After the rain passed, we instead headed to the 6th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve been every year and the fest keeps getting bigger and better – even adding an additional stage for food demonstrations and live music. We stopped for a few songs from local favorites, TBC Brass Band. Continue reading
With more reasonable crowds and lots of favorite local musicians playing, Jazz Fest’s final Sunday was a balmy-weathered blast. Big Chief Kevin Goodman & the Flaming Arrows were on the Jazz Fest Heritage Stage and I spotted Alphonse “DooWee” Robair, my favorite Mardi Gras Indian artist, dancing among them. We started the day with a delicious Cochon de Lait ($9) from Love at First Bite and a Nectar Creme from Plum Street Snoballs ($4). When I worried I wasn’t going to get a “local” pour of the sticky, sweet syrup, the woman next to me in line laughed, “If you ordered Nectar Creme, they already know you’re a local.” True Dat. Continue reading
Louisiana is number 2 in the nation for filming, second only to California, and I just had my most interesting week as an actor here. I’ve worked fairly steadily since arriving and have had to sacrifice only my ego to make enough to stay afloat and keep my health insurance. But this week was a journey for me from an L.A. working actor to a N.O.LA working actor. Continue reading
Sponsored by the Saints and benefiting the Young Leadership Council, Wednesday at the Square finished it’s 2011 series with a bang provided by the funky rock songs of Gravy and Cyril Neville‘s Tribe 13 featuring Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. I’ve seen Cyril sing and play drums many times but this was the first time I’d seen him play with his own group. I caught the last couple funky rock songs by Gravy before Tribe 13 took the stage. Continue reading
Like so many others in this region, I am loathe to relay any information that would make someone avoid tourism or our amazing seafood, but it’s been a year since 11 men died, 200 million gallons of oil and at least 2 million gallons of dispersant were dumped into the Gulf and it’s time to face some facts. Tar balls still wash up on the beaches everyday. The marshes are a mess. Unprecedented numbers of dolphins and sea turtles are dying. Fish have lesions. Fisherman are out of work. Businesses shut down. Less than 20% of the BP billions set aside for the affected have made their way to less than half of the 500,000 claimants. But, 97% of the 100,000 quick pay claims have been paid – one time payments of $5,000 to $25,000 in exchange for agreeing not to sue BP.
My favorite free weekly event, the Saints-sponsored Wednesday at the Square concert series, has come to an end until next March. The concerts benefit the Young Leadership Council, the oldest independent young professionals’ organization in the country. They have raised at least $25 million for community projects in New Orleans since 1986. Continue reading