Friday, more of the eventual 20 stages of indigenous music and over-50 local food booths opened for French Quarter Fest. My favorite festival of the year, it’s also one of the city’s most profitable – generating an economic impact of $190 million in 2019.
We walked past the dance lessons in full swing at the French Market before starting our day near the Aquarium with Valerie Sassyfras of America’s Got Talent fame. Her memorable original, Girl’s Night Out, may not have gotten her past the second week of competition, but it made her a cult celeb.
Miss Sassyfras put on quite a show. Continue reading
After a one year hiatus, Chaz Fest is back. Named for Washboard Chaz who joins every group, the festival was formed a decade ago when members of The Tin Men (and Alex McMurray’s wife) came up with the backyard festival as a reaction to being rejected by Jazz Fest. Held at the Truck Farm, an artists haven, the 2 stages (one in the yard and one in the woods) rotate so that the music is nonstop – 14 bands in under 10 hours. With its rustic porches, patios, enclaves and hideaways – all festooned with whimsically painted signs – the Truck Farm always reminds me of my childhood at Lemonade Farm, the subject of my novel by the same name. The food feels homegrown and the people are dressed like Dead Heads and flower children. It’s 1976 again with peace in the air. Continue reading
September is Hunger Action Month and what better way to help those in need (1 in 6 households) than to eat, drink and celebrate great local music at Harvest the Music in Lafayette Park! All proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Bank. This week, New Breed Brass Band opened for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. New Breed is a brand new brass band of young men born and raised in New Orleans who play originals and covers of traditional NOLA favorites. They may be new to performing onstage but they sounded like pros as they got the crowd moving and primed us for Trombone Shorty’s first stop on his Say That to Say This concert tour. Shorty’s latest album dropped last week and has dominated on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart. Continue reading
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
As the lights went out in the Superdome and our city’s slip was showing, I had a moment to think of the last time the Dome lost power and how far this city has come from the devastation it faced over 7 years ago. New Orleans is a small city with a big heart. Sometimes traffic is held up for a parade or our cell towers go down from overuse (not anymore – thank you NFL) or our power goes out. I can’t help but think if it had been the Who Dat nation in the Dome tonight, we would have used the time to do some rounds of “Who Dats!” or sing When the Saints Go Marching In. After all, we’re only taking a short break from the marathon party of Mardi Gras to hold this extraordinary event, our 10th time hosting the Super Bowl – not bad for a small city with a big heart. Continue reading
Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, history, Local Cuisine, Mardi Gras 2013, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints
I had a rare and well-timed day off from playing Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Having missed the entire season of Wednesday at the Square so far this year, I finally made it down to the concert series benefitting the Young Leadership Council. I missed most of Hot 8‘s opener after running into a coworker on the street while walking to the show, but I arrived in time to see some of my beloved Saints join some Saintsations on the stage for a rousing rendition of When the Saints Go Marching In. Who Dat!?! Continue reading
The Harvest the Music concert series in Lafayette Square continues to delight while feeding the hungry. This week, Stooges Brass Band and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue took the stage. To say I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks is an understatement. I last saw these two bands paired at the House of Blues during last Jazz Fest and they were amazing, high octane, super-energized bundles of talent. Continue reading
Another perfect weather day with sunny skies and a breeze coming off the river. We passed by the International Stage and watched a band from France, the Traditional Cody Clan, play New Orleans standards. This city loves any excuse to dance but New Orleans is a place full of Jitterbuggers, Two-Steppers and Fox Trotters so you never know what you might see. There were a few young couples who’d obviously taken some lessons and 2 small girls trying to imitate them. What a treat. Continue reading
Wednesday at the Square is back! From 5-7:30pm through June 15th every Wednesday, our Champion Saints as well as many other generous sponsors, throw a free concert in Lafayette Square benefitting the Young Leadership Council. This is easily one of my favorite of the city’s many free offerings. I missed the kick-off last week with the Radiators, but wild horses couldn’t have kept me from the thrill of the pairing of the Soul Rebels and Trombone Shorty. Continue reading