For 32 years, Irma Thomas and The Professionals has played Mother’s Day at the Audubon Zoo. Admission is free for mothers so the park was full of smiling women and the families trying to please them. Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses were onstage when we arrived. We listened to a couple of their fun Dixieland tunes then took a stroll around the zoo. I love the giraffes, birds, big cats and primates, but I’m fascinated by elephants so I was bummed that the elephant area is still under construction. The new water park was up and running and looked like a lot of fun for a family looking to cool off.
Miss Irma Thomas, has been performing for so long that many of the grandparents in the crowd fell in love to her songs at school dances when they were kids. It’s fun to watch the grey-haired fans turn into energized teenagers when she takes the stage. 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.
French Quarter Fest is known as the “largest free festival in the land” and as “The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch.” It’s also been my favorite festival since I first attended in 2010 – and that’s saying a lot in a city with hundreds of festivals a year. With over 20 stages all over the French Quarter, the fest offers 4 days of local music and food. We managed to see 6 bands and eat from at least 6 restaurants in one afternoon. Continue reading
It was certainly the coldest Jazz Fest I’ve ever attended and mud was still a factor on closing Sunday. Turns out that there was not one single pair of of rubber boots left in town. Hotels were calling everywhere but many unprepared out-of-towners were left bootless and muddy. Cold wind whipped at scant tank tops and short skirts. Continue reading
As the Saints-sponsored Wednesday at the Square series draws near its end, super-group Galactic took the stage. A large crowd of 20-somethings joined the collared-after-work set and the tie-dyed-0ver-40’s to pogo and groove to the high energy music. In addition to the expertise of Ben Ellman on sax, Stanton Moore on drums and Corey Henry on trombone, Living Colour‘s lead singer, Corey Glover joined the jazz, funk, rock, hip hop band.
HBO’s Treme is back with new opening credits, some new cast members and the same great music. The story has moved forward to 14 months after Katrina left the region in ruin. I guess I’m glad people are seeing how little was done to step in and help the city, to hear that 85% of the remaining residents were on medication for depression and related disorders. Though it’s a downer to watch it play out again, it’s nice to know how far the city will come in the years leading to the present. Continue reading
Day 4 of Mom and my niece’s visit started with a fried brie salad at Gott’s. Panco breaded and fried cubes of brie, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecans and mixed greens in a raspberry vinaigrette. We all 3 ordered it so there was no tasting going on, just a lot of agreement on what’s yummy. Continue reading
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