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Satchmo SummerFest Sat./Sun.

Usually, the only weather concern for Satchmo SummerFest is the oppressive heat and humidity but this year brought a huge rain storm that dumped over half a foot of rain in under an hour, overwhelming the pumping systems and flooding the entire city. That said, we did manage to have some fun at the fest before the weather came through. The distinctively dulcet voice of John Boutte serenaded us as we sampled the food booths starting with a Debris Po-Boy from the Rib Room – which we topped with horseradish mayo to bring out the flavor. Next we tried the Deep Fried Seafood Stuffed Bell Peppers and the Fried Green Tomato and Shrimp Remoulade Salad from Café Dauphine. We washed it all down with a cold Purple Haze Abita beer.  Continue reading

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French Quarter Fest – Thursday

French Quarter Fest is my favorite festival of the year. The 4-day free festival features local food booths and music on 23 stages throughout the Quarter. The weather was glorious, 77 and sunny with a breeze coming off the river. If the Thursday crowd was any indication of attendance, this year will be a record breaker. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit missing the days when many of the attendees were as  local as the festival itself. Seems the secret is out. I was no help – live Tweeting all day to share my wonderful time with the world. Continue reading

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Satchmo Summerfest – Sunday

After an amazing Friday with Ellis Marsalis, Deacon John and Rebirth Brass Band and Saturday with Bill Summers, Corey Henry and more, the last day of Satchmo Summerfest was a belly-rubbing, hip-shaking capper to a phenomenal weekend of food, music, education and fun. We started our day with new fest vendor, Rib Room, and a sample of their refreshing savory Watermelon Gazpacho ($6). It was so good Friday, I had to get another Prime Rib Debris Po-Boy ($7). We finished up with a Nectar Creme Plum Street Sno-Ball ($4) and pinned some money on birthday boy, DancingMan504.

Our first band was Kid Merv and All That Jazz. Though it was once again Hades-hot, people were up and dancing to the energetic standards. Continue reading

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French Quarter Fest – Sunday

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

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French Quarter Fest – Saturday

Saturday was the third wonderful day of the 32nd annual French Quarter Fest. Crowds were lighter for rumors of rain but the day started beautifully with the talented and highly disciplined kids of The Roots of Music. Founded by Derrick Tabb, the snare drummer for the Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band, the Roots program provides at-risk youths 9 to 14 year olds with instruction in music history, music theory and an instrument as well as ensemble performance preparation. Additionally, they provide academic tutoring, homework assistance, mentoring, round-trip transportation and a hot meal 5 days a week, 12 months a year. Plus, they’re AWESOME! In a city where we could have had our pick of oodles of ridiculously talented bands, we hired a baker’s dozen of the Roots of Music kids to play our wedding second line.  Continue reading

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Jazz Fest from a Distance

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.

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Glen David Andrews kicks off Armstrong Park Thursdays

The People United for Armstrong Park concert series began its 5th season with Treme’s own prince, Glen David Andrews. French Quarter Fest, the free 4 day local music and food extravaganza, just ended on Sunday. Days later, Billy Iuso and Honey Island Swamp Band played Wednesday at the Square, a free concert series. (I was stuck waiting on the Cox cable guys). And now, Thursdays in the Park are back – more booths of food, cocktails and crafts and more free music! Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, free events and lagniappe, Interview