Celebrating Louis Armstrong’s birthday, Satchmo Summerfest kicked off with a sometimes rainy Friday lineup of live music on multiple stages and food. Tents offered shade from the sun and shelter from the showers. Inside the air conditioned Old U.S. Mint, people enjoyed symposiums on Armstrong and related topics.
The day started with The Roots of Music parading down Esplanade. Continue reading
The rain held off for the first day of the 8th annual New Orleans Oyster Festival in Woldenberg Park. I’ve attended every year for the live music, food booths, local artists (most of whom have oyster-inspired pieces of art, housewares and jewelry) and food demonstrations. Like many of our festivals, the event is meant to give back to the local community – this time through several non-profits aimed at coastal restoration. They provided oyster shell recycling bins to help build coastal reefs – so even throwing away your trash properly helped the coastline. Continue reading
After being cancelled for weather last week, YLC’s Wednesday at the Square was back with Bonerama and Bucktown All-Stars. Organized by the Young Leadership Council (YLC), proceeds from food and beverage sales go back into the non-profit to benefit the community. Bucktown All-Stars is a party band specializing in covers of 60’s R&B, 70’s funk and New Orleans’ standards. Formed in 1992, the band includes honorary member, Joyce La Nasa, an 85 year old woman who began playing percussion in 2005. Her daughters were fans and brought her to a show. She kept coming – playing tambourine beside the stage at the bands’ gigs until they finally invited her onstage. Continue reading
I’d been vacationing with family at Bethany Beach, Delaware for 4 days already when Mom called us up to her room. We walked in and found everyone out on the balcony with a surprise 1st anniversary party for us – NOLA style. They’d decorated with Mardi Gras beads, streamers and coffee-filter flowers. We were handed a bouquet, a black top hat and a tiara with a veil to wear with our beach clothes. Rebirth Brass Band‘s Do Watcha Wanna played and a cake was decorated with that same phrase. We danced around waving Kleenex and my brother did his best imitation of DancingMan504 jumping at our wedding in the French Quarter. It was so wonderful bringing our beloved city to that balcony in Delaware. New Orleans’ soul travels well. Continue reading
I only went to the 45th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for one day this year and I spent most of that time volunteering in a beer booth – but I still managed to see 11 bands. I didn’t even get to half of the grounds, yet I managed to see artwork by Terrance Osborne and Woodrow Nash, check out Mr. Okra’s truck, hit 2 food booths and visit the WWOZ Brass Pass Tent. I arrived about noon with only 2 hours to spare before work so I headed straight for the Acura Stage to catch some of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. They delivered their signature funky rock jazz sound along with guests like keyboardist John Gros debuting his French horn skills. Continue reading
It’s been too long since I last blogged, long enough to have missed posting on the Saints’ first win this season and the records broken by Brees and Colston. It’s also been long enough to have watched 2 more episodes of HBO’s multi-award winning Treme. The more I get to know this city, the more familiar the musicians, locations and traditions are for me this season. At some point in the season’s second episode, I heard the familiar refrain of Mr. Okra rolling through the neighborhood in his colorful truck chanting, “I have eggplant. I have collard greens. I have oranges.” In L.A., you never knew who or what you might see. I remember seeing a car that was a chicken, a 3 story-tall Oscar on a flatbed truck and a gladiator walking through a neighborhood. In New Orleans, you also never know who or what you might see, but it’s not because someone is trying to make movie magic, it’s because life here can be truly magical. Continue reading