Tag Archives: music

Satchmo Summerfest 2021 – Day 2

We started the second day of Satchmo Summerfest – a celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday – with the Treme Brass Band. The traditional jazz band has always evolved to accommodate additions, departures and passings. I was happy to see that this iteration included Corey Henry, who I’ve loved since his Rebirth Brass Band years. 

It was another steamy day in the 90’s with a heat index over 110, so people seemed glad for the tented stages on either side of the Old U.S. Mint – home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. We found shade at an umbrella-topped table and feasted of food booth yummies from local vendors. We started with Red Beans & Rice (w/ Fried Fish) ($10) from Krab Grab Seafood. Having enjoyed their Jerk Chicken on Saturday, we stopped at 14 Parishes for Jerk Pork – but they were already out. Must’ve been good. We got the Rice and Peas ($5) instead and rounded the meal off with a refreshing Tropicalia Salad (w/ Red Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Corn, Pepper & Almond) ($6) from Carmo’s.

Midday, it sprinkled for a time, then full-out stormed for a bit but the 2 stages of music never stopped. We returned to find Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns transporting the crowd to a sultrier world, free of the slick grass and trails of thick mud left after the recent drenching.

We’d really enjoyed Theaudric’s Real Clever Cuisine’s Vegan Fried Sprout of Brussels and Potatoes (with Truffle Fig Glaze) ($10) on Saturday so we returned for another serving as well as an inventive Shrimp Poboy Fatoosh (w/ Creamy Creole Remoulade) ($13) and Creme Bru Leches Bread Pudding ($7). Again, all plating and utensils were 100% compostable and bins were provided. 

Rounding the back of the Mint, I could see right away that Hot 8 Brass Band was hosting a full-on party from their stage. The band played a supremely funky version of Atomic Dog as the crowd gyrated in a soup of grass and mud. Dancing along to the beats ranging from funk and traditional brass to reggae and hip hop, I could feel my soul’s battery recharging. It has definitely been too long since New Orleanians have gotten to to be joyful together. 

Within the ranks of these brass band heavyweights, I was thrilled to see the young trombonist I’d first photographed playing with TBC Brass Band at Satchmo Fest 2018. Before the pandemic, I’d seen him learning his craft and getting stage experience with various bands so it was wonderful to him back – a bit taller and older – still working with our best. 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers closed out their stage to another delighted, but decidedly less rowdy, crowd. It’s hard to know if COVID will continue to interrupt our celebratory way of life, but it was nice to gather for a  festival and enjoy days of local food and music. 

(For some reason – WordPress won’t allow my post to be in an abbreviated preview mode. Apologies for the entire post appearing in the feed.)

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

Satchmo Summerfest 2021

Cancelled last year for the pandemic, Satchmo Summerfest made an abbreviated return with 2 days of music and food celebrating New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday. The heat was extraordinary, dangerous even, as The Roots Of Music started things off with a concert outside the Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Concerts, Culture, festival, Local Cuisine

A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade

New Orleans Reopening

After over a year of hibernation, New Orleans is reopening. The line in front of Cafe du Monde has returned and regularly stretches to the steps facing Jackson Square. Restaurants are serving indoors (and out), live music has returned, and I passed a mother dancing in the street with her toddler the other day. We haven’t been dancing in the streets much so it felt good to see that energy again – the love of family, music and joyous moments all swaying in her hips.  Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, decorations and costumes, Pelicans

COVID in New Orleans, and 500 Subscribers! 

I’m so excited to announce that LAtoNOLA now has 500 Subscribers! I’ve never really pushed for subscribers so I’m thrilled to reach such a milestone. Thank you to my longtime followers like Danica in L.A., Angela in the UK and Mike M. in New Orleans as well as newer subscribers like Emmanuel in Nigeria, Aditya and Rishika in India and Misty in New Orleans. I’ve only blogged 4 times since Fat Tuesday ended New Orleans’ Carnival season and COVID-19 began reshaping our lifestyle. For over a decade, this blog has been a way to share our city’s deeply-rooted and fascinating culture. Sadly, the virus has shuttered our bars and silenced most of our musicians. Many restaurants are take-out only if they’re open at all. Festivals and concerts are cancelled. There hasn’t been much culture to blog about.

This weekend would have been Southern Decadence – when the LGBTQ community overtakes the French Quarter from Wednesday through the end of Labor Day filling the streets with revelry, costumes and parades. Parts of the Quarter are actually fairly busy this weekend. Masked tourists wander in and out of shops. The long line has returned in front of Cafe du Monde where people eat powdered-sugar-covered beignets at socially distanced tables in the shaded outdoor dining area. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2020, parade

French Quarter Fest, etc. And Coronavirus

As I mentioned in my last post, New Orleans has been staying home since before St. Patrick’s Day and it’s been a huge adjustment for this community-oriented tourist destination. This time of year, there are well-attended festivals and second line parades every week. The constant flow of visitors and convention attendees fill our hotels and flood our streets, restaurants, bars, parks and venues. I’ve accepted the loss of it all fairly well but today would’ve been the first day of my favorite festival of the year, French Quarter Fest. Continue reading

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New Orleans and Corona Virus

I miss New Orleans. I walk St. Charles and miss parades. The St. Patrick’s parade was cancelled well before the stay-at-home came. Then my favorite day of the year was cancelled, Super Sunday when the Mardi Gras Indians parade Central City in elaborately beaded and feathered suits they spent a year (and thousands) sewing. As the virus spread across the country and ravaged our state, in the city we retreated to our homes and looked for tips on finding toilet paper. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Concerts, Culture, decorations and costumes, entertainment industry, festival, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, Uncategorized, walking

#StayHome Movie Recommendations – Movies with Great Soundtracks

Like most of the country, we in New Orleans are staying home to help prevent the spread of the corona virus. My industry is shut down. No cameras are rolling. L.A. has no traffic or smog. Hollywood South is also fairly silent. I already miss hearing live music all over the city. Until the festivals and buskers return and the bars reopen, here are some wonderful movies with great soundtracks.

The first time I ever remember noticing a movie’s soundtrack was when I saw George Lucas’ American Graffitti. Still one of my favorites, the movie follows a bunch of friends on their last night before going off to college or war or becoming an adult. The ensemble cast launched the careers of Richard Dreyfuss, Kathleen Quinlan, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, Continue reading

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Fat Tuesday 2020 – Costumes!

Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras in French – splits the city into parade-goers and costumers. Parade-goers attend the Krewe of Zulu and Krewe of Rex parades. Diehards stay for the long procession of truck parades – basic floats with no bands or dancers.

We’re costumers. Fat Tuesday ties with the Mardi Gras Indians’ Super Sunday for my favorite day for photos. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2020, parade

Krewe of Iris 2020

Established in 1917, Krewe of Iris is the oldest all-female krewe and they truly set the standard. The queen wears a traditional  beaded gown, jeweled crown a wide, ostrich-feather-trimmed, lace collar. But it’s the rest of the royal court that sets this krewe apart with their sequined gowns topped with giant, elaborately beaded collars depicting different themes. I especially like the Maid in the Saints collar and her Duke’s matching Pelicans cape.

Their floats are gorgeous. My favorite was back – the woman’s face with long hair flowing, purple irises nested in the locks. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2020, parade, Uncategorized