I arrived early for my Jazz Fest book signing and started the day with Glen David Andrews in the Blues Tent. The tents are known for crowds who enjoy sitting in the shade and resting but Andrews got everyone on their feet, hands in the air. His soulful rendition of When Doves Cry turned out to be the best musical performance of the entire day.
The Soul Rebels had everyone dancing at the Congo Square stage. We all put our hands up as numbers for 504, a song celebrating our beloved area code. Continue reading
As usual, it was hot-as-heck for Satchmo Fest but the music and food were worth the sweat. Celebrating the life and contributions of Louis Armstrong, the festival moved to Jackson Square this year. Like last year, they charged a $5 admission – a move that still has its kinks (like local employees and neighbors can’t just walk in to grab a plate or a cocktail). The festival featured 2 stages with one focusing more on traditional jazz and the main stage offering a few more-modern takes on Satchmo’s sound. Continue reading
It was a gorgeous Saturday for Jazz Fest. Before heading to the stages, we passed through the craft area and saw creative shoebox floats and glittery Krewe of Muses shoes – a prized throw during Mardi Gras. There were also a few Mardi Gras Indians sewing beads and showing off this year’s suits. Big Chief FiYiYi, Victor Harris, showed us the incredibly detailed beadwork. Beautiful. We grabbed a requisite Panorama Fine Foods Crawfish Bread ($7) and Strawberry Lemonade ($5) then tried the refreshing Ajun Cajun Ninja Crab Sick & Cucumber Salad ($5) and Canseco’s Markets Cuban Sandwich ($8). Continue reading
I’ve already spoken about the power going down in the Superdome, but the weekend up to that point ran pretty perfectly. Day 3 of the NFL concert series, we only caught one show – 2012 Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band. More out-of-towers joined in the festivities but the crowd was still mainly the Who Dat Nation sporting black and gold. We knew all the call-backs and when to thrust our fists in the air and shout, “Hey!” and when to find a tissue and wave it for a second line dance. It struck me as ritualistic like church – the church of funk in the house of soul. As such, I wondered if the visiting teams felt as left out or confused as a Buddhist at Mass but they seemed to be having fun in any case. Continue reading
I’m what some call a “crafter.” As some of you readers know, I often crochet, knit, paint, make soap, jewelry and ornaments. In New Orleans, LOTS of people are crafters, even if only when it comes to costumes for Mardi Gras Day. This city is filled with creativity, imagination and skilled hands. But, the Mardi Gras Indians take crafting to a whole new level. They work on their suits for a year, investing up to $5000 on the exquisite plumes and beads that become their storytelling suits. Continue reading