Day 2 of French Quarter Fest brought more nice weather, though things got dreary toward the end of the day foreshadowing the oncoming storm. And the latest oil spill in the river gunked up the banks and halted riverboat cruises and ferries. But, the day was terrific – starting with Cha Wa, a Mardi Gras Indian band. Lead singer J’Wan Boudreaux is the grandson of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and is one of our city’s many reassurances that our music and culture are being passed down to a worthy generation. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Stooges Brass Band
French Quarter Fest ended with a slightly warmer version of the same glorious weather we’d had all weekend. The Friendly Travelers started our day with standards like Down By The Riverside, then took the crowd to church with praise music. The lead singer came out to the crowd and got people on their feet and holding hands. Toward the end of the set, the band played an original from their upcoming album. It was gorgeous and moving and the crowd did something I hadn’t seen before at any fest – they gave a standing ovation in the middle of a set for a song no one knew. Continue reading
Saturday was another beautiful day at French Quarter Fest. After 2 days at the upriver stages, we spent the third day hopping between the 2 less crowded stages at the historic U.S. Mint. The traditional Storyville Stompers Brass Band started our day with local standards like, “I’ll Fly Away.” We had the breakfast platter ($8) and some donuts at nearby Wink’s Bakery then headed back for The Revealers’ reggae beats.
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
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.
Though Carnival doesn’t “officially” start until 12 days before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French), the city’s unofficially-official start is certainly the one-two satirical-parade punch of Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion. The bawdy R-rated parades lampoons local, national and even international politics with the addition of jabs at the Olympics-host Russian policy toward gays. With throws ranging from earplugs to liquor, it’s a fun adult night parade in the French Quarter. Continue reading
What a day to live in New Orleans. Sunday was the 6th annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival. About 50,000 people pack into a few blocks lined with po-boy vendors and try as many different po-boys as they can, washing it down with plenty of Abita Beer. I’m not really into sandwiches and yet I really look forward to this fest every year. Like the Got Gumbo? event at the Royal Sonesta, over 30 vendors bring at least one po-boy offering so the level of creativity can be outstanding and you never know what flavor combinations you might find. Continue reading