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
Tag Archives: Tanya and Dorise
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
The heartbeat of New Orleans is music. Between the music clubs, parades, second lines, festivals and buskers, it’s nearly impossible to go a whole day in the French Quarter without hearing live music. For everyone from Trombone Shorty, who’s played in the White House twice, to Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band, their journey started in the streets of the French Quarter. They stood on corners performing behind a pail, an upturned hat or an open guitar case hoping for some financial gratitude. One of my most popular posts of all time is about violinist and guitarist, Tanya and Dorise. Another of the city’s most beloved street performers is Doreen Ketchens and her band, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. Continue reading
The last day of French Quarter Fest was just as gorgeous as the first 3. Sadly, for locals, the day started with the sad news that former Saint, Will Smith, had been shot 7 times leaving 3 children and a wife (who sustained 2 shots) behind. He had posted on Instagram, “Having a blast at the #fqf2016” earlier. Many of us wore Saints gear and checked for updates as the story evolved from one of random violence to something more thought-out and personal.
As for festing, we started the day with a Softshell Crab Po-Boy ($10) from Jack Dempsey’s then tried Love at First Bite’s Crawfish Pasta ($8) and my favorite, the Cochon de Lait Po-Boy ($8) from their partner, Walker’s Southern Style BBQ. We hit the Abita stage in time for party-band, the Bucktown All-Stars. Their playful covers included “Rubber Band Man” complete with a dance of silly, stretchy poses. 85 year old Joyce La Nasa joined on tambourine wearing her signature white gloves. Continue reading
With the weekend in full swing, all of the over-20 stages and dozens more food booths opened throughout the Quarter for day 3 of French Quarter Fest. The first day, we parked ourselves in front of the Abita Stage and watched masters of their craft all day. Friday, we enjoyed all that again as well as watching well over 100 children take the stage throughout the day. Saturday, we hit every corner of the Fest – from the Mint to the Aquarium and from Bourbon Street to the river.
One of the best things about New Orleans is the omnipresent live music. In the French Quarter, it would be impossible to go a whole day without seeing live music. Between the music clubs, the parades and second lines, the Louisiana Music Factory CD store, the festivals and the buskers, the city is always pulsating and singing it’s song. The roots of soul, R&B, gospel, jazz, blues, rock, funk, zydeco and even some country start on this dirt, giving voice to its soil’s story. Quite simply – New Orleans is music. And the truth is, most of it starts in the streets with the people who perform behind a pail, an upturned hat or an open guitar case hoping for some financial gratitude. Continue reading