My favorite food is “fest food,” so I’m always delighted when another festival rolls around and Treme Creole Gumbo Fest at Armstrong Park was made for foodies. It’s also for people who love music and local artisans. We caught Treme Brass Band with Corey Henry and Shamarr Allen & the Underdawgs. Both bands got the sizable crowd dancing – especially pint-sized Spidey504, protégé of DancingMan504. I caught him doing a move just like the logo for Jazz Fest. Spidey504 may have been born in New York 7 years ago, but his parents moved here because it’s where his soul belongs. 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
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.
It’s impossible to attend all of the free music, festivals and cultural events in New Orleans, but I do what I can. This week, I got to D.J. at WWOZ, attend an Irma Thomas & the Professionals with Khris Royal & Dark Matter concert and watch a documentary on the Red Bull Street Kings battle-of-the-bands in 2010. Inspired by finally finding my pick for the new Saints touchdown theme song, Black and Gold, I called Jonny Ray of the New Orleans Movie Tours who has a regular time slot on WWOZ and asked if I could give the song it’s radio debut. I invited Phat Word, one of the masterminds behind Black and Gold and we spent the evening talking about everything from the definition of Jazz to behind-the-scenes stories of Django Unchained and Kill Bill. Continue reading