Saturday, April 12, 2008

French Quarter Festival


There's something about festivals that bring people together. But make that a MUSIC festival, in the French Quarter, on a sunny day in April, in a post-Katrina world... and it's nearly a religious experience.
There's the guy I see at every Jazz Festival - in his tie dye shirt and crazy hat and sparkly red shoes, dancing with his wife, and any tourist brave enough to get close. There are the old hippies and the young hippies spread out on blankets. There are the families with young children. The mother nursing her infant. There are the college students dancing wildly in front of the stage and couples doing the Cajun two-step. There are musicians standing around with their instruments, coming or going from their turn on stage. There are women in high heels with their perfectly dyed hair and their manicures and expensive dresses. There are the men with no shirts, and many, many people with no shoes. There are children on a field trip eating their bag lunches on the aquarium lawn, listening to a brass band. This diverse mess of humanity stands together, bopping along to the beat, smiling, singing, laughing, clapping, cheering and crying.



Perhaps it's the diversity in the music. Besides the usual guitars and drums I danced to an accordion, a fiddle, a washboard, tin cans, Congo drums, a sousaphone, a trumpet, a trombone and an organ. I heard funk and blues and Cajun and rock and folk and brass bands and Latin.


Perhaps it's the fact that, even 2 1/2 year later, every musician or group sang a song or told a story or made a joke about Hurricane Katrina. Maybe it's the common struggle that binds us together, locals and tourists alike.


Or maybe it's just some really great music.


19 comments:

Alpha DogMa said...

I love music festivals. For all the reasons you listed. But I can just imagine the synergy of a music festival in NOLA. I would love to be there.

JCK said...

You New Orleans folks are special people. Your love for life, through music and living fully is awesome and SO attractive.

flutter said...

This is so fabulous, it makes me miss NOLA so much

Family Adventure said...

Oh, you made me feel like I was right there. I heard the music and could smell spring in the air.

Thank you!

Heidi

womaninawindow said...

There is a magic there that that I think doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. I didn't quite believe it until I visited 6 years ago. I was on a work related trip and I cried the whole time which did not mesh with what my experiences there were like. Turns out I had just conceived and I saw New Orleans through a newly pregnant veil of tears.

thirtysomething said...

Oh, just once I would love to experience the wonderment that is New Orleans. Thanks for sharing all the great pics!

Kyla said...

Sounds lovely.

E said...

Watch it...now you're just gonna have to apologize again

jen said...

i honestly, honestly think if the whole world could experience this we'd never have war again.

it sounds that perfect.

jen said...
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jen said...
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jen said...

my comments spawned, i tried to delete them then realized you might wonder what i was doing so here i am leaving yet another one to explain. carry on.

Hey Teach! said...

Oh, it sounds like such a good time. You describe it perfectly. I so want to visit New Orleans.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You have no idea what you and the Ambassador are doing for New Orleans tourism! I want to go. Now!

Emily said...

Oh, MP! This sounds so wonderful. You make me want to go to NOLA!

Seriously, you should send some of your posts to the LA board of tourism.

Wendy said...

Ohhhh...Jazzfest was always so much more fun for me than Mardi Gras! Your post really took me back...Thanks!

Although, now I want to go down there...oh, the music and the FOOD!!!

Luisa Perkins said...

Can't get enough! SO excellent.

wheelsonthebus said...

I love your slice of New Orleans life posts. Love being invited there with you.

carrie said...

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking me there with you. I could almost hear the music . . .