Saturday, May 2, 2009

May Day at Jazz Fest

Washboard Chaz, a New Orleans legend

Dancing around the New Orleans Jazz Fest was a perfect way to spend May Day. I'm still trying to schedule the belated May Day activities. But it was worth the delay.

Highlights included meeting up with a friend who works for the fest, and who got me a guest pass... getting me up closer to all the stages for the latter half of the day.

John Boutte was amazing... a great voice and a great performer. I bought a CD.
Esperanza Spalding was a bassist and amazing singer. And beautiful to boot. She held the audience captive with her voice. Unbelievable. Another CD for my collection.

There were so many great acts... I kept thinking "This is the highlight of the day." But then I'd see another act! One of the things I love about the festival is that there is so much to see and hear, and you can enjoy something for a bit, then go check out something else. "Short attention span theatre" is what my friend called it. We met a guy who said he would like to live the movie "Groundhog Day" - but during Jazz Fest. You could see all the acts. Eat all the food. It would be great, I agree.

A note about the food. When I attended my first festival I tucked an apple and a granola bar into my backpack, hoping to avoid spending a ton of money on a bad hot dog and chips. Wow, was I ever wrong. The food is as much a part of the festival as the music. That first year I passed someone carrying a bowl of delicious looking pasta, and asked what it was and where to get it. Crawfish Monica. Now I make that at home for our out of town guests (that and ettouffe). At the festival I try to eat something I've never had and/or don't make at home. On May Day I indulged in alligator pie, cochon de lait (that's the best pork sandwich you'll ever have!), and crawfish enchiladas.
The parades through the festival are always fun to catch.They must have been so hot!

One of the things I love is all the people who bring their own instruments, like this couple with the tambourines following this parade. You should have seen these 2 (in the navy shirts) getting down with those tambourines. Love it!

Seeing Tony Bennett was undeniably cool. Being up close in the guest area (about 12 feet away from Patty Griffin, who I had just seen on a different stage about 15 minutes earlier) was great. If only the onstage camera man hadn't stood right in the way half the time. Tony was excellent, and you should have seen him dance!

We tore ourselves away from him to close out the day with John Scofield, a jazz guitarist, and we danced and clapped away... the perfect ending to a great day at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Monday's Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a cast list. Take a book or story or play or TV show and cast it... with fellow bloggers or your favorite actors. Play casting director for the day. This fun idea comes to you courtesy of No Mother Earth, who cast bloggers in a book she was reading.


Woman in a Window said...

OK, New Orleans has got to be the coolest place. You have all the best stuff going on and in the streets, too boot.

kaye said...

We've been to New Orleans twice--I loved listening to all the musicians. What a fun weekend you've had

Bayou Belle said...

I'm so jealous! Every year I want to go to Jazz Fest. Well, 5 years have passed and i haven't! I am going with you next year!