[JPL] Article on New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Jeff Turton jturton at comcast.net
Wed May 11 23:50:44 EDT 2011


Interesting to read these two different takes on the Festival this year. I just got back from NOLA this evening after 6 days hanging out listening to lots of great music and eating way too much good food. This will be the 4th year in a row I've been back down after a hiatus of a number of years because of scheduling. For me this has never been a festival all about Jazz and while I may not like having Arcade Fire and the Strokes as headliners I understand why they are there these days. Fortunately there is so much music happening you can completely avoid these artists, which we did again this year. Friday highlights included Buckwheat on the Gentilly stage on the way to hear Kermit Ruffins on the Congo Sq stage (we didn't get into town till 12:30 so got to the fairgrounds around 2:30 or so) Caught a few minutes of Stanton Moore on the way to hear Forgotten Souls Brass band and then to hear hear Greg Allman ( I know I could have seen the Mingus Big band but I like Greg's new disc). Saturday was a full day with D.L. Menard and Geno Delafose. Haiti was featured this year so headed over to Congo Sq to hear RAM from Haiti for some rara rhythms. Trombone Shorty killed on the gentilly stage and closed the afternoon with C.J. Chenier. Sunday started with the Playing For Change folks on the Gentilly stage. Then off to Congo Sq for some Kompa from Tabou Combo. Ran into the WIld Tchoupitoulas parading around the site on the way to Congo Sq. Stayed at Congo Sq for a smokin set from the Rebirth Brass Band. Caught some of Chief Bo Dollis on the way to hear Robert Randolph and a quick stop to finish off the Neville's set. The weather was amazing, especially after last years wet. The food on site as usual is the best and the crowds were as usual lots of fun. I'm not sure what the attendance was but every stage I visited was packed with enthusiastic crowds. The one thing I did notice was that despite some of the alternative acts present, this was not a young crowd. Lots of us older folks. I know it's easy to decry the inclusion of the big acts but that's never been what the festival is about  to me and I believe to many on site. It's really about the wide variety of music that is presented each year and you literally can get whatever you'd like musically. WHile there is some sound infringement from stage to stage, it is not hard to enjoy whatever stage you are attending. We had killer meals at Galatoire's, Mr. B's (love the BBQ Shrimp) Bayona and our new fav Dante's. Had lots of fun Sunday night watching Treme at May Bailey's in the French Quarter. This weeks episode of Treme brought to the fore this whole Jazz relevance issue. So if you haven't seen it yet try and find the time. Delmond's continued conflict over pursuing his Jazz career and that of his New orleans heritage is getting more interesting. It's developing as a pretty important storyline. I have to say as much fun as we have at jazzfest each year my wife and I will probably come down a few weeks earlier for the French Quarter Festival. It's free and it's all about the local folks, most of whom you can hear at Jazzfest every year. So why not seen them for free with a less touristy crowd. PLus it's generally a little less hot and humid but after a Northeast winter I'm not complaining about the heat.

One other fun thing  this past weekend was the movie making happening in the City. On the same block as our hotel, we were treated to a car chase from what will be a new Nicolas Cage film. Robert DeNiro was filming interiors on Sunday night and Treme was filming interiors on Monday and Tuesday (I was told some of the New York interior scenes are actually filmed in NOLA). As we left today they were setting lots of lights on the street for what appeared to be some outdoor activity (it's unclear if it was still for Treme) Anyway crazy fun in New Orleans. Everyone in town seemed in good spirits but very leery of the upcoming cresting of the Mississippi River. After Katrina, last years oil spill and the potential for new floods New Orleans continues to try and get traction towards a recovery . It is forever optimistic

My 2 cents worth

Jeff Turton




On May 11, 2011, at 5:53 PM, Eric Gruner wrote:

> 
> Here's a more favorable review....
> 
> http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2011-05-07-saturday-jazz-fest_N.htm
> 
> 
> 
> Now I feel better!   :)
> 
> 
> On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 5:40 PM, Tom Mallison
> <tomthejazzman at embarqmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Thanks for posting.  ALOHA  Tom
>> 
>> On 5/11/2011 5:36 PM, Eric Gruner wrote:
>>> 
>>> Jazz Takes a Back Seat at the New Orleans Jazz&  Heritage Festival:
>>> 
>>> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-ross/jazz-takes-a-back-seat-at_b_859041.html
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Bummer.
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> 
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Eric Gruner
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Jeff Turton
jturton at comcast.net

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference



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