Sunday, April 29, 2007


just back from the big easy, the crescent city, and we are so FULL. full of the life energy that is there in new orleans, filled with wonderful family, filled with tasty food, and of course, filled with beautiful music from the clubs of NOLA and JazzFest.

we were only in town for something like 48 hours, and besides checking in on the fun little tool i build for offbeat magazine, we were there to see some of alli's family, and see jazzfest. we got there on friday and got a quick tour/re-orientation of the french quarter. got a tasty muffalata (sp?) and some coffee & beignets at cafe du monde. a quick wander around jackson square, and then off home to alli's dad's cousins' home. next was a poignant tour of the late cousin's artwork (here, here, and here) that is all around the house, keeping daniel's energy present in such a deep and present way.
our first show set the bar pretty high - terence blanchard. playing with a tight talented group (piano, bass, sax, kit, and terence on trumpet). great set, and we ran into our good friend simeon at the bar! he lives in vermont, so we had no idea we'd run into him.
after terence, we moved on to ray ray's boom boom room for some live latin music, some spins on the dance floor, then on to see eric lindell. wow. night one done.
saturday we headed out to jazz fest, and saw some great stuff as usual. started off with some healing in the gospel tent, moved on to the magnolia brass band to bring it close to home, nola-style, and then checked out the amazones (female drummers from guinea), the new orleans klezmer all-stars, and many more. and did i forget the food? oh hell no. we ate and ate and ate. some crawfish sacks, some of this spinach, chicken, plantain platter that i remembered from '00 and '01, and more. we closed out the day seeing simeon perform with the dartmouth gospel group. excellent!
back home for a quick shower, then off on the town. tried to catch jonathan batiste, but got there too early, so we headed off to frenchman street, and instead heard one of the most amazing voices i've heard - john boutte at dba's.
then off to the house of blues to see lucinda williams, and back to frenchmans to see trombone shorty and his krewe of talented youngsters (see some moving video of troy - aka trombone shorty - here - there is also a great FREE mp3 download of troy's o holy night).
finally, back to see jonathan batiste for a little bit at the little private-ish party, and then back home.
and this morning up to get on the plane and get back here.
so, i can't really believe all this happened in such a short period. and i haven't really even got into the katrina aftermath . . . which was not that apparent on the surface, but ever present, especially if you dug a little, or just opened your ears/eyes to the changes apparent. more on this later, but now, off to bed, to fill up on the sleep which is the only thing on empty after this weekend.

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