What a Week!
Wednesday we went to Act of Sale on the Zachary house. We are no longer property-owners in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Our Hurricane Hole is no more. We'll have to rely on the weather gods and the Corps to get us through this next hurricane season. I hope they're up to it.
Then Friday Jazzfest
finally arrived. I've been looking forward to this even more than Mardi Gras. The success or failure of Jazzfest this year is more valid indication of our city's future. Mardi Gras is mainly a local party, where tourists can come watch. There was no question in my mind whether New Orleanians would celebrate Mardi Gras.
But are the musicians here to make Jazzfest a success? Will tourists come? This is a local party, sure. But it's more than that. It's New Orleans' annual cultural statement. Quint Davis and the NOJHF board had talked up a good story about how this would be the best biggest Fest ever. But could they pull it off. In short, Yes!
Who's playing? Everybody. Who's there to enjoy? Everybody, again. We went Friday, and the food, the music, the crafts, the people...they were all there.
We started with some Jonathan Batiste
What a phenom! 19 years old. Sophomore at Julliard. NOCCA graduate. Incredible stage presence. A happy, happy musician. Ultimate pleasure. Here's a link to a recording of his composition, Sumayra
. It's a low- bitrate version with poor fidelity but is a hint of what this young man can do. Highly recommended.
Then, of course, what is Jazzfest without parades?
The Big Nine Second Line danced through the grounds, showing that though the neighborhood may be decimated, the spirit of the Lower Nine is well.
Friday was a big day for the Bohren Family. Andre Bohren is drummer for Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, a band made up entirely of Loyola University music students who took no prisoners during their eclectic rock-jazz-whatever mid-afternoon set. Then his dad, Spencer, closed out the Lagniappe stage with his classic blues and unbelievable guitar skills.
Spencer intro'ed his new song, The Long Black Line. I wish I could attach a clip, but it's not released. The title refers to the long black line of residue left on every flooded building and object in New Orleans, and our compulsion to look for it as we drive around the city. The Long Black Line. Indeed.
We couldn't leave without stopping by the Acura stage to see Dr. John.
The crowd was huge. Dr. John was himself, and the music was good.
A great day. New Orleans music is definately back.