Jazz Fest and a Few Other Things
On few occasions in the seven year history of the neglected Daily Log have I left a whole month pass without an entry. With French Quarter Fest and Jazz Fest right next to each other and school stuff sandwiched in, I have not had the time or desire to write here.
Immediately following the French Quarter Festival, I spent most of my spare time studying for my third and final exam in military history class. Professor Lagvanec finished his lecture series early and the students including myself were more than happy to take the exam early on April 22nd. It allowed me to be done with school before Jazz Fest, the worst possible time of year for me to be studying in. We all showed up that Thursday but the professor was almost two hours late and he only showed up to tell us we could not take the exam that evening. He had a scheduling conflict. The exam was rescheduled for May 6, the Thursday after Jazz Fest.
As a whole, Jazz Fest was pretty awesome this year. It started and ended with rain and was largely overcast in between but the crowds were still quite healthy and the music and food was as good as ever. I had a brass pass and I rented one lens this year, Canon’s new 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS II. It’s an amazing piece of glass although it still needs to be in the hands of a pro to get the best results. Even so I would love to own one.
For me, the highlights this year were the Treme Brass Band, which is an annual spectacle in Economy Hall. Irvin Mayfield’s NOJO put on an awesome set. I now own their CD. Lionel Richie was dependably excellent. It was raining the Friday he played. He had the diehard audience eating out of his hand. The second Friday and Saturday, Dad came with me to the fairgrounds. I saw him intermittently during both days. At the end of the second Friday we saw the Gipsy Kings. I’ve heard their music on couple occasions in my life but this was the first time hearing a whole set of their music an certainly the first time live. I already like Latin music and I was thoroughly impressed.
The second Saturday was a pretty good day. Rain was forecast but the fairgrounds were spared. New Leviathan and Pete Fountain played in Economy Hall. John Goodman joined Pete briefly on stage, quite a hoot. On the last Sunday it did rain which made the tents popular and I spent most of the day between the Jazz and Blues tents. The Marsalis family played in the blues tent and BB King closed out the festival in the blues tent. Unfortunately, space in the blues tent came at a substantial premium. Such a popular act should have been on a big stage. I managed to get into the tent but I was off to the side and couldn’t see anything. I was only able to shoot a few pictures as I was leaving.
Unlike Jazz Fests in the past, I had to work nights on the weekends. Jazz Fest is always exhausting, especially going every day. It took longer to “recover” and catch up on my sleep without the benefit of going straight home after each day at the fairgrounds. The time I might have spent writing about each day at the fest was spent culling the day’s pictures. I averaged about 1,500 a day this year… about as much as my memory card collection allows.
Below is a list of each band I saw at this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Friday, April 23:
Jesse McBride presents The Next Generation
Saturday, April 24:
N.O.C.C.A. Jazz Ensemble
Treme Brass Band
Greater Antioch Full Gospel Baptist Church Mass Choir
Patrice Fisher & Arpa and the Honduran Connection
HBO’s Treme Interview
Simon and Garfunkle
Sunday, April 24:
University of New Orleans Jazz Ensemble
Miss Sophoe Lee
Lionel Ferbos and the Palm Court Jazz Band
Tribute to Juanita Brooks with Betty Shirley, Leah Chase and Germaine Bazzle
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The Allman Brothers Band
Thursday, April 29:
Lafayette Rhythm Devils
Hot Club of New Orleans
Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians
Coco Robicheaux and the Swamp Monsters
Tulane University Jazz Ensemble
Mario Abney Sextet
Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys
Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel
Shannon Powell’s Organ Combo
Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show
Average White Band
Friday, April 30:
Juilliard Jazz Ensemble
Saturday, May 1:
Xavier University Jazz Ensmeble
New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra
Pinstripe Brass Band
BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
Sunday, May 2:
Ronnie Kole Trio
Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra
Jonno and Bayou Deville