Jazz Fest 2007
This weekend, I attended all three days of The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Dad was good enough to give me the day off of work to go. He dropped me off at the Fairgrounds on his way to work at about ten this morning, about an hour before the games opened. I walked past Liuzza’s and down to the Gentilly Street entrance, where a line was already formed of people waiting to get in when the gates opened at eleven.When the gates did open, I walked straight to the Fais Do Do Stage where the Tulane University Jazz Combo. I decided to see them mostly because of the namesake. To put it generously, I wasn’t impressed with their performance. As Tulane’s music program is barely two years old, however, I have no reason to be harsh.I walked ‘next door’ to Congo Square to see Xavier’s Jazz Ensemble, which wasn’t bad but the group was too hard to photograph so I decided to just wander around a while. I did stop briefly to see the Leviticus Gospel Singers.By 12:20 I was at the Music Heritage stage in the grandstands. One of my professors, Kevin Fontenot interviewed some Cajun musicians, Randy Vidrine and Kristi Guillory of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. I had no prior knowledge of the musicians but the interview was still interesting.After the interview I wandered a bit more, stopping back in the gospel tent where I caught some of Lyle Henderson & Emmanuel. After shooting some pictures, I decided it was time to eat. I decided to start with something familiar. I got some jambalaya and the famous crawfish bread. I walked with food in hand to the jazz tent to eat. Michael Ward was playing. Mr. Ward is a fine talent, although I was really just there for a seat to eat my lunch, which was quite good. The crawfish bread is a favorite at Jazz Fest. I also wanted a seat there for the next act at the Jazz Tent, Astral Project.Astral Project, as I have lauded here previously, is my most favorite local band and I see them whenever I get the chance. Bass player James Singleton was in town for the performance. There was a sizable crowd there, as there has been during the other Astral Project sets at the Festival. As always, they put on a great show. I can’t remember the first some they played, but it wasn’t “Big Shot,” which usually opened their sets. “Cowboy Bill” with the bass solo was a real treat,After they were finished, I wandered around for a little while, seeing some of the Heritage Hall Band and Dr. John.Later on, I claimed a small patch of real estate on the right fringe of the Acura Stage by bridge four. With some space reserved, I walked the track a bit to get something to eat this evening. I walked back with crawfish monica and some white chocolate bread pudding. The crawfish monica is probably the most popular item at Jazz Fest, and it is quite good. If I remember right, I was finished eating before the last act of the opening Friday started, Van Morrison. His was not a name I was familiar with but I didn’t hear anything bad about the guy so I decided to spend the rest of the evening seeing him. He put on a pretty decent show, but I decided to leave early so I wouldn’t have much trouble getting home.I left the fairgrounds not long after six. I didn’t have much trouble getting a cab home. I don’t quite remember what I did later that evening. It probably involved my computer and my TV.Posts on the remaining five days of Jazz Fest are forthcoming, remember any typing all of this is just time-consuming.