Jazz Fest 2008 Comes to a Close

Dad gave me a ride to the fairgrounds before he went to church this morning. This was the last day of the festival and I spent most of it wandering around as there were no acts I was especially interested in seeing. I arrived early and got a daiquiri at Liuzza’s to nurse for a while before heading inside. I spoke with a fellow New Orleanian, Claire, for a little while, mostly about the festival and our affection for the city.I got through the gate shortly before 11. I went to the nearby gospel tent to see the some of the first act of the day there, the New Orleans Spiritualettes. After the first two numbers there I walked the short distance to the jazz & heritage stage to see the Loyola University Jazz Ensemble. They were pretty good. I spoke briefly with a gentleman who was related to one of the students playing, Andrew Wright on guitar. He asked if I would take some pictures of his nephew, which I did.After I left there I went to get lunch. I picked the crawfish strudel and white chocolate bread pudding. I took it to a tree at the folk village so I could eat in the shade and be nearby for the Native American pow-wow at 12:30. I wanted to see this because I got some interesting pictures of it last year. There was a different group doing it in 2008, however, and the participants were in traditional dress rather than elaborate costumes. The pictures I shot didn’t come close to what I managed last year though.After leaving the folk village I wandered around and wound up at the jazz tent where Jonathan Batiste. I stayed for a couple numbers and attempted to shoot a handful of pictures. I then wandered back to the grandstands and sat in on a food demo at the “Zatarain’s Cajun Cabin” outside which had just started at 1:45. Mike Gowland of NOFD and Fireman Mike’s Kitchen was making what he called “Shrimp Caila,” which I can best describe as a creamy barbeque shrimp. While he was cooking and not talking about the food he spoke about the New Orleans Fire Department including goings-on related to Katrina and daily life for firemen, which was pretty entertaining. A good crowd had gathered including several fellow firemen by the time he finished cooking. Everybody got a sample of what he cooked, which was quite good. The only trouble is you had to peel the shrimp yourself which is a bit messy.I heard from Patrick during the demo and he told me he’d be at the fairgrounds for Galactic so I went by the Gentilly stage to meet him but I guess he was having trouble getting to the fairgrounds, perhaps just because he parked far away.Shortly after three I left there to do to the Acura stage for Santana. He had already started when I approached the stage. I got a spot between the medical stent and the stage dead center, not close enough to get any decent pictures though. I stayed there for about a half hour before I decided I’d had enough of the crowd. I wandered around a while and saw some of Abagail Washburn before deciding I was hungry. I wanted to try the fried chicken and jambalaya but the lines were too long. I got a muffuletta instead and took it the WWOZ hospitality tent to eat in peace.After I finished I walked over to the jazz tent to hear some of Dianne Reeves. I didn’t stay long because she was nearly finished and the tent was packed. I couldn’t reach Patrick on the phone so I decided to see if I could find him by the Acura stage. I was finally able to raise him on the phone and we agreed to meet by the blues tent. It took him a good while to make it there, it was exceptionally crowded so it was hard to get around. He eventually showed up with some friends, Chelsi and Valerie. The Derek Trucks band was playing inside the blues tent but it was jam packed inside and there was a significant crowd outside. We remained outside the tent, mostly talking for a good while until near the end of the show when we were able to creep into the tent for the end of the sho, extremely enthusiastic and continuing applause, and subsequent encore.A short while after the show Chelsi and Valerie departed and Jenna and Danielle, both of whom I first met last week, joined us. Patrick agreed to give me a ride to the riverfront so I could get home easier than waiting at the cab stand. The walk to his car, which was backed at the art museum, was a show in itself, suffice it to say. I ended up catching a cab home from Tulane. That evening I finished sorting yesterday’s pictures as well as today’s pictures.

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