26th Annual French Quarter Festival

Here goes. It’s Monday now and I have three great days of Quarter Fest to write about. I will probably tire of this and before I finish it all but I will press on. Jazz Fest is next week and I can’t leave this hanging over my head.After the usual morning routine, prepping my camera and making sure I my cargo shorts were filled with all the little do-dads I needed, Mom, Aunt Lauren and myself left before 11 to go to the French Quarter Festival, a free, three day event featuring live, local music and food all over the quarter. Mom drove down Decatur hoping to land a spot on one of the riverfront parking lots but they were all full. I did the selfish thing and got out of the car near the French Market. I walked down to Jackson Square where Connie Jones and the French Quarter Festival All Stars were playing. I recognized most of the musicians on stage including Tim Laughlin. I listened to the music in front of the stage for about an hour before I decided to get lunch. I got the Cajun Jambalaya and bread pudding whiskey sauce from the Desire Oyster Bar booth.After lunch I walked to the French Market where there was a traditional jazz stage. I got there before Lionel Ferbos and the Louisiana Shakers got started. At 97, Mr. Ferbos is the oldest active jazz musician in New Orleans. He can still play with the best of them after all these years and they put on a great show. I left after about an hour to walk to the zydeco stage Old US Mint where Jonno and Bayou Deville were playing. I only stayed for a few songs before deciding to take a walk to the river front. I thought I might see Lauren at the Abita stage near the aquarium where Freddy Omar was playing but I didn’t see her.After Freddy Omar finished I walked back to the Mint where Feufollet was playing. They drew a large crowd of spectators and dancers. I saw about an hour of their set. Mom and Lauren caught up with me there. The windy weather was bothering Mom and she was a ready to go so I walked her back to the car which was parked in the Marigny.Mom drove me back to the Mint and I strolled from there to Jackson Square where The Nobles were getting started although I didn’t really care for what I was hearing so I continued on to the riverfront where The Zydepunks were just getting started at the pavilion stage. I think this was one of the bands Lauren mentioned she was going to see so I decided to check it out. Suffice it to say, their music was pretty interesting. I would say the group is appropriately named.After about a half hour, the wind was starting to bother me. The wind has been blowing pretty swiftly throughout the day. As it was overcast it was starting to feel downright cold. I went to the Jax Brewery to relax indoors for a while. I got something to eat from the food court while I was there.Feeling sufficiently refreshed, I walked back out to the pavilion stage where The Zydepunks has just finished. I got myself a ‘front row’ seat for Otra which started at 7:30. I got to talking to a lady next to me who was apparently acquainted with their sax player, Brent Ross. The wind was still howling during their performance and they didn’t have enough foam covers for all the microphones so the wind was carrying over the speakers which detracted a bit from the music which was otherwise excellent.Before the show started I saw Lauren and we agreed to take a ferry after 8:30 so I walked to the ferry landing and met up with Lauren at about quarter past. The ferry departed at 8:45. Mom was waiting to pick us up on the other side. Later that evening I spent a couple hours going through the 1,200 pictures I took over the course of the afternoon. I bought 12 gigabytes worth of memory cards with me so I was shooting with reckless abandon. I was reasonably pleased with my pictures. I rented the 24-105mm F/4L IS lens for the festival which was a pleasure to use although there were times when I could have used more reach. The simplicity of a one-lens solution was a reasonable compromise though. I did not have a desire to make picture taking the priority I do when I go to Jazz Fest.

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