Afternoon at the Jazz Tent

I caught a cab to the fairgrounds this morning and arrived perhaps around 11:30 after the NOCCA Jazz Ensemble began in the Jazz Tent. The creative arts school has some respectable jazz talents in spite of their high school ages. I’ve been catching NOCCA at Jazz Fest largely out of curiosity as their students are indeed “the future.” The music was decent although it is rather hard to keep track of who’s on stage since they feature quite a few students in various sections.After NOCCA finished I stuck around the Jazz tent to hold a front row seat for the next act, Leah Chase. The local jazz vocalist is always a treat to hear as well as photograph. She had a sizable ensemble with her this year. Three students from NOCCA performed including sax player Stephen Gladney. After Leah Chase I went to get some lunch. The couple I was sitting next to was willing to hold my seat until I got back. I had the barbeque ribs, white beans and coleslaw. The food was good but it was a bit of an adventure trying to eat it without a table or napkin dispenser.Shortly after I finished eating, Astral Project began their set in the jazz tent. As always they put on a great show. They played some songs from their latest CD as well as some older stuff. Following the set I walked over to the Borders tent where they sell CDs from the fest performers. Astral Project was doing a CD signing after their set and I decided that was as good a time as any to pick up their new album. While I was waiting, one of the mardi gras Indian parades passed by. With my autographs in hand I walked over to Economy Hall for Pete Fountain. I got there a good while before the show started and managed to get a half decent seat. As always, Fountain drew a pretty large crowd. While I was waiting to spoke to a couple from New Jersey that was sitting next to me. We got to talking about New Orleans and the goings on here. They were curious as they are contemplating a move here. Pete’s performance was great as always with the help of the nice ensemble he puts together.After Pete Fountain, I walked over to the jazz tent where the Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis was performing. The tent was packed and I only stayed for a little while before leaving the fairgrounds.This late evening was much like yesterday. I didn’t have too much trouble getting home and I spent the better part of the night sorting through pictures.

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