Fine Sunday Weather

My lofty goal of getting up early enough to catch the start of the final day of the French Quarter Festival was not to be. I was going to call a cab this morning but dad agreed to drop me at the ferry landing. I made it to Jackson Square at around 12:30 as Dukes of Dixieland was wrapping up. When the finished I decided to just hang around the stage and wait for Jeremy Davenport to begin at one. He was a bit late getting started as their drummer was tardy. Once they did get started, Davenport and the band put on a good show. He brought some of his club banter to the stage with lines like “If you feel like singing along, don’t. It makes me nervous.” He also got a little jab in at the drummer for being late. At around two, I left the stage and got some lunch. I decided on the barbeque shrimp pasta from The Alibi booth. After I ate I walked to the Royal Sonesta Hotel where there was at a bar in the hotel, recently rebranded at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. The schedule had the Mario Abney Quintet as the performer but it was in fast the Ashlin Parker Quintet with Jesse McBride at the piano. The ensemble was quite impressive and sounded great, especially in the small venue which required no amplification. Before they took a break, Ashlin Parker invited Irvin Mayfield on stage for an impromptu performance and he sounded incredible.During a break in the music I had a chance to speak with a gentleman from Manchester, England who was visiting New Orleans for the festival. I was quite impressed with his knowledge of the local music scene. It’s not often I hear a tourist even mention Frenchman Street much less speak with authority about the venues there.I remained at the Royal Cenesta until the set concluded at four. I took a walk down Royal, slowly heading back to Jackson Square. As I was walking I ran into Nicole who was with a friend. We spoke for a couple minutes before I continued on to the 400 block stage where Anasis St. John and the Harry Mayronne Trio were performing. I stuck around for a few numbers and shot some pictures. I also saw a wee bit of the Washboard Chaz Blues Trio which drew quite a crowd for a street stage.When I made it to Jackson Square, Irvin Mayfield was performing. I was in no hurry to get to the stage so I got something to eat and found a shady spot to sit. I got some seafood pasta and pecan pie. While I was eating I noticed a boy doing some sort of juggling act and after I finished I moved closer to get some pictures. While I was sitting there I got to talking to a man who was lamenting the sort of jazz Mayfield was playing at the moment. He got to talking about the jazz scene in New York City in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Later on I moved up to the stage so I could get some pictures. It was crowded up front but a second line spawned in front of the stage and eventually Irvin invited some of the people on stage to show the crowd how it’s done. It was quite awesome and a great photo opportunity.As Irvin Mayfield was finishing I took my leave to get one more shot of a crowded Jackson Square. The music ended at seven this evening and I decided to go home as nothing could top Irvin’s performance and the enthusiastic crowd. I walked to Harrah’s casino to get a cab and went home. After relaxing for a while and watching the St. Louis Blues game, I combed through the day’s pictures which I was very pleased with.

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