‘the birthplace of jazz’

the one & only willie nelson

the zydeco stage

given that New Orleans claims the title ‘the birthplace of jazz’ it seemed fitting that i was there during  JAZZ FEST 2011. now…just so you are aware – the name Jazz Fest is a bit of a misnomer. it’s really just a music festival where some of the acts may be jazz. ie – i saw Willie Nelson & Arcade Fire – not exactly in the jazz category but nevertheless so much fun. being a native Texan, it was AMAZING to see Willie and if you can believe this…it was my first time!!! i made a quick pit-stop at the zydeco stage and i felt this was more authentic NOLA – really cool & great dancing.

Arcade Fire was all i hoped and more. their music is so emotional & you could really feel the energy in the crowd. they even had a guest appearance by Cyndi Lauper playing ‘girls just want to have fun’ and then accompanying on a couple of AF tunes. what a treat! i can’t wait to see Arcade Fire again when they tour somewhere near me OR perhaps road trip it to Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN!!

TRIP TIP – you may wonder WHY all the throngs of people attending Jazz Fest wear hats…it’s because there is NO shade to be had and that southern sun is INTENSE…bring a hat, i repeat, bring a hat! a beer koozie is also a really good idea. having said that – it was totally fantastic that when you bought a 6 pack + of beer it was served in a case box filled with ice to tote it around in. how helpful & clever!

while in NOLA i also had the privilege of seeing the Neville Brother’s at the legendary tipitina’s. it was great but i gotta say the i REALLY enjoyed the opening act much more – Big Sam’s Funky Nation. AWESOME! they really knew how to get the party started – check them out if you can!!!

A QUICK FINAL THOUGHT ON NEW ORLEANS…despite all the devastation – NOLA was so alive & it pumped me up. music truly filled the streets everywhere you went! keep it going NOLA – i’m rooting for you come-back kid!!!

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