Monday, May 12, 2008

Jazz Fest

We didn’t actually go to New Orleans just to eat. We went to see the 2008 Jazz & Heritage Festival. We were there for four days of the festival but only attended two—one day off was planned, and we declared ourselves rained out another morning. (The festival goes on rain or shine but Pipi and I make no such promises, so we went sightseeing instead.)

Two days is actually just about perfect, I think. I have a limited tolerance for crowds, so a third day might have been too much humanity. And there was a lot of really great music packing into those two days. We saw Richard Thompson twice, once on a main stage and once being interviewed at a small venue (pictured). Stevie Wonder played, and we saw some of his set. It almost didn’t feel like a live show, because he was about a quarter of a mile away from where we were, but it counts. We saw quite a bit of zydeco, some gospel, and discovered the John Butler trio, who were billed as a blues act. Keb’ Mo’ played. The Neville Brothers closed the festival for the first time since before Hurricane Katrina. Apparently they stayed away from New Orleans long enough that some were starting to call them the Never Brothers, but all seemed to be forgiven at the show, which went on for about an hour longer than scheduled.

The one thing we didn’t see all that much of was jazz. We listened to some ragtime while waiting out a squall in the Preservation Hall tent, but that was about it. They may have to rename the festival at some point, because as in New Orleans itself, there are so many different genres of music represented.

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