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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Second Weekend of Jazz Fest

Whew!  All set-up and ready to roll on the opening day of Jazz Fest.  We are now blessed with perfect weather and good vibes all around.  Why would anyone in New Orleans not want to be here?
Cheers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fun-filled Pre-Jazz Fest Rituals



So, there's not enough on my plate these days, just two from the opening of Jazz Fest so guess what I spend most of my time doing?   Going to music in-stores at the Louisiana Music Factory.  I got to escort the musicians to the "Green Room" upstairs again.  Always cool to meet Dirty Dozen even if they don't know who I am.  That's ok.  They really are the best brass band out there.  Sorry Rebirth, I know you got the Grammy this year and all that but truth is truth.  At least I did my "homework" before I went down to the French Quarter.  I made myself finish painting the shutters for my booth decoration so I wouldn't have that hanging over my head.

Monday, April 30, 2012

First Weekend of Jazz Fesst

Wow.  What a perfect day.  Beautiful weather, Trombone Shorty, good friends from out of town to share the day with, Dr. John, mango sorbet, running into old friends, Lionel Ferbos (age 101 trumpet player
still killing them), Gary Clark, Jr. (young guitar player from Austin who's at his beginning of killing them), white beans, Mardi Gras Indians, not- so -young couples dancing like they were 20 years old,
iced rose-mint tea and little kids just learning to love Jazz Fest.  Oh, yeah, Bruce Springsteen, only if you were able to get within a quarter mile of the Acura stage.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day2



Another beautiful day with perfect weather for Jazz Fest.  My good friend, Joy, and I got an early start and made the artist rounds before the stages got rolling.  We shopped a bit (yeah, jewelry) and gossiped with other Jazz Fest artists.  We caught Tracy Thomson sewing her hats and Jennifer Chenevert selling her jewelry; ate some yummy (but probably unhealthy) food; walked around at least a hundred miles to get to as many music stages as we could and finally wound up in the Blues Tent to watch Bobby Rush do his dirty blues best, including the "shimmy" girls

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 1

Jazz Fest is not only known for its' awesome music and food but for its' great arts and crafts which are very strictly juried.  Many of the artists are my friends and it is always a coup to get into the festival and show your artwork to a huge and appreciative crowd.  The artists switch out every weekend and next weekend it will be my turn to show my work.  In the meantime, here are two of my friends showing out at the festival fairgrounds.  Kiki Houston does jewelry and Peter Boutte does photography that has been painted over,

It's That Time Again

Our favorite time of the year in New Orleans is Jazz Fest.  Some might say Mardi Gras but that's like trying to compare Christmas and your birthday.  They're kind of equal but you might tip either one way or the other. Anyway, at Jazz Fest all of the musicians who are out there in the world touring and traveling from gig to gig all come home to roost for at least two weeks.  It's sort of like a family reunion in that respect because we get to go and see the most successful of the lot right here at home.  They always give their best shows here, too, because the audiences are so receptive.  From the big stages at Jazz Fest, to the outside arenas in the streets, to the clubs like Tip's and House of Blues to small venues and in-stores, the musicians are everywhere all at once.  Cyril Neville, youngest brother of the Neville Brothers, appeared at the Louisiana Music Factory with his new band, the Royal Southern Brotherhood, the other night and rocked the room.  This is only the beginning.  More in-store performances there continue on Monday.
Meanwhile, out at the Fairgrounds the music never stops.  Last set yesterday was a reunion of another sort....the Beach Boys on the Acura Stage at Jazz Fest.  What a treat.  It's like an all- you- can- eat feast for the ears.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Green Room

I don't know why they are called Green Rooms as they usually are not.  The one at the Louisiana Music Factory is a kind of coral color....like the LifeBoy soap color.  The factory was having a party yesterday
to celebrate the store's 20th Anniversary and the owner had invited lots of musicians to come and perform.
There were drinks and catered food in the Green Room where the musicians waited to go on stage.  They chat (gossip), tune up their instruments and  relax before and after their gig.  As Louisiana music goes, these were some pretty great acts: Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, Little Freddie King, the Stooges Brass Band, Cyril Neville and the Preservation Hall Band.  It was fun to get to meet some of them and chat.
I am such a lucky girl.  I also got some great pix.

Mardi Gras Day

Every year I march with the Bywater Bone Boys. We are skeletons!
Not just ordinary skeletons, though.  We create new costumes every year to enhance our "bones".
One year I was Bona Lisa, last year I wore a black sequin suit with bones appliqued on top and
this year I was a Storyville Skeleton.  I dressed like one of subjects in Bellocq's turn of the century
photographs of the Storyville ladies.  Appropriate because we march not very far from where the
actual Storyville existed, now gone after the government decided to raze the area to build a project
during the Great Society years.
Anyway, my friends and I go down to the Bywater, not far from the French Quarter, and meet up
at daybreak with other like-minded skeletons.  We have a busy and noisy time waking up the residents
to Mardi Gras morning as we parade around for an hour or so.  After that we repair to Bud Rip's Bar
for refreshments and wait for the St. Ann Parade to come by with their brass marching band.  Then we
all join forces and storm the Marigny and French Quarter.  There is no way to explain how good it feels
to be part of something so special and glorious.  It's like playing dress-up and going back in time to total
innocence.  I can't wait for next year.

All Hail

One of the biggest and grandest of the night parades is Bacchus, which rolls on the Sunday before Mardi Gras.   The floats are beautiful and the bands are plentiful but everyone goes out to see the celebrity guest who is invited to become the King of Bacchus.  It is usually a comedian or movie star and this year they
chose Will Farrell who is in town making a movie.  Well, he was spectacular.  He was like a little child.
He dug into his pile of dubloons and beads and shoveled them up into the sky with a look of joy on his
face.  I have to say, he was the best Bacchus I ever saw.  And, as he him self said "All Hail Me".  What a nut!

The Real Thing

So, there were lots of parades this Mardi Gras, as usual, but the only ones I really ever go to, except for
Mardi Gras Day, are the night parades.  I just love the twinkling lights, shiny glittery costumes and the
magnificent flambeaux.  They go way back in history to a time when the floats could not be seen at
night without the illumination of the flambeaux flames.  They are now a part of the traditional night parades, especially for the older krewes.  The flambeaux not only light the way for the next float but
they also dance around and entertain while balancing a big metal apparatus filled with kerosene and
blasting flames all over the street.  You have to see it to believe it!

Mardi Gras Catch-up

Sometimes it is hard to think of something to blog about and sometimes I am so over whelmed with
all of the things that I am doing that I hardly have time to sleep let along blog.  That is the case this month.
I was busy finishing 35 paintings for my solo show at Jean Bragg Gallery earlier this month.  The show
went well enough even though I was faced with the competition of my own subject matter....Mardi Gras.
A gigantic night parade was going on at the same time as my opening party.  Ironic, huh?
Anyway, the show has been up for a month now and it is almost time to take it down.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Streetcar

For all of you tourists who love to ride our streetcars with wild abandon and no specific destination, today was not the day to ride the rails.  The early morning commute was halted when a large truck decided to
"beat" the streetcar.  Guess he didn't realize that those old streetcar brakes do not stop on a dime.  Crunch.
Can you say "alternate route"?
Then on the return  ride home from the French Quarter, it seems that the line lost power so they sent us a lovely bus for the pick-up but during our ride Uptown we were stuck for 20 minutes while an unscheduled parade of Mardi Gras floats meandered cross town....a true consternation to all of us because Mardi Gras parades are not due to begin for a few weeks.  After finally finding adequate power in the streetcar line we made the transportation transfer safely and were again arrested by the development of a movie being filmed  on St. Charles.  Yes, right in the middle of the streetcar tracks.
  I suppose we didn't look authentic enough for their film.  At least you could say that we never have an ordinary day here in New Orleans.  The rest of the world must be kind of boring!
Glad to be home, though.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sugar Bowl

It was a beautiful. sunny day for a parade in the French Quarter today and the reason for it was to celebrate the Sugar Bowl start-up.  There were horses and carriages, bead-throwing, umbrellas and the best marching band in the country...the St. Aug Marching 100.  It is so refreshing to see so many teen-agers so dedicated to music and their school.  They are well disciplined and talented.  Of course, this is really just practice for
them because we are all gearing up for Mardi Gras here in New Orleans and St. Aug will be marching many miles in the weeks to come.