Return to Bonnabel (Jazz Fest 2011)
It’s simply a magical place. Everything about it is infused with passion. Even leaving the airport is profound. The beautiful Fleur de Lis street lamps cascade the road all the way to the highway.
New Orleans JazzFest…I’m home.
I’m so at home in New Orleans that I look forward to driving on I-10 so I can see my favorite street sign in the world. It’s like I have a sister blvd– Annabel / Bonnabel! Love it!
I love getting to JazzFest on Wednesday night. It’s slightly more mellow than the others, plenty of people to hang out, great music to see, and then you are ready for the fairgrounds on Thursday, which are so pleasant when not a lot of people are there.
I’ve got to hit the Maple Leaf at least once a fest. Ivan, George, Johnny V & June were super jamming it up. Ivan has become such a dear friend to me. I truly am blessed for the deep relationships that have come into my life over the years. He’s one of the greatest gifts I’ve gotten.
Let it be known, the WEATHER both weekends was some of the best it’s been in YEARS. Perfectly sunny skies, no humidity, just fabulous…
I love walking to the fairgrounds and seeing the same charismatic houses year after year. The colors on this one just make me smile, especially with the crystal blue sky behind it.
Ok…now it’s time to get serious for a few. My father died on March 28. Since then, my life has been turned upside down. He was my everything. He loved music as much as I did, he supported my career in the music business despite numerous tough times, he even managed a gospel band back in the day.
I had been looking forward to, almost needing JazzFest, more than imaginable. But I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me. The first thing I always do when I get to the fairgrounds is sit in the gospel tent. But this time was different.
The group signing hit a 20-part harmony and I immediately fell to my knees and started sobbing. Thank god a dear friend was right there to pick me back up and put me in her arms. I couldn’t stop. The gospel group was hitting notes in ways that moved me in involuntary ways. I couldn’t stop crying. And it wasn’t all about me missing Dad. It was strongly about just feeling beyond grateful for being there…at JazzFest…in the gospel tent…in New Orleans…at that moment. It was what one would call a spiritual experience.
Lets talk about another spiritual experience…Crawfish Monica. Seriously, I dream about it all year long. There’s nothing like the first bite into the delicious, flavorful, comforting, familiar wonderfulness of Crawfish Monica. First a huge cry in the Gospel Tent, then a huge bite into my favorite fairgrounds food. Happy Thursday, People!
Thursday night…Jam Cruise hosted the Royal Family Ball at the CAC. Sometimes funk groups like Dr. Klaw, that are actually a bunch of musicians from various bands, don’t necessarily have a press photo. We needed one for the Jam Cruise site. So I arranged a photo shoot and with my little point and click camera, along with the “cool” vibe of the boys, we came up with a GREAT shot, right?
Another group we have formed for the cruise is A Tribute to Sly & The Family Stone featuring the following bad asses. I had jump in for a photo because the boys are just damn cute.
Friday Fairgrounds…ran into a fellow Soft Shell Crab Po-Boy eater, Mr Marco Benevento! I think I’ll make him a street teamer. I feel like Marco and I have grown up together in the music business…been friends for over 10 years, both been growing and becoming more comfortable in our worlds. I’m really excited to have Surprise Me Mr. Davis on board Jam Cruise 10.
I really do think Arcade Fire is a great rock band. I’ve only ever seen them at night though. So a daytime performance was interesting. But I’ve gotta be honest. When I walked into that pit, the band came alive and I could see every expression on their faces. It was a cool moment.