Return to Bonnabel (Jazz Fest 2011)
Friday night was insane. I went from Galactic/Funky Meters > Anders Osborne > Warren Haynes at Preservation Hall > Bear Creek Allstars at One Eyed Jacks > New Mastersounds at HOB. Started at 8pm, ended at 6am. Now THAT’S a JazzFest night!
I love love love Ben Ellman. I love everything about him…his talent, his attitude, his diversity, his producing abilities, his DJ’ing, his adorable Jewish boy side, and especially, I love his friendship.
Check out my gorgeous friend, Anders Osborne. But he’s just beyond good looking. He’s one of HANDS DOWN the most talented musicians in our scene right now. But he’s actually been around since I was in college. He’s just 10x better than ever right now. His songwriting and voice are so passionate; his guitar playing is just so explosive. I am drawn to him and he won’t let me go until the song is over. And on top of that, he is a dear friend of mine who I hold so tightly in my heart.
Saturday fairgrounds…I love the multiple tribes that shine their colors around the site. These two little boys were so impressive. I hope they have as much pride in their tribes as I have watching them parade through the fest.
Voice of Wetlands Acura Stage – two of my favorite boys in the world, Anders & Howie Schnee. Howie and I have both been supporting Anders’ career for a very long time.
George Porter, like Ivan Neville, and I have become very close friends. Not only does he come on Jam Cruise every year, but we spend all year long involved in each other’s lives. I got to meet more of his family members this JazzFest and it was really special. Here we are pictured with Ciara, his granddaughter. She’s a sassy fun little lady.
Yeah you rite, Sam! This hottie has gone from Big Sam to Built Sam! He’s a force not to be reckoned with.
Kid Rock was FLOORED by Trombone Shorty on the Acura Stage. It was a HUGE moment for everyone. There’s something very “Kid Rock” about Troy. He’s sexy, powerful, talented and so much more. So glad my little camera could capture the compelling moment.
OK here’s one of the best stories of the week. Fest for me isn’t complete unless it includes at Crawfish Boil. But it was already Saturday and I hadn’t made any plans to attend one. So whatdya know…walking down Esplanade from the fest to our car…a table full of crawfish, garlic, potatoes, corn and even PINEAPPLE WITH NOBODY CHOWING DOWN…When I asked the boys drinking beer on the porch if I could have some, they BEGGED us to come eat. “No one wants to stop and eat.” I looked at them like they were crazy! HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO STOP FOR A FREE CRAWFISH BOIL??? We GLADLY indulged in as much crawfish as possible. Classic JazzFest moment.
Ah…JazzFest ALSO isn’t complete without a night on Frenchman Street. Saturday 2:00am we headed to Orgone at the Blue Nile. And of course, the same brass band, on the same corner of the same street, didn’t disappoint once again. Some things never change. And I like it that way.
Sunday Funday…the colorful parades were in FULL force prancing through the fairgrounds. This one was a sight to see. The LIFE, the SPIRIT, the DANCING of everyone involved was enlightening.
One of the absolute highlights of my entire weekend was walking onto Robert Randolph’s bus and seeing Marcus Randolph sitting there with a smile on his face. Marcus suffered from kidney failure a few years ago, had to have a kidney transplant and of course, had to get off the road.
As far as I knew, which was up until about a month ago, he still wasn’t playing with them. I had been in touch with him a bit on facebook and obviously talked to Robert about Marcus for the past few years So what a surprise it was to walk onto the bus and see him. I toppled him over with hugs and kisses, saying with tears in my eyes, “I had no idea you were back!!! Are you ok, my friend???”
We gently touched his kidneys and thanked God for his return.
My friend made a dynamic comment the other day when we were talking about how special New Orleans JazzFest is.
She said, “you really need a key to get in.” I thought that was so fascinating. Here’s what I take from it. I think the Fleur de Lis is the key. It signifies perfection, light and life. You don’t have to find the key, but you have to get it…you have to get what it means to fall in love with a city like New Orleans. YOU hold the key. If you are a tourist then you will go drink hurricanes on Bourbon Street. And god bless them. But if you are a true music lover with a heart for culture, those of us who are serious coinsures, there’s no other place on the planet where you can get so much music, and the highest quality of musicians, than in New Orleans for JazzFest. That place has soul, light and life. Just like the Fleur de Lis. I had to buy an ornate one to hang proudly around my neck. I just want to show a little more love for a city that has once again changed my life forever.