New Orleans & Jazzfest Recap (Part 4)
After a very full night’s sleep the much anticipated fourth and final day in New Orleans arrived. The promise of great music & good times propelled us to the fairgrounds one last time. We started, naturally, by getting some food in our stomachs – red beans & rice from Burks & Douglas and some cajun jambalaya. Then we sauntered over to the Gentilly stage to check out the Classic R&B Review – a great way to start the day! We then took some time to see some of the artist vendors. While music and food are the headliners of the fest there are lots of great artists there as well, selling their work. Sarah found a photographer with a captivating print of a young violinist, which she couldn’t resist.
Next on the agenda was the first of two prime shows of the day, The Meter Men at the Acura Stage. The Meter Men are three of the original Meters, with Page McConnell of Phish on keys, rather than the usual Art Neville. This was another chance to see the great Zigaboo, this time performing the songs and sound that defined New Orleans funk in the 60’s and 70’s. This was a great set and I was very grateful for a compelling reminder to funkify my life.
While the Meter Men would have been enough of an experience for any day there was another heavy-hitter, the one I’d most been looking forward to since planning to attend the fest – The Wayne Shorter Quartet in the Jazz Tent. I’ve only seen Wayne once before, about 15 years ago. Since then my respect for his ability as a sax player and songwriter have grown exponentially. With him he had Brian Blade on drums, John Patitucci on bass, and Danilo Perez on keys. That’s an infinitely unquantifiable collection of talent. This group was transcendant. The soundscapes they created were beautiful, mesmerizing, haunting, and profound. Couldn’t find a clip from the fest but here they are earlier in the year.
After such a great experience everything else the rest of the fest was gravy. I grabbed a very tasty alligator pie from Cajun Nights. and we checked out the Hot Club of New Orleans, who were upbeat and fun. We briefly caught an African dance troupe in the Kids Tent before it was time for my last meal at Jazzfest, a pork chop sandwich and bread pudding with rum sauce from Miss Linda’s. We enjoyed another Mardi Gras Indian group, Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias at the Jazz & Heritage Stage. Then we were able to catch the end of Taj Mahal’s set, which featured ten tubas!
Though people were making their way to the exits, we returned for one last taste of The Wild Magnolias, ending our Jazzfest experience with the Indians – truly great. Having perfected our taxi hailing strategy we quickly got one to take us back to our hotel. Not wanting the trip to end, we resolved to head to Frenchman Street once more to see the Stanton Moore Trio at dba. Great stuff. (this clip from last year)
We stretched out the reluctant walk back to our hotel, taking in all the sights and smells one last time. We called it a night, woke the next day and left the beautiful city of New Orleans and all its musical wonders. Writing this now, after having been back only three days, I am still warm from the experience of the fest and the city. I cannot wait to go back 🙂