Music, New Orleans
Steamboat NATCHEZ departs daily from the Toulouse Street Wharf across from Jackson Square, at 11:30am and 2:30pm. Live jazz performance in the 2-hour cruise.
Check out my Travelogue for more photos.
I love a town that revolves around music. I mean, it's inspiring, really. If you don't like jazz I would keep that between you and yourself. If you come here and start complaining be prepared to get the hell out of town. Appreciate it for what it is...smart music. And the players are modest gods...even if they are dirt poor. People line up for hours on dirty roads with people begging for money in all types of weather for just an hour of this sweet sound.
Open your ears and enjoy. You'll be tapping your foot in no time!
Fondest memory: Nothing will beat the way I felt sitting on that flat bench in Preservation Hall while my ear drums danced along to the beat.
Another highlight of my trip was the music. From the House of Blues to Preservation Hall to many of the bars on Bourbon Street, you'll hear the sounds blaring out onto the street as you walk by. Most of the performers here are extremely talented. What's more amazing is that even the street performers who are playing for your pocketchange are incredibly gifted musicians.
Fondest memory: You'll hear some of the best Jazz in the world in New Orleans, but you'll also hear great R & B, Rock-N-Roll, Blues, Cajun Music and Zydeco.
Favorite thing: I visited New Orleans during the Crescent City Blues Festival. This is a large outdoor blues festival held at Lafayette Square. I stayed just two blocks from here so I visited this three day festival often. The some of the images here are of Alvin Youngblood Hart who I have seen twice back in Toronto. I enjoy his music and I thought he was pretty good here however if you are reading this Alvin, I prefer your acoustic work. Naturally as the name suggest there is lots of barbequed food here and it was yummy. Unfortunately it gets kind of crowded at times.
Take in a Jazz Club! Louie (Armstrong) and Dizzie (Gillespie) would never forgive you if you left this magical place without taking in some jazz and blues! There are so many wonderful 'skat-dat-ditty-yi-dat' joints with mo' better blues.......you can take your pick along the main strip or any alley in the French Quarter.
Fondest memory: My '15 minutes of fame.' All the world is a stage when you visit New Orleans. Whether it's 'Rolling Down the River' onstage at the Jazz bar, Storyville USA, or trancing to the sounds of Daruda and Oakenfold on the stage at Oz. If you love to shimmie across the dancefloor (like we did!), then you'll get your money's worth at these places.
Fondest memory: Music and food are the heart and soul of New Orleans. The event is actually called 'New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival' and once you start planning which of the 22 stages you'll head for based on what food stands are on the way you'll know why. Two weekends around the end of April beginning of May are filled with amazing performances, incredible food and just enough visitors to make it fun. On the weekend head for the fairgrounds. At night or during the week hit the private concerts or better yet the clubs, you never know who will drop in to jam. It's not as wild as Mardi Gras because people are actually there to enjoy the culture rather than puke every morning. Visit http://jazzfest.neworleans.com for all the details. (The photo is Sting at the mainstage 2000).
There are many places to see and things to do in New Orleans. I like water so I like going to the Lake sailing, eating, fishing, and just sitting.
But the live music is fun to do at night.
Fondest memory: Jazz Fest is always the most fun.
If you can make it, go for Jazz Fest (the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival). It is usually the last weekend in May and the first weekend in June, and the talent is really incredible. While the festival does attract big-names in rock (like the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic) if you like JAZZ and New Orleans blues you can't miss out on this. Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr, Alvin Batiste, BB King, Dr. John, Fats Domino - they are all here, along with endless local performers (including the school jazz and gospel bands that blew my mind).
My favorite places to hang out at the festival grounds are the Gospel Tent, the WWOZ Jazz Tent, and the tiny and extremely overlooked Fais Do Do stage (where you can hear pure New Orleans folk and zydeco music played by locals).
And don't miss out on the arts/crafts booths and, especially, the food courts - its cheap and it boggles my mind how good everything is. Crab balls, alligator po' boys, jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish, everything. Locals consider this just as important as the music to the entire fesitval (hence the name 'Jazz and Heritage'!).
Fondest memory: While at the Fais Do Do stage listening to the Magnolia Sisters, I saw a man and a woman in their 30's dancing with their two young kids in a small circle for hours. It was so fun to watch everyone having a great time. To me, this was the essence of the festival, along with the food!
Great info about the Jazz and Heritage Festival is available at www.nojazzfest.com.
Favorite thing: Play a jukebox! For some reason, the small bars that dot the town have the most amazing jukeboxes. The selections are eclectic with some featuring Sinatra, The Dead Boys, Louis Armstrong and The Sex Pistols all on the same machine.
The best place to buy Louisiana music is the Louisiana Music Factory, in the French Quarter on Decatur Street, just across from the House Of Blues. It's close to Canal Street, so make it either one of your first stops into the Quarter or last stops out if you are traveling by street car.
Their web site for email orders is:
Louisiana Music Factory
210 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 586-1094:
Selected as the 'Best Record Store' in the offBEAT Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards.
The New Orleans music scene is legendary and there are many musicians that needed to be "experienced" for one to say they've heard music in New Orleans....
Bonerama is one such act....with more brass than class, the Mark Mullins and the boys of Bonerama put a wall of sound like no other...so if you're looking for that rare tuba solo or the sound of a trombone ran through a distortion pedal Bonerama is the band for you....
The New Orleans music scene is legendary and there are many musicians that needed to be "experienced" for one to say they've heard the music of New Orleans....
Henry Butler is an absolute must....with hands as big as boxing gloves, this dude hammers out rhythm and blues on the piano with so much soul you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven…and put the rest of the boys of the Game Band behind Henry and you’ve got a combination like no other…
I have seen Henry Butler and the Game Band a hand full of times around town and each time I walk away absolutely dumbfounded and amazed by the amount of energy and talent on stage.
French Quarter. A very spesial place. Famous for restaurants and atmosphere. A must.
Fondest memory: Preservation Hall is a small jazzclub with very good performers. The place where Louis Amstrong started. Very primitive inside, but the people that use to play there is among the best jazz players around. I can still feel the shivering inside when I hear one of the tunes on air.
Riverwalk is a good place to look out on Missisipi. Big wheels keep on rolling....oh yeah!
Stop by the French Quarter, take a walk in the streets and stop in one of those bars with live music. Day or night, your trip will be followed by Jazz.
Fondest memory: I remember that all family playing Jazz: from the little one who may have been 6 up to the grand-father. There were like 10 people.
This laundrette at 838 North Rampart is the former site of Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording studio way back when.
The plaque you see next to the entrance reads:
First Recording Studio Of Cosimo Matassa
Built Circa 1835 With Galleries Likely Added In The 1850s
In 1944, J&M Amusements Acquired The Building, And Cosimo Matassa Soon Opened J&M Recording Studio
Oscar "Papa" Celestin, Danny Barker, and the Dukes Of Dixieland recorded jazz here
The "New Orleans Sound" developed from pioneering rhythm & blues and rock & roll recordings made here between 1947 and 1956 by Paul Gayten, Annie Laurie, Roy Brown, Professor Longhair, Dave Bartholomew, Fats Domino, Guitar Slim, Shirley & Lee, Lloyd Price, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles and others.