My First Jazzfest Wrapup

I arrived at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans for my first Jazzfest on Thursday the 21st of April. After following a brass band into the grounds, it took all of 15 minutes for me to look over at my friend Aletta Cooper and yell "How come nobody told me about this 10 years ago!?". I'd have gone all 10 years straight.

The daytime portion of your Jfest trip is the "official" Jazzfest - multiple stages, incredible music, and some of the best food I've ever had - period. Had you told me that Crawfish Strudel was going to be THIS good, I'd never believed you. The food at this festival is just as important as the music, and how often does that happen? Here's a nice link to show you what I'm talking about - start drooling now.

Jfest tip #1 - Don't drink during the day. It takes the legs out from underneath you, and you'll need 'em. Jazzfest is like "Survivor" for music freaks. You miss something, you'll hear about it, especially if you were an early casualty of booze.

The Fairgrounds end at 7 - just enough time for a shower, nap and dinner, then you're back at it. Nighttime shows start anytime after 8 PM, and can start as late as 4 or 6 AM that night/next morning. Let's put it this way - if you're looking for something to do at 5AM, and can't find nothin', you're not looking hard enough...

Before going any further, big thanks to the 2 Gentlemen who made my first Jazzfest possible - Adam Shipley from Tipitina's Uptown (THE venue for the late night crowd), and Alex from San Francisco's Boom Boom Room.
Already looking forward to next year, boys... HUGE debt of gratitude to Josh, Tip's Production God, for putting up with me and making me sound like a Rock Star...

I won't go over my whole schedule here, as it's listed below in the blog. I will give you a few highlights, however...

  • I got asked to introduce the Funky Meters onstage on May 1st. Very cool, and my first time seeing that lineup.
  • Perfect weather for the Fest - 70-75 degrees and breezy. People said "best weather in 10 years"
  • Seeing the Black Crowes again
  • Being one of 3 honkys onstage all night during "Hatchets & Horns" at Tipitina's (Dirty Dozen, Rebirth and the Wild Magnolias all on the same bill, with me doing opening & setbreaks)
  • The chance to support and see Dr Lonnie Smith in action - I actually pulled out a Latin Jazz set for that show, and got a great response...

I'll post some photos soon enough. Huge thanks to Aletta, Greg, Aletta's mom, Greg & Weezie, Chris & Jenn, Grant & Gill, Ben & Kevin (only saw K once?!), Jud & Elna, Brian F, Jordan, and everybody else that either came to the shows, or helped me survive my first, not last, Jazzfest. And Gina, of course - d'oh...

Finally, for putting up with this shameful self-indulgence that I call a blog, here's a tune for you...

I'm finding out there's a HUGE Japanese market for Funk and Soul - THANK GOD! I can't wait to go to Japan - HEY! Smash Productions! Bring me to Japan!!!

One of the Japanese ambassadors of the Funk is a project called Osaka Monaurail. I just picked up their CD "Thankful (for what you've done)", which is actually from 2001. I had an MP3 of a slice of trombone heaven called "Two Houses Make A Happy Home (remix)" up - some sublime stuff - but it's since been pulled. So sorry. But you can check out some audio on their Myspace page.


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