Orleans Jazz Fest, April 2005
Tana and Glenn attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which we have done most years since 1988. Zane held down the fort at home with Grandpa & Grandma.
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The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival ("Jazz Fest" to the devoted attendees) is celebrating its 35th year, and is held every year during the last weekend in April and the first weeklend in May. It is the largest event in New Orleans after Mardi Gras, drawing an average of 30-50 thousand people each day. The major "Fess-tivities" are held at the Fairgrounds Racetrack, with 12 stages and tents with nonstop music from 11AM to 7PM. Experienced attendees wisely pace themselves to best survive the 3 days and nights.
We saw a wide variety of music featuring accordions, fiddles, sousaphones and other Weapons of Musical Destruction. Here 14 year old Amanda Shaw rips it up on the fiddle. Ever hear the Clash played in a Cajun style? It actually worked pretty well!
Another great attraction of the Festival is the opportunity to see the indigenous culture of New Orleans on display. Here is a member of the Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indian Tribe. Mardi Gras Indians are endemic to New Orleans - they are found nowhere else in the world. They sew their amazing suits by hand every year, which they display in parade on Mardi Gras morning. They perform call-and-response chants, sometimes with percussion backup or even a full funk band.
The food served at the Festival is almost as good as the music. The quality is great and the variety is impressive. We visited these two booths very often! Other favorite dishes are the Soft-Shell Crab Po-Boy Sandwich, Quail Gumbo, Chicken and Tasso over Rice, Crawfish Bread, and the Spinach and Artichoke. The Alligator was pretty good too.
Don't forget the Mango Freeze for dessert!
After working up a big appetite all day at the Festival, we return back home to the B&B for our annual Crawfish Boil. Chef Tom whips up a great feast of Barbeque Shrimp, boiled Crawfish with garlic, corn, potatoes and sausage. Chocolate dipped strawberries to finish things off - mmmm! The locals are entertained watching the Yankees trying to figure out how to eat the Crawfish. It's easy - just remember to suck the head and squeeze the tip!
Back to the music! We got to see some new music as well as old favorites. John Mooney is one of our favorite guitar players, we try to go see him whenever possible. Back when we were young he even had hair!
Here Rosie Ledet shows us what the accordion is all about. She really had the crowd rockin' and the full attention of all the men present!
The best part about Jazz Fest? Definitely hanging around with our friends! Even when out at the Festival in a crowd of thousands of people it seems like we are always standing next to our friends, or making new ones. Many of these people we met out at the Festival years ago, and this is the only place we see them. Here Chris, Jazz Fest Johnny, Tana and Larissa soak up the swamp rock of CC Adcock.
Chris wins the Attendee Award for this year. Never let your fire go out, baby!