the real deal

Of the many musical/cultural events that I’ve been able to attend over the last thirty years or so one stands head and shoulders above all of the rest  .. it’s the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. This year Jazz Fest marks its 40th anniversary with a captivating, scintillating line up, just announced.

My love affair with New Orleans started around 1979 when I had the good fortune to be shepparded there by a client in Chicago, who had a colleague that he felt needed the services of our architectural interior design firm.  Long story short, I became the Partner in charge of our New Orleans office and lived in the French Quarter for about four years.  I met rascals, artists, hipsters, tycoons, chefs and musicians all devoted to soaking up the wild gumbo of influences that was then the Crescent City. 

We all know what happens when we fast-forward this story go.  The city that time forgot and its people, old and new, are still struggling to come back.  Our joining them at their world-class party goes a long way towards helping.  Enough said.

Here are the Jazz Fest dates: April 24th – 26 (first weekend) April 30th – May 3rd (second weekend)

And just a few of the fine artists who’ll be playing;

Aretha Franklin  Allen Toussaint  Wynton Marsalis  Kings of Leon  Neville Brothers  Ben Harper  Dave Matthews Band  James Taylor  Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra  Irma Thomas  Jakob Dylan  Big Chief Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias  Wilco  Bonnie Raitt  Dr. John  Tony Bennett  the subdudes  the Radiators  Nicholas Payton  John Mayall  Ellis Marsalis  Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen  Solomon Burke  Los Lobos  Galactic  Johnny Winter  Spoon  Papa Grows Funk  Erykah Badu  Sonny Landrith  Pete Seeger  Dirty Dozen Brass Band  Ebenezer Baptist Church Mass Choir ….. and many, many more that you’ve heard of and would never discover without being there.

So while the snow and cold weather has many of us in its grip, think about music outdoors, a community of zellous music lovers, the smell of soft shell crab po boys and crawfish cooking, 80 degree temperatures and the occasional cold beer.  Try Jazz Fest, its not too soon to make plans, once there, you’ll be addicted .. and that’s not a bad thing.

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