Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jazz Fest 2009: Musical Moments

Jazz Fest is, after all, about the music. The long and short of it is that there is simply so much music that it's nearly impossible to be without something you want to take in. It's also quite different from other festivals, because it really runs a far wider gamut of genres than anything else we know of. While many festivals will have a loose genre or theme, most still stay reasonably safely planted in the world of pop and rock music. Jazz Fest, by contrast, truly reaches into the city's diversified culture and offers up a selection of tunage to match. Here's a taste of what we saw.

Best way to cool down while you heat up: a beer and a dozen raw oysters at the raw bar on Saturday afternoon while Ingrid Lucia jazzes it up on the Lagniappe stage wearing a leopard print dress and gardenias in her hair

Best Grandstand History Twofer: Friday morning, Upstairs, Leroy Jones on the interview stage remembering Danny Barker and the beginnings of the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band, Downstairs, in the Jazz Fest 1970-74 exhibit, 1971 Jim Messina photo of the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band with the then 13 year old Leroy Jones struttin’ his stuff

Best Old School Fashion Moment: Saturday, the Dixie Cups being so very girl group and matching their outfits to the turquoise blue of the Jazz Fest Strutters featured on the backdrop of the Acura Stage

Best Solution to Exhaustion on a Hot Louisiana Afternoon: The wall of human energy in the Gospel Tent generated Saturday by Dwight and Connie Fitch with the St Raymond - St Leo Great Choir fronted by the awesome sound of Sister Stephanie; and Sunday by the Voices of St Peter Claver

Best Crowd Dives, Crowd Surfing: Galactic, Saturday evening at the Gentilly Stage

Best Funky Music Shakedown: Guitar Slim, jr. and his crew, Sunday afternoon at the Blues Tent

Best Bump and Grind: 91 year old Chris Owens doing her burlesque act on the stage at Economy Hall Saturday

Best Breath Control With Attitude: Troy “trombone shorty” Andrews Friday afternoon at the Gentilly Stage

Best Hair: Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire, Sunday evening at Congo Square