Rebecca Rebouche

Jazz Fest, Just the Way WE Like It

I know we are probably a huge disappointment to our rabid musicaholic friends in NOLA — yes, I’m talking about you: Joy and Ed — because we are content with just the tiniest taste of Jazz Fest.

As in one day only, for just a few hours, dropping by only two or three tents, eating and drinking one or two offerings among the hundreds to choose from, and then heading home long before all of Mid City becomes one big grid-lock. Sorrynotsorry.

Watch this and tell me you think we missed out:

It is literally impossible to see it all, and because I am less and less encumbered by any FOMO (that’s “fear of missing out” for all my old school friends) and more and more content with enjoying what I’ve got, doing it our way works for us.

We arrived late afternoon on Saturday, April 23rd and went straight to the Art Tents to visit Rebecca Rebouche. She’s a busy girl, just back from Napa Valley where she was painting a family tree. (Something I would love to have her do for us one day.)

Rebecca Rebouche and Melissa "Sasi" Chambers at Jazz Fest 2016

It’s Happy Hour all day long at Jazz Fest, so with our cold white wines in hand we wandered over to the food booths and enjoyed an oyster poboy…

Oyster poboy at Jazz Fest 2016

then lingered a while at the Gospel Tent, where Glen David Andrews and the Treme Choir were raising the roof.

Glen David Andrews and the Treme Choir at Jazz Fest 2016

Our Spirits (and spirits) refreshed, we then headed over to the Gentilly Tent, stopping only to buy a present for Logan (sorry buddy, Mom and Dad went to New Orleans and all they’re bringing you back is this t-shirt),

Jazz Fest 2016 T-shirt

and to watch this band which was playing for the Second Line in the video above….

Band at Jazz Fest 2016

Van Morrison was the headliner we were interested in seeing, so we snuggled in to wait for him — along with one-bazillion other fans, under a cloud of ganja smoke and the stylings of a “Peace, Love, and Prince” adoring sky writer.

"Prince" sky writing at Jazz Fest 2016

Crowd waiting for Van Morisson Jazz Fest 2016

After “Van the Man” we stopped by for a listen to the Pocket Aces Brass Band at the Jazz & Heritage Stage,

Mike and Melissa at Jazz Fest 2016

and then (pretty proud of ourselves, as you can tell from that picture), we headed out early — along with a few other people doing it their way.

Jazz Fest 2016

Apparently ther are over one-bazillion great minds thinking alike in New Orleans. And that’s just the way WE like it.

It’s Always a Wild Rumpus in NOLA

I am pretty sure there is a celebration of something, of some sort going on in New Orleans every day of the year. Any holiday you can think of is celebrated to excess — often with parades which include holiday appropriate throws (carrots, along with the ubiquitous beads in the Easter parade, and cabbages on St. Patrick’s Day). As well as any number of festivals highlighting the music, the food, and the art of New Orleans and Louisiana — usually all at the same time.

It’s a year round non-stop Wild Rumpus.

Zack Smith photo from French Quarter Fest

This past weekend it was French Quarter Festival featuring a ridiculous 23 stages, 1,700 musicians, and 400 hours of live music — all for free.

There was a ton of food and drink too — not for free. That would be ridiculous!

Living only a short ferry ride away from the French Quarter made going to this year’s festival a no-brainier. We wandered all along the Riverfront and into the Quarter winding up as we so often do on Royal Street — which was packed with people enjoying the music,

Royal Street during French Quarter Fest

and the creative buskers — like the very talented painting puppet….

Sasi with Ed Moseley at FQF

We found our friend Ed (Joy’s husband) on Royal Street too. (Ed attended all four days of FQF from start to finish. That is serious dedication.)

Mike and I were more FQF fair weather friends, only going on Saturday and Sunday, which left us time to head to a less crowded part of town for dinner Saturday night at the High Hat Cafe. (Catfish for Mike, Pimento Cheese Burger for me, both with the green beans and applewood smoked bacon. Oh yeah.)

Dinner at High Hat in New Orleans

Then, on Sunday morning when we returned to the fest, we had another one of those serendipitous NOLA OMG moments.

Mike found a cell phone.

I won’t bore you with all the steps we took to determine who the phone belonged to, until we managed to find its owner (…look up Favorites…call “Dad”…find out phone belongs to Zack Smith, a photographer…find security guard to help us find the Headquarters tent…yada yada yada) — but once we did find Zack, and return his phone, and he realized he hadn’t just left it in the Headquarters tent to begin with, but that we had found it and were returning it to him he gave us his card with a big smile and said “Email me, I owe you!”

Zack doesn’t owe us a thing — though we are hoping he’ll come to Mike’s Opening in May — because…and this is the part I love…Zach Smith is not just a photographer, he’s the Official Photographer for French Quarter Fest (he took the photo at the very top of this post) and, if you visit his website ZackSmith.com you will see that he has a project called “My Louisiana Muse” featuring artists of many stripes. He’s also taken some wonderful portraits of the local talent, including one of my favorites who you will remember from last year, Rebecca Rebouche.

Portrait of Rebecca Rebouche by Zack Smith

I love these constant reminders of how small this world really is, and especially of how closely we are all connected.

Kate Clark's "She Gets What She Wants"  with Melissa "Sasi" Chambers
(That’s me with Kate Clark’s “She Gets What She Wants.”)

Let the Wild Rumpus continue!