Allen Toussaint Plays His Final Songs

When Allen Toussaint’s The Bright Mississippi was released in 2009, the admiration for it came with an undercurrent of suspicion. How could Joe Henry, a musician not from New Orleans, really represent a musician so quintessentially New Orleans? And how could someone who wrote, recorded and released so much joyous music come away with something so self-consciously straight-faced? 

Jazz Fest: The Second Sunday's Schedule and Picks

Saturday ended with a number of impromptu water features on the Fair Grounds. Drainage ditches cut into the infield became lakes, particularly at the Acura Stage, where video showed people going knee deep to cross it. The good news is that the water will likely have drained by the opening of Jazz Fest today. The bad news is that the grounds will likely be a muddy mess. And more storms are expected.

Jazz Fest: The Second Friday's Schedule and Picks

Yesterday a friend said that many of his best Jazz Fest moments came during the rain, and I get that. There's something communal about everybody slogging it out in the rain together for a band that feels special, and the bands clearly appreciate our hardiness. Less magical is the aftermath--the mud. Let's hope for the best at the Fair Grounds today, but I can't imagine it got hot enough yesterday after the rain to dry up the mooshy spots. Fortunately, we should have a hot, relatively rain-free day to day, and that will help. 

Toussaint for Two

New Orleans has lost more than most know in the passing of Allen Toussaint. He passed away in Madrid from a heart attack at the age of 77. We know the hits he wrote and produced, but it was only through talking to George Porter Jr. about working Toussaint-produced sessions and reading Daniel Phillips’ Home of the Groove blog that I appreciated how remarkably productive Toussaint was.

Jazz Fest in Photos: Calexico, DMB, Allen and B.B.

Audiences at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival have a love/hate relationship with rain. It makes walking a challenge, and brings the animal smell to the fore, but it also inspires people to do stuff like this. For photographers, it's an extra challenge because all that gear is notoriously water-averse. David Fary kept his camera dry enough to shoot on Sunday, and here are the highlights.

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