Lauryn Hill and The Millennials: A Love Story

The crowd for Ms. Lauryn Hill at the UNO Lakefront Arena recently countered the assumption that all her fans are nostalgic, middle-aged women. The former Fugees singer has attracted a new, younger generation of fans who interpret and respond to her seminal album through a different lens. Hill’s millennial fan base (of which I'm a member) hears The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in a musical and cultural framework that’s decidedly 2018.

Jazz Fest: Ms. Lauryn Hill Delivers

After a Jazz Fest that has had an unusual number of performers late to the stage, it was a pleasant surprise to see Ms. Lauryn Hill take the Congo Square Stage right on time Friday. Or, to be precise, her show started promptly at 5:45. Her DJ warmed up the crowd with 20 minutes of R&B, dance hall, and hip-hop including a minute or so of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.” Then, Hill came on stage wearing a cardinal red jacket over a bold, black and white striped dress with a high lace neck.

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. 

French Quarter Fest: Alexandra Scott's Milky Way

I'm always struck by how expressive Alexandra Scott's voice can be. In measured, conversational ways, she moves convincingly through the full range of complex emotions and modes of expression we employ daily if not hourly. There's nothing theatrical in her singing, but her sadness sounds earned, her joy is felt, her heartbreak is painful, and much of it is modulated by humor--gallows, antic, or otherwise. When a song focuses on a single, simple emotion, that's telling.

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