Hurray for the Riff Raff, Curren$y, Stayed True to Themselves at Jazz Fest

Music is only part of the story at Jazz Fest, which is part of why covering it is so interesting. It’s a business story, so one thing that has to be taken into account in pieces that praised Katy Perry’s show—which was fine and did as much spectacle as she could manage under the circumstances—was that the number two name on the festival’s initial lineup release was a soft draw, particularly of young people. The folding chair village was full, but there was a lot of standing room on the track-side of the stage.

Jazz Fest: The Second Friday at the Fest and at Night

For me, the stretch from 12:25 to 5:25 p.m. Friday is what makes a good Jazz Fest. During that stretch, I hope to see part of the New Orleans Hip-Hop Experience (particularly Fiend and 3D Natee), Lil’ Buck Sinegal with Barbara Lynn, The Nth Power, Tank and the Bangas, Jupiter & Okwess, 79rs Gang, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and The Soul Rebels.

Jazz Fest: The Death and Rebirth of the NOJO, Pt. 1

In his best days with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), Victor Atkins could have supported himself. Not his wife and kids, and a mortgage would have been tough, but he could have handled the one-room apartment he lived in for a while, furnished only with a futon and a piano. On some of the longer national tours early on, he got paid not on a per-gig basis but on a contract for the tour, and that worked out pretty well.

The NOJO, Robert Glasper Give the Horns the Best Seats in the House

When you Google “Mr. Hands,” the Wikipedia entry “Enumclaw horse sex case” is the first link, followed by the entry for Mr. Hands, a lesser-known Herbie Hancock album. So why didn’t anyone involved in the planning of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s “Mr. Hands: A Tribute to Herbie Hancock ft. Robert Glasper,” a big-ticket performance last Friday night at the New Orleans Jazz Market, take a moment to reevaluate their event title?

Get the Mayfield Story Right

When Keith Spera interviewed Irvin Mayfield after one of his birthday gigs at the Little Gem Saloon in December, Mayfield said, “I’m trying to do the best I can do, doing my job, when I get up there…. When you’ve got kids, when you’ve got to pay the bills … that recording session doesn’t care about Entergy. Practice doesn’t care if it’s Christmas—you still have to practice….

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