Saying Goodbye to Spencer Bohren

This year at Jazz Fest, Spencer Bohren finished his set in the AARP Rhythmpourium (seriously!) with his cover of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready.” Bohren was living with prostate cancer, and it was clear that the cancer was winning. In that context, the song’s “train to Jordan” lyric rang with extra significance, but that’s not where he was going with the song. Instead, he introduced it by pointing out the lines that gave the song resonance during the Civil Rights Movement.

Moonlight Benjamin's an Earlier Contender for Most Exciting Jazz Fest Set This Year

Bands have been trying for years to do what Moonlight Benjamin made seem effortless. Starting with The Gun Club, countless American bands have tried to find the place where the blues and Voodoo-inflected spirituality meet. In fact, Moonlight Benjamin do more than that, but the Haitian singer and the rock band accompanying her started there with “Papa Legba” in the Blues Tent Friday at Jazz Fest.

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