Everybody knows that the food is a vital part of every New Orleans Jazz Fest, but there's one vendor that really stands out from the sweaty crowds. Mister Okra's "songs" are burned into the subconscious of anyone that has lived in the French Quarter, Fauborg Marigny, or Bywater neighborhoods in the Crescent City. And here he stands as a sort of living exhibit, complete with tricked-out pickup truck full of only the freshest fruits and veggies for sale at a modest price.
As the sun bears down on Festival- goers, many people start to look towards the misting tents and grandstands to cool off. The WWOZ Hospitality Tent has certainly never seen this much action while I've been here!
The Dixie Cups may have been teenagers back when they made Iko Iko in 1965, but just like so many of this city's talents they proved that great showmanship doesn't age. With synchronized dance moves that certainly made their way into the crowd, rhythm and blues harmonies and great sense of humor to throw you way back, they had the audience transfixed.
Day Two of Jazz Fest kicked off (for me) at the Blues Tent, with Henry Gray and the Cats delivering some gorgeous, earthy blues. Believe it or not, it was rockin' enough to inspire a few to dance even at this first show of the day.
After a long, hard day of fun, you have to make your decision on who will bring it on home for you. With so many huge acts to choose from (and such tired feet), sometimes the best thing is just to grab as much last-minute music as you can before collapsing in a heap... and getting ready for the night-time shows.
Over at the Gospel Tent, an impenetrable wall of listeners tried to squeeze in to catch our good friend Irma Thomas along with the legendary Mavis Staples and Pamela Landrum to pay tribute to gospel great Mahalia Jackson. Irma had to be brought hankies between songs, but her voice was as strong as ever, as was her wit.
If you're in town for Jazz Fest, come on out and share your favorite Jazz Fest magical moment with us on camera. It could wind up on wwoz.org as part of our Jazz Fest Magic Moments video series sponsored by Coventry Health Care!
While the Congo Square "My Lousiana" Stage has had solid entertainment running all day long, the crowd size has remained relatively small. That is, until legendary New Orleans pianist Henry Butler and his Game Band hopped in with their high-energy act and took things to the next level.
It didn't take long for things to roll into action this year. People flooded in and not a single stage was without a formidable audience even for the first shows, though they all decided to start off their day in different ways.