[Dixielandjazz] New Orleans

Brian Towers towers at allstream.net
Sun Oct 10 10:04:59 PDT 2004

Well said Sue!

There is always lots of good jazz in New Orleans, if you do not mind
venturing off Bourbon occasionally, stay away from the tourist dixieland
traps, souvenir shops etc and instead ask a local jazzer where the action
is.   A city that boasts at least three of the world's top OKOM pianists
(Steve Pistorius, Dave Boadinghaus and John Royen)  cannot be readily
written off!

Certain times of the year the action will be slow - usually
August/September/October, as NOLA gets very hot and sticky and many of the
top pros choose that time to tour in more temperate climes.  .    April in
NOLA, however, is a real delight - not only most of the locals are in town
(Christopher/Heitger/Banu/Stafford/Michael White/Lonzo/Gauthe etc etc) but
there is also a flood of jazz musicians from other countries who come in for
the French Quarter Festival or the Jazz & Heritage festival that follows.
There are very few places in the world where the main streets are closed off
and jazz stages are set up for the festivals.  This happens in the French
Quarter Festival.  Besides the stages on the nearby banks of the Mississippi
and Jackson Square, Bourbon and Royal streets are closed off to traffic and
around ten stages are set up with all kinds of music but lots and lots of
OKOM.  And its all free!  Mind you the hotels really stick it to you - with
their rates in April/May!
No, I am not a native of NOLA but I have been there countless times (in
April/May) and it is like a second home to me.  it has its tacky side -
which big city does not? but I suspect it was always thus. Back in Bolden's
day it was probably even worse.

I'll be down there again January 30 - with a jazz party for a Caribbean
cruise with my band, the Hot Five Jazzmakers.  Then I will be back again,
hopefully, in April for the FQ Festival, with the "KBR International Jazz
Band" (Kid Bastien Remembered) and meet up again with my Danish, Swedish,
Swiss, German, French, Japanese, British, Canadian, American etc jazz
friends and catch up on what is happening.  I know I'll have a great time
and the 6 or 7 days will fly by.   If you love jazz and cannot have a good
time in NOLA in April/May, then my friends, you are already dead!
Brian Towers

http://hotfivejazz@tripod,com (band web sites)
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] New Orleans

> Listmates,
> Just about a year ago, I wrote to the list asking for suggestions on
> to hear OKOM in New Orleans.  I got back a dozen replies that mentioned
> three places, and was more than a little disappointed that there wasn't
> good music down there.
> In my first two nights in town, I hung around the bar at the Palm Court
> met several musicians who told me about some of the local bands and venues
> that  I should experience. By the end of the week, I had found twice as
> places to go.
> I moved to New Orleans in January to be close to the music,  and I haven't
> been disappointed yet.  Any day of the week, I can hear OKOM  in several
> different styles and venues.  Usually, I have to limit myself to  three
nights a week~
> Today, for instance, I plan to catch four different OKOM bands around
> including the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra (who hardly ever
> public events).
> It's true that there may not be as many places to listen to "good" music
> there once were, but as longs as you're willing to venture off Bourbon
>  you can find some amazing musicians.  And one of the delights is that you
> never know which famous name is going to show up and sit in, expecially
> festival times.
> So come on down, grab a copy of OffBeat, and find some out-of-the-way bar
> with a great band!
> Sue Fischer
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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