I'm here for business, but arrived a day early so I could experience the
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The name is apt, as there were many forms of music to be heard, not just jazz.
The concerts were spread out across the grounds of the New Orleans racetrack-in tents or out of doors.
I had been told that you shouldn't miss the Gospel Tent, and I didn't. I caught a choir called "The Johnson Extension" who blew me away, and then The Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, who may have been even better. Their quality of the vocals and the sheer energy of the performers were something to behold.
In the Jazz Tent, I saw the James Rivers Movement. James Rivers played sax, harmonica, and amazingly, the bagpipes. He did a bagpipe led version of "Amazing Grace" accompanied by piano, that was beautiful. You get the impression that Rivers is a serious genius who can do anything.
I checked out Norah Jones, but found her songs, esp the new ones to be puff pastry nothingness. Didn't want to bother seeing Rod Stewart, who was on at the same time, so wound up seeing
Linda Hopkin, 80 years of good humor and history on stage. She had maybe 15% of the audience that Rod Stewart and Norah Jones had, but she was more of the real deal to me.
The NO Jazz Festival was great and I hope to return some day.