Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jazzfest In This Post-Katrina World

I had an amazing time at Jazzfest on Saturday. Saw some great Jazz, Gospel, Latin, Blues, Funk, Zydeco, and Brass music. Hugh Masekela played an amazing set. Etta James rocked the house. Got pictures of Juvenile’s tour bus. Just a good day all around.

Jazzfest Album 1
Jazzfest Album 2

I do have one concern; Jazzfest seems to be getting a lot of well deserved national attention this year. I’m glad this is happening and I’m glad the lineup has some great “non-New Orleans” acts like Dave Matthews, Paul Simon, Springsteen, Buffet, etc., along with many great local artists. However I’m just slightly afraid some people will witness the headlines and assume New Orleans is back to normal. All one has to do is walk in the neighborhoods surrounding the fairgrounds to see this is not the case at all. For me Jazzfest did supply a period of Big Easy enjoyment and normalcy, but it’s still not quite the same. Now I don’t agree with those who argue Jazzfest shouldn’t happen until the city gets back together, those people are stupid (for lack of a better term). New Orleans as a city has always supported itself by providing entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Many locals need Jazzfest to provide a financial boost and nearly all the profit from the festival stay in New Orleans. I’m even paying $10 extra to buy tickets at the gate for each of the 3 days I’ll attend because I want the fest to do well and I would rather not give Ticketmaster any extra money. Despite being only 80 miles away I find myself sometimes thinking things are almost back to normal. However each time I venture down I-10 I realize how much remaining devastation there is in and around New Orleans. Done preaching, I had a great time Saturday, can’t wait to go back down this Saturday and Sunday.

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