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Help with Jazz Fest prep Options
Paladin
Posted: Monday, May 09, 2011 2:12:37 PM
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I'm taking long service leave next year and have decided to tick off a bucket list item and do New Orleans Jazz Fest.

I know there are a number of seasoned Jazz Festers here and was after some inside tips.

eg Where to stay where NOT to stay. Good bars and clubs for night gigs. Favorite eating places etc.

Also planning a post-fest odessy to Chicago via Clarkesdale, Memphis, Nashville, St.Louis. Any other cities I should include?

Thanks
youngbill
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:14:57 PM
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I'd probably stay in Austin till they asked me to leave! But maybe that's just me.
waffles
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:27:04 PM
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Location: lennox head
my mate just did the memphis to vicksberg trip,so ill get the info for you soon.i know he stayed at ground zero blues club in clarksdale(rooms upstairs).
hes currently in kartoum(sudan) 46degrees and no alcohol allowed,and protest against westerners after bin ladens demise.im sure well have a few at joe bonnamassa on the 21st. i get some info.

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
greybeard
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 6:17:15 PM

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Location: Sydney Northern Beaches
My little boat is having a tuff time with the floods at the moment
Miss Issippi is having a tantrum and my thoughts are with those already hard hit


http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/05/10/flooding/?hpt=T1

Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
jafa99
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 7:46:50 PM
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Paladin, are you driving on your post-fest odyssey or taking transport that will preclude side trips to secluded juke joints in the cottonfields?
Paladin
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 5:24:54 PM
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Thanks guys,

No Jafa I'll prob be greyhound/Amtracking it. So not too many opportunities for side trips. Unless I meet some cool people etc.

Yeah Austin was on my mind. May need a side trip.
waffles
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 6:07:30 PM
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Location: lennox head

heres a few sites to start with, i know car hire in the u.s. is quite reasonable.


http://www.nps.gov/history/delta/blues/sites/sites.htm
http://www.msbluestrail.org/
http://www.visitthedelta.com/sitemap.aspx?error=404

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
Paladin
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 6:35:44 PM
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Thanks Waffles.

Awesome sites. I've got the lonely planet books etc. But I knew this was the place to get me the good inside info :-)
repete
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 6:34:03 PM
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With the Pacific Peso so healthy I'd suggest a B&B in Fauborg Marigny (cheaper and more interesting than the French Quarter). Priceline often have some great deals on hotel rooms closer to fest - January is a good time to look. Please excuse me not mentioning any specific places - entirely self interest as I hope to be going back next year and will be looking for a room soon!

There are more clubs than you can point a stick at. A good starting point is Frenchmen Street - d.b.a, the Spotted Cat, the Blue Nile or for great jazz, Snug Harbour - all within 100m of each other. And plenty of great street music, especially the brass bands. The legendary clubs in NOLA are Tipitina's and the Maple Leaf and you're guaranteed to catch great shows in both of them. Keep your ears open for late night (after mid-night) shows at the Maple Leaf - I caught Henry Butler with Trombone Shorty and some of NOLA's finest for an after mid-night funkathon a couple of years ago, and no cover charge! Also highly recommended are Le Bon Temps Rouler on Magazine (have seen CC Adcock there a couple of times), Chickie Wah Wah's, the Howlin' Wolf and Vaughan's (see if Kermit Ruffins is playing). And you MUST go to the Rock 'n Bowl - an experience never to be forgotten (especially zydeco night on Thursdays during fest). Also, whilst it's not my favourite place, the House of Blues hosts some amazing bands, many of whom may not be playing at jazzfest.

My favourite eating place in NOLA is Jacqueimo's, next door to the Maple leaf in Uptown. No reservations - just sit in the bar and drink until your name is called. Taxis are relatively cheap to get round (NOLA is a small town) and recommended after dark. United Cabs are great.

The French Quarter is gorgeous to walk around, but don't waste your time on Bourbon Street - by all means go there once at night then avoid it like the plague, the quality music is elsewhere (although check out Preservation hall, just off Bourbon).

If you have time, think about going a couple of weeks before jazzfest and catch the French Quarter fest. It's free and only features New Orleans/Louisiana artists. Also, the best thing about jazzfest are the local artists, most of whom we'll not get a chance to see in Australia. Spend a day in the Gospel Tent (try to see Glen david Andrews, Trombone Shorty's cousin) or a day at the Fais Do Do stage for hot cajun and zydeco. Oh, and the food will blow your mind!

To get you started, have a look at www.jazzfest.com to get a feel about the fest (sadly, there is a current thread in the chatroom about a missing Aussie - a sobering reminder that whilst it is an extraordinarily friendly city, it is also a city to be careful in). Also, google up swagland for a heap of info about jazzfest. And google up Offbeat, the local music magazine and have a listen online to www.wwoz.org - New orleans community radio.

Also, the Louisiana Music Factory is an amazing record shop and will have some incredible in-store performances during the festival.

After fest, or even before, seriously think about spending a week immersed in cajun and creole culture in south west Louisiana. Base yourself in Lafayette, Beaux Bridge or a houseboat on the lake at Henderson and explore the bayous, swamps, small towns and clubs in this amazing region. The culture is still alive and kicking, unlike so many other parts of the States.

Anyway, that should get you started. I'll do a call out in a week or so for Nancy, Ross and Sarah for reports on this years fest.

Above all, enjoy it - New Orleans is an iconic city and so fundamentally important for all the music we love. You'll be blown away when you realise that music is at the core of it's culture.



Hangin' out on Frenchmen
repete
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 2:29:25 AM
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Here's a little taste for you of the pure magic of jazzfest - Dr John and the legendary Dave Bartholomew (arranger, producer and trumpet player for Fats Domino) at this year's jazzfest. The Doctor is 70, Dave is 85+ - I don't know too many (any??) who can hit a groove like this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqknN9feUZA

Hangin' out on Frenchmen
Paladin
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 7:21:02 PM
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Thanks repete!!

Great inside info.
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