Posts by Tristram Lozaw

  • 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Weekend 2

    Tristram Lozaw at Maximum Performance11 mths ago

    THURSDAY MAY 2:

    A series of heavy rains have only served to multiply the mud fields generated at the 44th Annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s first weekend at the Fair Grounds Race Course. On my way in for the first day of weekend #2, with threatening clouds overhead (again), I pass by some serious testifying by the Singing Mustangs Choir to find that some of the track’s grassy infield has become a beach. A layer of sand has been added in an attempt deal with the growing quagmire, though some areas remain a gooey swamp -- like the wide moat that separates the Jazz & Heritage Stage and Big Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles’ Mardi Gras Indian chants from the crowd. As I slog over to Fais Do Do, with my Converse hi-tops already massacred by mud, I reach a spot on New Beach where there’s a perfect harmonic convergence of sound from three stages, with Big Chief, Grupo Sensacion’s meringue, and the charm of Balfa Tojours’ traditional Cajun participating in a spontaneous, compatible-key mashup. I enjoy it for a full minute before moving on.

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  • Music Series at Louisiana Music Factory: Jazz Fest 2013

    Tristram Lozaw at Maximum Performance11 mths ago

    If coming to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Jazz Fest is like going to school and majoring in New Orleans music, hanging out at the week of all-day in-store performance at the Louisiana Music Factory record store in the French Quarter is the Advanced Placement class. The CD & vinyl mecca – with its “library” of 1000s of hard-to-find and rare “reference” recordings -- presents 32 shows running about 45 minutes each between Jazz Fest weekends, shows by many of the musical luminaries that perform over at Fest.

    Did I mention it’s all free ? And even though the huge crowds in the long-narrow shop can make it difficult to shop during the performances, the in-store performances help sell records and keep the Louisiana Music Factory, a music fan and record collector’s paradise, open.

    [Related: Celebrating New Orleans’ Native Tongues: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Weekend 1]

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  • Celebrating New Orleans’ Native Tongues: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Weekend 1

    Tristram Lozaw at Maximum Performance11 mths ago

    FRIDAY APRIL 26:

    Henry Gray’s keyboards are first thing I hear upon arriving at my 27th (or is it 28th?) straight Jazz Fest. It reminds me of a time a few years back, at an early Ponderosa Stomp, when I leaned on Gray’s piano while listening to him reunite with other blues legends from Muddy Waters’ and Howlin’ Wolf’s groups. It was spectacular. “This is the sh*t that inspired the Yardbirds and Stones to pick up guitars,” I thought, “and I’m hearing it like they did.” Recalling that revelation reminds me that even as the number of big touring acts included in the Fest lineup grows and grows, I still make the annual pilgrimage for the Henry Grays among the 500-plus acts performing at the New Orleans Jazz Fest over seven days divided between two weekends, acts that provoke my annual mad darting from stage to stage around the Fair Grounds Race Course where the festival is held. And it’s time to Start The Dart.

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