I forgot my phone in Indiana when I headed to the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last week. I did, however, take my camera. I didn’t miss the phone.
Here’s a wrap-up in photos. (I posted a few pix from the first day of the festival’s second weekend in an earlier post. If you’d prefer to view the photos in a slideshow format, with a few more shots, visit my photo site.)
I’ve waited a long time to hear John Mooney live. I never dreamed I’d get to hear him jam with Warren Haynes. Needless to say, Mooney’s set was one of the highlights of the festival for me.
I feel sorry for the security folks when Wanda Rouzan, Mama Roux, plays. To their credit, the security personnel do a fine job keeping the aisles and the area in front of the stage clear. They don’t stand a chance when the saucy New Orleans singer bounces into “Electric Slide.” Led by Rouzan’s younger sister, the audience turned the blues tent into a giant dance hall. In turn, Rouzan serenaded her sister with a funky rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It was by far the sweetest moment of the festival.
My buddy saw Big Al Carson three times while we were in New Orleans. I saw him just twice, but I’d happily catch his act every day if I could. Big Al’s voice is tender, seductive even. At this year’s jazz fest, though, he seemed more intent on working the crowd into a frenzy as he pounded his way through some gritty soul and blues covers. It worked.
Wycliffe Gordon’s tribute to Louis Armstrong might have been my favorite set of the weekend. Playing trombone, trumpet and singing, Gordon gave the crowd a fabulous musical history lesson.
I had no idea what to expect when Bombino of Niger hit the stage in the blues tent. I certainly didn’t expect to be hypnotized. But Omara “Bombino” Moctar’s swirling guitar riffs and snaky dance moves put a spell on everyone in the audience.
I’ve seen Glen David Andrews’ famous cousins — Trombone Shorty and James Andrews — several times apiece. They party as hard on stage as anyone I’ve seen, but they have nothing on Glen David Andrews. He turned the blues tent inside out and his cousins, who joined him on stage, had the best view in the house of the musical melee that ensued.
Here are a few more photos from jazz fest: