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FINDING MY GROOVE REDISCOVERING JAZZ FEST
April’s an amazing time to call New Orleans home. So long as it’s not raining, the temperature is perfect to get out and enjoy the great events going on in our city. In last year’s April edition of this newsletter, I talked about my love for the Crescent City Classic. I try to attend the event in some capacity every year, whether I run in the race or just show up for the festivities afterward. But this time around, I wanted to talk about a New Orleans tradition I recently rediscovered: the Jazz and Heritage Festival. Going to LSU, I didn’t always make it down for Jazz Fest. The tickets were a little out of the price range of your average college student, and the drive to and from Baton Rouge didn’t help. There were a few years when some friends and I made it down for an evening, but nothing beyond that.
“The event almost feels like ‘Mardi Gras light’ — the crowd’s still looking for a good time, but they’re more mellow about it.”
an unforgettable evening. Not only did Simpson give an incredible performance, but we also got to see many local favorites, including the always fantastic Trombone Shorty. We hung toward the back of the crowds while listening, something my younger self would never have done at a concert. But to my surprise, I really enjoyed being able to just sit back and listen to some amazing live music. Maybe I’m getting older, but in that moment, I realized that Jazz Fest was exactly my speed. The event almost feels like “Mardi Gras light” — the crowd’s still looking for a good time, but they’re more mellow about it. It was a nice change of pace to be able to enjoy all the music and food our city has to offer without having to dodge beads and belligerent tourists. Don’t get me wrong — I still love Fat Tuesday. But Jazz Fest is definitely now my wife’s and my second-favorite event. We’re already planning which day we want to go this year. If you see us there, come say hello!
Even when I moved to New Orleans after graduating law school, I didn’t become a Jazz Fest regular. Between starting a law firm and starting a family, time was a very precious commodity. We could take our young boys out to wave at the Mardi Gras parades as they passed, but we weren’t about to try to keep track of them amid the crowds of a full-blown music festival. But now that the boys are both old enough to stay with Yaya and Poppy without Mom and Dad around, my wife and I have decided to start giving this event some attention. Last year, we gave Jazz Fest a shot since Sturgill Simpson was one of the featured acts, and the experience did not disappoint. We met up with some friends and rode our bikes down to the fairgrounds for
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