Wednesday, April 22, 2020


I should have gotten out of bed this morning in my villa at the back of the French Quarter. After a short walk to get some coffee and a newspaper at CCs on Royal Street, I'd have taken a longer walk to the Bywater for a late breakfast at Elizabeth's, which would have included some of their signature praline bacon and a spicy Bloody Mary the size of an oil drum. Then, onto wherever the smell of magnolia and boiling crawfish would have taken me.

But alas, it was not to be. And that's okay. I'm okay with it because for me, it was simply a week of eating, drinking, decompressing, getting taller, and hearing some of the most soul satisfying music ever created. But for those giving the party, it's a lot worse. I can only hope the great city and the even greater people of New Orleans recover from what is looking to be yet another devastating blow to their lives as they know it. New Orleans literally lives because of the music, the food, and the visitors.

The Jazz & Heritage Festival is currently slated for the same time next year, but who knows what will happen day to day. That's what this is truly all about---day to day.

I am sure we all have our stories and our problems since this stupid thing started its rule with a very unwashed iron fist. We can only hope most of our problems are first world. It is hard to ignore the lives lost and not think at any time it could hit closer to home. Still, there is nothing wrong with feeling bad for what has changed for you personally. We are only human, you know.

I am going to spend the next week pretending. I'll make some red beans and rice, maybe grill some shrimp and drown them in Crystal Hot Sauce. And I'll definitely be listening to some Jon, John and John!  (Mr. Cleary, Mr. Boutte and the good Doctor.)

And, here is the best part...

The amazing people of WWOZ in New Orleans have created "Jazz Festing In Place 2020," and for the eight days that would have been the festival, they will be broadcasting from the archives and have even gone as far as creating "the cubes" to represent the broadcast schedule.

Click on the pic once and it will get bigger.

Might I suggest not missing Germaine Bazzle, Jon Cleary or John Boutte. And Ella Fitzgerald & Stevie Wonder? What the hell?

Some good listening, folks.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Rester en securite.


pmac said...

NO is going to struggle. Unlike Katrina, we dont have the rest of the US and the world to come to our assistance. And, in a lethal one-two punch, not only is tourism suffering due too the virus, but with oil prices at a historic low, the La economy is absolutely wrecked. e'll survive and come out on the other side; but, undoubtedly everything will be different in this new "normal", and how that ultimately effects NO is the big question.
Thanks for posting the WWOZ cubes - they really have curated a fantastic line-up over the 8 days of JF and on Monday night they will also be broadcasting a NO Piano Night show. WWOZ has helped to clam our nerves in NO.
BTW - was at the Stevie-Ella show. Yeah-don't miss it!

snakeboy said...

A nice tribute to the people and city of New Orleans.
Man, to be eating the shrimp grits at Elizabeth's.
One day, one day.

Anonymous said...

What an incredible eight day lineup of American musical talent! What magic is in the station's archives!

I know this is not PC to say but I hope there are people out there in the internet world recording these gems and they show up on websites for us to download.

Captain Al

Troy said...

Great post today, Sal. It hurts to see the impact this is having on our beloved New Orleans, and everywhere really. I was excited to see the WWOZ lineup and shared it with our Festive Crew. We will be listening, and may even make up a batch of shrimp monica (hard to get crawfish in the Chicago area). Stay healthy, safe, and most of all Stay Festive.

Whattawino said...

Big thanks for this post, Sal. I can’t wait for the “gates” to open tomorrow morning and I imagine myself heading for a frozen Cafe au Lait and a White Chocolate Bread Pudding to get the day rolling! How sweet it was!....and hopefully, will be again one day.

FD13NYC said...

C'est La Vie! Hope you get to go next year, maybe I'll go with you.

hpunch said...

Well said, once again.

Ken D said...

Thanks for the all-Fest pass, Sal.

richeye said...

Oh to be having some Jama Jama at the Fairgrounds, going to a Crawfish Boil in the Garden District afterwards and ending up at Frenchy's Gallery or The Maple Leaf on Oak Street... Maybe next year!