Thursday, February 21, 2013

Where the Music Matters

Our last day was devoted to a little bit of shopping, a little bit of eating and a lot of music. I've never been in another city in which music is more important than New Orleans. And what wonderful, diverse music it is. The saying is that there is live music somewhere in the city (more like many places in the city) 363 days a year. Music in clubs, music on street corners, music in cafes, music - everywhere it seems.

We spent this, our last night in the city, on Frenchmen Street - home to a literal line up of live music venues. Many of these venues also offer good, inexpensive food, along with full bars, of course. You can walk up and down Frenchmen and duck in and out of spots where individuals and bands are playing. There is often no cover, sometimes a one drink minimum is the cover. Often a group will just set up on a street corner and start playing. Tonight we saw the Young Man's Brass Band who were playing as we got to the Street. These young guys are mostly high school students, a few are a bit older. They were great. As always it was "pass the hat". The public supports the music - that's the way it goes.

A good deal of our time tonight was spent listening to "The Big Easy Brawlers". Remember the name - you never know!

And remember, Jazz - the only totally indigenous American art form - was born here. Modern jazz and traditional jazz can both be found thriving in New Orleans. Of course there's also Zydeco, singer-songwriter, Bluegrass, Brass Band, Big Band, and many other types of music alive and well here.

I was also thrilled today to be able to visit and tour WWOZ FM radio - the public radio station I listen to pretty much exclusively at home. 'OZ offers shows featuring all sorts of New Orleans music. The folks there were so friendly and welcoming. I was happy to be able to identify the voices of some of the folks who were in while I was there - now, I have faces to put to a few of the DJs I hear.

So - what's important here in NOLA? Music. Food. Tradition. Live and Let Live. Other People. Beauty. And an emphasis on Enjoying Life.

We're packing. Tomorrow we fly home. We miss our furries a lot. We miss New Orleans already!

The picture is of an apartment building in Marigny.

No comments:

Post a Comment