Just returned from New Orleans for a few days of business. Being the “birthplace of jazz”, I had high expectations of the street music scene. Bourbon Street seemed mostly to be a lot of “good time” music, mostly rock & roll and country blarining from whichever bar you were passing by.
There were some welcome and notable exceptions, though. A couple of places had real jazz going on inside, and it was fun to stop and listen. Old time jazz was evident, especially in some of the restaurants. Fun!
Street musicians were not as well represented as I expected – until the night before last. Just as we were walking up Canal Street toward the hotel, we heard a roaring, raucous, high-energy group of guys “giving it all they got”. It was great street music – not just one guy wailiing on a harmonica or a guitar (though we heard both and enjoyed that as well). Two trumpets, three trombones, bari sax, tuba, bass/cymbals player and a ‘percussionist’ (cowbell!). We listened for about 30 minutes – and they played non-stop. People were dancing in the street and having a blast.
Now that’s New Orleans.
A few weekends ago when we were walking around 5th Avenue, there was a brass band standing right across the street from the Apple store playing bandstand tunes…and it was midnight!