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New Orleans: Music and all that Jazz

One of the things that was high on my list of things to do while in New Orleans a few weeks ago was to find someplace with live music. New Orleans is all about jazz and blues, after all. It was pretty wild to walk through the French Quarter and think that guys who are jazz heroes of mine like Harry Connick, Jr. and the Marsalis family spent time playing in the clubs on those streets. So very cool.

I headed around the Quarter rather early in the evening, which unfortunately cut down my number of opportunities to hear the live music. Most of it started later – 8 or 9 PM. However, I did hear a very good older band at a little bar that I am thinking was called something about the Society for the Preservation of Jazz; I can’t find a link on a quick Google search to back me up. They played pretty good standard New Orleans jazz, but they were old-timers; nary a dark hair in the bunch – all grey.

As I headed back to my hotel, I ran into a group of about a dozen teenagers playing on the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets. They were mostly brass instruments with a couple saxophones thrown in for good measure and a rockin’ percussion section. And they were smokin’ hot. My little video clip here really doesn’t do them justice, and I’m bummed that I didn’t think to start recording them until just near the end of their set.

It’s fun to think that one of these kids may be a jazz star of some upcoming year. While New Orleans took a massive hit from Hurricane Katrina, it sounded to me like she still couldn’t kill the music.

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