May 05 2019

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Saturday, May 4, 2019

By: Gustavo Escanelle

As anyone who survived the great morning storm of May 4th, 2019 knows, Jazz Fest started off later than I wanted due to torrential rain and a little bit of hail mixed in with some tornado warnings. It thundered and lightning till about 11 AM, and cleared up for a late opening at 12:30. I got there right at opening time, and by 1:30 I was closing in on my favorite snack of the fest. I doubled down on some absolutely delectable Crawfish Beignets and followed it up with Rose Mint Tea that refreshed the palette beautifully.

I made my home at the Cultural Exchange Pavilion where the multicultural art displays and handcrafted Ghana drums and Haitian metalworks were on display. Jaques Eugène, a Haitian metal sculptor, had some beautiful vodou veve's on display.

As far as music goes, first up for me was Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez who played phenomenal Latin jazz fusion. Latin conga drumming accompanying rich textured piano movements of mostly instrumental interplay between the duo. They brought the Cuban Rumberos along with them as well completely an intense three-drummer ensemble.

Stopping over at the Kid's Tent to see what the next generation of die-hard Jazz Festers were learning, I finally got to check out Miss Pussycat do her amusing puppet storytime. Her narrative style and sweet and funny, making it hilariously quirky even for adults.

Next I stepped up my game and ate some Grilled Chicken Livers with Pepper Jelly. This helped keep me energized as the sun was finally peaking out past the clouds as the afternoon transitioned into early evening.

Jermaine Landrum & the Abundant Praise Revival Choir held it down at the Gospel Tent. I also needed a good sit, and that's the best spot to get a healthy recharge. The Gospel Tent will forever be my retreat palace for any jazz fest.
To put a topper on the day, I was finally able to witness the legendary Chris Owens outside of her Bourbon Street Club and in the daylight; watching her is like watching an antique porcelain doll do a shimmy and hit you with some pizzazz. I'm happy to see her living her best life, entertaining and being one of New Orleans most cherished darlings. I also got a Chris Owens hat; I'll always love this hat.

This completed my Jazz Fest experience for the Second Saturday. Diana Ross was on my see list, I caught a couple tunes and saw her looking good from the big screen, but lemme just say, she ain't no Chris Owens. -Emily Hingle

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