No announcement yet.

Past "Jazz Fest Moments" posts

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Past "Jazz Fest Moments" posts

    I've pulled some of the posts from the old "Jazz Fest Moments" thread from the old board. I'll add more as I get around to it.


    First year - thinking I don't really like "Jazz" that much but then seeing Dash Rip Rock, Nevilles and the Gospel Tent. What an eye opening experience. Three yrs ago - seeing a mini tornado take a lawn chair up about 45 ft. high during Cowboy Mouth.
    - dustycajun.cox.2003-04-08

    My first JF was last year. We caught the tail end of Elvin Bishop's show. He invited a special guest, George Thorougood, up on stage to jam with his band. George jammed for a little bit, then leaned over to the mike and said, "I've been waiting 35 Mother-F%$*ing years to say this - Ladies & Gentleman, MR ELVIN BISHOP" and the crowd went nuts. . . I'm not a particularly big fan of either of them, but it was the kind of moment you could only see at JF, and it was very cool.
    - mikeyp 2003-04-08

    dancing with some of the "noodle" people last yr to what remains of the dead & one guy (who clearly was born well after the dead had come & gone) ask me if i had seen them before & me replying, yea at watkins glen like 27 yrs ago, probably before you were born and of course feeling the spirit take over me my first jazz fest at the gospel tent, some 23 yrs ago
    - skyline44 2003-04-08

    Here are a few of my favorite moments. Running into Jimmy Buffet in the crowd.Talking with Fats Domino on the track as he was getting into his car. It was just the two of us. What a nice man!!! George Benson at Municipal Auditorium. I think it was 89. Municipal was rocking that night. (The years kind of run together for me) Watching Stevie Ray Vaughan play with his brother Jimmie. 1990
    - tx jf fanatic 2003-04-08

    Second Sunday last year:
    Walking through Heritage Square towards the Blues Tent for "Wolfman" Washington, I had one of those Where Else But Jazzfest moments: what I'm hearing is coming from Congo Square - The Baha Men. That's all I hear until I get closer to the Gospel Tent, when "Who Let The Dogs Out" suddenly gives way to Aaron Neville's falsetto covering "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".

    - swag 2003-04-08

    There are so many cool moments to remember...just off the cuff...seeing the look in Dave Matthews eye's as he played along side of Paul Simon, Dave Barthomew reuniting with Fat's a couple of years ago and just tearing it up(pissing off Quint Davis in the process) and of course hearing Robert Cray belt out out the first chorus to Forecast Calls for Rain and having the sky open up and a roar goes up from the crowd. One very special memory has nothing to do with music at all...a few years ago there was a little girl missing down here ,it was all over the national media and all, and eveybody knew about it..they announced it a the stage that she had been found and she was ok...I felt so much love from the twenty or so people that I was standing by, we all were so happy and all had the same thoughts...why can't we all walk out of here today and have the world be like JazzFest!!! peace and love to you all!
    - liveforthefes t2003-04-08

    last night of the last day....sittin in that sweet wind on the fais do do stands as the last fellow festers leave the grounds...cicadas just beginning to sing behind me--their buzzing matches the happy thrummm in my head from four days of musical bliss. the poignant end buoyed up into the last red of the clouds...had to climb the fence to get my bike out, one long smile on the ride home
    - reygreen 2003-04-08

    6th year coming up. always a large group, always different experiences. that's what it's all about. every year, so many stories. every year the same question arises. "what was your aphiphany moment?" what was that one point in time where you proclaimed, "it doesn't get any better than this!" each and every one of us has that moment every single year and we think, "this feels so good, it feels so right, how is this possible?" for me, every single year, its that time when the dayfest is over, we reach the outside of the gates - 7:30 pm, everyone is in the same spirits: the day is over, we're all in ecstacy, those around us are as well - for the same reason - for the music, the food, the people, most importantly the vibes. I walk outside the gates, I hear the next generation playing the "buckets" on the streets, i purchase a cold beer out of a cooler from, I swear, the nicest lady i ever did meet - $1 dollar please. i recall the absolute beauty of the day i just witnessed, i long for the entriguing night that lies ahead. i relish the positivety of those around me, i say, holy fucking shit. ephiphany. think back - hard - of all jazz fests in the past, think of that one moment during the dream, that ephiphany moment. yes, hard to narrow down, yet we all yearn to reach that moment once again, and yet we manage to each and every year. jazzfest is not a place it's a feeling. we all have slightly different tastes in music, yet we all leave with the same satisfaction. so, i don't digress, the music we heard, although very inspirational and uplifting, does not describe, and could never discribe a jazz fest moment. a jazz fest moment requires not only moving music, but moving people, and moving vibes, and moving trains of thought, and - well - a series of moving moments that eventually come together in the great realization that this was my "jazzfest moment". each and every one of us has it each year. what was that one point in time where it all came together and you said, " this is it. it doesn't get any better than this." it matters not our opinions of such moments, it matters only that we all had such a moment. all of us. god bless you. i love you all! jazzfest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    - mick 2003-04-09

    From my first Jazz Fest.
    I was standing in front of the big stage when the Meters were playing. Leo Nocentelli was absolutely wailing, and I felt that chill down my spine. An almost perfect moment.
    And then I looked next to me, and there was one of my best friends, Stu. He was from New York, I was in Chicago, and I had no idea he would be there.
    Maybe not as good as it gets, but plenty good enough for me.
    - greenie2 2003-04-09

    Standing in line for crawfish sacks behind (and chatting with) Ed Bradley (the 60 minute man), seeing Stevie Ray (when was that? 1990?), 2years ago seeing Marcia Ball sit in with the Hackberry Ramblers. There are sooooo many!
    - ibjamn - 2003-04-09

    It was that same year that Robert Cray played 'Forecast Calls For Pain', and the skies opened up as he played it... On the way out, still drenched but almost deliriously happy, someone in our group started puddle stomping in time to the Kumbuka Drum and Dance collective, who were closing out but still playing on the Sprint stage. We all started puddle stomping in time to this group, and we did it for like fifteen minutes, just splishin' and splashin' away. Feeling like kids again and basking in the love we all shared. There is nothing like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival!
    - freebo 2003-04-09

    My first fest...1990...SRV alone and SRV with Jimmie Vaughn and the Fabulous T-birds.Same year at Tipitina's..Dr. John,The Subdudes and The Dirty Dozen Band.Many, many since then but I was in total awe that first year(and have been every year since as a matter of fact!!). Also, about 1995 or so, in the elevator at the Sheraton going back to the room,looking over the cubes and the Festival copy of Offbeat, reading the name of Little Feat as scheduled artists, I commented to my friend something like "wow, haven't heard of these guys in ages" and some guy in our elevator snickered when he heard me say that so I asked him if he had and his comment was "I'm the drummer." I was embarassed and needless to say, everywhere we went for the week, we ran into each other.
    - barbara 2003-04-09

    I absolutely love Day 1 walking thru the gates and just sucking up that positive energy. My best moment was at my first Fest 8 years ago. I didn't even think I'd like it but went with some people from work who talked me into it. I was so wrong. It even rained late in the day and was sloppy and still a blast. We were in the Gospel tent and it was muddy and muggy (it was on the grass back then) and we were all just feeling the music and there were these people in front of us with cold water spray bottles. Every once in a while the guy would stop his dance and pose like he was pointing a gun at us and give us a cool spray. I remember thinking..."I will NEVER miss a year of this!" And I haven't. Moments like that happen every year. God I love the Fest!
    - amylovesthefest 2003-04-09

    In 2001. My husband and I were wandering - we had 2 or 3 stages we wanted to go to, all at the same time, so we were kinda bouncing from one to the next, no hurry. We wound up going by Economy Hall, and hearing Louis Armstrong. ?? So we went in, and it was this Czech band - JJ Jazzmen. They were fantastic. I still smile when I think of the little old Czech bandleader singing "Vat a Vonderful Vorld". It wasn't the best music I heard that year (but it was very, very good). It was the most memorable, though, and it's one of my very favorite fest moments.
    - flgirl 2003-04-09

    That first step onto the fairgrounds just gets me. I got a big smile on my face right now just thinkin' about it. And this will be only my 3rd year. Also, my first year I went to Piano Nite and Marcia Ball ripped into Hot Tamale Baby with Johnny Vidacovich on drums. It burned down into a driving duet with each staring at the other and I was right close to the stage, looking up from her point of view at Johnny. It was intense, and ecstatic! Last year, toolin' down the track to the blues tent and suddenly getting overwhelmed as I walked by the gospel tent, and sucked right in to a revival that brought tears of happiness to my eyes.
    - hatsjazz2003-04-09

    One of my favorite memories was going into the grandstand mebbe 3 years ago to use the rest room. Of course, I had a million acts highlighted on my schedule. But ... I heard this saxophone accompanying a poet. Forgive me, I forget the poet's name, but it was Kidd Jordan on sax. I had never heard of him. The poems were about New Orleans, the good, the bad and the ugly, with the saxophone weaving incredible, improvisational lines around the words. I was transfixed, I could not leave. Some woman next to me told me that her grandchild took lessons from Kidd Jordan and what a hero he was regarded as in the public schools. It was so different, so cool, something I would never have intentionally gone to hear. That's what made it so great! (And, I got to sit down for a half-hour in air conditioning!)
    - zbonnie 2003-04-09

    And then, again, there was the Lion's Den. My first year some friends recommended Irma's show and we joined them as I sort of knew who she was but not real sure I'd ever heard her and was curious. There was such a thrill just walking in the door to that tiny room, seeing the odd jumble of chairs and the little colored lights running across the wall, the junk stacked in the corner. Man, she was going to sing HERE?? And then the band came out. It was special nite with keyboard, bass, drums, guitar, two trumpets & two tenor sax. What grace and power she had. It was like we were 50 guests in her home. Between sets, talking to her I became an instant lifelong fan! And then the next day at the Fest she sang on the Acura stage in front of thousands. It only intensified the intimacy of the nite before, when she sang just for us!
    - hatsjazz2003-04-09

    Back in the 70's, we'd stay around the quarter and catch the city bus to get to the grounds. JF started on Friday (no Thursdays back then). Standing on the curb with a half dozen friends waiting for the bus...gut full of Bloody Marys...head full of hemp...grinning from ear to ear with uncontrolable anticipation.
    Then the bus shows up full of poor souls on their way to work. Seeing the pain and resentment in their eyes as we piled on with all our gear and them damn shit-eating grins on our faces.
    My friend, Beaver, sat next to a sad soul in a business suit. They looked at each other for about 30 seconds without uttering a word. Then Beav sorcastically asked him, "Are you going to the fest?". "Can't. Gotta go to work," was the reply. By the time the bus made two more stops, this fellow stands up and says, "F*%k it. I'm getting off and catching the next bus back to the house. I'll see you guys at the Fairgrounds." You know, when the bug bites, you gotta scratch it or it will drive you crazy.
    I'll have to agree that sitting in line on Trafalgar hearing sound checks, watching Officer Ron flirt with the women, watching the parking lot gate open, getting that 'just right' parking spot, greeting the ladies at the gate AND THEN walking across the dirt track...skipping across the bridge and getting that first full view of heaven on Earth is a mind bender.
    Making camp and heading for some libation and grub. The first walk around the grounds has got to be my favorite moment.
    I also get a little misty thinking about all the great musicians we've seen that are not with us any more. Guitar Kelly and Silas Hogan and Clifton and Doopsie just to name a few.
    Not long now, gang.
    - rope 2003-04-09

    1988. My friend, Michael, calls me up and suggests we go to Fest. As a second-year law student, final exams were nearing, but I had never been to New Orleans before and it sounded like fun. We flew down on the first Friday, and after checking in at the Doubletree on Canal St., we walked down to the riverwalk to board a riverboat cruise with B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn (if my memory serves me). After getting off the boat, I had two comments for my friend Michael: (1) we just got our money's worth for the entire trip (airfare, hotel, tickets, etc.), and everything else is pure profit; and (2) I'm coming back every year for the rest of my life. We attended Fest for a long weekend that year. Ever since then, I have been for the entire Fest every year. This year will be my 16th consecutive. And I am still committed to coming every year for the rest of my life.
    - bostonian 2003-04-09

    Back in 1997, one of my best friends who worked for Marcia Ball (Chicago Tom) got me a back stage pass for her set on the RayBan stage. I got to sit on a amp box and listen to her, on the other side of the stage was Ed Bradley listening too her. Nobody said anything after she was done, so I just stayed there and watched Delbert McClinton's set. During it , Bruce Hornsby came up right behind me with his accordian on and started playing what Delbert was playing. Other than the few around me, no one was the wiser that Bruce was playing unplugged on the side of the stage. I was in heaven! The following year, my friend Chicago Tom ended up going 1st weekend and I could only do the 2nd weekend. He went over to the House of Blues that Wednesdaynight of the 1st weekend for Marcia's show and afterwards walked back to his room across the street at the Bienville House. Later that night he suffered a massive heart attack and died. I truly believe that he died where he was truly happy! Jazzfest & Chicago Tom Lives on!
    - voodoohead 2003-04-09

    OK, I had to chime in. I've been coming to JF for a dozen or so years and like y'all (excuse a New York City boy if the spelling isn't right) I had to add to the list. Two years ago, we brought our 10 month old to his first out-of-utero fest. I remember him getting a little fussy at Langiappe, so I hoisted him up on my shoulder and started to dance a bit with him even though I knew this would obstruct the view of others checking out the band (maybe Woodenhead). After a few minutes, I turned around to apologize to what I assumed would be a group of pissed off onlookers only to discover that Nathaniel was leading 15 happy adults in a random clapping and laughing orchestra. I turned back around with a smile thinking, Oh yeah, this is fest. I guess you can take the boy out of NY ...
    - jordan 2003-04-09

    Last year, Sunday first weekend, I wander into the gospel tent as I am wont to do and come across the Potters House Mass Choir. They are doing a song called 'The Storm Is Over Now', which I later discovered ironically enough considering his problems was written by R. Kelly. Anyway the song is fantastic, the choir is testifying, and singing lead is a woman about 5'4'' who couldn't have weighed more than 100 pounds. My God could she sing. She gets helped down off the stage to sing on the floor and touch the crowd. I swear it was like a Springsteen show with the amount of energy and devotion between the crowd and the singer. The song finally ends and I'm standing near the front of the stage, exhausted, sweaty and exihilarated when a catch a girls eye. No words exchanged just a smile and look that says "can you believe what we just saw?". And then soon after a rather large older woman dressed for church comes up to me, gives me a huge hug, and says to me 'God bless you.' The months before were rather hard for me for a number of reasons and being down in NOLA for the fest made me feel alive again and that song, that singer, that look and smile and that hug are all things I'll never forget.
    - scoopjohnd 2003-04-09

    I have a LOT of special memories, but one that stands out happened at my very first Fest in '96. I was at the Ray Ban (Acura) stage with my sister and a bunch of newfound friends having the time of my life, and it was my turn to get the beer. I make my way to the nearest kiosk and I bought a dozen cans. For some reason, I decided to take a detour through the gospel tent on my way back to my gang. I wander into the tent, and onstage is Aaron Neville with the Zion Harmonizers. (In those days, his gospel tent performances were completely unannounced.) He sang a breathtaking version of Amazing Grace, and then launched into a chilling rendition of Ave Maria. People were on their knees; some were on their chairs. Folks were bawling their eyes out, embracing each other, arms raised and basking in the euphoria of the moment. I just stood there clutching my beer, stunned and shaking beyond belief. I somehow managed to make my way back to through the crowd and found my group. My sister took one look at me and said "What's up with you? You look like you've just seen God or something!" With that, the tears just started to roll down my cheeks...
    - rossvegas 2003-04-10

    Must say, Jazz Fest has the best vibe -- anywhere, anyplace in the world. Undescribable to anyone who hasn't been. Unforgetable for those who have. The vibe isn't contained to the fairgrounds, it follows the festers whereever they go. Case and point, last year leaving the fest a packed shuttle bus departed the fair grounds for the Avenue Plaza. The seats were full, leaving two men standing in the middle. In a true Jazz Fest vibe moment. Without a word, two fellow passengers whipped open their lawn chairs and the entire bus roared in jubliation as the two men snagged "impromptu" seats in the middle aisle. The bus ride home was one of the best!!

    - n.o. or bust 2003-04-10

    I'm not even sure how long I've been going to the fest but every year I can't miss cajun-dancing to D.L. Menard on Fais Do Do stage. The one JF moment I will never forget was, I think, in 1996 and I can't even remember who it was we were watching. I think it was either the Subdudes or Little Feat. In any case, the sky was that brilliant, unreal blue and there was a wonderful breeze blowing. Everyone around me was grooving to the music and as I looked around at everyone smiling and dancing, at the beautiful blue sky overhead, and at all the incredible colors of flags flying everywhere and I thought - there could never be a more perfect moment in life than this!
    - piscesgirl 2003-04-10

  • #2
    More here:
    Visit my Jazzfest advice site:


    • #3
      Bumpin to get some new stories added... here's one of mine:

      My first fest, 1998. Really getting into zydeco that year. Earlier talk amongst the group was we should check out that Rock n Bowl place we've been hearing about some night , but no definite plans... the idea had begun to fade away.

      Walking thru the fairgrounds, we are all simultaneaously drawn over to the Fais Do DO stage by an amazing zydeco band... and we dance our way over... "Who's this?" ... "Beau Jocque & the Zydeco High Rollers." Being 70's kids, we were really groovin to his versions of old War songs. Then he announces, we'll be at the Rock n Bowl tonite. We all look at each other, need not say a word. We're there! We got there early, got a lane, and danced the nite away between gutter balls. What a great intro to Beau and to the Rock n Bowl!!!


      • #4
        thanx for the bump!

        I would have missed this all together!

        I got chills from reading those posts. I can't believe it has taken me this long to make my first JF trip ... I have seriously been missing out!


        • #5
          Originally posted by bluedog View Post
          I would have missed this all together!

          I got chills from reading those posts. I can't believe it has taken me this long to make my first JF trip ... I have seriously been missing out!
          lol, I said the exact same words when I started going a few years ago...I'd been to New Orleans quite a few times too...d'oh!


          • #6
            I have a couple of 'fest moments.....(who doesn't right?)

            But I think one of my favorites is when we were leaving the fairgrounds on Saturday, first weekend, 1999 ...driving down banks street on our way to Mona's cafe my husband turned to me and said 'So - are you ever going to marry me or what?'...... and although we tried to get married at the 'fest (which would have made the 'fam totally irritated' and the State of Louisiana wouldn't issue us a marriage license (long and funny story)....we did eventually get married....

            Other than that - every other moment at the fest surrounded by cool people and even cooler music is a great moment.
            Last edited by Orleansnj; 02-08-2007, 02:19 PM.


            • #7
              Can someone add some more of the old ones, I love reading them


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jordan View Post
                Can someone add some more of the old ones, I love reading them
                me too Jordan....Swag has some on his site too.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Orleansnj View Post
                  I have a couple of 'fest moments.....(who doesn't right?)

                  But I think one of my favorites is when we were leaving the fairgrounds on Saturday, first weekend, 1999 ...driving down banks street on our way to Mona's cafe my husband turned to me and said 'So - are you ever going to marry me or what?'...... and although we tried to get married at the 'fest (which would have made the 'fam totally irritated' and the State of Louisiana wouldn't issue us a marriage license (long and funny story)....we did eventually get married....

                  Other than that - every other moment at the fest surrounded by cool people and even cooler music is a great moment.
                  ahhhh, orleans, that's a great story! Would love to hear the extended version someday


                  • #10
                    First Jazz Fest moment for me was not so much a moment, per se, but a collection of observations over a few hours and then a pleasant conclusion...the diversity really struck me. The elderly people and Gen Xers. A total blend of races and ethnicities. Farmer-types, biker-types, and yuppie-types all hanging together. The physically-challenged. Babies bouncing on Dad's shoulders. No fights. No profanity (not counting the the DMB Day). No overt drunkenness.

                    Just a wide swath of humanity, creating this "calm energy" (oxymoronic, I know). The place was buzzing with excitement and enthusiasm. But it was all so calm. Even the blue room lines


                    • #11
                      I have 2 favorite molments: 1-Of course my first experience in 2002. Went to JF to see Lenny Kravitz and decided to go to stage early. Galactic was on before LK and I had never heard them before. Starts off a little slow then Ben kicks the sax up a few notches. I am stunned. I can't freakin move. I had never heard such sweet sounding notes in my whole life. I was hooked. Lenny was ok compared to what I had just expereinced. I later found out they play at Tips often and caught my first show the next year. was like a new chapter of my life had just started. They soon opened the door to many NO musicians for me. 2-The next year we brought my 4 year old daughter with us. We were bouncing around the grounds and my daughter (who once introduced to Galactic was in love with Stanton Moore) heard some music at the gospel tent and started running because she heard Stanton and sure enough he was drumming for another band who was playing one of Galactic's songs. We stayed in the tent and next was Trombone Shorty. She was dancing on the chair and having a blast. I realized then and there that she "got it". I can't wait to be part of her JF experiences. Later that day Stanton was in the Virgin Records tent signing autographs. She would not go up to him and take a picture. She was so freaked out. Thanks to JF we are like that little girl bee in Blind Melon's "no rain" video. We finally found our place in the sun!!!!


                      • #12
                        Stanton & Shorty in the Gospel Tent? I think I'm jealous.
                        Visit my Jazzfest advice site:


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by swag View Post
                          Stanton & Shorty in the Gospel Tent? I think I'm jealous.

                          I think your right to question that Swag....It must have been the jazz or blues tent. Somtimes I just end up wherever the day takes me and sometimes I don't stop long enough to get my bearings.


                          • #14

                            Starbuck and I were checking out Widespread Panic. I wanted to stick so we stayed in the center of the crowd instead of upfront, near the mid way speakers. We meet some cool folks (couple in the middle) and they invite us to hang and party.

                            This guy & gal (The Couple in the Middle again), there names have escaped me but I think I have it written in my journal, they let us crash and hang in their little blanketed spot. An hour or so into the set, maybe 90 minutes, this guy (Last guy on the right in the above pic) and his friend come up. They seem friendly and certainly happy enough and hang around as well. We all get along great dance & have a great old time.

                            During the fun, the first guy (Last guy on right in above picture) tells us his friend and him have been out since yesterday hanging out and seeing things, that his friend (You will see the guy soon) has been drinking and who knows what else the whole time.

                            After a bit this friend of his starts dancing more and more staggering. Finally he just sits for a bit. Next he lays back. Lastly, he turns into the cirlce and throws up all over the sheet. His friend (Guy on far right in above picture) goes "Oh look man you lost it, here let me help, rolls up the sheet, take of his shirt, I grab my big sweating towel of ice and wring it out on the shirt. He gives the shirt to his friend, puts it on his head and lays him back.

                            All of this and we just pick right back up dancing and so on. I look down and this guy is down on the ground, eyes closed looking ten sheets to the wind, dancing, shaking his foot, bobbing his head in and out of reality in rythem to "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys". He was ok enough to stagger off to get a cab back to the hotel after the show. Had a great time that day, lots of interesting people. Below is the picture of the guys friend who 'lost it' lol, complete with barf sheet and ice water shirt.


                            • #15
                              Excellent story TDG.