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Feastin’ at the New Orleans French Quarter Fest 2009

neworleansfrenchquarterfestMassive thunderstorms were threatened Sunday for the last day of the French Quarter Fest but that didn’t stop thousands of people from coming down to partake in the food, the music and pleasant temperatures.

However, I did notice there were no lines at any of the food booths so I was wondering if the impending downpours maybe kept some people away.

Jackson Square look as beautiful as ever with the striking St. Louis Cathedral in the background.

I had just come from Mass at St. Patrick’s and was feeling a little hungry so I cruised the booths looking for some tasty morsels. So many choices but I had to decide on at least one so I stopped at the Muriel’s booth and got some scrumptious crawfish with goat cheese crepes. The goat cheese and the crawfish were a perfect combination.

Well, that only whetted my appetite so since I’d never eaten at Jacques Imo’s on Oak St. I decided to go to their booth and get a mess of their shrimp with grits. Yummy. Perfectly seasoned with some bacon mixed up in the grits, traditional New Orleans fare.

I took a a walk down Royal St. There were magicians and other street acts. I passed the clarinetist Doreen and her band under a large umbrella.  I’ve seen here several times before and am always impressed by her perfect tone and her incredible technique. She is one of the best clarinetists around, on a par with Pete Fountain. I walked up and took her hand and told her so.

Further down in front of Brennan’s is a tent where last year Phil Melancon played Western music and was great. Unfortunately, he wasn’t going to play at the fest this year.

neworleansfrenchquarterfest2But who I heard at that tent was just as good. They were the Panorama Jazz Band and they played not only Dixieland Jazz but Klezmer, music from Martinique and even some Cajun music. They were great and had the crowd really going. I like bands like that who can play in different styles and is able to bring elements from other types of music to our New Orleans sound.

I had another date in the afternoon at a concert at Loyola Music school where some of my former students were playing, so I was at the fest only a couple hours. But I got my fill of good food, good music and good New Orleans vibes. It’s great to be in this city.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Festivals, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Music.

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