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Spent the weekend in New Orleans, including a day at the Jazz and Heritage Festival. N.O. is such a tightly woven tapestry – the single day at the festival spilled over into the other two days we were there. So we saw Anders Osborne and Eric Lindell at Rock ‘n’ Bowl, and Better Than Ezra, Simon and Garfunkle, the Antioch Baptist Church Gospel Choir and a host of others at the festival proper. And music spills out into the streets everywhere, with local groups (and national) setting up in clubs, even in the street itself. This is music at its best – simultaneously public and intimate, large and small.
N.O. itself still struggles. Empty buildings, broken streets. Certainly broken lives. But there are signs of new growth – like early spring when there are just tiny buds on the trees to give us hope. At least when there is a big event in town like the Jazz Fest, the restaurants and cafes are full, teeming with life. This is as N.O. should be.