To Our Valued Clients and Friends:
Back in July, I wrote about the prospect of JazzFest’s returning this October, how much I was looking forward to it, and what the festival means to me. Sadly, we’ll have to wait a little longer for that return.
The organizers felt that, given the resurgence of COVID-19 via the new Delta viral strain, a festival this fall was too risky – and I believe that their decision was made solely out of concern for public health.
Still, despite yet another cancelled JazzFest, despite Hurricane Ida (which Southeast Louisiana definitely did not need right now), I’m staying hopeful. And why not? The FDA has approved Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots and the CDC has endorsed their use. The surge in COVID cases, mainly due to the virulence of the Delta strain, is showing signs of abatement in Orleans and surrounding parishes, as well as elsewhere around the country.
These are bright pieces of news, but what’s brightest in my mind is the conviction that, postponed though it has been, JazzFest will return. The music will play. And I’ll be there, as I imagine many of you will, to hear it.
We don’t know the lineup yet, of course, but I’m betting it will be stellar. Maybe even The Radiators will show up, though it’s been some years since they played JazzFest (hey, a man can dream!).
I’ve missed JazzFest so much. Used to be, I took my daughter Meghan every year – that’s a deeply cherished memory. So are the hordes of people I’ve shared JazzFest with – though I never met most of them, and at best exchanged a few words here and there – “Isn’t this great?” “I’m going for a beer – can I bring you back one?”
The community of JazzFest is new every time, yet always the same. It’s grounded in a shared love of New Orleans’ music, its culture, its heritage, and that love binds us together for the duration.
So, for me, JazzFest is an experience, and a memory, of love. And love is the greatest reason on earth to be – to stay – hopeful.
JazzFest is also, for me, an occasion of gratitude – for the music, the people, the memories.
Not to mention the food. My heart and soul yearn toward the music and the people, but my tastebuds crave crawfish bread. Garlicky grilled oysters. Duck and andouille gumbo. All the wonderful dishes that, like the music itself, sing of New Orleans.
So, let’s keep looking forward to what’s ahead – music to lift us up, people to share it with, food to feed us, and ice-cold beer to wash it all down.
Isn’t that reason to hope? I think so – at least, it is for me.
What are your favorite JazzFest memories?
Please click here to email me directly – I’d love to hear your stories.
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Until next Wednesday –