05.04.07 :: FRIDAY
Words by: Kayceman
Sometimes all you need is music.
We all face countless roadblocks, from the mundane to the serious. It's often the shining
anticipation of events like JazzFest that pulls us through the dog days. For many, the
JazzFest itch is part of our biorhythms. Every year around the end of April, beginning of
May we need to get to NOLA.
Brian Seeger and Stanton Moore :: 05.04 :: by Zack
Friday, the first day of the second weekend of JazzFest, didn't pan out the way many had
hoped. Strolling through the gates around noon the ominous black clouds and cooler-than-
normal breezes were a sign of things come. An hour later, the skies opened up and a
biblical rain fell. Even the locals were shocked at just how hard it was coming down, and
soon flash floods erupted everywhere.
As people scattered for shelter, the Jazz Tent swelled beyond capacity for Ellis Marsalis. As water
poured in from every hole in the tent walls, the legendary pianist and his ultra-pro band
(featuring his youngest son, Jason, on drums) kept the wet crowd happy, transporting the
masses from their shivering coldness into the magical world of music. The Marsalis family
is jazz royalty, and it all started with daddy Ellis. It wasn't until his sons Branford
(saxophone) and Wynton (trumpet) rose to fame in the '80s that Ellis was truly
appreciated. Today, it's clear that Ellis laid the groundwork with his education and
musicianship for one of the greatest musical families the world has ever known. The
opportunity to sit and watch a true master was worth all the bad weather.
Cavan Caruth and Alan LaFleur
05.04 by Zack
Eventually the deluge let up and pockets of sun appeared. There was a mad exodus from the
tents as people made their way to the giant stages throughout the fairgrounds. After
hiding from the rain for a few hours it was time for Zydeco! Lil Nathan is a festival favorite,
and folks who needed to shake off the rain were front and center at the Fais Do Do Stage,
where his Zydeco Big Timers were cooking up a good ol' time.
A family affair in every sense, this was the perfect place to kick up a little mud. With
his sons on washboard, Nathan plays a mean squeezebox in traditional Louisiana fashion.
The whole scene is pure fun. Perhaps the most impressive moment came when Nathan's
youngest son of seven dropped the washboard and hopped behind the drum kit. Similar to
the Marsalis family in the Jazz Tent, there's something about families making music
together that warms the heart and fills the soul.
By Adam McCullough
As Friday's headliner, the legendary ZZ Top sang, "Jesus left Chicago and headed down to New Orleans" it
seemed the day had come full circle. The city was flooded - power lost, traffic jams, the
whole deal; yet even in the face of natural calamity, the music, specifically NOLA's own
Marsalis family, was able to bring us up over the waterline.
Many more JazzFest 2007 images from Adam McCullough available HERE.
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