Friday, January 11, 2013

Experiencing the Jazz and Blues of New Orleans

In New Orleans, there's always a reason for a festival. It's Tuesday? Festival. It's raining? Time for a Carnival. Seriously, there are over 40 jubilees listed on and those are just the annual ones, let alone the impromptu celebrations that materialize. Full moon? Let's party. In the French Quarter, there's always music playing and people shakin' their tail feathers.

There's a reason Americans adore the city of New Orleans and its inhabitants. A city full of life and hope; a community that holds each others hands through times of destruction, only to rise back from the depths of the abyss to once again glow with life and culture. Open arms welcome you inside of this mysterious place. Its magic takes you away as you get down the cobblestone streets, groovin' with everyone around you. NOLA is music to the soul.

It's practically impossible to hit every festival in the Big Easy if you're not local. Look into New Orleans apartments if you feel you can't miss some of these classics; or, get yourself a frequent flier rewards card. Once you hit a few of these merriments, you'll be hooked.

Carnival (Mardi Gras)

Is it possible for something to just keep getting better and better, even after centuries of celebration? Carnivals run for a week through to midnight the Tuesday before Lent. This is Mardi Gras and it's a party filled with music, over-the-top floats, parades, dancing, costumes and beads. Lots and lots of beads. It's rich with history; it's larger than life. By day, enjoy family time, by night... watch the freaks come out. Join the celebration by wearing purple, green and gold and throw caution to the wind.

Mardi Gras 2013 happens February 12, 2013. With Super Bowl XLVII in NOLA this year.

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Deep blues roots are planted in the heart of New Orleans. Iconic musicians like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Louis Armstrong and B.B. King shaped the spirit and sounds of the South. Life Magazine deemed the (in)famous Jazz Fest as the country's best musical festival.

The annual event, hosted at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds, offers a wide variety of soul-stirring music that includes jazz, blues, R&B, rock 'n' roll, et al., to name a few. It's the coolest festival around. Themulti-day event happens the weekends of April 26-May 5, 2013, but look for tons of great music throughout the city during the week.

Voodoo Music Experience

There's nothing like the mysterious culture behind voodoo, and New Orleans serves up some serious witchcraft during this annual diddy. Music classics like Neil Young & Crazy Horse played on a stage next to DJ Kaskade while Metallica was on the same bill as Bootsy Collins. If that doesn't sound like a supernatural musical experience, I don't know what does.

Vieux Carre (Vieux To Do)

You can't experience true New Orleans without a good food festival. The Vieux To Do is a 3-in-1 treat that includes French Market's Creole Tomato Festival (with music, cooking demonstrations and parades), the Cajun-Zydeco Festival (featuring local musicians) and Louisiana Seafood Festival, where you can get yo'self to the world's largest crawfish boil happening June 8-9, 2013. Fresh craw-dads? Festival. Boudin sausage Gumbo and Jambalaya? Festival.

Get your hepcat hat on and get ready for some fun. Living the good life in the town of New Orleans.


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