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April 11, 2024

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Last updated April 15, 2024





Upcoming events


THE OTTAWA SCHOOL OF THEATRE presents an all ages production of Treasure Island in the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Showtimes Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets $20 for adults. Students and youth 25 and under $10. To purchase visit /www.tickettailor.com/events/ ottawaschooloftheatre?

TAPROOM 260 presents Michael Ben-Shalom live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

TAPROOM 260 presents The Underground live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit https://taproom260.com/events/.

CLASSIC PIANO RECITAL – Orléans pianist Emily Hou will be performing works by Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Liszt at Kanata United Church as part os the Beaverbrook Community Concert Series. The recital will start promptly at 3 p.m. Kanata United Church is located at 33 Leacock Dr. in Kanata. For more information visit beaverbrookccs.ca/ 2024/03/24/april-21-emily-hou.

THE ORLÉANS BREWING CO. Trivia Night from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call (613) 834-9005 to reserve your spot. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the Innes Road McDonalds.

GRANDMAS AIDING GRANDMAS 10th Annual Card Party from 12:30p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Helen’s Church, 1234 Prestone Dr. Tickets $35 includes lunch, door prizes, raffle and market. Call Barbara at 613-824-3524 or Sue at 613-834-4706.

 

 


VIEWPOINT: Great music and fantastic food in the Big Easy
By Fred Sherwin
May 11, 2023

It’s official, New Orleans is now my favourite city in the world. Or at least it is during the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May when the New Orléans Jazz and Heritage Festival is held.

For those of you who don’t haven’t heard of the festival, it is the second-biggest draw in the Big Easy behind Mardi Gras. It also happens to be the most eclectic music festi-val in the world.

The name might say “Jazz and Heritage Festival”, but jazz is just one part of it. There’s also blues, world music, latin, gospel, cajun, blue grass, zydeco, country, folk, rock and rap. There’s even North American native pow wow music.

The festival had been on my bucket list for years before I finally went for the first time last year and it was everything I had hoped for and then some.

Probably because not only is it the most eclectic music festival in the world, it also has the best food of any festival in the world with po’ boy sandwiches, gumbo, crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, bread pudding with whiskey sauce and much, much more.

But back to the music. I actually went to the first weekend which was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The second weekend is four days long from Thursday to Sunday.

The weekend I was there I got to see more popular artists like Lizzo and Ed Sheeran along with legends like Taj Mahal, Irma Thomas and Little Freddie King.

The highlight performances, at least for me, was Cristone “Kingfish” Ingram, who has to be the best guitarist in the world, Big Freedia, who is a New Orléans icon and pretty well impossible to describe, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

The surprise of the festival was a female singer named Maggie Koerner, and if you’ve never heard like I didn’t before I saw her, you should definitely look her up on You Tube.

The best part about going to the Jazz Festival, like any music festival, are the surprise acts you chance upon while going from one headline act to another. My favourite day this year was Sunday because their weren’t any big name acts besides the Tedeschi Trucks Band and they closed the main stage. In the seven hours leading up to their set, I saw great band after great band. Everything from a second line brass band to the most amazing Latin band I’ve ever seen that came all the way from Puerto Rico. And to that Lil’ Nathan and the Zydeco Big Timers, and you have all the makings of a great day at any music festival.

Best of all, the festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., which means you have the rest of the night to enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer. And trust me, during the festival, the city has a lot to offer and I’m just talking about all the live music that can be found in clubs along Bourbon and Frenchmen Streets. I’m talking about all the shows that you can go to both during between the two weekends and at night.

A number of the acts do double duty by playing at the festival and then in clubs like Tipitina’s, Fillmore New Orleans and the Howlin’ Wolf, or theatres like the Saenger Theatre and the Joy Theatre.

One day, I was able to see five amazing harmonica players at an event outside the New Orleans Jazz Museum. On other days, there was an outdoor festival at Louis Armstrong Park and another in Lafayette Square. It never stops.

As for the city itself, there is so much to see and do it boggles the mind, from riverboat cruises to swamp boat tours and everything in between.

Surprisingly, the number one attraction in the city is the National WWII Museum. I say “surprisingly” because you don’t normally associate a war museum with New Orleans, but after spending a few hours in the museum myself you should understand what all the fuss is about.

And last but not least, there’s the food. I must I am a bit biased because I love Cajun cuisines whether it’s shrimp creole, black-ened catfish, grilled oysters or jambalaya I love it all and the best Cajun food in the world can be found in New Orléans, inclu-ding bread pudding and pecan pie.

So, if you ever go to one out-of-town music festival in your life, I can’t recommend going to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival strongly enough.

Go for the food, go for the nightlife or go for the history, but most of all, go for the music. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@orleansstar.ca)

 

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