Music, Jambalaya and adding to the list, 26-50…

June 23, 2008

I was recently emailing with my good friend from college and he informed me that his summer plans entailed traveling to a few different States in the US to see some much loved music festivals.  Back in 1999 this friend and I met in New Orleans with a few of his friends for my last trip ever to Jazz Fest.  He had never been, and I had been twice before and had been dying to go again.  It was a trip to remember, as all my trips to Jazz Fest have been, mostly because it was my last hurrah after graduate school as I ventured into my now career.  Sadly, I have never been back.  This isn’t for a lack of wanting, but as life and careers move forward, sometimes wants often take a back seat to needs.  I wanted to go back desperately, but I didn’t need to really…and ultimately my need to further myself in my career took the front seat.  There are a gazillion festivals over here and in the UK that I know I could garner the strength to go to, but in my opinion nothing compares to Jazz Fest. 

The thing that separates Jazz Fest from other festivals around the world is not only the music, but the people who attend.  Jazz Fest is for music lovers, and mainly people over the age of 25 attend.  Of course you do get your average college student there, looking for a Mardis Gras experience, but they’re not gonna find it.  Jazz Fest is music, music and food.  The Fest starts around 9 in the morning and it’s usually over every day at around 7.  Most people that attend are Jazz and music aficionados who are there for the music, the New Orleans hospitality, the great southern food and just a great day listening to iconic masters playing at an outdoor venue, hopefully in the sun.  There is of course alcohol served at the Fest, but rarely do you see someone passed out drunk in their own vomit, people just don’t want to squander away their experience in that way.  They appreciate the Fest that much! 

There are several stages with all sorts of music, and over the years musicians from mainstream bands have found that they love to be a part of the energy that is, Jazz Fest.  The mainstream music doesn’t deflect from the experience, it just enhances and adds to the overall energy.   One of my favorite places is the Gospel tent.  Gospel groups from all over the world perform hymns and songs from their beloved churches, sharing their joy and rapture with thousands of people dancing in the aisles.  It’s a sight to be seen for sure! It’s awesome to watch people lose themselves in the moment and get caught up in the pure rhythym of the gospel music and voices.  It’s truly AMAZING.  Some more difficult tents to get into, but are also worth every second of your time are the several Jazz tents and stages where masters sit and jam for hours.  People that you’ve only heard about come to play these tents.  It’s amazing when these icons get up together and jam, adding their own life experiences to their music in a way that can only be treasured in that very moment or that very second.  It’s seriously breathtaking.  There is so much to choose from, and your day can be as eclectic as you’d like it.  You can listen to Dixie land music, Gospel, Jazz, Mainstream Rock, you name it, there is a tent or a stage that will have it for you.  And unlike other music festivals, where you camp out, at Jazz Fest you get to go back to a nice hotel room, wash up, head out for a great dinner in New Orleans, and later you can go to a club and see the musicians from the day playing up close and personal.  Plus, it’s probably the cheapest entry ticket to a music festival you can find.  When I was going back in the 90’s it only cost 15 dollars a day to get into the Fest.  I know the price has gone up, but I don’t think it’s more than 30 dollars a day.  Since the devastation of Katrina, New Orleans has certainly had it’s difficulties, but they held Jazz Fest that year, and they have every year since.  It’s a mainstay that brings people together, just as music has for centuries and I can’t recommend it enough.

Now back to the list…That’s what is so fun about making this list.  It’s not about NEEDS, it’s about WANTS and DESIRES.  Those things we often deny ourselves because life and busy schedules get in the way.  Here is my 26-50…

26.       Go back to Jazz Fest in New Orleans again

27.       Go to Austin City Limits

28.       Write in my journal daily

29.       Learn how to give myself a good pedicure

30.       Take skiing lessons again

31.       Ski in Colorado

32.       Ski in Utah

33.       Learn how to snowboard

34.       Visit the East Coast in the Fall with my husband to see the changing of the leaves

35.   Learn how to knit

36.   Learn how to crochet

37.   Learn how to bake a kick-ass dessert

38.   Practice being mindful on a daily basis

39.   Work on being conscious of myself and the world around me on a daily basis (might be the same and mindfulness, but…I’m keeping them separate)

40.   Meditate

41.   Watch less Television (I’m working on this one for when the baby comes, I need serious help…)

42.   Go to Thailand with my Father and Step-mother

43.   Become more comfortable experimenting with color both in clothing and art

44.   Get Laser Hair Removal so I never have to get a bikini wax ever again!

45.   Get Laser Eye surgery (I’m ridiculously frightened of this one!)

46.   Understand and study Buddhism

47.   Better understand and study my own religion, Judaism

48.   Re-read Howard Zinn’s  A People’s History of the United States

49.   Make a list of classic films that I haven’t seen and then rent them

50.   Teach a university class as an adjunct professor


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