It was just another one of those beautiful Jazz Fest Dayz........The threat of rain, at least heavy rains, had passed and the temperature was dropping steadily. I can't really remember the last time that I wore jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt with layered T-shirts on top of it for Jazz Fest, but there are was layered with warm clothes and some waterproof work boots that I purchased during my BP oil spill shooting days, along with freshly inserted Dr. Scholl's insoles for maximum comfort, as the insoles that came with the boots were basically eaten away by whatever toxic sludge that had entered them during the BP day's. . I didn't go to Jazz Fest on Thursday for the first time in a long time due to the rains even though my photo creds were there waiting for me. I really didn't feel like having to protect my camera equipment all day. I had seen pictures of what it looked like an heard stories of the mud lakes throughout the fest, one of my friends Peter Lovechio told me that he never seen it that bad before. The fest actually started an hour late due to the water/mud situation, et al......I drove over to the area of the fest to park by Esplanade and Broad and killed some time taking some neighborhood shots and was eventually scooped up by my friend Rueben Williams, wife Nicole and his boys. We all had one thing in common, waterproof shoes and dressed as if it were a nasty November day. We headed over to the “mud” parking lot off DeSaix and proceeded to march into the fest, and boy, those new Dr. Scholl's insoles felt real good......While walking through the barn area before we got into the fest, I texted friend John Gros of Papa Gros Funk to find out where I need to meet his wife to get my backstage sticker in order to shoot on stage for their show, met his wife on the track and proceeded to the press tent to get my credentials. At that point I hadn't made it to the infield but after I picked up my wrist band, I headed back over to the Congo Square stage where John was getting ready to play walking past the Fais Do Do stage, with Beaousoleil jammin, straight through what can only be described as a mud swamp about 6 to 12 inches deep maybe more in some areas. Here the boots were immediately put to the test and worked like a charm as long as I could walk thru mud that was less than a foot deep I would be okay through today and it worked out that way. As I march through the marsh, looking around I had a big smile my face as people were unaffected by the mud situation, all dancing to the music in and out of the mud. I proceeded to shoot Papa Gros Funk's show, and what it show it was, also visiting with good friend Brian Watson on stage for a while along with others. After that show it was time to check my Jazz Fest app at to see who to shoot next, and how get there because the water was really deep in some places.....as if there was a plan I could or would follow....yeah right....somewhere I saw Irma Thomas was playing and to me that's a don't miss......so I walked over by the Blues Tent and caught Anna Popovic, who as amazing......visually and aurally........then started a trek towards the Acura Stage where I thought Irma Thomas was playing at 4:40........stopping by the Trout Bouquet booth to get one of my favorite Jazz Fest dishes on the way. For the first time ever, at least I can remember, while eating and walking on the track behind Acura, my food was in danger of literally blowing off the plate so I ducked behind a truck and shoveled the trout and bread down my throat before it hit the sandy track. OK, perfect, I am right on time for Irma, at Acura, so I thought.....after trudging through the muddy new “cattle lane” at Acura to the photo pit, I looked at my phone to check the time and it was almost 5, and no Irma. Dammit, No Irma, musta read a schedule on a previous stage from another day. Maroon 5 was comin on but thats not what I was there for, so slowly I waded back to the track and in the distance heard some amazing sounds coming from the Jazz Tent, Nicolas Payton as holding court and I was summoned on in.......after leaving the Jazz Tent I figured out Irma Thomas was in the Gospel Tent, way over there........initially I said oh well, I'll just go to the Blues Tent and wait for Tab to come on........then I ran into Geraldine Wycoff and walked with her for a bit. Somehow we got into a conversation about why everything happens for a reason, at Jazz Fest and in life, then onto a discussion about the seemingly large crowd at Jazz Fest today being an illusion because large swaths of the infield were “uninhabitable”, then onto pushing the limits of photography and then onto pushing the limits of writing(Geraldine is a fabulous writer). The next thing I know we are at the Gospel Tent, time for church with Irma Thomas! You see Jazz Fest is funny like that, there are no plans, if you wind up in the wrong place, it's the right place, as I would have never captured the shots of Irma(maybe one of the best ever), and I would have missed Nicolas Payton, which would have been a crime, a felony at that. After the Gospel Tent, went and caught Tab setting the Blues Tent on fire........At about 6:45, I decided to make a plan to catch a string of bands on the way out, Stooges Brass Band, Jimmy Cliff, then Willie Nelson was the “plan”, but the mud was in the way.....the deep mud. Took a detour by Economy Hall for Orange Kellins New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra after getting the Stooges Brass Band, missed Jimmy Cliff, caught Rockin Dopsie, and ended with Willie Nelson singing “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me when I die”...........What more can you ask for? You see, that's what I love about Jazz Fest most, there are no wrong decisions, paraphrasing Dr. John, you always wind up in the right place, even if it's the wrong time.........Looking outside today there are blue sky's abound to grace the final 2 days of Jazz Fest, lookin forward to winding up somewhere out there.......Jerry ;-) Of course I have much much more from today and will upload to the link below in the next day or so.....©2005-2013 Jerry Moran Native Orleanian LLC More pics and a musical slideshow can be seen at http://www.nativeorleanian.org/jazz_fest_2013 these can be seen at http://www.nativeorleanian.org/another_beautiful_jazz_fest_day
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