Wynton’s comments about his week in New Orleans
Leaving for NOLA (April 22, 2009)
Master photographer Frank Stewart and I have just hit the road on our 63rd trip around the U.S. We are excited because our destination is New Orleans. The home of soul. We are performing “Congo Square” with Yacub Addy and Odadaa! My homefolks are calling talking about gumbo parties and jam sessions. The band is ready. Its gon’ be one of them ones.
Rehearsals (April 23, 2009)
The musicians of JLCO are fantastic! We prepared Duke Ellington’s entire new orleans suite in 3 hours. New Orleans is still unruly and soulful and sexy. We’ve have been eating too many po boy sandwiches!
Congo Square and jam sessions (first day in NOLA) (April 25, 2009)
We performed Congo Square in the hot hot sun. 2hrs and 20 minutes straight through.
The cats were playing with intensity and Odadaa was inspired and bedecked in traditional ghanian garb.
Played late night jam sessions with Trombone Shorty and Kermit Ruffins at the House of Blues, went by a theatre at 2300 St. Claude and realized it was the old Nicholls High School in the 9th ward where we played memorable talent show with our funk band in high school (some group messed up their song and tried to blame the band on the mic and we almost had an open melee).
Than had a 2am to 4am smoking jam session with the great drummer Herlin Riley at Snug Harbor. People loved and so did we.
Earlier had a meal at my homeboy Josh Mayer’s house and our fellow classmate and master chef David Kinch (he just won an iron chef but is even much better than that) and his lady, pim, (she can burn too) hooked up a quick feast.
The New Orleans Suite and the cats (2nd day in NOLA) (April 26, 2009)
We played the New Orleans suite of Duke Ellington yesterday. The jazz tent was full and people were touched by the elegance, insight and depth of duke’s vision. There were so many highlights: Ted Nash’s flute, Marcus Printup, Vic, Dan Nimmer playing the hell of the organ, Sherman…so many of the cats.
Joe and Laurie Temperly celebrated a renewing of their 25th anniversary vows in front of us and we enjoyed a reception of Dooky Chase’s restaurant. Dooky was a a trumpet player and his wife Leah is one of our great Crescent City icons.
We jammed at Irvin Mayield’s club in the royal sonesta hotel, the only jazz club on Bourbon Street so far as I could tell. We love the Big Easy.
A lot of neighborhood’s are back but many are still under…our culture is still intact.