Chanting in a deep rhythmic voice, an African-American Indian chief (yes, I said that right), who is adorned headdress-to-toe in powder-pink feathers, beads and sequins, leaps onto the Louis-Louis stage by the wide lazy Mississippi River. An eight-piece band with horns, saxophone, drums, guitars, fiddle, cello and tambourine echoes his primal call.
The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Band has me and the rest of the 800-strong audience in thrall, its culture as mysterious as it is hypnotic.
New Orleans French Quarter Festival
Not far away, the Pinettes, the world’s only all-female brass band, is jamming with “Rock the Boat, Don’t Tip the Boat Over”, while on another stage deep in the bowels of the French Quarter, everyone is swinging to the toe-tapping Cajun fiddle tunes of Amanda Shaw and Rockin Doopsie Jr.
A New Orleans virgin, I am here for the four-day, ten-stage French Quarter Festival, the largest free music festival in the South of the United States...Read More