A LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE IN NOLA

Main_jazz

Sometimes, there are moments in your life when you can’t believe what is happening right in front of you. For us, last night was one of those moments… But first, let’s rewind!

A few weeks ago we got a tweet from a girl called Jordan saying that we simply HAD to come to New Orleans, she followed this up with an email explaining that her family have been born and raised in New Orleans, are massive foodies and would love to be our guides to the city…

A few emails and phone calls and a short hop on a plane from Austin later, and we had arrived in The Big Easy!!

Jordan and her family (sister Sydney, mum Robin and dad Terence) picked us up and took us into the French Quarter to start a night like none of us had ever experienced before.

We began with cocktails in Napoleon House, a building that had been around since 1797, and named because of its intended use as a house for… well, Napoleon!!

There were Pimms Cups, Bourbon Milks, Lemon Drop Martinis and the house special cocktail, all delivered in plastic cups… and as soon as we got them we were off! It turns out that New Orleans operates an ‘open cup’ policy, meaning you can drink alcohol on the streets… So off we went!

We meandered our way through the French Quarter being led confidently by Jordan, trying to take in everything around us… It was a complete sensory overload, with people everywhere laughing, joking and dancing to the music that appeared to be pouring out of every building.

A few minutes later and we had arrived at a venue named Preservation Hall – an old time music hall that has not changed in over 150 years… it barely even has electricity!

Terence (Jordan’s dad) was greeted with open arms and we were all hurried to the front of the large queue and squeezed into the back of the hall, but Terence had disappeared. Turns out, Jordan’s dad is a world-renowned Jazz trumpeter and he was the very very special guest that the band had been waiting for so they could get the music underway.

At this point my description will get a bit fuzzy, because I’m not sure my vocabulary is wide enough to accurately and eloquently explain how astronomically exceptional the next hour was. The 7-piece band masterfully delivered a number of traditional jazz standards, each musician taking their turn to stand up and show off their talents… Talent unlike anything I had ever heard before. I’m no expert, but this was absolute, 100% world class jazz taking place in front of our eyes. It was unbelievable! Terrance plays with this band about once a year, but you wouldn’t know it – they were so tight, so in-sync, you’d have thought they’d been playing together their whole lives!

Minutes later it was all over, we left in a daze trying to fathom what we had just witnessed and were guided to Frenchman’s St to a bar called D.B.A. where, once again, Terence was welcomed with open arms and headed straight up on to the stage to join the band.

This was a completely different experience, much more like a ‘gig’ – it was a brass band playing fantastic dance grooves and really getting the crowd pumped up. As before, the talent on show was phenomenal and really world class.

At the stroke of midnight, hunger kicked in so we were escorted over the street to Dat Dog for some out-of-this-world hot dogs to finish the night off, which Ben has written about HERE.

And so ended one of the best nights of my life… And the best thing? We have another 4 nights in this incredible city… I can’t wait to get stuck in!

 

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