Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Orleans! Jan. 4-5, 2013

2013 is off to a fabulous start!  Hope you all can say the same.

Every year we're booked in new cities across North America in addition to familiar favourites, and our first top this year was New Orleans with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, to do the music of Queen (which also includes a local choir joining us for the second set, this time students from the LSU Music Program).

I was thrilled to hear we were booked for two performances; when we're in town for just one show there often isn't a chance to see much of our host city—we fly in the night before, rehearse and perform the day of, and fly back the day after—but with two shows we usually have some time for sightseeing on the second day.

Naturally we had to get acquainted with Bourbon Street, where this intriguing sight greeted us on our way back to the hotel after Friday's rehearsal:

Katalin is trying not to giggle, so as not to
hurt the hand grenade's feelings ... wait a minute ...
I did not know that!

Frankly, I was having some trouble with the idea of a friendly hand grenade until we got a bit further down the street, when all became clear:

Friday night after our show at the Mahalia Jackson Theater we took a cab to Frenchmen St. and heard amazing bands in every club we strolled into; what an incredible scene!  Our last stop found us grooving to New Orleans brass funk band "Diablo's Horns", featuring a sousaphone bass player and glorious horn arrangements; it turns out that night was their first live gig and a CD release party—check them out, the CD's fab!

New Orleans, of course, has a mind-boggling array of things to do & see ... but I was told that I had to taste at least 3 things: a beignet, a hurricane, and a poboy (which I got from the legendary Mother's, a few blocks from our hotel near the French Quarter).  Done, done, done, and YUM.

Think I'll start making my to-do list for next time now.


p.s.  There was one little mishap ... a fire at the hotel on Saturday evening just before we headed over to the theatre, and due to smoke damage (no one was hurt, thank goodness) everyone was moved to a new hotel after we returned.  It would have normally been just another reason to stay awake and enjoy the sights and sounds ... except for that pesky 6:30am lobby call.  ;-)