Diario del '05 Jazz Fest

Se acerca el Jazz Fest, y es un hecho que me las piro. Todavía no tengo el billete, porque en el momento que me lo compre, entro en cortocircuito y tengo curro, cosas que atender y tal.

El año pasado en la revista musical más interesante de New Orleans - de hecho la llamada Biblia del Jazz Fest -, aparecía un artículo muy interesante. Era el diario de un músico, de Mark Mullins, trombón y líder de Bonerama. El diario hace referencia al Jazz Fest del 2005.

Este músico, como casi todos los músicos de New Orleans toca con todo el mundo, y, especialmente en las fechas del Jazz Fest (último fin de semana de Abril y primero de Mayo), los conciertos se convierten en una locura.

El amigo Mullins, hace en 10 días un total de 23 conciertos. Algunas veces toca 2 o tres veces durante el día, y otras tres veces durante la noche. Es interesante ver la pasión y la forma de disfrutar de la música desde el punto de vista de un músico. Los ensayos, y el curro con los arreglos.

Atención músicos que os pasáis por Boogaloo Corner. Lo vais a flipar.Nando y compañía, si no leéis inglés, haced que os lo traduzcan, porque no tiene desperdicio.
Yo, por mi parte, me he picado a mano el artículo entero, con lo cual seguro que hay errores ortográficos, que vosotros, majetes, sabréis perdonar.


T-Minus four days and counting: Finally on my way home. After a Zigaboo Modeliste rehearsal, I did some more work on Anders Osborne arrangements. He's playing with us at Tipitina's French Quarter on the second Friday, and we're hoing to feature him on a lot of stuff that we've never played together before. I had a private gig with some friends at the Hilton, so I did some work on them while we were waiting for that gig to start. Still not finished.

T-Minus Three days and counting: Four rehearsals today. I start off with a trombone summit rehearsal, nine trombones, most of whom are not in Bonerama. This will be our only chance to get together for the Mo'Fest gig. That will go right into a rehearsal with Bonerama and Anders then after that, a Dave Bartholomew rehearsal. All these at the union hall one after another. We've been rehearsing a lot with Dave, almost every week for the last two months, and that's amazing because he's such a legend.
Its really cool going from rehearsal to rehearsal. You're trying to do whatever it takes to give what's needed, to be focused as possible for those few hours that you're in there, then shifting gears, for the next rehearsal. Today there's going to be a lot of shifting gears, going from rehearsal to rehearsal, trying to fool yourself into thinking you're prepared for all this.
I might see my kids today.

T-Minus three days and counting:
And, if all that weren't enough, I just picked up another gig, Sunday night with Ivan Neville at Rosie's. I think its 23 gigs now. How do you say no to people like Ivan?

T-Minus two days and counting:
I just got through one of the more amazing rehearsal experiences I've had in a long time. I rehearsed with George Porter Jr. for a Running Pardners reunion. It's been about 10 years since we've played together in the configuration, with Tracy Griffin and Brian Graber, Brint Anderson on guitar and Russell Batiste on drums. Mike Lemmler was on keyboards, and of course, George. It was very, very special, even at the end of a grueling day. It's like this energy came out of nowhere and it was almost spiritual to get to play some of these songs again. I know that sounds corny.
On my way home now. I was really dreading this day, really stressing about Ander's stuff. I was stressed out in the rehearsals, and everybody in the band could tell. A few things didn't go quite so well, but I think the gig will be great. A lot of times when the rehearsals don't go good, the gig is great. Sometimes it's the other way around. I'm hoping that's not the case with George Porter thing because tonight was a great rehearsal.
My time with George as a young trombone player in New Orleans was very, very influential, a big part of my formative years.

T-Minus one day and counting:
Just left the Louisiana Music Factory in-store with Bonerama. You see the music store gigs on your calendar and don't think too much of them, but man, we have the best time on these things.
There were so many people that came out to see the band, a lot of people from out of town. I look out there tonight, there's David Fricke from Rolling Stone standing therewith his hudge smile on his face. He's been so nice to us; he ran up to us after the set and was the first guy that wanted to talk to the band.

T-Minus one day and counting:
Thursday's finished. Just had a great gig with the Running Pardners reunion.

Jazz Fest day one
I'm on my way to coordinate two gigs that are really tight together tonight. Bonerama's at the Maple Leaf and we we finish at 11:30 p.m. and I need to be starting at Preservation Hall at midnight with Stanton [Moore] and Sherik and Robert walter. I've arranged for someone to wait outside at the Maple Leaf for me when we're done, and I'm going to get in the car and go. I'm going to drop off my Bonerama gear now at the Leaf and then go park in the French Quarter by Preservation Hall so my car will already be there when I'm done. Oh, and Stanton called a last minute rehearsal for 45 minutes ago so, I'm on my bway to try to make that with Sherik. I'm the only idiot that's not there, but he did only put this together yesterday, so ...

Jazz Fest day one
Just finished a rehearsal with Stanton, Robert Walter and Sherik. I was two hours late, and as soon as we started playing the first song, they told us we had to stop playing because there was a private party in the other room. We went over a few things real quiet. Stanton calls "Magnolia Triangle", which is a really tough James Black tune. I hadn't played it all year long and he wants to do it tonight.

Jazz Fest day one
We just finished the Maple Leaf, very well attended, but these people have been out at the Fair Grounds all day long so they're standing there looking at you like everybody needs a Red Bull. It feels like you're not quite connecting with them, but by the end of the night thery're freaking out and want more.
Now en route to Preservation Hall. We start in about fifteen minutes, and we are by Xabier right now.

Jazz Fest day one
I made it to the Preservation Hall show four minutes early, then we started late. Preservation Hall is doing "Midnight Preserves", and it's an honor to play in that room.
One thing I realized again to -night while playing withnSherik and Stanton- when you're improvising, playing with all these different people, it changes the way you play in a good way. Tonight was the first night ever playing with Sherik, and his intuition is killer.

Jazz Fest day two
Getting ready to Dave Bartholomew's set. There are about 10.000 people in his dressing room drinking all of our drinks. That's ok: It's Dave Bartholomew. He owns New Orleans music as far as I'm concerned.

Jazz Fest day two
Wonderful set with Dave Bartholomew and his big band. It never gets old playing with him. The fact that he's still around, to be able to know him - it's so awesome. I was lucky enough to have the rest of the afternoon off and was able to take in the Meters reunion. Off tonight. Unbelievable.

Jazz Fest day three
It's family day at the Festival. Got my wife Kelly and our boys Michael and Eli aged four and two with us, so it's quite a handful. But hey, I only have three gigs today, so why not pile it on? Just played with Leigh Harris and Jimmy Robinson at the Jazz Tent, and I'm waiting over to Economy Hall, where we start with Kirk Joseph's tribute to Frog Joseph set in about five minutes. There's, like, 100 people in the band.

Jazz Fest day three
On my way to play with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk down at Rosie's. Third gig of today, Sunday, the closing day of the first weekend, although I don't look at it like that because I've got three gigs on Monday.

Jazz Fest day three
Okay, just leave alone and let me play. There comes times during Jazz Fest where you just don't want to deal with any crap and those seem to be the times where it all comes on hard. You might have people calling you all hours of the day to get on a guest list, which most of the time I'm happy to do, but sometime you can't do it and it's like someone handed you this big can of stress to enjoy on top of all the other stuff you're trying to get through.
Sometimes the external distractions can make it tough to play, other times it can fire you up. Musically, this was an awesome gig with Ivan everybody in that band knows how to play space and they know how to fit in together.

Monday between Fest weekends
Slept really good last night. I'm always amazed about the power of sleep.

Monday between Fest weekends
Just talked to Tom Drummond with Better Than Ezra. "Mark, we've got, uh, two new songs we want you to do with us with the horns". He's going to email them tonight so I can somehow write two more arrangements.

Monday between Fest weekends
My soundman just canceled on me for Mo' Fest, which starts in a hour and a half.

Monday between Fest weekends
Mo' Fest was a wet one. When I got down there, the sky opened up. I got a soundman that showed up five minutes before, so least I was able to find somebody to mix us. Delfeayo Marsalis was late, and then he wanted to change the set list. Alright, no problem. We got to play, though, and the Trombone Summit was really nice. It was pouring down rain, but people stayed.
On my way to Tipitina's to play with Zigaboo in the "Intruments a-Comin'" benefit. I got a call from saxofone player Tim Green. He's playing with the Radiators, too, and heard that there are some new horn charts that I have to do and he wants to know if we can get together and have a rehearsal on them.

Monday between Fest weekends
Wow, just played instruments a-Commin' and everybody was there. I jus thought I was just playing with Zig, and freakin' Dr. John is there playing with us. It was great. First time I ever played with him live.

Tuesday between Fest weekends
Spent all day in my office working on arrangements for Radiators, Better Than Ezra and Zigaboo. I though it was going to be a pretty easy day, but I got up early and I was in there late.

Wednesday between Fest weekends
Zig's rehearsal was very, very long. The process is different with every band, but for the most part, you get a work CD, rehearse, and try and remember this stuff. Other tunes might surface, and then if you're lucky enough to have another rehearsal like we did today, you flesh out everything. All of a sudden, there's this whole other batch of songs that comes out of nowhere. Many times you have to be prepared to not be prepared.

Jazz Fest, day four
Banu Gibson is one of the more different Jazz Fest sets that I'll be playing. With her, we play a great mix of '30s and '40s hot jazz with an excellent small band. After her set at the Fair Grounds, I'll head over to John Gros's house to rehearse for tonight's Carrollton Station gig.

Jazz Fest, day four
It was a really cool night with Anders Osborne and John Gros. We played some of John's songs, some of the Ander's songs, couple of my songs, and had a great time with Michael Skinkus playing percussion. Great crowd. You could tell that everybody was really there to see it because it was something that was different, a combination of people that they couldn't really see anywhere else.
Anyway, finally on my way home just to go catch a few hours of sleep, and then I'm going to be heading right back out to the festival to play with Ivan Neville and Better Than Ezra. I met the floor manager from Widespread Panic and he's trying to get me possibly sit in with them tomorrow afternoon.

Jazz Fest, day five, late afternoon
The phone is ringing off the hook. It must be a Bonerama sold-out show today, which, I must say, we're not very used to do. It has happened twice this Jazz Fest. Of course, it helps when you're playing with the Funky Meters.
Any show day that has a Bonerama show is times three with all the stuff you got to do. You gotta make sure you do your set list and your guest list. Then you gotta make sure all the music, get the stage right, get all your gear set up right. WE don't have a big team, so a lot of that falls on me and one or two people.

Jazz Fest, day five
Today was a rock star day. I got to play with Ivan Neville then Better Than Ezra then tonight the sold-out show at Tip's French Quarter with Bonerama, and Anders Osborne. It was so many different kinds of excitement. Better Than Ezra - you don't get excited about stretching out with them; you get excited about their songs, and what you can contribute. Ivan Neville, you get excited about the groove, and the amazing band he has, and what you can contribute to that. It's always identifying what the best thing is that you can contribute. With Bonerama and Anders, the excitement was him coming into the band and everybody sharing some great energy. You almost really do wish that this could happen all year 'round, but then we'd probably die.

Jazz Fest, day six
The last 36 hours or so of jazz Fest is on us. I´m loading-in with The Radiators right now at the Rendon Inn, then I'm going to make Better Than Ezra set at the House of Blues.
Then I'm flying back over to the Rendon Inn. I'll be late getting over the Rads set but they know...

Jazz Fest, day seven
I just finished the Bonerama set over on the Acura Stage, then had a signing at the Virgin Tent. We've done those before and they're usually pretty good, but today when we got there, there was a line wrapped all the way acrossthe tent. People just kept coming and coming and coming, and we were there over an hour.

Jazz Fest, day seven
Tickets and parking are always a problem for musicians at Jazz Fest. The thinking is that many musicians are playing with someone else, so they'll get in with the other band. The problem is, everybody thinks that, so you wind up having nothing, and that happened today. All the stuff that's in my mind, all these charts and arrangements and rehearsals and schedules and what else do you have to worry about? You've got to worry about how you're going to get into the Fair Grounds to play your biggest show of the year. It incenses me ti no end, and it gets worse every year.
Anyway, just getting a breath of air conditioning in my car since we were kicked out of the dressing room at the Acura Stage. I'm trying to get the music sorted out here before I head on over to the sprint Stage to do this set with the Radiators. We're doing 10 new horn arrangements that some of the horns have never seen yet, and I just want to make sure I have everything as prepared as can be to get through this.

Jazz Fest, day seven
Just loaded in at the Howlin' Wolf after playing the Bonerama set at Tipitina's before the Funky Meters. Sold out show. Got in and out of there pretty quickly, and now I'm going to lay down for maybe forty minutes before two sets soming uo with Zigaboo.

Jazz Fest, day seven
Backstage at the Howlin' Wolf. We got through the first set, and my lips are killing me. I haven't been drinking very much last few days, but I think it's time to start. We have one more set to go, and it's a quarter to five in the morning. Everybody is pretty crispy and tired up on the stage. Monitors sound terrible, everything is wacked, not a good way to go out. It's a great band, but everybody is just fried.

Monday, post-Fest
Let me just say that it's really, really bright outside. My lips don't hurt anymore, but it's bright. The sun came up quick. People are banging on the bathroom door while I'm trying to go to the bathroom. I hate that. Happens a lot at Jazz Fest.

-Mark Mullins-

¿A que no se os ha hecho largo?
Ya hablaremos.
Jazz Fest, day seven


Anonymous Anónimo said...

No veo por ahí tu email, así que uso los comentarios.
He encontrado un par de enlaces que pueden ayudar a los interesados en ese festival:
Jazz Fest - Travel
Jazz Fest - Tickets
Un saludo.

3:18 p. m.  
Blogger Manolo said...

gracias por los enlaces. La página oficial del Jazz Fest es: www.nojazzfest.com
Aquí tenéis todo tipo de info. Para cosas más especificas, here I am, este será mi cuarto Jazz Fest, y me lo conozco bien.
Gracias de nuevo.

5:12 p. m.  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

Pues están publicando más "guías útiles" para el Jazz Fest (por cierto, el día 6 actúa Steely Dan, dales saludos de mi parte) ;-).
Jazz Fest en WeHow

2:30 p. m.  

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