They Will Make Music Wherever They Go
Texture. New Orleans is texture upon texture upon texture. The French Quarter is rough, colorful texture full of character and life. It combines old texture with new texture where the rough rubs against the smooth. There is neon-blasting Bourbon Street with its party animals and just a street down is classy Royal Street with a shop for everyone. And everywhere you go, there is music. From the lone trumpet player blasting out “Sesame Street” for the kids to groups combining their instruments in order to jazz it up for the adults.
I don’t know much about jazz so I can’t name any of the pieces played, but to weave through music floating in the air charmed me as I strolled through the Quarter. I watched the musicians but even more, I watched the people who stopped to take pleasure in each performance. I saw smiles. I saw wonder. I saw pleasure. The street musicians know their instruments and delight in delighting their audience and in turn the audience gives back to the musician, not just in tips (tips are appreciated) but in admiration and joy, also.
Royal Street. I loved Royal Street. It is here on Royal Street where I found my favorite musicians.
Under a hot and sultry sun and without an umbrella to shelter them, this group had a lot of fun and included a tap dancer! But the heat also wore them out.
I really, really, really wanted to move the water bottles, but I knew I had limited time to make the photo. I had been observing him and noticed he danced in spurts. Did I mention it was a really hot and sultry day?
The next set of musicians played just a little bit further down Royal Street and had an umbrella for protection.
And finally, my favorite group on Royal. I don’t know if it’s because of the singer’s personality or because of the tourists dancing in the street or because of the excellence in music. All three, really.
This young couple really took to the dancing. They started out very proper until an older couple joined in. The older couple did lifts and dips and suddenly the young couple freed up and moved into dips (no lifts). I wanted a partner. I wanted to dance.
Tips are not required, however, no matter where I’ve gone in the world, proper etiquette suggests that if you take something from the performer—and that includes enjoyment—then you give back. I learned to keep dollar bills on me.
New Orleans is texture—from balconies to street musicians thus far. Later on will be tumblers and food and cemeteries and shops and…oh how I wish I could share the smells.