New Orleans’s Warehouse and Central Business District are the hottest spots for summer celebratory events, including the NOLA Downtown Music and Arts Festival, which celebrated its twenty-third year his August. This end of the summer cultural, musical, and artistic event is presented by the Cutting Edge C.E. Conference and the Music Business Institute (MBI), whose goal is to spread and broaden career opportunities to local musicians in the city. Artists and visitors flood the District from the World War II Museum, to the Contemporary Arts Center, and the Ogden Museum, as well as the historic hotels, famous street corners, and the oh so popular Saenger Theatre. These a locations are common destinations for everyone from business professionals to the everyday art lover. The event allows for musicians, artists, and the public to mingle in the most relaxed atmospheres.
Along with new artists, there were some fan favorites at this festival. One of the most talked about acts was the “Ain’t no party like a Chubby party!” featuring Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band. This band’s high energetic swamp funky zydeco sound blended enthusiastically with its ‘70s funk, rock and roll, blues, and that good-ole-school zydeco spice. Their music made even the shyest visitors move their feet. Another act fans couldn’t get enough of was the sultry sound of the illustrious Stephanie Jordan, who set a new jazz standard with her great set of pipes. Her performance included songs from Big Band Era with her own mix and style that highlighted her distinct and refreshing voice along with her beautiful poise. Another band, the electrifying Brass-A Hoil Gogo Brass Funk band, blended funk rhythm and blues and party Hip Hop to make everyone get on their feet and dance. Other favorite acts included Fire Bug, Grand Baton, Neckbone, Saul Paul, Gospel Soul Children, Davis Rogan, and the Black Market Butchers.
The festival would not have been complete without the other attractions, like food trucks, live films, shopping, and other unique presentations. Particularly, what draws people to the streets are the arts and craft vendors, selling everything from metal, wood, soaps, jewelry, leather, glass, beauty products, photography, ceramics, sculptures, paintings, handmade clothing, and accessories. The New Orleans Downtown Music and Arts Festival stretches from Andrew Higgins Drive and Diamond Street to Fulton Street and is a one of kind event that brings visitors from all around the world.
Tyrell Collins, Assistant Managing Editor