Following yesterday’s Rifftides commentary about the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, I heard from fellow jazz journalist Larry Blumenfeld (pictured). Larry is a New Yorker who in recent years has spent much of his time in New Orleans. He writes from there for The Wall Street Journal and other outlets about the city’s recovery following Hurricane Katrina, about its legacy of music and, frequently, about its mores and politics. In a report from this year’s festival, he observed,
Beyond the Fair Grounds, in the real life of a city that a decade removed from utter disaster seems now rushing headlong toward a gentrified “new” New Orleans, such matters — especially whether the sound of music spilling out is heard as glorious or not — weigh heavy for those whose lives revolve around jazz and heritage long after the festival’s two weekends are done.