Ballerina Does Bee-Bop 10:24 AM

When I think of New Orleans, one of the first things that comes to mind is the music.  New Orleans is jazz.  It is gleaming brass instruments and musicians that can make them sing.  It is the grand old Mississippi and the blues that reach way down into your soul.  It is beats and rhythms and phrasing that are found no other place in the world.  Yet, when I was n New Orleans, I did not hear jazz music nor was I an audience to the blues.  Perhaps that is why, when I saw Preservation Hall and The Blind Boys of Alabama were going to be in DC, I jumped at the opportunity to see them. 


I have never been a jazz person.  I love the sounds of the different instruments... the trumpet, the clarinet, and the incredibly sexy sax.  I love the piano and its versatility.  But Jazz, especially modern jazz, never drew me as it does others.  But Gospel music, sung as only those from the south can sing, is something I love.  So I bought tickets to see the Blind Boys of Alabama and... wow, I get New Orleans jazz too.  I would suffer through it. 


Before I bought tickets, I sought the Lass's advice... did she want to go, where should we sit, was she sure she wanted to go...


With her advice in hand, I bought the tickets and we waited, hardly noticing as the days ticked by.  When the day finally arrived, neither of us knew what to expect; neither of us had any expectations at all regarding the jazz portion.  We were there to see the Blind Boys. 


In the end - for us,  it was all about Preservation Hall!!  Can that band play or what!


There is something amazing about being in the same room with a real, New Orleans, jazz group.  They play with such spirit.  It is impossible not to be drawn in and captured by the enthusiasm.  We laughed, clapped, sang... and by the end of the first "act" the Lass was dancing and the hall was rocking!  It was absolutely amazing!


The Blind Boys were a bit slow in comparison.  The microphones were set too high (we were right next to the speakers) and they weren't the black tuxedo wearing piano (only) accompanied group that we had anticipated.  This was modern Gospel in its finest.  But they too were rocking the house by the end of their "act", especially when Preservation Hall joined them on stage! 


The Lass spent about a third of her time on her feet dancing, clapping and having a great time.  The beat and the rhythms were in her blood.  She was "feeling it!"  Now, when I say "feeling it," you have to picture my daughter, a product of the Russian ballet school.  For her, dancing is ballet.  It would not have surprised me to see her do jette and tondu with her hands in different positions.  For her, that is dance.  But she didn't.  She had her hands up, her eyes shining, feet moving, and she had her groove on!  Okay, her back was straight with shoulders squared and her center was where ballet center should be... but  she was loving life doing her ballerina bee bop!


I have no real idea as to why I bought the tickets; why I was so determined to go to the concert.  It could have been for the Gospel just as it could have been a desire to have that taste of New Orleans that we missed when we visited.  It could have been the desire to try something new.  Whatever, the reason, it was worth it!!  Not only did we hear great music, but we now know that seeing a live, New Orleans group like Preservation Hall is an amazingly fun experience.  Mostly, I experienced it with one of my all time favorite people in the world.  I was able to see my daughter laugh, sing, and fall in love with music and the passion of the artists performing.  I was able to see her bee bop as only a child of the ballet can!