I am not sure that Ralph Waldo Emerson would have instantly taken to jazz, although its energy, self-reliant independent passion might have pleased him. But he did write these words in Nature, words I have tried to take to heart: “Life only avails, not the having lived.” Put more simply, the experience of life is both intense and fleeting: it must be savored while it is here, not in retrospect, as if leafing through a photograph album. Or, as Patrick Dennis’ Auntie Mame says [in the play of the same name], “Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death!” (It became “suckers” in the film version, alas.)
What has all this to do with JAZZ LIVES? It is my unsubtle way of saying that the Steamboat Stomp is once again happening in New Orleans, on the dates shown above and below, and that if you can be there, your happiness will measurably increase. This is not an idle bit of press-agentry on my part: I was there two years ago and had a wonderful time.
The poster tells you all you need to know, with one emendation. The Dukes of Dixieland won’t be performing at the Stomp; instead, there will be Jacques Gauthe’s New Orleans Classic Jazz Orchestra. AND my brilliant friends and pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi will be there also.
The musical festivities will begin Friday night with performances “held at a local offisite location,” which means somewhere nearby, comfortable, and on land. (Incidentally, I do not like small boats and do tend to suffer from mal-de-mer . . . I felt fine on the Natchez.)
The main Saturday evening concerts will take place aboard a special sailing of the Steamboat Natchez. The evening will include two stages of simultaneous music along with New Orleans-style food served by the Natchez‘s own renowned chef (food not included in price). On Sunday, a New Orleans style gospel jazz brunch (food included) will conclude the musical festivities, followed by a reception for patrons and sponsors.
Now, with all good things, a little investigation on your part is required. Emerson talked mightily of self-reliance, so one must do some legwork — or some clicking in this modern technological age. Here is the Stomp’s Facebook page. Here you can reserve tickets and learn more. And because — as Lester Young said in a comment I will expurgate — seeing is believing, here are a few video posts from the inaugural Stomp. Oh what fun it was. And will be.
If that doesn’t work, we’ll have to double the dosage of Joy.
May your happiness increase!