As I reflected on my eighth JazzFest experience, I thought about the previous seven and how each of them stands out in my mind in special ways. However, I’ve got to be honest…this was my favorite ever. Last year, I named my column “There’s something about New Orleans.” Well, I’ve got to put a little emphasis on that…there’s NOTHING like New Orleans. Yes, she has an extra spring in her step because the Saints deservingly won the Super Bowl, but the vibe down south this year was greater than before.

More people than imaginable flocked to the beautiful city with pure intentions…listening to the fabulous music, eating the unparallelled food, visiting the angelic sites and just taking in a little of the intangible magic.

I brought Cloud 9’s new marketing coordinator with me. She’s never been to New Orleans and I wanted to show her the ropes…and boy did I! Spending six days down there, we really got a chance to take advantage of all the great city had to offer.

From the moment we got off the plane, it was go time. We headed to the hotel to drop our stuff off, pick up Col Bruce Hampton, the birthday boy, and head to the famous Jaques-Imos for a unique experience and DELICIOUS cuisine. Along with a cast of characters 25 deep, we ate and ate while celebrating life.

Leanne and I had a lovely time with one of our favorite dinner dates who sat across from us as we laughed the night away

Three hours later, it was time to hit the clubs. And the night wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t run into my good friend Ivan Neville

Thursday at the Fairgrounds was AMAZING. The weather was perfect, not hot at all, sunny and NOT CROWDED. I felt right a sense of relief as I crossed through that glorious gate

The Panic fans were in the house in full force that day….and boy do I love that view of the Acura stage with all the flags

We’re dancing on our blankets and all of a sudden, a little reminder that we are in the right place pops up in between the corners.

My good buddy Martin Sexton performed on the Fa Do-Do Stage and his majestic voice resonated throughout the fairgrounds

After Dr Klaw performed, Kraz, Brandi, Kofi & I posed for a cute shot

Scramble Campbell, Frenchy & John Bukaty painted incredible live art during Widespread Panic

Walking around at night in the French Quarter, I continue to be amazed at the sheer beauty of New Orleans. The city glows like an endless candle

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