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New Orleans Jazz

There are certain styles of music that instantly help me relax and shed reality for a little bit, and at least for a while, all is right with the world. When the Mariachi band starts to play, you’ve got a party! I have great childhood memories of wandering the Mexican markets in Los Angeles and listening to my dad tell stories with the old woman who makes the tortillas at little hole in the wall taquerias. Happy times! And later, hearing the band play at high school graduation parties, when the whole world lay before us and the night was young.

I hear an Irish fiddle and I’m home, drinking coffee (with a little nip for warmth!) and reading Yeats – and wondering what he had in his coffee!

Both are styles that I have some personal connection to, either through culture or childhood. But New Orleans Jazz and Zydeco? I’ve never been to New Orleans. I have no cultural connection to the deep South. Why should this music speak to me?

And then I realized it. Disneyland. New Orleans Square. Sitting in the cafe with my parents, watching the stress and worry slide away as we listened to the faint strains at the end of the day.  Walking the square with my friends as a teenager, feeling the ease and grace of another time and place weave into our conversation. Always reluctant to leave.