The Greatful of Cuban Jazz Festival

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Just over a year ago, I was lucky enough to attend the 10th annual Cuba Jazz Festival in New Orleans. It’s such an incredible place with so many fantastic bands and musicians, one of those things you have to give a chance, but also not get your hopes up too high, because this is by far one of my favorite festivals. The festival itself is really special for what it has to offer as well. To me, there seems to be a mix between something completely different and something completely familiar; people can dance the night away under the beautiful and sunny skies and at all times of day; the food and drink are some of the best I’ve ever had and then there’s the entertainment. This is really what makes this such a huge event. As someone who actually likes jazz due to how much music can go on in this little spot, I’ve always wanted to go there someday and attend these amazing shows. So here’s why.

There’s a reason they’re called old school: It dates back to 1920/1921. Yes, we know some of the older ones from other countries are still operating with their big band style, but the atmosphere and the vibe is reminiscent of that of the late 60s. I’m sure they got the idea, or maybe that would be better enough, but I think a lot of younger acts will feel like a bit lost as well as the general music scene in this country due to its familiarity. That being said, I could understand if you were looking for more traditional, which I personally love. There’s a sense of old school culture within the whole thing, which is cool, as long as more modern acts come out, that’s not a bad way to go. All in all, it may seem quite odd since we have tons of newer acts coming out that aren’t very good, but there’s always going to be a certain “eureka” moment when you hear them and then it feels like you did or saw it the same way they did. Either way it’s fun!

It doesn’t matter where you live. You can find yourself on any street corner, right next to a few great jazz artists. Or you can even find yourself enjoying some unique tunes and making some new friends (even just around them) by simply moving through the streets. Whatever moves you, and whatever songs are playing, don’t let anything bring you down. There are always talented musicians and performers on a given tour and there are also people that probably don’t want to leave. Take this time to enjoy and appreciate the music as much as you can. And there are no wrongs so stay safe and sound good!

If you’d like to check out some of the bigger acts, check out the full list of shows I’ve given below!

The Black Box

This is definitely one of the most popular bands, even though he’s only 21 years old. His father was Jamaican (he was born in Jamaica), his mother Puerto Rican. He’s been working on his musical career for over a decade and loves it so much. Though he sings mostly pop, he does have influences from the blues as well. He’s known to play around 50 instruments and has shared the stage with Beyoncé (or Kanye West depending on who you ask). But the biggest name-dropping is coming true. In fact he performed at her concert the summer before last year and we were able to meet backstage and share drinks afterwards. Maybe watch him sometime in New Orleans?

Nosie Nwokah

This is a 20-year-old man whose talent has been recognized all throughout the world today. Not only has he toured a bunch this past year, he’s now doing it almost every single week. His voice sounds similar to Whitney Houston and even though he’s young and has some experience, he’s already made it to the top. Being a black musician, it’s obvious that there’s a lot more pressure on him from not knowing the proper steps to take, and he still manages to make it look easy for the crowds. We met backstage and he’s currently performing once again. It’s a shame we weren’t able to see him perform because I think the performance could be a little hit to his career.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

If you’ve seen the show “Who wants to Be A Millionaire?” (which the film based off of the movie of the same name) you should remember this act. Kareem wasn’t only talented, he was famous, he had talent but he didn’t have the ability to sell it. At least his talents are now recognized with the release of his latest album, but honestly, his life isn’t looking that rosy. He hasn’t been able to build himself up to the level he deserves and yet he’s still on the top. And if he has, who knows whether or not we’ll know who the King of Soul is. What a dream!

Mariah Carey

It’s probably one of those weird feelings that you always think about in the car while driving home, “I wish I was singing like Mariah Carey.” And if you do, then you’re a genius! But I definitely don’t believe that I’m a genius and it’s nothing out of the ordinary. However, he’s a great artist and he definitely knows what he’s talking about. Even though she’s gone way into making movies, it doesn’t mean they’re any less amazing! He’s pretty amazing and his talent alone makes everyone wonder, what else does he have? So yeah, I’d definitely pick him at first glance. For the jazz world though, it would be nice to have some other singers who wouldn’t take it so seriously though, especially since so many of us don’t have the talent to put ourselves together properly either, so that would be perfect for our generation.

If you’re looking to attend any of Mariah’s concerts or the upcoming One More Thing tour, check out these links for all the information! Also, if you’re thinking of attending any of those shows, please do so!

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