WWL>Topics>>4-8-14 3:10pm Angela: on French Quarter Fest

4-8-14 3:10pm Angela: on French Quarter Fest

Apr 8, 2014|

Angela talks about this coming weekend's French Quarter Fest with festival executive director Marci Schramm, Kelly Schulz of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Chance Bushman, a dance instructor with NOLA Jitterbugs.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

That has already inclined today when you think we been talking dog fighting and then what's happening up in Baton Rouge him lawsuits. And we're gonna take a break now and we're gonna think happy happy thoughts and I really mean because we have one incredible event coming up. Just days away from one of the great festivals and our area. The French Quarter fast now celebrating 31 years of fun and growth. From small local festival to the expansive event that brings in people from all over it is the largest free music fest in America. We're going to talk to French Quarter fest for the next hour. With a woman in charge and those who have been involved for years. Marcy Schramm is executive director of the French Quarter that's. She'll she's walked in the door right now. Chance bushman. King of jitterbug. Half and every other kind of dance and a very early supporter of the -- And one of our all time favorite people on this earth Kelly -- vice president of the convention and visitors bureau we are thrilled all of you are here. And I really mean that -- well -- the weather got a little rough out there you know a lot. I know because I've been listening to the weather forecast today is unpleasant right now but it's going to be gorgeous. It's a -- picture perfect and I hope everybody understands that okay. Let's talk about the it started 31 years ago. How to get to where it is well we found -- that it's. It was complete organic growth we we don't have the budget to market nationally and internationally. So people Wentz and today told their friends and they told their friends. And a lot of humor coming down for some of the other festivals and if you like this festival you really should check out front court -- fast and so this growth pattern we've been seeing for probably. Ten or fifteen years and it's been -- has been international visitors. People from all over the US and what we found interesting too is. He's really passionate fans from across the United States are also becoming sponsors there -- sponsored anti Russian so. They're generous than some new ways they appreciate the free fast to really appreciate. Iran's music and they're really giving back in it's it's lovely to see too that the countries reaching out and embracing the -- in different ways. You know you said there's not a lot of marketing and before you came chance was sent -- to do a great job. Security everywhere we you know it's you know actually WW LAM. Is such a great party you are media partner and promoted as tirelessly which we appreciate it and has all these wonderful entities that do reach out and helping -- partnership to everything we do. And really throughout the entire -- things like working with chance and his dancers it's all these fantastic neighborhood partnerships community partnerships. And that's really what we're all about is is bringing everyone in everyone feels like it's their -- and really taking this incredible pool of talent the university in harnessing it for we. It's a -- I think you just nailed it right there it's about everybody is local and it's incredible what we have here it and I wanted to ask Kelly because this is her. Has been her world -- the promotion of this area. And everything that is right with it. What this means what does this mean to this. Well French Quarter fastest just. Every year it gets bigger and bigger in terms of -- straw and attraction not just from locals and you know showcasing this beautiful neighborhood known as the French Quarter but. We have visitors literally from all over the world who are coming specifically for. French Quarter fest Tom they're so much in New Orleans as a destination is just very hot right now. Overall if you think about things like we were named Tony 141 of National Geographic travelers must see places to visit in the world. -- not just in the United States but in the world it's amazing. We're just coming off of a spectacular wrestle mania week which put us in the international spotlight. I just saw another award before I came over here today about one of the top five travel destinations so. That momentum and that energy really does help our tourism industry. But also just the French Quarter fest itself. That the talent. The food the performers. It's it's one of my favorite. If festivals and it really is just a celebration of everything great about nor -- and so it's. A lot of popularity a lot of demands but it's easy to see why. -- chance you bring your cap issues he brought to -- she's here which -- -- But the whole dance aspect of it is a ball. Yet you know when I first started working with Marcy is it really was. A perfect collaboration I just saw that there was a music festival and there was no dancing and and I had gone up to actually a Portland. Blues experience this big weekend where they have an outdoor free festival just like this one and they hit they sponsored dance floor and they did lessons. And I thought what a great addition because ultimately it is the is the fact that traditional jazz is a dance music that made it rise to the level of fame that it pad. You know he really it was this embryonic relationship between music and so what do you do -- fast. What I do is I rent a dance floor and put it down in front of the traditional jazz French market market stage and I. Pay teachers. Myself included to teach classes. In traditional jazz Charleston. Swinging. And the various other dances second lines like. Darrell does a brass excise. And then also zydeco and cajun Jeter their -- The zydeco cajun jitterbug stage. And we just try to like. In incorporated as much as possible and including the kids -- and hopefully. As much as possible incorporate dance into the festival so that dances and like forgotten art and it's not all seated audiences. Right I mean and that's a very important thing because I think whether it's Jazz Fest this fest whenever people move and they like -- they hear the music and they want to. They want to see your house international -- or your opening up saying let's just get up and dance he Havoc and to let people don't know chance is a world champion dancer he's very modest mainland China but. He's amazing watching him and his partner is incredible. But what they do on the dance floor. Is they break it down so that even if you can't keep -- -- even if you can't count to four big into dancing and yet completely non intimidating it's really beautiful to watch. Of all ages you've got kids out there you've got I mean every age you can imagine. They haven't dancing at the French targeting royal street mean wherever his teachers are -- is this infectious beautiful. Collaborative. Spirit and they really just. As talented as they are they really speak to the common man and make people feel good and that's what we love so much to -- -- -- Basilan you know maybe -- from a Idaho and their real shy in an analogy New -- to people but when they leave they feel like there you know kind of a citizen here they feel like they've been embraced and and certainly year union group they make people feel so while. And I'll have them when they go home they seek out the music in the dance where they are and they continue learning. We're giving kind of a spark to people where maybe they've never even seen social dance before. You know and now they're getting to experience it in a very. Palpable way that's easy for them to grab on to just go back to Idaho and there are disappointments and -- -- right right I I get lots of emails. People say. Actually get emails from teachers and other cities saying that people came here they saw dancing on the Streeter at the festival. And they went back home and they started and now they're in their classes. Okay and we're talking about the festival coming up this weekend. Perfect weather it'll be a perfect time and we're gonna learn all about the new stuff that's happening right after this stay with this financial under the W. We're back camera with. -- Schramm and Kelly Schulz and chance bushman. And we're talking French Quarter fest and I wanna talk about all the new things big not new things exciting things are beginning -- doctor Jon is back. 27 years it's unbelievable media hasn't played in France and it is I believe it is and you know there's lots of reasons. But it's he's so excited we talked to many times -- he doesn't. He lives here part time and his wonderful time he's playing all over the place. And we've had a lot of phone talk with him and he is just really -- has been Anderson of that you know we're the only major fast so he's performing this year. Well that's a compliment to your rang -- enough. Whatever his reasons were just glad he's back and spirits here let's talk about the big river stage. That's our new stage we're launching at Audubon. Institute has been under a lot of construction from last year. On the improvements are great people are gonna love it others it. Gotta be at least thirty to fifty new palm trees on the plaza on the -- I lived on it and if they take my breath away it's gorgeous they are just finished demean. Thank god we've been sweating it for months but the constructions completes our kids areas moving back and they -- -- plaza. And then rated the foot of canal street right we and Turkey query and win a big stage -- -- really tremendous gorgeous. Stage armed this year were central GE capital new company for any great come Beantown sponsoring it. And some of the talent on that saves me as we've got on tank in the bang -- make in their debut we have. Let me think we've got lots of Indian you know Margaret Indian groups we have. Who ran our tocchet just amazing how big big names on that stage and this is the big reversed at the bigger stage Thursday threesome in fast and again tell me. The access to to the aquarium is for every entry canal street right near the ferry landing yes they're really big stage reindeer nestled among the new palm trees. And then we have three riverfront strangest seats are too big river stage. Then on Darius and it was a great -- theory there with the kids stage. And then as you moved to call -- lawn that used to be a stage for now returning to a beautiful dining area it's going to be all picnic tables. And some fast food at fast ones out there. And then he had the abuse staged a great lawn with a big of these stage and then that beautiful permanent river -- -- compelling states has lots of music and -- front and lots of great -- at their -- Now this outstanding. What about the brass band -- the only US meant there was a shift for us with the brass bands aids has always been an ever -- issue we're moving down to the -- -- and we really are trying to embrace it more to get it nestled in the neighborhood and feel like a street party -- shutting down streets around meant. So people enjoy the grounds in the streets and you know get the really really big name acts of some of the really great traditional brass bands to -- -- -- mix -- -- -- -- states. You had mentioned Russia Omnia -- corruption case. The handle trying. That was something less and it was a great experiment last year tickets priced six months to get that approved. And once Jennifer I was determined that we can take -- we have to make this happen it'll be great trust me. And we got that stage and it's right in the middle of the street it's built right now and it's all decorated with beautiful. And it really became the world's largest dance for me all of right -- Peters in Decatur intersect is a huge space and people just take over the streets and they -- medium and chances teachers are out there teaching them. Cajun jitterbug in every other kind of -- and and it's wonderful it's such a feel good stage because your among this historic buildings on Decatur street and it it's a beautiful space and crates in a strange -- place chance. That's where. -- trucker. And Mary colts and burns are going to be teaching and and those two are locals who teach zydeco and cajun jitterbug they used to teach -- rock and able. Oh many many years ago and they've been teaching in town for many years the very good at it. And they get everybody move in and teach everybody the basics definitely go down there that's the other place we have classes other than the traditional -- stay. Okay and I'm looking Cali and I have to say is that Rick Kelly is. Has been a superstar in her industry. I'm sick people -- in the town at her post-Katrina. To help bring this town back is an understatement. And we are losing her she is going on to Memphis she's going to do phenomenal thing with saint Jude's hospital how lucky for saint Jude's hospital. But I just want to publicly thank you for everything you've done. And certainly since -- start to -- you always -- that's what makes you special is that you had been there for every. So thank you can thank you Angela that really means a lot and from you thank you but what's important -- she's not leaving until after the -- and so she's going to be there. And you and so what is your favorite parts. Well you know I love everything about French Quarter fast and one of my favorite things is the opportunity to get to promote it you know for example we have some friends that come in every year -- nanos are friends with world footprint. Travel radio. Which is an internationally broadcast. On radio show for people who love to travel the world so they reached. Every one of their shows reaches about 800000. Listeners they come to New Orleans every single year for French Quarter fast and I'll be doing a live broadcast again on Saturday morning. -- typically interviewed on the -- I'm part of it and we really just get to share. Things about -- scored -- fast and why it's such a great attraction. And everything you know we tell stories of wonderful performers like chance and sort of tell the New Orleans story to all of their listeners and so. That kind of thing is to modify an and it's great to have people. You know go up to them they they are the two radio -- just got back from Sochi for example. And while they were there. People were coming up to them and saying we love your program we left New Orleans in Russia. So I. You know so -- Working with you know friends like that in the media who love -- -- -- fast so much in love the -- so much and they. They are so excited to travel here. It's like a highlight of their year it's a lot of fun to be part of that. But you also -- -- -- accurately with chants. I don't think I can keep up with stands and I drag it. I -- he is a great teacher and a great leader and would never make anybody look foolish. You know it's it's teamwork being in just try to have. Well we have an ad that we use and our marketing all over the country for New Orleans and it says. Your body knows the words even if you don't so. Man -- -- you're one of those ads that. Stay with us everyone we're talking French Quarter best run activists. William May be looking at gray skies right now but let me tell you this weekend it's going to be sun shining in beautiful and the place to be is absolutely the French Quarter festival. And we have three terrific people who or have been part of it and continue to be part of it. Marcy Schramm who is executive director Kelly Schulz with the can mention of this and visitors bureau and chance bush. Who has brought dance to the fest. And is doing all kinds of great lessons and all of this is free and we have to keep saying this over and over again it's all free which is what makes so astounding to. As I said earlier we're going to be broadcasting on Friday from a one to four. At the world's largest Jasper -- and -- explain to me it is like a brunch brunch. You know though will the world's largest jazz brunch is really it's what we call the food at the festival thank you for asking -- we find people it's confusing. It's on what we do is. You know 31 years ago when Dutch -- mayor morial had a brilliant idea decreed to see event. He really wanted to be neighborhood in so all these rules came into place and one of the great rules was. You have to be a sit down restaurant and you have to be from New Orleans and first preferences given to a French court restaurants and so. That's what makes our -- unlike almost any other fossils you know when you conference where Fastenal. And you go to Jackson square you're eating Antwon doing -- bonds -- K Paul's murals. GW fins that means just these rates. Institutions. And a lot of them were the only fast truly do which is such an honor for us and Dickie Brennan's and Jackson square and and so it's really it's fine dining in a fast environment and so that's that's thus the world's largest as printed it's it's that the -- to arm on the riverfront. I'm now -- it -- parking lot we've taken over and so. There's food everywhere and the choices are and -- the hardest thing is depict what you're really -- -- the hardest thing out there you know I think the commercializing the wonderful and wants to search. That has -- -- candidate Alaska Fairbanks Alaska unbelievable aren't going to be serving an update yesterday all my gosh that's worth it. By itself people they they -- and choose his signature dishes they do oysters on farm. They do debate Alaska and in another it is but everyone tries to date this year Ruth's Chris is during the that's also have some delicious steak out there I mean. It's really just people specialties they shine -- -- house says the -- barbecue shrimp and and so you're getting the best of the best of what they've got and what's nicest. With their kitchens and that's close proximity itself rationing their running it from their kitchen into the square. So the squares where you should be. -- start on Friday combined -- and if you haven't been to some of these restaurants this Hoosier great chance to have a wonderful sample capsule it really is something else I did not know about foolish me. Is that there's a film festival. And that you have changed locations to La -- this is only her second you're doing and it's. It was a beautiful partnership that was born last year on this incredible nonprofit and chemical tiny code no -- And their group of armed I don't even -- if they have a staff they might be all volunteer filmmakers but. The arm they really exist just -- highly New Orleans filmmakers. And so would they bring to the Fastenal for the second year is on documentaries about Enron's music there's going to be armed by you by you my garage James Booker. I'm a film -- piano players rarely played together this incredible documentary about professor along here with counties on. On the got a film about repeated -- -- which hasn't shown in twenty years documentary. And just these these are treasure trove of films and so all this and they also they Sunday at La petite Peter free and open to the public. And as if I didn't work here I would go if we could -- the films are incredible reliever Cory. That's a wonderful addition to wonderful aspect to it and making it and I want to get away from me and have a nice quiet -- -- -- moment and that's a good way to do and again that's retail yes -- -- saint -- I love this that -- a brewing company is going to. Be pouring strawberry -- on draft for the first time ever I personally have been begging them for five years. And they said we can't do for you -- than everyone's going to want it and so they made a decision last year that now they're gonna do for everyone to -- the first. And only -- to get it it's now it is now available around town in bars and restaurants. But from last year we we did it in bottles people want it so badly we have bottles out there. And it was and I ridiculous now we have kegs strawberry -- and referral to and that the other great flavors are wonderful sponsor we just went into new five year partnership with them so. They take great printing of the locals -- for the locals. Don't know that's terrific and it really takes strawberry. The F a hint -- Robert Schroeder I love that. Talk to me about. Only if I can hear people think how to get there in public park. How do we do that that is the -- question because it's the million dollar question so there are closures French Quarter -- gotten so big. That you know people just take over the street to become this incredible pedestrian playground in the French Quarter and so the police you know for safety issues we have to -- parts of the quarter down and so. -- I think is our fifth year we've got a free shuttle which is perceived Capital One bank. The armed people locals can park along -- the whole -- court -- in the CBD. Ten dollar parking very reasonable and their right to free shuttle to and from -- beautiful air conditioned to return process. And -- we have additional we beefed up -- bike park initiatives more than ever bike parking all the way from esplanade to canal along the French Quarter. And then on we work closely with our team the city -- of the street cars. The bosses everything's in him Morse or so. If you're not a person who wants a right to biker drag -- there's lots of public transportation options boil the -- a great idea and lots of parking on a key deaths so that's the way to go yet really and other settlements -- and and they drop you off right on canal street government can break from the Sheraton which is so close -- you know prime charters and it's a very close. Hop and skip path it's easy to get there stay with everyone or not I'm Angela -- that -- Once again we're talking about French Quarter fest and you know we have spent almost an hour talking about all the new great. Things that are happening. And we haven't even touched on some of the specifics like on non. On Thursday that the big gala and wants to implement it yeah for years we used to do some very very casual look of the TG IF thank goodness that's -- -- party. And when we hit her thirtieth anniversary we are approaching 38 we -- ninth time in hand with her crew -- An -- has been such a dear friend and partner and neighbor. That when we asked them if they would be willing to host on the ninth as -- with open arms and oh my gosh we would love to. And what we -- was on Thursday night this week April 10 we take over the restaurant against the whole restaurant which is so beautiful of those rooms and that his room after -- Discovery. And arm it's a great party restart with the page and party in the restaurant and then we growth to about 600 people throughout the restaurant we've -- develop Crawford playing his incredible. He's one of those people to -- it amazes me he's now more famous than he has he's such incredible pianist. And -- special guest Irma Thomas Wilson -- him. And the patron -- you have them in China trio -- Now this is yes. Also on Friday I love this. That's when an illegitimate present their free dance lessons we keep talking about. That's all right yeah I mean basically that classes are gonna start at about. 11:30 in the morning before the bands get started -- warm me up with some traditional jazz. Then we're gonna move on to some 1920s Charleston in the next lesson and then we're gonna do swing after that. And that's pretty much every day so you can pick your day. When you wanna -- actually take the classes and when you'd like to us the other band since and whatnot. Talk about Vietnam the dancers you bring in from around the country to the Lindy -- oh yeah you know we run on a big dance event over the weekend it's called flair to Lindy. And we get about. 200 dancers are so that go to these different parties. Friday night Saturday night and Sunday night Friday night is uptown dance -- and we have to with skinny and -- -- in the UN playing. Saturday is that the wax museum and then my dance studio on saint Claude and Sundays at one eyed jacks and haven't and she'll make in the little big -- play. And it's just going to be a good night all social dancing in live music and it. If anybody takes the lessons and I'd like to go dancing that night they can come to those parties you can show opened the door. But otherwise you can dance at the French market traditional jazz stage where we put down the flow. And with -- and to 200 dancers that come in from the country. They can't every day -- at a fast and dance and so. There's this show they're dressed to the -- that we period. I'm -- often is a couple from New York who I love Jalen. And secure permanent but. They're they're just they look like they're out of Hollywood films or so before and so can you see him although we do that seem policy dancers -- enough to be like well. -- -- -- I don't -- -- is keeping their everywhere. But the other part of the show to which I enjoy even if you don't mind answered don't care it's. So awesome to watch -- in his dancers and there are so many of them so now I'm really looking forward to this I mean very much. Also you have on top of everything LT jury art show we do and I was actually just talking and organizing yesterday. It -- of their eightieth year of the pirate's Alley jury our show. And their are really incredible group they. They only do once a year and a good conference where -- and so they will be alongside saint -- cathedral in Paris -- Is a jury Eric show so they select seed you know than the best of you were on -- and I believe -- -- is for sale and it's it's a nice thing to watch it's. You know as you're walking on turn from Jackson square to real -- just a beautiful thing to go in view. And there are great group. And then the little red school house has a five K race after my school you know it's what makes. The French Quarter such a special neighborhood is that it's a living neighborhood full of residents full time residents. It's got a real school and it with adorable children with agreed music program. There's just -- meetings about an -- it's you know it's a great tourist tourism and to -- it's also living neighborhood and so. We always try and how much done as much as we Canon and they came to us and said. We wanted to -- our own little fair and fund raiser would like to do it in front corner fassel -- and of course we could never say -- -- that they have -- little thing going and under the unified Iran. It got music and food threat today they'll be serving of the united. Kind of a fast with an effect on their such sweet people -- those kids are so great and so. They also do really great kids -- -- -- the good other thing to go visit and the other end of the quarter to one year and about. And last but not -- them and not in the top of musicians that's every reason to come down. But you have the conversations on Louisiana music this is great it is it's it's a colloquial and type -- event where. We get up close and personal with the musicians musicians are invited they get interviewed. I'm it's a real conversation some of them perform in its chance to sit in that beautiful thirds third floor space of the men that beautifully new redesigned. Calm place they have and and Fred Kasten and Michael to Serena in -- Spiro. We'll be up there interviewing musicians and talking and if it's a nice way to really get to know customer musicians and have been seeing them on stage in their performance -- it's. Her personal so that's Saturday and on -- them again free free free. Hope you're planning your weekend stay with this we're not done I'm Angela under the W. We are. We are gonna say goodbye and thank you to these three wonderful people who have spent an hour here talking about a wonderful French Quarter fest. And we wanna see about their game will be broadcasting on Friday but Friday Saturday Sunday it's nothing but fun and remember it's free. Once again to Kelly Schulz the very best to you.