Second weekend of Jazz Fest kicks off Thursday

May 3, 2012, 12:30 PM

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – After missing last year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival because she was roughly eight months pregnant, singer-songwriter Theresa Andersson is thrilled to be back this year _ and just in time to perform songs from her new album, “Street Parade.”

The Swedish-born multi-instrumentalist has two Jazz Fest appearances this weekend: She’ll play songs from her new release with her band Friday and return to the Fair Grounds racetrack Saturday for a duet with her friend and mentor, jazz singer-songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint.

“I just love playing festivals,” said Andersson, who has lived in New Orleans for more than 20 years. “Festivals are really infectious, especially in New Orleans. They’re upbeat, because people don’t like to sit down. They like to dance and groove and have a good time.”

Andersson is one of roughly 200 acts performing the second weekend of Jazz Fest, which kicksoff Thursday and concludes Sunday. The lineup also includes Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas, Jimmy Buffett, Better Than Ezra, the Eagles, My Morning Jacket, Ne-Yo, Foo Fighters, Rebirth Brass Band and the Neville Brothers.

On Friday, Andersson will lead a 10-piece marching band when she performs songs from “Street Parade,” which was released April 24. She said she wrote most of the new album while pregnant with her now 10-month-old daughter, Elsie. But her inspiration for the project stemmed from an experience preceding her pregnancy _ a 2010 Mardi Gras parade she attended after returning home from a long tour for her last album, “Hummingbird, Go!”

“One project was ending, and I wasn’t sure what the next one was going to be,” she said. “It felt like a mirror of my own life at the time.”

Andersson said after the parade floats, marching bands and revelers passed by, there was a “quiet energy” in that moment just after a parade passed and just before another approached. She said that experience served as a metaphor for her life at the time.

“I didn’t even know at that moment that I would soon be becoming a mother,” she recalled. “I just liked the different take on the street parade (than) you think of.”

The drums, voice and horns on the album are all recorded in marching band style, “but not a typical marching band,” she said. “It’s my interpretation. It’s very rhythmical, but still very quiet.”

Andersson said she designed the album cover in black and white with just a pale splash of pinkish-purple to “sort of draw you into the next phase, the next day, the next album.”

Being pregnant added a very special component to the album, she said.

“To grow this record while also growing a human being was a very spiritual experience for me,” she said. “It was a work of love. This album is an ode to New Orleans but also to my daughter.”

Andersson, whose music has been described as indie soul, said she’s looking forward to performing with Toussaint on Saturday.

“We have, dare I say this, a mutual adoration for each other’s work,” she said. “I love his work and to hear him talk about music. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done for New Orleans music.”

Andersson said Toussaint has helped form the city’s music scene through his work with such artists as the Meters, Irma Thomas and Dr. John.

“All the people he’s worked with, he has helped shape and define the New Orleans sound,” she said.

Andersson said she enjoys touring but always returns to New Orleans for spring festival season, which kicks off with French Quarter Festival and runs through the Jazz Fest.

“The festivals, that’s when I get to play with the people I haven’t been able to play with in many months,” she said. “I get to have jam sessions. This year I’m working with a band, so I get to play with a lot of musicians, and it’s fun, just to hang out, catch up and jam.”

Festival season is also a great way to showcase new work, she said.

“It is the time to show the rest of the world what we do in New Orleans and to showcase yourself,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for everybody who lives here and works here all year long. I think that’s why people come here, so that they can see the real New Orleans music scene.”

When performing overseas, Andersson said she is often asked about the status of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and the 2010 BP oil spill.

“Those are two huge unfortunate landmarks that have gotten so much attention, so people remember that and that’s where conversations start,” she said. “But I tell people we still eat fish in New Orleans, homes are being rebuilt, the roads are looking better, and we’re living life. Then the conversation quickly moves on to the music, which is great.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA ...
Associated Press

Griner’s Moscow trial resumes amid calls for US to seek deal

MOSCOW (AP) — Jailed American basketball star Brittney Griner returns to a Russian court on Thursday amid a growing chorus of calls for Washington to do more to secure her release nearly five months after she was arrested on drug charges. Griner was detained in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after vape canisters with cannabis […]
25 minutes ago
Currency traders watch monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquart...
Associated Press

Asian stocks higher after Fed says rate hikes may be needed

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets gained Thursday after the Federal Reserve said higher U.S. interest rates might be needed to cool inflation. Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney advanced. Hong Kong declined. Oil prices edged higher after falling below $100 per barrel this week. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index gained 0.4% on Wednesday after notes […]
1 day ago
FILE - Sumo wrestler Takayuki Ichihara from Japan, left, fights against Keisho Shimoda from Japan, ...
Associated Press

Pandemic-delayed World Games open in Birmingham a year late

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Delayed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Games open Thursday in Alabama featuring more than 3,600 athletes participating in non-Olympic events including sumo wrestling, gymnastics, pickleball, martial arts and tug of war. The opening ceremony, set for Thursday night at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, includes performances by Nelly […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Sentencing set for 2 in Arizona ballot harvesting case

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Two women are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in southern Arizona for their conviction for illegally collecting four early ballots during the 2020 primary election. Authorities say Guillermina Fuentes and Alma Juarez participated in “ballot harvesting.” That’s a practice once used by both political parties to boost turnout but was made […]
1 day ago
FILE - A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, M...
Associated Press

Yellowstone flooding reveals forecast flaws as climate warms

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Yellowstone National Park area’s weather forecast the morning of June 12 seemed fairly tame: warmer temperatures and rain showers would accelerate mountain snow melt and could produce “minor flooding.” A National Weather Service bulletin recommended moving livestock from low-lying areas but made no mention of danger to people. By nightfall, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: July 7, female cadets at West Point

Today in History Today is Thursday, July 7, the 188th day of 2022. There are 177 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 7, 1976, the United States Military Academy at West Point included female cadets for the first time as 119 women joined the Class of 1980. On this date: […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Second weekend of Jazz Fest kicks off Thursday