You Should Be Dancing

As Marianne Hawkins Sabrier said so eloquently in yesterday’s post, “… I love how the variation in the entertainment can influence the atmosphere of the part, as well!”

Entertainment has been a considerable part of the Justice For All Ball since the very first one. Music and other forms of entertainment add mood to the evening and can bring even the quietest person to their feet.

We’ve had marching bands and second-lining from Patron Party to the Ball site with the Jazzman Brass Band and the Black Feather Mardi Gras Indians to greet us.

We’ve had a caricaturist, Steven Lindsley to make us laugh, and a fine artist, Alex Harvie, who painted the Ball while it was going on amidst the many oohs and aahs of those watching.

We’ve even had the 610 Stompers – who stole the show at the JFAB 2015, along with the SaintSations and of course, , the Vince Lombardi SuperBowl trophy, which really was the hit of the evening.

The Patron Party, like the Ball, has often featured some great musicians. From jazz to classical and beyond we’ve heard the likes of Leah Chase Kamata, Ovi-G and The Froggies ("Los Ranas"), Dave Hansen & the Garden District Trio and many others along the way. On several occasions, we’ve had the privilege of hearing young up and coming artists from NOCCA.

There’s no end to the variety of entertainment that the JFAB has presented. However, it has always been the dancing that holds the highest priority for those attending the Ball, as party-goers have let us know every year we’ve done the post-Ball survey.

If they got enough mileage on their dancing shoes, they loved the band. If not, it meant we didn’t pay enough attention to the desire for dancing when we were choosing a group. In reality, the music has often been the stage on which all other elements of the evening have played out.

We’ve had so many of New Orleans’ great artists – many who have played the JFAB more than once. Can you guess who our repeat entertainers have been before reading the list?

  • Charmaine Neville | 1991, 1994

  • George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners | 1993, 2013

  • Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Swingers | 1996, 2018

  • The Iguanas | 1998*, 1999, 2004
    *JFAB 1998 canceled due to flooding

  • The Bucktown Allstars | 2002, 2017

  • Deacon John with and without The Ivories | 2003, 2008

  • Kermit Ruffins & The BBQ Swingers | 2006, 2010

Beyond these, the JFAB bandstand has hosted the likes of:

  • Bobby Cure and the Summertime Blues | 1989

  • Irma Thomas | 1990

  • Marva Wright | 1992

  • The Radiators | 2000

  • Paula & the Pontiacs | 2001

  • Sha’ On Success |1997

  • Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience | 2007

  • Joe Krown | 2009

  • Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew | 2011

  • Big Sam’s Funky Nation | 2012

  • Louisiana Spice | 2014

  • The Yat Pack | 2015 

  • Flow Tribe | 2016

The only group we did not get to hear was Henry Butler & The Game Band who were scheduled for 2005 and were preempted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Check out the Tales of the Ball post, Weathering the Weather.

Music, entertainment and fun are such a part of the JFAB. If you’ve been a regular attendee, then we hope this post brought back many good memories for you and we’ll see you soon. If it’s been a while since you’ve joined us, or if JFAB 2018 will be your first one, we have only one reminder for you – get your dancing shoes ready!

- Joanna Broussard

If you have a JFAB story to share, please send it to CC Kahr

Photo stack left: Photos 1, 3, 4, 5 by The Red M Studio | Photo 2 by George Long Photography

Photo grid below: Thanks to the following photographers | Walt Pierce, George Long, Robert Fleischmann, Joanna Broussard & The Red M Studio