I had one of my too-rare, up-close brushes with New Orleans jazz royalty last night.
You can sense them coming before they arrive, because crowds part for these women. Oh, these women.
They move with the timeless majesty of African elephants, slowly, decisively, owning the ground on which they walk. These were voluptuous, made-up beautifully, with wide, bright smiles, perfect pedicures, expensive, draping dresses, sparkling headwraps, bling dripping from ears & throats and wrists and ankles.
Accepting accolades from the locals, gracious with the uncomprehending stares from the tourists, they answered questions about the most recent gig, who played what, where they were next.
Then they stopped, and fell into my work. One peppered me with questions tinted through the lens of the music industry: Where you from, sugar? Who’s managing you? Where you showing? Who’s your agent?
And I deflected with, “All me, for now, but I’m so ready for the next step…”
She said, “oh, yes, baby, you are…” And she and her friends moved on.
No, they didn’t buy anything. That doesn’t matter, because they will be back, bringing more royalty. Quality flocks. The top-level music makers here run things as surely as the politicians, just from the other, funkier end. I want more of these people in my life – the ones secure in their own greatness, with quiet, fearless grace.
I never know what mystery the night will bring, but a bit of magic always happens. I’ll be out there again this weekend:)