A few years back Meschiya Lake was best known for singing on New Orleans streets with various bands, including The Loose Marbles. Now, she's in high demand at all the local clubs featuring "trad jazz."
At the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this year, Lake brought her Little Big Horns to the Lagniappe Stage. The music seemed the perfect fit for the sunny kick-off day of the festival's first weekend. Lake and the band drew smiles on everyone listening and, at one point, in the middle of a song, she frantically waved at a friend to get up on the stage with her and lindy-hop. And dance they did!
After the performance, my co-producer Mike Elliot and I walked with her to grab a bite to eat and then worked our way back to the track's enclosed grandstand to chat.
This feature was produced by a member of the Association of Independents in Radio, with assistance from Mike Elliot of WWOZ in New Orleans. You can visit WWOZ online for a live streaming broadcast from the festival. Visit NPR Music's complete archive of features from New Orleans Jazz Fest 2011.