My friend Jesse Paige who manages the great New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels, just sent me this email and I wanted to share it with y'all.
Just got back from Greece with the Soul Rebels. It was incredible! We
didn't realize how important of a trip this was going to be. We played
as the closing act of the first annual Jazz fest in Heraklion, Crete
in Greece. It was a 3 day event to honor the fantastic Greek jazz
drummer, Kostas Kouvidis, who died too young in a tragic car accident
in Athens, Greece. (www.kostaskouvidis.com) His family and friends
put this incredible event together. We hung out with musicians from
all over the world as we came together to honor this man. We leaned
that music is a universal language that has a healing power beyond our
understanding as I feel it helped the city and his family finally be
at peace and to know that the power of their son's spirit lives on.
Next we went to Athens to play as the main act for the 13 annual
Anti-racisist festival. This is a festival to promote understanding of
different cultures through food and music. They do have problems with
this in Greece and this was an incredible blessing to represent as the
only act from United States and to represent our city of New Orleans.
Looking out from the stage the crowd looked like a sea of people
hypnotized by the power of the Soul Rebels music. They had never seen
anything like it before. The head music critic in the country came up
to us after the show almost in tears and speechless to tell us it was
the most incredible music he has ever seen come to Greece. In a time
when it seems the world is falling apart and people don't know what to
think of Americans anymore, it meant so much when Winston (the
trombone player) said to the crowd at the end of the concert, "We wish
you peace from New Orleans and peace from the U.S.A." We left the
stage with peace symbols in the air as the whole crowd chanted "Soul
Rebels, Soul Rebels, Soul Rebels...." I got incredible high quality
digital pictures and there is already stuff on you tube that people
captured in the audience. If you would like to check out some pictures I posted some on my personal Myspace (http://www.myspace.com/jessebluenile).