HAPPY HOUR is a cocktail-fueled 60 minutes of random conversation with folks who have nothing in common, other than being New Orleanians in a bar. Featuring extraordinary New Orleans musicians playing live, host Grant Morris and sidekick deluxe Andrew Duhon.
Here's everything you need to know about this week's Happy Hour: if you're disgruntled about the Rolling Stones playing Jazz Fest, there's a subversion plan afoot.
Andrew Duhon comes up with this genius idea after ony one drink, and dubs it "Pontchatrain's 11," inspired by the Oceans 11 scam. The plan involves everyone sitting around the table at this Happy Hour to pull it off. The key player is Katherine Klimitas.
Katherine is an artist, a jeweler, a graphic artist, and a lover of country music. She's also confined to a wheelchair and because of that she has become the go-to person for Jazz Fest for checking out that the festival is ADA compliant. So the plan is, on the day the Stones are playing, to use Katherine's vehicle as a Trojan Horse, to sneak in Andrew and Georgi Petrov.
If you're wondering where you've heard the name Meryl Zimmerman before, you might be thinking of her dad who is a graduate of Ben Franklin and is now of the author of a Long Island New York based contribution to the wide world of Jewish trivia under the title Rashi Rambam & Rama Lama Ding Dong.
Anyway, this is all besides the point and we haven't even gotten to Josh Brasted yet. Like Meryl's father and Katherine Kilimitas, Josh went to Ben Franklin and is now an internationally known photographer specializing in photographing musicians. Josh, apparently because he's Catholic, is very self-effacing and describes himself as "Solidly okay," but the big deal here is that he's got a press pass to Jazz Fest to cover the Rolling Stones.
You see what's going on here? Okay, here's the bottom line: the deal at Jazz Fest is, while the Stones are playing the rest of the stages are going to be shut down. That's what's really pissing off Katherine. Except all the rest of the stages are not going to be shut down because Andrew Duhon and Georgi Petrov, plus other hand-picked musicians that will form their one-off band for the day, will be smuggled into Jazz Fest with their instruments and will set up and play on the Gentilly stage during the Stones set.
In between this plan coming together, Andrew plays a new song, Meryl and Georgi play two songs - one by the inimitable Fred Rogers, which is really going to shock you, in a good and sophisticated jazzy way. Meryl Zimmerman is the real deal.
Musically and in conversation, this might be the most quintessentially Happy Hour of all time. And when you see Katherine, Josh, Georgi, Andrew and the rest of the subversives on the news after the Stones play at Jazz Fest, remember you heard it here first.