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You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave.

~Billie Holiday, words of wisdom.

I have an awesome friend named Michael.  We’ve never shared a bad meal.  From Jacques Imo’s to Liuzza’s gumbo–Port of Call burgers to ham sandwiches on the front porch in the ruins of Katrina–everything in life is delicious when you’re in the company of friends who love you.

It isn’t just about the food.  Friends like Michael instinctively seem to know what you need.   I don’t know if we’ve shared more meals or listened to more music together over the years and it doesn’t matter.  I require both to sustain me.  Throw in a good ratio of moisture to air and I thrive.

Friends like Michael keep you in line and don’t let you get by with any sort of nonsense but mostly, they feed your soul.

And that’s how Bry and I came to enjoy a sold-out performance of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band less than a week ago, kicking off Oklahoma City University’s Distinguished Artist Series which coincided with the release of Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s live recording of its 2012 Carnegie Hall Concert in celebration of the band’s 50th year.

You see, Michael isn’t just a good friend to me.  He is extraordinarily good to all of his friends.  One of those friends just happens to play the tenor sax and sing vocals as part of the younger generation of musicians who blend so beautifully with their well-seasoned sources of inspiration.  Together they are guardians of culture, keeping the legendary sound of traditional New Orleans Jazz not only alive, but in a continuous state of evolution.  Michael’s friend graciously put my name on an envelope with tickets enclosed– more than I anticipated—so I was able to share the joy.

For me, a little fix goes a long way.  Now I can sit still and focus on the behaving part.

On Monday, September 24th, Preservation Hall will host a special performance at 8 p.m. to celebrate the release of St. Peter and 57th St. and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band 50th Anniversary Collection. Proceeds from this concert will go to Preservation Hall Outreach Program.

If you are anywhere in the vicinity, GO.  If you can’t be there, you can find ordering information here.

In the meantime, here is something to make you smile.  I fell in love with this video years ago and you will, too…if you are anything at all like me.  Close your eyes and imagine a place where the best friends in life need no explanation for your addiction to subtropical air; where dancing is the rule rather than the exception; where a Fiorella’s delivery guy can stop along his route and walk right into the legendary Preservation Hall to play a song or two with the greatest jazz musicians on earth—because luck is for people in Ohio.  It’s magic that happens here.

Thank you, Michael and Clint…for making the week magical.

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