This has been a crazy evening. Everything I said before about the exceptional friendliness of NOLA deserves to be amplified.
A chance encounter led to a long night of excellent free music at a place I would never have found on my own or through a guidebook. I am invited back to the same place tomorrow for the Rebirth Brass Band.
At nearly 3am, my hostel is still a hive of activity. I should try to sleep, however.