[Dixielandjazz] Varied bookings at festivals

Ed Danielson mcvouty78 at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 15 14:13:47 PST 2003

>>Steve Barbone wrote

>>The "Modern Jazz" festivals at which we play (along with some of the
>>Internationally famous Jazz players) are always sure to book at least one
>>"smooth" jazz group, or one "funk" jazz group that appeals to the young 
>>off the bat. It might offend those who feel it dilutes Dixieland, but 
>>then, it
>>is better than no festival at all.

I went to the Montreal International Jazz Festival last June for the first 
time.  It runs for nearly two weeks, and I was only able to attend for three 
days, but I was hugely impressed by the variety of music offered, both free 
and ticketed.  The organizers offered everything from trad to hip-hop.  I 
saw quite a good Montreal-based trad band -- "Le Dixieband," with a great 
drummer who also sang very well.  The quirky clarinet player Don Byron 
worked with a latin rhythm section featurning Luisito Quintero, with Jack 
DeJohnette on drums -- this group knocked me out!  There was a small 
orchestra working the Raymond Scott repertoire.  Vibraphonist Bobby 
Hutcherson with pianist Herbie Hancock played very abstract avant-garde 
free-form stuff that was pretty boring ("Hey, didn't he just play that in 
the last song?").  There was a New-Orleans-style brass band (think Dirty 
Dozen more than Olympia) from France that was a real kick (the banjo was 
amplified by a bullhorn), and an excellent post-Erroll-Garner style piano 
player from (I think) Florida named Anthony Wonsey, playing a free concert 
-- add Diana Krall and more, and you've got a great festival!  And that was 
just three days worth!

My point is, this festival is enormous and successful, because the 
organizers are savvy enough to offer something for every taste.  As a trad 
jazz lover who also digs modern stuff, I wish every festival could afford to 
be this varied!  I think Steve is right -- variety brings more people into 
the jazz tent, and that's essential for all styles of jazz, especially trad.

Ed Danielson

"You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward."
-- James Thurber

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