[Dixielandjazz] Sound at SJJ

Jim O'Briant jobriant at garlic.com
Tue Jun 7 19:57:17 PDT 2005

Dick Redmond wrote:

> I was a bit distressed at the sound at the RV Pavillion 
> at Cal Expo.  I was there for the Stan Mark group, and 
> I really could not understand the lyrics of the songs 
> or Stan's verbal comments.  

We attended the Thursday night concert at this venue, and were extremely
disappointed at the acoustics and the difficulty in hearing what was
happening on stage.  

Acoustically, this big plastic tent is a disaster.  If you want to hear the
band, you better be in the center and in the first ten rows or so.

Contributing to the problem, there was a tremendous amount of noise from the
back of the room, a lot of it generated by the volunteer bartenders and
those regulating the entrance and exit doors.  The sound was so terrible
that even though we were parked closest to this venue, we avoided it for the
rest of the festival, except when the only thing of interest to us was
there. (I think we heard a total of two sets in the RV Pavilion after
Thursday night.)

This brings up a subject that I thought I might address at some time, one
that I felt was an important issue at more than one festival.  At Dixieland
Monterey last March, and at Sacramento in May, and to a lesser extent at
JazzAffair in Three Rivers in April, the festival volunteers were noisy
enough in their talking with friends and with each other that on many
occasions they seriously distracted from the listening experience.  I've
noted the same things at these and other festivals in previous years as

My classical arranging, conducting and performing background is probably
showing here, but I like to listen to music without hearing a half a dozen
loud conversations at the same time. It's just personal opinion, but I
believe that jazz festival volunteers should be setting an example for
attendees by making as little extraneous noise as possible while bands are
performing, rather than being the source of most of the aural interference.

Jim O'Briant
Gilroy, CA

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