[Dixielandjazz] A Review Of the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee

Robert Ringwald rsr at ringwald.com
Fri Jun 4 15:35:09 PDT 2010

Listmates, we had a very successful Festival this year.  The weather was perfect.  Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.  The music was awesome.  

Below is just one review of many sent by a new DJML member Rick Campbell from Portland OR.  

He says, remember, he is just one guy who could not possibly see all the concerts.  

--Bob Ringwald


From: Rick Campbell [
mailto:ricksax at comcast.net
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 7:33 PM
To: Rick Campbell
Subject: 2010 Sacramento Jubilee Report
Hi music lovers,
At the 2010 Sacramento Jubilee, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
That is, the crowd was smaller, but the weather was perfect. About 80 degrees and
That is, because of a Jehovah's Witnesses gathering at the Convention Center, most
of the action was in Old Sacramento. Good if you like the historic ambience, bad
if you don't like walking on cobblestones. There were still four air-conditioned
venues at the Hyatt/Sheraton/Convention Center. At last count, the Christian pamphleteers
converted 34 souls, but lost 196 of their members after they heard live jazz for
the first time.
Yes, there were fewer bands in total, but the Jubilee is like a seafood buffet, you
can only eat so much. We saw all the great music our tired butts and backs would
As a reed player, I spent most of my time with my heros. For example, Bob Wilber,
age 82, and his student Antti Sarpila (at left) from Finland. Bob studied with Sidney
Bechet and has now passed the torch to Antti.
Wilber created a "Soprano Summit Trio" with the addition of Peter Meijers (High Sierra
And they were backed by other Arbor Records recording artists, including bassist/vocalist
Nicki Parrott. She is not only sweet, but a fabulous bassist!
These cats can play, and whether three clarinets, clarinet/soprano/tenor, three sopranos,
or some combination, they were swinging (and in tune).
The set below, in the Embassy Suites Ballroom, was entirely acoustic, and just about
the best jazz you will ever hear, not a brass instrument in sight.
Another of my reed heros is the great Kim Cusack (
) who played with Bob Shultz and his Frisco Jazz Band to full houses. These guys
actually use dynamics, starting songs at an easy mp, building a bit, and then getting
down, really, to pp to give their out-chorus some power at mf. Contrast, and they
know exactly what they are doing all the time.
Cusack also played some all-star sets. Listen carefully, and you will realize that
he is the only man alive who has learned the special magic of Pee Wee Russell. Nothing
flashy, just brilliantly chosen notes. Must be the Chicago influence.
Of course, I also dropped in to catch Vancouver's Jim Buchmann with the only "international"
band in attendance, the Climax Jazz Band from Toronto. You'll find a lot of their
material on YouTube, the best of it well-produced on CBC in the '70s I think. A fine
band in the British trad style. Very few chances to hear them live on the West Coast.
We always catch Portland's Becky Kilgore. Good news. The "BED" group has finally
changed its name to "The Becky Kilgore Quartet." That's not to slight Eddie Erickson
or Dan Barrett, two of the most talented musicians alive. Dan is just amazing in
his breath control, dynamics, and selection of notes on trombone. Then suddenly,
he moves to piano, and then, to trumpet. Here's visual proof. And he has a lovely
Bobby Hackett style on this horn. It's on their new CD.
I didn't carry a camera to every set, but I can't leave without mentioning Tom Hook,
perhaps the most magnetic entertainer I have ever seen live. Aside from his memorable
work with the Black Dogs (which will attempt a reunion at next year's Jubilee), he
is a vocalist and piano player on the order of Fats Waller, with all the charm and
sex appeal. He now works in New Orleans, and during each show he stopped and said
serously that after Katrina, he started a special fund to help New Orleans musicians.
He added, "I use the money for hookers and expensive Scotch." Once the word got out,
he filled every set to capacity.
I couldn't get to every set I wanted. Molly Ringwald packed the Hyatt Ballroom with
huge waiting lines outside. And there are some big big-name clarinetists that I have
heard before and will be able to hear again. (Suzan and I also enjoy the Royal Society
Orchestra greatly, but I never tell my dixieland friends.) Despite all the rumors,
I am sure the Jubilee will carry on for years, perhaps in a more compact format.
All I can say is: If you like music, you can't have more of it, in many styles, over
four days, than at the Sacramento Jubilee.
Rick Campbell
Rick Campbell, Creative.
Portland, Oregon USA
(503) 234-9440
ricksax at comcast.net

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