The Jacksonville Jazz Series is a big hit thanks to my Jazz loving peeps out there. Show 2 of Season 1 was great fun and we had a huge crowd in spite of the rain. I want to give my props to Bob Bednar for being steeped in Jazz history – I knew this man was deep, but who knew the last time jazz saw a nonet (9 piece band) was at the “Birth of the Cool.” Thank you Jazz Conceptions Orchestra for being world class musicians with old school swagger. I loved the suits guys! By the way, your arrangement of the Beatles “Come Together” was nasty hot. At your suggestion Alex, I am now looking for Sarah Vaughn’s recording of Beatle’s tunes to add to my collection.
To the wonderful, classy, fantastic Jazz Series audience, we know the reception room got hot & crowded and we thank you for your patience! The staff at Theater Jax has a great fix for us next time! We promise more space and less sweat! Don’t worry we’ll still have great snacks from Chef’s for a Night and other local vendors, not to mention smooth cocktails and cool drinks!
Sivada’s Cupcakery did their thing by bringing the sweet with cupcakes for both the child and the sophisticate that lives in all of us! I’m talking about the Birthday Cake and the Boston Cream Pie! These cupcakes were so good, the wife and I stopped by the next day for more.
The night wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did without help from Team Black and Friends of Forward!
Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and stay tuned for pictures of show # 2 as well as information about our February and May concerts!
This is an extremely heartfelt, albeit late, list of comments that Eleven July received about the Jazz Series from patrons at our first concert.
We asked “What did you like about the jazz series?”
· The admission to see three jazz acts and the intermission giving patrons an opportunity to talk with friends and meet new ones with similar interests. Although I don’t really drink, I thought the libations and free food helped a lot. Overall, it was a nice evening out.
· The first jazz act was sensational! Skilled and entertaining musicians. Enthusiastic crowd. Reception. Great location.
· The music food and location was great keep up the good work thanks for a nice evening.
· It started on time and the fact that each act had a set time to perform and stuck to it.
· The performance of John Ricci.
· The professional approach to programming the event. Very well organized. Sound was excellent. Great pre-show ceremony. All details were covered.
· Loved the artist reception and venue.
· The host. Only kidding. Certainly a bona fide value for all that was included. Do not think the Folio ads made it as clear as it could have been that the $25 tab included everything. I do feel that it might have been standing room only if more knew — especially the 5 star bar!!
· Networking before hand!
· Everything was excellent. Due to my busy schedule I was not able to enjoy the artist reception.
· I believe in supporting live music and when possible local music makers. It’s a treat when you can do both. The evening was intimate and smart. Having a drink and a snack was a nice bit as well.
· Very nice event well planned!
· It keeps jazz alive.
In addition to the kind words above, we have also taken your advice on how to improve the show and spread the word. I am looking forward to seeing you all on December 4, 2009 for show # 2 featuring the Jazz Conceptions Orchestra. Thank you!!!
Others may disagree with me on this, but this year’s jazz festival was one of the best I’ve ever attended. Let’s make Jazz a Memorial Day tradition in Jacksonville. The weather was a little wet and it was definitely muggy on Sunday afternoon, but the hubby and I went all three days - a first for us. The line-up provided both smooth jazz and more traditional offerings, which I appreciated since I’m from the old school.
And by the way, if Noel Freidline runs for Mayor, he’s got my vote. Mr. Freidline and his crew performed every day of the festival - starting with a mini concert at the Piano competition on Thursday and concluding with sacred jazz on Sunday. No offense to the TU reporter, but I loved Noel’s corny jokes.
Being two rows away from the great Dave Brubeck was the highlight of the festival for me. His performance in the performing arts center was simply fantastic. Let’s incorporate this great music hall into all future Jazz Fests. The St. Johns River City band also did a terrific job of providing musical support to Mr. Brubeck. SJRCB is a much unappreciated community asset. These Jacksonville troubadours were also up early on Memorial Day providing the musical background for the community’s solemn tribute to our local fallen heroes along with the Jacksonville Mass Choir. Just the day before the choir too performed with Mr. Freidline at Snyder Memorial.
A few of my favorite things:
- The Piano competition - we will never miss this kick-off to the festival again - big ups to winner Ignasi Terraza and his jazzy, bluesy, bop-y, ragtime-y talents;
- Saturday night’s Jazz Jam including Ms. Ebellarosa of the Freidline quartet, super drummer John Lumpkin, and all those bright shiny teen musicians of all sizes, shapes, and colors;
- Walking through downtown to hear music as opposed to sitting at Met Park;
- Enjoying the diversity and inclusion that Jazz engenders;
- The variety of musical acts including folks new to our Jazz Fest like Patti Austin and Jonathan Butler;
- The forethought to purchase VIP passes;
- Drinking Greg Norman’s sparking wine in Hemming plaza with friends; and
- Trying to Catch both Jeff Lorber and Chris Botti on Sunday and being impressed with Mr. Lorber’s big ass Blues-guitar chops and Euge Groove’s get-this-party-started vibe.
More than anything I was floored by the emotion I felt seeing my 15 year old nephew fall in love with Jazz. Yes, Virginia the music continues…