[JPL] Clearwater gears up for Jazz Holiday
philipbooth at tampabay.rr.com
Thu Oct 18 07:55:46 EDT 2007
Here's a link to my story on the fest in today's St. Petersburg Times.
An alternate (longer) version of this piece appears in my blog.
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Subject: [JPL] Clearwater gears up for Jazz Holiday
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Clearwater gears up for Jazz Holiday
By LEE CLARK ZUMPE
CLEARWATER - The MarineMax Clearwater Jazz Holiday presents some of the finest musicians in the country in concert, from Thursday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 21, in Coachman Park.
Now in its 28th year, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday is a world-class gathering of the some of the greatest talents and greatest fans of jazz. The event offers music against the backdrop of warm breezes, brilliant sunsets and one of the world's greatest beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.
This year's four-day festival will feature headliners such as George Benson, Norman Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lynne Arriale Trio, Joe Gransden and Natalie Cole.
Sandoval, a protégé of Dizzy Gillespie, began playing at age 10 and was studying calssical trumpet by age 12. Born in a small town near Havana, Cuba in 1949, the young musician was captivated by jazz even though it was tough to find anyone playing it.
"It was kind of difficult," Sandoval said. "The only way we had to hear any was on short wave radio."
Sandoval listened to "Jazz Hour," hosted by Willis Conover, on Voice of America. "That was the only source."
Of course, in Fidel Castro's Cuba, listening to such programs comes with consequences. "I was in obligatory military service," Sandoval said. "They said I was listening to the voice of the enemy ... a spy. They put me in jail."
Sandoval was incarcerated for four months for listening to jazz. He later defected to the United States. He was granted political asylum in 1990 and U.S. citizenship in 1999. He values his freedom.
"No freedom, no life," he said.
He said that defecting to the United States made him " ... a new person ... able to enjoy all the things that come with freedom."
In 2006, Sandoval - a Miami resdient - opened a jazz club on Miami Beach.
"On weekends, we bring in national and international artists," he said.
Sandoval also plays once a month. Open six days a week, the club also welcomes local talent.
"We try to give opportunities to local artists. We give them a space where they can play," he said.
Trumpet player and vocalist Gransden, in his early 30s, has already performed worldwide and released seven CDs. With vocals that regularly spark comparisons to those of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra, Gransden expresses a fondness for playing large outdoor concerts like Clearwater Jazz Holiday.
"Outdoor festivals are great," Gransden said in a recent e-mail interview. "The crowd is always responsive and happy to be there."
There are a few drawbacks, though, according to Gransden.
"Sometimes it can be hard to get the right sound outdoors. You have to really spend some good time during sound check to create the right vibe for the audience," he said.
The jazzman comes from a family full of musicians. His introduction to music came early on through his father, a gifted singer and pianist. His grandfather was a trumpeter of merit, playing professionally his whole life throughout New York. On his mother's side of the family was the piano virtuoso Carmen Cavallero.
With all that music in his blood, it's no wonder Gransden knows how to entertain an audience.
"I try to add new songs all the time to keep things fresh," Gransden said. "I also try to keep things very creative, sometimes even adding a free jazz tune or two. I always try to find a new and different way to sing or play a phrase."
After performing, Gransden will join the audience to catch some of his favorites on stage.
"I really enjoy watching jazz musicians play live," he said. "I get a thrill seeing and listening to an artist creating great music on the spot. I can't wait to see Natalie Cole at this years event."
Pianist, composer Lynne Arriale maintains a hectic tour schedule, playing concerts and festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. Nevertheless, she looks forward to earch performance.
"I always enjoy playing, even with all the challenges of a busy concert schedule," Arriale said. "The minute I hit the first note, I'm communicating with the other members of the trio and with the audience. The music then takes us on a journey, and it's different every time we play, because we're improvising."
She is known for both compelling originals featuring a folkloric quality as well as her interpretations of pop classics. Her list of favorite performers includes Keith Jarret, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock.
Following is this year's schedule for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday:
Thursday, Oct. 18
Gates open at 5 p.m.
. Air Force Band Falconaires, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
. George Benson, 8 to 10 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19
Gates open at 4 p.m.
. Ray and Friends, 5 to 6:15 p.m.
. Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge featuring special guests Mike Mainieri and Adam Nussbaum, 6:45 to 8:15 p.m.
. Norman Brown featuring Peabo Bryson, Jeff Lorber and Marion Meadows, 8:45 to 11 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20
Gates open at 2:30 p.m.
. Michael Ross Quartet, 3:45 to 5 p.m.
. Brian Bromberg's Downright Upright Band featuring Randy Brecker, Mitchel Forman, Gary Meek and Dave Weckl, 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
. Arturo Sandoval, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m.
. Medeski, Martin and Wood, 9:15 to 10:45 p.m.
. Fireworks, 10:45 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21
Gates open at 1 p.m.
. REH/CJH Jazz Youth Band, 1:45 to 2:30 p.m.
. Hendrik Meurkens Samba Jazz Quartet, 3 to 4:15 p.m.
. Lynne Arriale Trio, 4:45 to 6 p.m.
. Joe Gransden, 8:30 to 10 p.m.
. Natalie Cole, 8:30 to 10 p.m.
Organizers have put in place a number of safety and security measures. Not permitted at are pets (except registered guide dogs); grills and hibachis; glass containers and bottles; beer balls, six packs and kegs; food or drink of any kind; tents or pup tents; overnight camping; videotaping; video cameras; audio recording devices; in-line skating and skateboarding; unattended infants or small children; littering; guns, knives or weapons of any kind; cell phones or pagers during performances; backpacks; coolers; or umbrellas.
Organizers recommend attendees bring lawn chairs, blankets, sunglasses, sunscreen and identification tags for small children.
Coachman Park is at 301 Drew St., on the waterfront in downtown Clearwater. Call 461-5200 or visit www.clearwaterjazz.com.
This year the Clearwater Jazz Holiday did something a bit different with the artist selected to create the 2007 Clearwater Jazz Holiday Poster.
Three individual paintings came together as one. The artist, Judith Dazzio, painted three paintings instead of one that show the many popular areas around the community and showcase the beauty of each at sunset.
"It is also significant that we see only one musician in each painting, as each is wearing the same jacket indicating that he is from the same group or band. A musician, artist or any creative person is often alone while creating, but also as part of a larger group .... in this case a band or our community," organizers said on the Jazz Holiday Web site. "It is the hope of the artist that you feel the music that is being played by each of the three musicians in the winning 2007 Clearwater Jazz Holiday poster design."
Dazzio has been doing jazz paintings for more than twenty years. She is an expressionist artist, which means her paintings show movement, emotion, and strong color. Her love of jazz music and experience living in the New Orleans area for many years made these two aspects naturally blend together. The emotion, movement and color of jazz and her painting style seemed a perfect match.
Along with the poster for this year, each individual piece will be offered in a limited edition print that will be remarked by the artist, numbered and signed.
Article published on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007 Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.
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