[JPL] Jazz fests of August

Jazz Promo Services jazzpromo at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 25 09:31:27 EDT 2008


Jazz fests of August
Free jazz fests across the U.S. mark summer's glorious end. Manhattan's
Charlie Parker festival (held Saturday Aug. 23 and Sunday 24 in Marcus
Garvey park uptown and Tompkins Square Park downtown), the Chicago Jazz
Festival (which formally starts Thursday Aug 28 with Sonny Rollins at
downtown Grant Park's Petrillo bandshell) and the Detroit International Jazz
Festival (celebrating Detroit-Philadelphia music connections, Aug 29 - Sept.
1 on multiple stages along the river at Hart Plaza and down the street at
Campus Martius Park) and smaller events such as the Fox Jazz Festival in
Menasha, Wisconsin have become traditions.
These events feature the cream of international jazz talent -- Ornette
Coleman, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Randy Weston, Gerald Wilson's Orchestra,
Holland's International Composers Pool, the Fort Apache Band, Eddie
Palmieri's Latin Jazz Band, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer, Christian McBride, Pat
Martino, Kenny Burrell and Ravi Coltrane  are among the best known
performers, but many local artists and ensembles await discovery and
enjoyment. Check local listings! Pack a picnic and head out there!

(I'm attending Lincoln Center's free Roots of American Music concert
featuring bassist Charlie Haden's Family Band and poet of punk Patti Smith
among others on Sunday, Aug 24; then off to Chi for all the music I can
hear, including Monday night's show by drummer Mike Reed with trombonist
Julian Priester at the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium
Park, a Tuesday fundraising gala and Africans-sing-James Brown concert, and
Wednesday's city-wide club tour. I've written the introduction to a splendid
new Jazz Institute of Chicago-published book, Jazzography: 30 Years of the
Chicago Jazz Festival in Photography -- on sale at Grant Park next Saturday
and Sunday; see the JIC website for details).

Sadly, the City of Atlanta is not producing the Montreux Jazz Festival 2008,
but its website says it's searching for funding to resume in 2009, and
there's a Blues in the Alley/Labor Day Latenight Bash scheduled in its

Ticketed jazz fests coming right up range from the tony Tanglewood Jazz
Festival in Lennox, MA Aug 29 - 31 (tickets $17 - $59) to Franklin,
Tennessee's Aug. 30 - 31 concerts ($5 at the gate in "historic downtown
Franklin") and the first Berks County, PA Mt. Gretna Jazz Fest (a tad pricey
though there's a student discount, Aug 28 - 30). At Tanglewood the bills
include Dianne Reeves, Marian McPartland, vibist Joe Locke, Terrence
Blanchard and Eliane Elias.

If jazz isn't the music of America, where are the Labor Day weekend rock
concerts? Free pop celebrations? Chamber and symphony performances? What do
we want to hear on the last holiday of the season? Must be jazz, jazz, jazz.


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