Jul 16, 2010
Who doesn't like free music? Or a free music festival? Or especially a free JAZZ music festival?
An annual rite of summer tradition continues in 2010 in Bushnell Park, Hartford, Connecticut, America’s oldest public park, when the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz will presented its 19th annual event of three nights and two days of hot and cool jazz on the Performance Pavilion and the Friends of the Festival Arch Stage, featuring great artists from around the world and the USA, as well as young and up-and-coming performers from the local region. Connecticut's State Capitol Building and Hartford's skyline provide a beautiful, dramatic backdrop as the sun sets and the stars rise in the night sky and on stage.
Over 100 volunteers donate their time to work at the Festival, a true testimony to the popularity to which the Festival has risen since its 1992 debut. The Festival has a history of presenting national and international mainstream, cutting-edge, traditional and contemporary jazz performers, aspiring local and regional artists and some truly wonderful young musicians from area schools and noteworthy jazz programs.
I'm pleased to be able to say I have been involved in putting on this event in the past, and I'm looking forward to hearing this year's lineup. Friday night is traditionally Latin Jazz, and this year is no exception, featuring Layla Angulo, known for mixing Brazilia, Peruvian rhythms and good old fasioned Latin heat in a hit package. Saturday leans toward smooth jazz, starring guitarist Ace Livingston, saxophonist Elan Trotman and the headlining band called "TIZER" composed of all-stars like keyboard whiz Lao Tizer, ex-Special EFX lead guitarist Chieli Minucci and violinist Karen Briggs.
Sunday should be the highlight of the weekend, with straight-ahead jazz courtesy of guitarist Nobuki Takamen, the Iris Ornig Group featuring ace trumpeter Jim Rotondi, and a brilliantly planned tribute to Stan Getz's classic album Focus, with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra Jazz and Strings Ensemble backing local boy made good Joel Frahm (pictured above). Want to know what that will sound like? Click here to listen to a track from the Focus album, "I'm Late, I'm Late".