26 Concerts in 10 Days

feeling safe in Newport!

feeling safe in Newport!

 

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I intend to do this weekly, but as this is more of a “dear diary” than a job (uh, nobody pays me for this blog) I refuse to feel deadline pressure. This summer has been busier than any summer I can recall: Between hosting jazz safaris, researching some new hotspots and booking/promoting a bunch of concerts for JAZZ.FM91, it’s been a whirlwind and I can’t believe The Ex (signalling “end of summer”) opened just now. Wow.

Gregory Porter sang "Liquid Spirit" and the rain stopped!

Gregory Porter sang “Liquid Spirit” and the rain stopped!

 

I’ve had some good times in the past couple weeks, including seeing a ton of concerts! Most of these shows were at the Newport Jazz Festival; part of the JAZZ.FM International Jazz Safari to Rhode Island.

Speechin' it up at our Jazz Safari dinner at The Grace Vanderbilt.

Speechin’ it up at our Jazz Safari dinner at The Grace Vanderbilt.

There is no way I can pick a favourite act: Gregory Porter, Trombone Shorty, Jon Baptiste and Ceclie McLorin Salvant all gave stellar performances – and legends like Dick Hyman,

Dick Hyman and Jay Leonhart!

Dick Hyman and Jay Leonhart!

Lee Konitz (with Grace Kelly) and Ron Carter were as magical as ever. I was surprised how many tricks John Zorn had up his sleeve…he held a marathon concert with a diverse ensemble and went from experimental to mellow soundtrack music to progrock…it was really exciting!

JAZZ.FM91 donors know how to have fun! Charlie's Angels, anyone?

JAZZ.FM91 donors know how to have fun! Charlie’s Angels, anyone?

Sylvie also loved the scene at the Tennis Hall of Fame!

Sylvie also loved the scene at the Tennis Hall of Fame!

The most memorable show was at the Tennis Hall of Fame…where Deedee Bridgewater and Wynton Marsalis held “court”. The venue was gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the music was unforgettable.

I wish I could tell you this was my hotel suite!

I wish I could tell you this was my hotel suite!

I rented a bike and cycled all over Newport…I enjoyed checking out some of the mansions and also had the best tuna steak of the past five years at a place called 22 Bowden’s Wharf.

Backyard of Rosecliff, where the film "High Society" was shot!

Backyard of Rosecliff, where the film “High Society” was shot!

Abdoulaye live...thanks for the photo, TIBI!

Abdoulaye live…thanks for the photo, TIBI!

Normally after a trip I have a day to decompress but not on this occasion – I returned to Toronto to stage manage (and often emcee) five shows in a row at Hugh’s Room for The JAZZ.FM World Music Festival.

A 101 year old lady got up and danced to Lorraine Klaasen at Hugh's Room!

A 101 year old lady got up and danced to Lorraine Klaasen at Hugh’s Room!

Emma and I both loved to see how busy Hugh's Room was all last week!

Emma and I both loved to see how busy Hugh’s Room was all last week!

Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure put on a remarkable show! He had a delay at the border so the band had to rehearse three hours before the show and they nailed everything! Complex rhythms don’t scare Mark Kelso, Artie Roth or Ernie Tollar. These musicians are as fearless as they are talented. Wonderful concerts from Minor Empire, Lorraine Klaasen and Nomadica followed. Finally to wrap up the series, Harold and Ruy Lopez-Nussa came up from Cuba for a show.

Lopez-Nussa Brothers jammed at my loft after a BBQ with my awesome neighbours!

Lopez-Nussa Brothers jammed at my loft after a BBQ with my awesome neighbours!

They were joined by bassist Roberto Riveron and blew the roof off of Hugh’s Room. I’m so happy they are coming back to do three nights at Jazz Bistro (www.jazzbistro.ca for tickets) in October cuz everyone wanted more! I’d met them in April when I booked them for Jazz Lives (the biggest JAZZ.FM concert of the year) and invited them to stay at my loft instead of a  hotel.

Sailing can be sweet and mellow, but in this case...what a riot!

Sailing can be sweet and mellow, but in this case…what a riot!

That included a free breakfast at 25 Liberty, sailing and a BBQ with my neighbours. The brothers performed in my loft before heading to Niagara Falls and then back to Cuba.

Between Newport and Toronto that’s 26 shows in 10 days. And now…off to The Markham Jazz Festival for…you guessed it…IMG_7409

more live music…

and also coming up this week…MORE SAILING!

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2 Responses to 26 Concerts in 10 Days

  1. Alex Pangman says:

    Ahhhh! How would you describe cecile’s show????

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • jaymzbee says:

      early fifties, other worldly. she was playful and serious; one minute she’d get a little outside and then bring it right back home. serious jazz aficionados loved her, but do so did younger fans who seemed to be there for the “happening”

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