M&T JazzFest a Hit!

Jazz Fest Stage June 25, 2011
 It may be easier to call this past weekend's jazz festival a music festival since Friday's and last night's acts covered R&B, soul and blues.  Rain and in a few cases thunderstroms dampened (no pun intended) the comfort of sitting in a lawn chair but the music soared.  Held on the campus of Onondaga  Community College in Syracuse, NY, Felix Cavaliere's Rascals, the Average White Band, and the Robert Cray Band headlined the evening.  The set by the Rascals included all their hits and a continuous medley of soul classics.  Not to be outdone, AWB brough fresh approaches to their hits and also borrowed extensively from the soul music portfolio.  Lisa and I did not stay for Robert Cray, who I really wanted to hear.  The crisp evening air and drenched clothes forced an unplanned retreat back to the car and home.  The reviews of Cray's set was what I expected.  He rocked!
Bill, Jammin at Jazz Fest!

Last night crackled with a performance by the NYC based group, Jazz Guitars Meet Hendrix.  Using an all Hendrix songbook, the group delivered fresh interpretations of Jimi's music and firmly establised his place in jazz circles.  Al Chez and The Brothers of Funk Big Band performed an engaging set of jazz/rock fusion that reminded me of the the Don Ellis Big Band.  The festival closed with Return To Forever IV featuring Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White, Jean-Luc Ponty and Frank Gambale.  While sporadic rain occurred throughout the other performances, the rain held off for RTF.  All I can say is that this current version of the RTF franchise did not disappoint!

While the overall festival was slightly scaled back from previous years, music lovers and jazz fans were once again treated to two nights of wonderful music for free.

To learn nmore check out SyracuseJazz Fest.com