Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Festival Experience- Newport Jazz Festival Day 2

Sunday, August 3rd was an incredible day at the Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management. The weather was much better; the clouds simply covered the sun for a cool day. 

MA All State Jazz Band with conductor Shelly Berg
First, I had the amazing experience of playing a set at the festival with the MA All State Jazz Band under the direction of conductor Shelly Berg. 

Meeting Ron Carter
Following the set, I saw guitarist Russell Malone again, and turned around to meet Ron Carter! 

Meeting Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly was also behind the set, and came over to talk to a couple of us. 

Meet and greet with Oran Etkin
The All State Jazz Band had a meet and greet with a jazz artist, Oran Etkin, who kindly answered some of our questions. 

With my brother at NJF
I was very happy to have my brother JP come to Newport and spend the day. Although not a huge jazz fan, JP likes John Coltrane's "Giant Steps"and Sun Ra's Arkestra- and after Newport he now loves Vijay Iyer's music! 

Vijay Iyer Sextet 
I have seen Vijay Iyer on multiple occasions, but this concert with with the Vijay Iyer Sextet with Graham Haynes, Mark Shim, Steve Lehman, Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore. The set was like one giant jam, which was really exciting to hear the complete spontaneity of the group's interactions.

Vijay Iyer Sextet 
Mingus Big band 
Afterwards, I watched the Mingus Big band from the balcony of the main stage. This was an amazing view, and allowed for a full sonic experience. I was completely surprised when the Mingus Big band played "Fables of Faubus" and included the lyrics (which were originally banned when the song came out!).

Meeting Ravi Coltrane 
Following this, I went to see part of the Ron Carter Trio's set. While backstage, I met Ravi Coltrane and Danilo Perez. 
Gary Burton with Julian Lage
I was feet away from the stage for the Gary Burton with Julian Lage concert. The group blended seamlessly, creating an exciting vibe. Following the concert, I met Gary Burton, who also went to Berklee College of Music. 

Meeting Gary Burton
Danilo Perez Panama 500

I was very excited to see Danilo Perez's Panama 500 because Danilo is a teacher at Berklee. The best moment of his show was when Perez invited his young son to the stage to play percussion, and he had the biggest smile on his face.

Bobby McFerrin Spirit-you-all
Capping off the day, I watched Bobby McFerrin's Spirityouall from the balcony on the main stage. I had seen the sound check for this act at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and I listen to this concert  on NPR constantly, so it felt quite relaxing and familiar.

Final Thoughts: 
The Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Assest Management is always a thrill, but this  60th anniversary was especially enthralling. Life is marked by special moments, and this festival contained many unforgettable ones!

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