Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day One

Perfect weather today for the official opening of the jazz festival. Cool breezes, clear skies, and the June "Strawberry Moon" just a bright, shining day or so away from being full.

In a place where overnight frost advisories are still happening in early June (two this week) the weather is always the single biggest variable for an event that depends on so many outdoor stages and activities.

Nothing to be done but make the best plans possible...and hope for gorgeous days and nights just like today. Church Street and City Park were peppered with tented stages, street performers, and musicians in most every combination conceivable. What fun to unexpectedly encounter a co-worker (VPR's own Sean LaRock) in face paint and costume standing on a corner busking. I didn't even know he was a performer!

On the Flynn Main Stage, Anat Cohen and Esperanza Spalding shared the bill as the opening act for this year's festival. They played to a full (and enthusiastic!) house.

Tonight marked a return performance for Esperanza, whose 2007 performance at the Flynn Space was the big buzz that year, and this was a first-time appearance for Anat. But not, we hope, the last.

After two long sets, closing in on midnight, the show ended and a stroll up the street revealed one scene ending (dinner and post dinner-entertainment) and another just beginning. The late-night crowd was starting to fill the streets, serenaded by thumping and singing and laughing coming from every direction.

The message was as clear as the beautiful, starry night: it doesn't last long enough to risk wasting a single moment.

We sure know how to do summer here.

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