Saturday, June 6, 2009

Friends of VPR at the Discover Jazz Festival

Today at City Hall Park was Big Joe Burrell Day in honor of the late father of the Vermont blues scene. In years past, Big Joe's Day had the effect of a rain dance, drawing the winds and rain and forcing the crowds to retreat to the Contois Auditorium at least twice. Well, not this year: the skies were sunny, the air was warm, and the park was filled with music from lots of familiar faces.

The lineup featured a number of returning visitors as well as some musicians who are well known to Vermonters and VPR listeners. Kicking off the afternoon were the Moss Point High School Jazz All-Stars (pictured left) from Burlington's sister city of Moss Point, Mississippi, marking their 3rd year performing at Discover Jazz. They were followed by the Peterman Skea Quintet, Mike Martin & Trio Gusto, and the Parker Shper Quintet.

Locals might know Mike Martin and Trio Gusto from their many local gigs, including their regular Sunday turn at Radio Bean on N. Winooski here in Burlington. Mike Martin is also a regular commentator for VPR; check out some of Mike's work here in the VPR Archive.

You may also recognize the multi-talented Geoff Kim from his performances seemingly everywhere with everyone (and pictured here at the 2008 VPR Listener Picnic).  Geoff performed today with both the Peterman Skea Quintet AND with Trio Gusto.  He was also a guest on VPR's Jazz with George Thomas this past December when he performed live with bassist Ellen Powell.  Check out photos and listen to that live performance here.

The headliner for this afternoon is no stranger to VPR listeners and local jazz lovers either.  Parker Shper (pictured at left) was a guest on VPR's Jazz with George Thomas last September when he stopped by the VPR studios to perform live with his "8 Percent" partner Øyvind Hegg-Lunde.  Check out photos and listen to the full Live performance of Parker and Øyvind with George Thomas here in the VPR archive.

The Discover Jazz Festival happens all in one zip code, but it definitely draws friends from all over Vermont and the country.

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