Thursday, June 3, 2010

Opening Night At The 27th Annual BDJF

Robert Frost wrote, "Good fences make good neighbors."

Burlington mayor Bob Kiss offered a slightly different version of that thought, in tonight's opening reception for this year's Burlington Discover Jazz Festival: "Good streets plus good sidewalks make a good jazz festival."

He had been introduced as a champion of jazz, and while he didn't disagree with that description he also wanted to give a little perspective on the broader range of his mayoral responsibilities. It's not all fun and games. Tomorrow morning first thing he'll be working on securing funding for an upcoming street and sidewalk project in the city.

True enough, a mayor has to be able to perform in a lot of different roles. And the point was well taken: like a city, the Festival is also dependent on all of the underlying systems and structures that support it.

But on this night, it was just about the music.

Halvorson's hosted the reception, including a bluesy, searing opening set on the outdoor patio featuring Project Organ Trio. They simmered along nicely in a grooving musical complement to the sweet Lake Champlain Chocolates and the cured Vermont Smoked Meats making their way around the place on everyone's plates.

Where to go after an opening like this? Tomorrow night's fun continues with the Big Joe Burrell statue dedication at the top of Church Street at 4:30; Arturo Sandoval's show at the Flynn at 8; Sierra Leone's Refugee AllStars at the Fountain Stage (10:30) and the first of many nights of great music all around town.

Things are off to a very good start!

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