Again, as in years past, the Atlantic Jazz Festival treated Haligonians and out-of-town visitors to some exceptional musical experiences, exposure to areas of fascinating and expansive world musical forms, and opened up ears and minds to adventurous and daring sonic inventiveness. And of course, gave an opportunity for the myriad local musical ensembles to entertain and show off their often amazing skills and boundless enthusiasm I'm speaking of youth groups, big band enthusiasts and musical collectives of various stripes that performed afternoons at the Jazz Tent.
Record attendance this year, music lovers. Sure the generally fine weather helped. But in large measure attendance hinged on the wise and diverse musical choices of Creative Director Adam Fine and his tireless organizational colleagues and team to generate attendance success. Kudos to them all.
A couple of comments from two pass holders I met one evening in a queue worth passing on. The first. Recorded music was played at the Jazz Tent prior to and between acts. Often, these gents said, the music intrigued them to such an extent that they wanted to buy the recording for future enjoyment. "It would be nice if the emcee would announce the CDs , " one said. Their other comment is also worth airing. It would be better, they thought, for us in seats if dancing could be moved from in front of the stage like a mosh pit, to designated areas off to the sides. "We didn't pay to see people dance."
I must say I'm sympathetic. Trying to see Rachid Taha, a very short man, proved difficult thanks to a bobbing, leaping, arm-pumping throng of fans dancing. effectly walling off the view from the seats.
But the real pity of it, in regards to the Festival, is that I couldn't catch all the terrific acts. That said, I look forward to next year's line up of fabulous live music.