It is possible to feel a stinging grief at the loss of an institution. I write these words in a very sorrowful mood, because I have learned that the 2012 Sweet and Hot Music Festival has been cancelled.
I came late to this particular party: my first (and only) encounter with this musical cornucopia was during the 2011 Labor Day weekend. But as I’ve documented elsewhere on JAZZ LIVES, it was overflowing with good music — sweet and hot — and good feeling.
I understand why enterprises of this scope find it impossible to continue, and I don’t plan to analyze the economic realities of 2012 here. I feel so sorry for the musicians who have lost another place to play, and for the hard-working people behind the scenes, especially my dear friend Laurie Whitlock, one of the hardest-working and kindest people in jazz. For now, I will think fondly of a whirlwind of jazz . . . I documented it on many videos on YouTube, but the future — at least my own version of it — isn’t going to be the same without the Sweet and Hot Music Festival.
I originally planned to add a video performance or two from the 2011 Sweet and Hot Music Festival to show what had happened there . . . and, by extension, what the dimensions of our loss would be — but it seemed an impiety. My feelings find their best expression in silence.
This is the space where the Sweet and Hot Music Festival used to be.