These two worthies found love at the Jazz Bash by the Bay:
I am not proposing that everyone who goes to this year’s festival (March 7-9) will come away with the Love of His / Her Life — maybe you are all already spoken for.
But the music will be wonderful. And I write this as someone who’s been there since 2010.
For me, the Jazz Bash by the Bay was a transformative experience.
I had not been to California since having been conceived there . . . . insert your own witticism here. And when I had the notion in March 2010 of going to see and hear the people I so admired in their video appearances, I expected to have a good time in a new jazz setting, perhaps make a few new friends.
It was a life-altering experience: I came back to New York and said to the Beloved, “I’ve never had such a good time in my life. Do you think we could spend the summer in California?”
Fast forward to 2014, where I am writing this from Novato, with serious plans to make the Golden State my retirement home.
So if the Jazz Bash by the Bay can make one couple find love; if it can make a native New Yorker say, “I’ll move to California,” I think its powers are . . . powerful. But enough personal narratives. What’s in store for you?
As always, a wide variety of well-played music.
You can visit the site to find out if Your Favorite Band is going to be there, but here are some kinds of music that will be played: blazing stride piano in solo and duo, boogie-woogie, sweet singing in so many forms, rocking small-band swing, New Orleans ensemble polyphony, trad, Dixieland, blues, zydeco, gypsy swing, classic songs from the Great American Songbook, Jazz Age hot dance music, ragtime piano, stomp, swing, music to dance to, San Francisco jazz, washboard rhythm, music to hold hands to.
And the stars? Well . . . Ray Skjelbred, High Sierra, Carl Sonny Leyland, Bob Draga, Rebecca Kilgore Trio, Dan Barrett, Ivory and Gold, Ellis Island Boys, Marc Caparone, Le Jazz Hot, Jeff Hamilton, Dawn Lambeth, Virginia Tichenor, Marty Eggers, Yve Evans, Katie Cavera, Paul Mehling, Clint Baker, Stephanie Trick, Paolo Alderighi, Frederick Hodges, Jim Buchmann, Eddie Erickson, Jason Wanner, John Cocuzzi, Howard Miyata, Big Mama Sue, Ed Metz, the Au Brothers, Bob Schulz, Pieter Meijers, Brady McKay, Tom Rigney, Royal Society Jazz Orchestra . . . and more, and more.
The BAND LINEUP.
The all-important too-Much-Of-A-Good-Thing-Is-Wonderful SCHEDULE, which calls for careful planning (“If I go to see X, then I have to miss part of Y, but it puts me in a good place to be right up front for Z. Anyone have a Tylenol?”) — with four or five sessions going on at the same time.
And most important — with a Sidney Catlett drum roll or a Vic Berton tympani flourish — the GET TICKETS NOW page.
I try to hold down the didactic tendencies that four decades of standing in front of sleepy (good-natured) young men and women have solidified, but I hope readers will permit me this basic logic exercise. Festivals where people buy tickets last forever. Festivals where people don’t vanish. And then there is a wailing and a gnashing of teeth — very hard on the neighbors and harder on the dental work. I think of the California festivals that have moved into The Great Memory even in my short acquaintanceship with this state.
(Or, as William Carlos Williams — or was it Philip Larkin? — wrote: “Want it to stay? Do not delay.”)
So I hope to see throngs of friends and even strangers at the Jazz Bash by the Bay. Anything that makes live jazz in profusion go on is a good thing.
P.S. Need more evidence? Go to YouTube and type in “Dixieland Monterey,” or “Jazz Bash by the Bay,” or the name of your favorite artist. I, Rae Ann Berry, and Tom Warner, among others, have created many videos — enough to while away the hours in the most energized ways. Proof!
May your happiness increase!