If the downbeat to summertime in Vermont is the annual Discover Jazz Festival (and, it is) then the official downbeat for spring is the annual press conference where the full Discover Jazz schedule is revealed.
That happened today in Burlington.
Geeda Searfoorce, the Festival’s Associate Director, had it just right in her introduction when she said “you can feel the music in the air”. The gallery (home of the annual conference) buzzed with many of the area’s top music media folks from radio and TV, members of the Festival advisory board and reps from the many Fest sponsors. A few steps inside the door and everyone was tearing into the press kit, leafing through page after page of artist listings for this year’s event. If not music itself (come to think of it why wasn’t there background music?) there was a lot of talk about music in the air today.
The headliners have been public for a while now (Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, and Pink Martini, in case you’ve missed the first big splash) but the rest – and often the most interesting part of the lineup – was kept under wraps until today.
Highlights? You bet. Lots of them: starting with the opening night, this is definitely one of the ‘don’t miss’ shows of the Festival: Esperanza Spalding (bass, vocals, charm by the bucketful) and Anat Cohen (clarinet, sax + innovation like you wouldn’t believe). Mark that one down. In fact, just get your ticket now so you’re not sad when (when) it sells out.
Also very much looking forward to the Luis Perdomo Trio (6/8), the Grace Kelly Quintet (6/9), Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph (6/10), the Waterfront Funk Tent (6/11)-featuring one of my N’awlins favorites, Russell Batiste ….and that’s just the first week.
Check out the schedule. You’ll have your own favorites, and, best of all will be those great moments you won’t find until you get there: artists performing in local venues, all the way up and down Church street, and everywhere around town.
Make a plan, get tickets for the shows, and give yourself the time to explore and be surprised.
Guess that’s why they call it Discover Jazz.
P.S. – Just in case you think the schedule alone would be enough to get a bunch of light-deprived media folks inside on such a beautiful day (though, with this crowd it actually would be) – one of the Festival’s sponsors is Lake Champlain Chocolates. The ice cream and chocolate truffles didn’t hurt…I’m just sayin’… Thanks, Lake Champlain!