Editor’s Note: Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who helped create the children’s educational program “Schoolhouse Rock” and was its primary composer and musical director, died April 23 at age 94.
That turned out to be a blast! I’m talking about the 35th annual Pensacola JazzFest.
Saturday, the rain stopped our early bands: Random Middle School Jazz Band, Tate High School Jazz Band, Tate High Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Northwest Florida State College Jazz Ensemble.
If you get a chance to hear these ensembles, please do! They will not disappoint!
After the rain finally cleared, we were able to begin with our headliners. We got to start with the great Gene Bertoncini.
What a treat; alas, he was there only for the Saturday performance.
The Collegiate All-Star Big band was next, featuring one of our headliners, Andy Martin.
Pianist Michael Pellera from New Orleans was up next with his trio playing classic standards.
Smooth jazz artist Paula Atherton took the stage and had the crowd moving with her quartet.
The Scott Wilson Quintet was next playing a killer set of hip arrangements and originals … smoking!
Patrick Frost and his trio brought a very cool island jazz vibe to the festival … steel pans (not drums), conch shells and ukulele!
And … for those of you in town that left … for those of you in town that did not come out … shame …
At the end of the day, Pensacola was introduced to one of the hippest bands to play this area in a long time: The 4 Korners! You can ask those who were there … a musical journey!
Sunday, of course, was a much better day weatherwise … a little cold, but dry!
We had a great line-up of high school and college bands: Milton High Jazz Band, Pace High Jazz Band, Pensacola State College, Booker T. Washington Jazz Band and the University of West Florida Jazz Band. They all were awesome!
Don Snowden’s Big Band was there on day two to perform with headliner Andy Martin.
The headliners were as awesome on day two as they were on day one!
Although the weather throughout the weekend was not jazz friendly, the music was spot-on!
Get ready for JazzFest 2019!
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Two months away from the 2018 Pensacola JazzFest!
And what a festival it will be.
There will be music for everyone.
Our headliners this year:
Starting off the event at 7 p.m. on Friday night, April 6, at Pensacola State College, Andy Martin will hold a rehearsal with the collegiate band made up of students from Pensacola State College, University of West Florida, Northwest Florida State College and Coastal Alabama Community College. This event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, at the main JazzFest site at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, we will have an amazing line-up!
Starting at 10 a.m. with a few of our middle, high school and college bands.
At 1 p.m. we have the great Gene Bertoncini Trio. Gene will be here only on Saturday, so check him out, all of you guitarists out there!
Andy Martin will be with the collegiate band on Saturday and with Don Snowden’s Big Band on Sunday.
New Orleans/New York resident and jazz pianist Michael Pellera will hit the stage with his trio!
For the smooth jazz enthusiasts we have the awesome Paula Atherton on saxophone and vocal! A native New Yorker, she’s guaranteed to get you up and moving!
The Scott Wilson Quintet will satisfy all the straight-ahead or Brazilian jazz lovers. World class!
Patrick Frost will bring his mixture of “Island Jazz,” steel pans, conch shell, trombone and keys!
Closing both days will be:
Although they may be labeled a jazz fusion band, they prefer to call their sounds “Journey Music.” They will take you on one for sure!
Make your plans! Come to the Pensacola JazzFest!
Bring a friend … hug a musician!
And Happy Valentines! ❤️
Goodbye 2017 … Hello 2018!
Out with the old … but wait! The old can be great memories to cherish, especially in jazz.
In 2017 we lost a list of many treasures. Gone, but not forgotten:
Charles “Bobo” Shaw … Keely Smith … Mundell Lowe … Jeter Thompson …
Della Reese … Sol Schlinger … Jon Hendricks … Grady Tate …
Larry Elgart … Muhal Richard Abrams … Geri Allen … Dave Pell …
John Abercrombie … Svend Asmussen … Walter Becker … Allan Holdsworth …
Buddy Greco … Barbara Carroll … Larry Coryell … Arthur Blythe … Al Jarreau …
Kevin Mahogany … Chuck Loeb …
Just to name a few.
If you have not heard of some of the listed artists….please seek them out and treat yourself to great music.
Coming up: A great 2018
Look for great events in 2018 from Jazz Pensacola.
The Jazz Gumbos continue to be well-attended events. This month will feature the music of Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione! Presented by Dr. Brian Taylor and Friends.
Our Super Jazz Gumbo in February will feature the music of New Orleans with The Village Brass and The Seville Saints. From Second-Line to Dixieland to Swing to Funk! It will be an evening not to miss!
Our JazzFest will be another great event. The line-up will have music for everyone, from straight-ahead jazz to smooth jazz to island jazz to big band to jazz-fusion! Not to mention our middle, high school and college bands!
We have all the information here on the site.
Yes, 2018 is here! As the man said, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!
At your service.
I want to say “Thank you” to all who participated and attended the 2017 Jazz Pensacola Jingle Jazz!
There was a great turn out . The music was topnotch!
Jazz for the holidays …the holiday season always takes me back to an album crate I still have. I push to the Holiday Section, and I dust off my favorite holiday records, LPs, 33s …
“An Oscar Peterson Christmas”
“Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas”
“Crescent City Christmas Card”
“Sound Of Christmas”
“A Charlie Brown Christmas”
Vince Guaraldi Trio
“Six String Santa”
They will play through New Year’s Day at Casa Domulot!
Not necessarily in order!
Happy Holidays, Pensacola!
“Give Peace A Chance”
Jazz = music of the city.
You typically find jazz thriving in large metropolitan areas because that’s where the music was born.
But what if you have a passion for jazz and don’t live in a major city? How do you keep growing as an artist/musician?
- Go find the music. It’s there; you have to find it! Almost every night of the week, you can find an open mic or jam night in Pensacola. If you are by yourself, bring the jazz element to the open jam. If you have a band, sit in.
- Create the scene; get people excited about the music. Find venues that will host an open mic, and create the jazz session. Build a musician list, and also build an audience.
- Get to know other players. Make friends. Be nice to fellow musicians, even if they are not nice to you! Treat them with respect. Be sociable.
- Be a teacher. What to do when you attend sessions only to discover the pool of “jazz” players is shallow: Help create them. There is so much to gain through teaching. Giving back is awesome!
- Play for free? Never. Even open mic hosts get paid.
- Most importantly, remember: We can actually change the feel and culture of a town by keeping the music alive.
“Give Peace A Chance”