Believe it or not this was my first time to the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival...don’t ask me what I was doin’ ‘cuz I dunno. I showed up at the festival around 12 pm when things were just getting underway. The turn out ended up being less than in past years with fewer vendors and attendees due to the possibly inclement weather. Fortunately the rain held off for the entire festival and the temperature reached a humid 85 degrees!
Darryl’s Corner Bar was my home base thanks to Twitter pal @1TruEssence who was helping them build their social media. Darryl Settles was the founder of the festival umpteen years ago before he sold it to Berklee it was really great to watch people come by his table for some gumbo or step in out of the heat to the restaurant for a longer list of fare while listening to the sounds of Elevation Theory.
I had a few stops to make on my roster, first was Berklee graduate Shea Rose who brought funk and her version rock n’ roll with “Im the Ish”and “Free Lovin'” at the Natixis stage. Although her music may have not been the most kiddie friendly, the area certainly was with 3 bounce houses and plenty of space for the munchkins to run around and make themselves dizzy.
I made my way back to the Berklee stage for artist Rajdulari’s peformance and was treated to an easy sound that melted in the ears mama’s fresh apple pie. You couldn’t help, but feel the vibe.
Hunger took over and I made my way to Bukhara Indian Bistro for their veggie plate, but for the carniverous R&S Jamaican Restaurant seemed to be THE place to be as the line was consistently long throughout the day.
I dabbled in the sets of Rafael Zadivar and The Neal Smith Quartet, but I’m not quite to that level of Jazz prowess, though had I had a chair and a glass of wine I probably would have stayed longer.
Oleta Adams closed out the Natixis stage with amped up crowd participation. This woman knows how to work a crowd and enjoy herself in the process. She did a great rendition “Get Here” and closed out her set with “Forgiveness”.
It was quite the day! Plenty of faces seen out like MCee Dutch Rebelle, Rep Tito Jackson, Rep Gloria Fox, George “Chip” Greenidge, Discover Roxbury and the Roxbury Film Festival were out in full force as well. It was a great day to be in Boston !