The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival was Awesome

Shawn and I just returned from the 29th Annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival.  It was a quick two day vacation to Wilmington, DE.  I know Wilmington might not be the destination of choice for many, but it was been decent respite for us the last few years.  Donnell and Mona stayed also.  We hooked up with them for breakfast on Saturday and this morning.  We then had a couple of mimosas before heading back to the regular routine.  I bought Mom Bell some chicken for dinner and picked up a few prescriptions.  I am settling in for Power as I blog.

On Friday we caught the last few sets of the High and Mighty Jazz Band.  They were pretty good.  We then were treated to the first Harmonica playing headliner that I had ever witnessed.  Frederic Yonnet was a great performer.  He got into the music and had the audience swaying along.  He is originally from France and you could tell from his accent.  He communicated very well in English though.  The headliner of Friday night was Marcia Ambrosius.  Originally from London, Marcia was one half of the dynamic duo known as Floetry.  She was so smooth on Friday.  The size of the crowd reflected it.  I didn't know that she had lived in Philly for a few years.  Ans she's a new Mother.  Shawn and Mona went to the Block Party afterwards.  Sleep beckoned for me.

Saturday was a surprising day for me.  I had commented on the official Facebook page for the event that I thought the lineup was pretty weak.  It went from featuring artists like Andra Day, Leela James and Robert Glasper to Sumi and Somi.  What happened?  Little did I know that the artists were all true Jazz musicians.  The Wilmington Youth Jazz Band featured a wealth of talent.  They played some classic pieces and finished with a song by Stevie Wonder.  They were so poised and rofessional as they finished solos and group pieces.  I am proud of them and their dedication.
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The Robert Zinn group was the epitome of smooth jazz.  They had a few cuts like Summer Nights and 2/1 that kept the crowd moving.  Robert Zen is a trumpet player from Wilmington and he was very proud to represent his talent in his city.  There was a congo player named Pablo Batista from Philly who put in work.  I thoroughly enjoyed this set.  Sumi Toonoka is a classical pianist.  She played with a Bass Guitarist and Drummer from Philly.  She was intense and explained her hits like Be The Dance among others.  She sat in the audience after the performance and enjoyed rest of the show.
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Somi Kakoma was mesmirizing.  Her performance started out with a few chants.  She got my attention with her wonderful dreads and dance movements while performing.  She did a rewrite of a Nina Simone tune called four African women.  It paralleled some of the struggles that Nina witnessed during the civil rights battles of the 1960's.  She was Beautiful.  Her music reminded me of my days in Ubiquity.  It took me back to Africa.  She did not remain to sign CD's afterwards.  I would have bought one for her.
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Regina Carter was the headliner on Saturday.  She plays the violin.  She was doing a rendition of Ella Fitzgerald songs.  Her guitarist was into the songs and music.  He reminded me of a Blues performer.
Regina also gave us the history behind some of her songs.  I did not know that Ella was trying to make a name for herself as a Dancer first.  Regina was also true to the Jazz genre.  This was not a concert for the pop crowd.  Maybe that is where I was mistaken for being critical of the lineup.  I am listening to Enganjyani as I finish writing this post.  It is a melodic song from Somi.  I enjoyed the Clifford Brown 2017 Festival immensely.   Music is a universal language.  I am in the zone!!


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