Two adventurous collaborations between American and African musicians. Marsalis unveiled new music for J@LC to play with a 10-piece drum group. Traditional clarinetist Dr. Michael WhiteDr. Michael White b.1954 clarinet and several colleagues joined with four more percussionists on a set that included music from both sides of the Atlantic.
An old-fashioned blowing session open to all has become a tradition to help close out the Jazz Tent's final day, and "Blodie's Jazz Jam" was again a highlight. With eight or nine horn players out front led by Gregory "Blodie" Davis, a leader of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and a rotating cast of keyboardists and percussionists, the jam consisted of lengthy improvisations on just three wildly swinging tunes.
Finally, the notoriously fickle spring weather in Louisiana was nearly picture perfectsunny, low- to mid-80s, only one day of tornado alerts that amounted to nothing more than a nice breeze. It didn't rain until the tail end of the final Sunday, when a half-hour downpour sent some scurrying for the tents or the exits.
"Now, it's officially Jazz Fest," quipped one spectator near me.