Monday, September 13, 2010

Notes on the Prairie Village Jazz Festival

Saturday's Prairie Village Jazz Festival was a spectacular success.

About 1,000 people were already on hand when Killer Strayhorn, the festival's first act, concluded its fine set at 3:50 p.m. The audience had ballooned to at least 5,000 by the time Karrin Allyson joined the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra near the end of the free event.

She sang four songs in her thirty-minute appearance- "Hello, Young Lovers," "Jordu," "This Happy Madness" and "Humdrum Blues." She singled out her guitarist and Kansas City Jazz Orchestra member Rod Fleeman for extra praise.

"You're like the Kansas City God," Allyson exclaimed. "You ought to be recognized for it."

Eldar's festival-friendly set was also excellent. The sound system couldn't handle the low rumble of Armando Gola's electric bass, but that was one of the festival's few flaws. I also could have done without the absurdly unsupervised tots adorable children who chatted so loudly at the lip of the stage that they could be heard through the monitors. And the lines to purchase food and beverage tickets were sometimes painfully long.

Otherwise, the event was close to perfect. It's a huge win for Kansas City's jazz scene.

(Original images of Eldar's trio and the audience by Plastic Sax.)


mike t. said...

glad to hear it went well and was a success.

if the "adorable" kids could be heard through the monitors, i can't imagine how annoyed the performers must have been. parents, take note!

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget to mention the local small groups who acquitted themselves quite nicely. Killer Strayhorn, the Sons of Brasil, and David Basse and Orchestra 2010 brought out their "A list" of songs and kicked off the festival in style. I hope this is the first of many jazz festivals in PV.

Happy In Bag said...

Agreed, Mike.

That's right, Anon. Other obligations forced me to miss the sets by Sons of Brasil and David Basse.

Cb said...

This is great for the KC metro in my humble opinion, HIB! It is similar to the jazz concert series that we have started in Leavenworth. I like the fact of more venues giving more KC area artists an opportunity to perform. Not just the same old names and acts we always see everywhere playing everywhere over and over. The same names are cool, but there are other artists based in KC too who merit performance opportunities as well. KC can support a few more of these types of venues/festivals based upon the substantial number of musicians working here. And, this and our jazz series in Leavenworth are proof that something positive can happen in the metro by taking the initiative to create or make a scene. I believe that this new period we have entered is a great and exciting time for the Kansas City Jazz Scene - INDEED!

Peace, Cb