Sunday, June 23, 2019

These Little Town Blues

What does Elkhart, Indiana, have that Kansas City doesn’t?  The small town hosted a full-scale jazz festival featuring national touring acts this weekend.  The ostensible jazz mecca Kansas City?  Not so much.  The Prairie Village Jazz Festival, the sole jazz festival in the Kansas City area, will present a handful of locally based acts on September 7. 

Gregory Porter- a bona fide jazz star who has never performed in Kansas City- topped the 39-act lineup of the three-day Elkhart Jazz Festival.  New York City’s hot jazz revivalists the Hot Sardines, the adventurous Philadelphia duo Trap Rabbit, a Nashville based fusion band led by drummer Sophia Goodman and the smooth jazz saxophonist Kris Brownlee were among the other noteworthy performers.

The Elkhart Truth reports that Elkhart’s mayor rightfully trumpeted his town’s achievement: “I have it on good authority that some of America’s great jazz cities that include New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City and Chicago have all declared that this weekend, Elkhart is the Jazz Capital of the U.S.”  I can’t vouch for New Orleans, Memphis or Chicago, but I can confirm that the jazz scene in Elkhart resoundingly trounced the offerings in Kansas City during the past 72 hours.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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