One thing we’re blessed with at Tri-C JazzFest is a excellent photographic images chronicling our event. We’re very fortunate to have covering every angle of the festival our veteran photo eye Jeff Forman. So in the true spirit of letting these images tell their story, here’s our photo essay on Tri-C JazzFest 2013 April 19-27.
Kenny Garrett was in superb form at his Ohio Theatre matinee on April 20, playing so strong that at one point he took the horn out of his mouth and – I swear – began speaking in tongues! Without question a spiritual highlight of Tri-C JazzFest 2013.
On April 27 TCJF feted our Cleveland homeboy Joe Lovano with a hometown 60th birthday celebration. For the gala occasion Joe not only led his brilliant dual-drummer Us Five unit, he also welcomed to the stage his songbird wife Judi Silvano, and he musically embraced such Cleveland stalwarts important to his formative years as fellow tenor man Ernie Krivda, drummers Val Kent, his brother Carl Lovano, Carmen Castaldi, and Greg Bandy, trumpeter Kenny Davis, B-3 ace Eddie Baccus and several other Cleveland jazz warriors for a wonderful celebration. Joe’s dad, Cleveland’s legendary ancestor tenor man Tony “Big T” Lovano was definitely in the house in spirit!
Joe Lovano’s birthday celebration capped two TCJF Saturdays of stellar matinee concerts (Glasper and Garrett were the preceding Saturday); opening our final Saturday matinee series was the singular guitar artistry of Bill Frisell and his Beautiful Dreamers trio (Eyvind Kang, viola and Rudy Royston, drums). Lovano and Frisell have been cohorts, most notably as members of the ancestor drummer Paul Motian‘s band, dating back to Berklee; so it was no surprise when Joe strolled out playing tenor to cap off one of Frisell’s familiar themes towards the end of the latter’s set. They followed that with a joyous stroll through a bop anthem.
Trombonist Chris Anderson was this year’s music director of TCJF’s resident ensemble SoundWorks. For this year’s program they played tribute to the great Dexter Gordon on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the tenor man’s birth. Apropos one of Dexter’s accomplished acolytes, saxophonist Javon Jackson (one of TCJF’s artists-in-residence this year) was special guest in a performance preceded by a warm Dexter remembrance discussion between Javon and Dex’s widow jazz historian Maxine Gordon.
Young trumpet guns, and Tri-C Jazz Studies alums Curtis Taylor (shown performing with SoundWorks) and Dominick Farinacci (adjudicating and performing with his band, which included pianist Aaron Diehl and the extraordinary vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant during our DownBeat Invitational evenings) were all over this year’s TCJF.
Each season of Tri-C JazzFest we introduce some of the most exceptional young artists to our audiences; for our 2013 festival that artist was unquestionably the young singer Cecil McLorin Salvant, who at the time was on the cusp of her sensational debut recording Woman Child on the Mack Avenue label.
Pianist Orrin Evans (shown in performance with drummer Donald Edwards and bassist Ben Wolfe) and clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen (shown in full throat with the visiting Rimon Ensemble from Tel Aviv, Israel) were our other two artists-in-residence for TCJF jazz ed days and DownBeat Invitational concert evenings.
Natalie Cole always delivers! She’s a first-class professional who truly knows how to stroke an audience, presenting a varied set that included her jazz work, a reprise of her famous dad-on-screen duo with Nat, and her pop hits to send our big stage State Theatre (last of four such TCJF gigs) finale concert audience home happy. And she had superb accompaniment by the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra – who played an opening set, with the great bassist John Clayton shown conducting.
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