Thursday, September 15, 2016

Washington, D.C.: DC Jazz Festival

Eddie Palmieri Jazz Band, DC Jazz Festival 2016, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

Suzanne, a superlative hostess, bought us tickets to the DC Jazz Festival before I arrived.

DC Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

The DC Jazz Festival's main venue is at The Yards, which is along the Anacostia River.

 Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz below:

We set up camp at a good spot for people-watching, some shade, and proximity to the stage. We brought a blanket, some cold drinks and snacks. An excellent bit of real estate.

DC Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

But after walking around the vast venue of the park, I saw many people, far away from the stage, lounging on the cool, green grass under tree canopies, using this time to talk, eat, drink with friends and family, with the music as a backdrop instead of the focus. There's a good argument for that approach.

DC Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

Nevertheless, we stayed where we were, which was just across the people-watching sidewalk from the VIP seating section. Later in the day, when the VIP seating looked too empty, the gatekeepers tasked with protecting the elite from us proles allowed us in, you know, to make things look good for the band and for news cameras. So we ended up with front-row seats to the event. Yeah!

C├ęcile McLorin Salvant below:

Every set we heard was from musicians who were skilled, talented, entertaining.

DC Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

I even got to hear a genre new to me, which D.C. claims as its own - go-go music.

Chuck Brown Band, DC Jazz Festival, Washington, D.C. June 2016.

The current-day iteration of an iconic go-go band, Chuck Brown, performed:

And, ooh, good food vendors.

And, you know, it's just fun to spend a day hanging with people who are having a mellow, feel-good time. All the while getting a brain massage from the jazz rhythms that smooth out the neurons and gray matter that get torqued from the accumulation of life's everyday stressors.

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