Wednesday, July 29, 2009

9th Annual Jazz Festival

July 24th and 25th were jamming nights, at the Stonington Opera House, with the Deer Isle Jazz Festival. The event was the 9th annual festival and continued with the tradition of showcasing innovative jazz musicians.

On Friday, July 24th, the Danza Quartet performed. It was New Orleans "deep cuts" with pianist Tom McDermott and clarinetist Evan Christopher. The show explored music of New Orleans, French West Indian beguine, Brazilian choro, and Trinidadian calypso. The quartet was completed with drummer Shannon Powell (who has drummed with Diana Krall and Harry Connick, Jr., among many others), and Matt Perrine (arguably the finest sousaphonist in the world). Pianist Tom McDermott had spent the week prior to the performance in residency at the Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Deer Isle.

On Saturday, July 25th, the Pyramid Trio with Roy Campbell (trumpets) performed showcasing avant-grade, modern jazz. Campbell is one of modern jazz's most articulate and wide–ranging trumpet voices. His Pyramid Trio references the musical lineage that spans Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. This year marks Parker's return visit to Stonington; he was a performer and Haystack artist–in–residence in 2004. The trio also includes drummer Michael Wimberly.

Each night's performance was opened by local bands;on Friday, saxophonist Duncan Hardy's quintet; and on Saturday, George Stevens Academy's awarding–winning combo, Musaic, directed by Steve Orlofsky.