Sunday, June 30, 2013

Jazz Fest round up


"It's always been a dream of mine to play the Toronto Jazz Festival and tonight I am one step closer to that dream"  joked renaissance man Steve Martin as he ushered in his show with the Steep Canyon Rangers on Saturday night and of course the jokes kept coming. He said that people think he is a "Hollywood Dilettante getting on the Bluegrass Gravy Train"...hmm was that a Rob Ford Reference? Also that people wondered "why music and why now Steve?" he answered - wait a minute you're my band...:)

The consummate stand up absurdist comedian, movie star, writer, and one heck of a banjo player also felt he had to confess that he tuned his banjo electronically and now there was far less danger from radiation....for the people at the back of the tent, not so much for those at the front. Also he could check his email...

All kidding aside he has a stellar - Grammy award winning band. He himself admitted to walking away with a  Grammy...until he was told he had won one..ba dum bump. For the second night in a row the sound was also decent..the previous night I enjoyed Boz Scaggs! By the way the Slocan Ramblers did a stellar opening set for Steve Martin - the audience loved them - who knew there were so many bluegrass fans?

Thursday night I enjoyed Gregory Porter - who is outstanding - my minor quibble was as usual - the sound was too loud - do I really need to be wearing earplugs in the Enwave Theatre - with piano, acoustic bass, drums and sax? It was a real love in for the audience - in fact there was a couple next to me who had come all the way from London England to see him as his show was sold out there! I hope to hear him again with clear sound - you should be able to hear the vocals with a singer of his talent....

Tomorrow I'm likely heading back to the Jazz Bistro to hear Micah Barnes again - possibly my best experience at the festival this year.
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