Some highlights (at least from my viewpoint):
An absolute don’t miss evening with the Jim Hall Trio including Terry Clark on drums and Don Thompson on bass on November 5. This is the trio that recorded the wonderful Jim Hall Live disk back in 1975. A classic, deep yet understated guitar trio.
The venerable South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim plays on November 1. He’s been playing jazz internationally since the late 1940′s and brings a wonderful, swinging, melodic sensibility to the music, yet is always reaching for new inspirations.
Randy Weston played piano with such bebop luminaries as Nicholas Payton and Kenny Dorham in the ’50s, then went to Africa in the early ’60s and later lived in Morocco. He was one of the first jazz musicians to re-integrate the African-American jazz tradition with current and traditional African music. He’ll be playing on October 28.
Rokia Traore, a wonderful Malian singer, Rokia Traore blends traditional Malian singing with contemporary world-music. She put on some terrific performances at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival a couple of years back, and I suspect she’s grown substantially as an artist since.
The eclectic reedman Don Byron, who’s most known for being a modern clarinet master, is playing Halloween night (October 31), this time on tenor sax – the program says: Don Byron celebrates the 1946 recording sessions that teamed Nat “King” Cole, Buddy Rich, and the tenor-sax titan Lester Young. With piano star Jason Moran and drum monster Billy Hart, Byron, the most touted clarinetist in jazz, again takes up the sax to honor Young’s lyrical innovations. Don Byron gives a pre-concert presentation about the legacy of Lester Young.
There’s lots more – get out there and support our local festival – I think it’s the best jazz festival in North America!