August 15, 2012

Richmond Jazz Fest part 2...Day 1

On to the international supa-stars!

I originally planned to go the festival both days, with the exception being that if one day held artists whom I’d already seen, I would possibly not go on that day, and save some money.  That reasoning flew out of the window the DAY the lineup was released. Here’s the list of artists I have loved listening to for years, but had not seen live:

Kim Waters
Dave Koz
Bebe Winans
Brian Simpson
John Pizzarelli
George Benson

Now, let me make this perfectly clear: I HAD TO SEE GEORGE BENSON AND DAVE KOZ! Point blank, period. There was no question about it. Had to, had to, had to! Did you get that?  I have been listening to both of them for longer than I can remember and have wanted to see them live since I was old enough to go to a concert without parental permission.  For the others, I have followed them for years as well, but I pretty much know and can pinpoint when I first heard them.  So, here’s a quick list of who & when…

Najee: First heard in 93 while in NC. NC has always had good jazz stations while RVA…not so much.
Brian Simpson:  I don’t remember the year exactly, but it was Christmas 96 or 97.  Heard him singing the Charlie Brown Christmas song…it was the 1st time that song didn’t annoy me & I’ve listened to it with different ears ever since.
Kim Waters: 2001, coming home from Wal-mart, listening to a local broadcast of the Dave Koz Radio Show that was, unfortunately, short-lived in RVA.
Bebe Winans: Whatever year “Addictive Love” hit the airways. A while later I learned it was supposed to be a gospel song…and that he & Cece were siblings…

Needless to say, the lineup had me super hype, and it totally lived up to the excitement. Starting with Kim
Waters, whose performance it rained for in the beginning…but the sun came out & the party continued.
Then there was Dave featuring Brian and Bebe. And Dave Koz & his band move the ENTIRE time they
are on the stage! So much energy and no down time.  And to top it all off, I was the last person to run in
& see Kim Waters at the meet and greet and I got a pic with him!!!

I mean, autographs are nice but the last thing I need is another piece of paper to hold on to…unless its
money or a check. Pictures are so much better!

Oh! I almost forgot, there was this dude from WA that came through named Allen Stone.  Seeing him
was a complete accident but, I tell you, it was an accident worth making! I got my timing mixed up for
Kim Waters and by the time someone who was sitting behind us at stage one let me know my error, my
family & I were already packed up…so we kept it moving.  He was well worth the error. I was
expecting a little country/rock-esque performance after seeing him standing on stage but that man with a
60s/70s Woodstock era look was full of pure soul! I thoroughly enjoyed his performance.

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