August 14, 2012

Richmond Jazz Festival 2012...Part 1

OMG I just had the best weekend ever!

This past weekend was the jazz fest in RVA.  This was the 3rd year for the event & my 2nd year going.  I went first year but was unable to make it last year due to finances.  So this year, I put money aside to be able to go, and after learning about the line-up, I was so glad I did.

The jazz fest for RVA lasts 3 days. Friday through Sunday, with the Saturday and Sunday performances being held outside at Maymont Park.  During the fest there is a showing of local talent as well as world renowned jazz artists.  I was super excited for the event this year because 11 of the slated artists were people I have listened to for years, of whom 7 I had never seen perform live.  And they were oh so worth the wait.

My hope is that this would be a short post, but I’m not holding my breath.  If I can’t keep it short, there will be multiple posts.

First, the local talent:
One thing that kind of irked me about the local talent slots has nothing to do with the actual talent, but with the fact that the presence of the local talent was referred to as “sudden.”  Like “all of a sudden” there’s this “surge” in local talent.  Now, I don’t know if the announcer for stage 2 made the same references, but that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.   VA has always had an abundance of talented musical artists.  Some of them have just not been highlighted/showcased in RVA in the way that the jazz fest allows…because the jazz fest didn’t exist in RVA until 2010!  Just because the folks who dealt with the jazz fest have become “suddenly” aware does not mean that VA’s talent suddenly appeared. Those folks work their asses off on a regular bases to get noticed in RVA, NVA & HVA, and you don't suddenly appear when you work that hard.

I could go on but I think that pretty much shows how much that statement stuck in my craw. And it was said REPEATEDLY!!!! I wanted to scream…in a bad way. But as I step off my soapbox, I will say that the local talent presented at the festival this year were great. I can only speak to the groups I saw, but Joye B. Moore, Doors Wide Open, Sharon Rae North , K.G. Experience & Anhayla…whose CD I quickly purchased because I loved the message of her title track…and her voice was beautiful and I like supporting young artists…or artists who are younger than me (I think I’m still young….LOL).

Ok…that’s long enough for this post.


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