Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Gearing Up For Jazz Month

Friday, April 24th, 2009

The Atlanta Jazz Fest returns this spring with a monthlong series of shows around the city capped by a Memorial Day weekend slate of outdoor concerts at Grant Park.

Last year, the festival moved from Piedmont Park to downtown’s Woodruff Park to avoid wear and tear on drought-stressed Piedmont.

This year’s festival focuses on local artists and takes place in nightclubs, restaurants and concert halls throughout May.

The Grant Park shows, May 23-24, feature Atlantans Freddy Cole and Russell Gunn and West Coast smooth jazz fusion ensemble Hiroshima.

It’s the 32nd year of the Atlanta Jazz Fest, which has gone through many incarnations since its birth in the 1970s as a wild-haired, free-jazz celebration.

Read Full Article. By Bo Emerson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Artists React to Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Cancellation

Monday, March 16th, 2009

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As most of you know by now, it appears that the 2009 Atlanta Jazz Festival has been cancelled. I’ve heard from the mayor’s office that the Bureau of Cultural Affairs is looking for potential sponsors to bring a 2010 festival to Atlanta, but the city will not be contributing money from its general fund for that purpose. According to the city’s FY2009 budget summary, eliminating the jazz festival will save $142,000.

This week, I’ve been e-mailing with last year’s Future of Jazz winners for some perspective on the mayor’s decision. Kemba Cofield, who won the competition in the straight-ahead vocal category, will be heading to New York next month to record a new album. Mace Hibbard won last year’s straight-ahead instrumental contest. Pianist and flutist Bradford won the nu-jazz category and performs frequently with The Nick Longo Band at the Sambuca Jazz Cafe. Below are their reactions to the mayor’s news.

Read Full Article, by Jon Ross, Jazzlanta.

Bring the Music Back to Music Midtown

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

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As 10,000 people piled in to midtown on Saturday afternoon for the Steamhouse Lounge’s 26th Annual Oysterfest, I couldn’t help but stand on the hill in front of the stage and reminisce about Music Midtown. And I mean thereal Music Midtown circa 1994, when it was located in midtown at the site where the Federal building now stands. The weather was beautiful on Saturday and while getting a beer or an Oyster took some patience, the spot is still the perfect place for a large music event in midtown. One entrance was almost in front of the 10th Street Marta station which made getting to and from the event really easy. There’s plenty of parking nearby, and there’s even the Residents Inn hotel, a.k.a. The Rocking Wyndham!

To see more pictures click here. Atlanta Music Guide.

Atlanta Downtown Festival & Tour: A Weekend-long Party

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

I had been to the Atlanta Downtown Festival & Tour before, but only because I was passing through and was curious as to what all the music and people was about. The thought of having an all out festival in the middle of downtown, set up on Broad Street in the Fairlie Popular District, seemed to be a cool idea. It was a nice little surprise to happen upon.

However, this time I attended the event, schedule May 19 & 20, intently with the baggage of previous knowledge and expectations. Even with that insight, the event did not disappoint. I love live music and they had plenty to match most adult musical taste. They had a live music line-up of 10 – 12 acts over a 2 day period that included singer/songwriters, jazz, R&B, rock bands and everything in between.

The Kick-Off Party held at the AmericasMart downtown featured a funk / R&B band called “The Lock Down Band”. They had a couple of vocalist and a kick-butt guitar player kinda like a cross between Parliment Funk-a-delic and Jimmy Hendrix with a little Prince thrown in (FYI: Huge Prince Fan). I know it sounds weird, but hey, the guy made us feel the funk. The party even had pretty good food and of course alcohol. The first drink was free when you purchased a ticket.

The festival itself was free, unless of course you didn’t include the Tour portion of the Festival & Tour at which point it was $20 per person. Proceeds benefited the neighborhood association. I have to mention that I didn’t take the tour. I did however, talk to several people that did and everyone seems to really enjoy it. It also seemed to be very popular as many people came to our booth I thought looking to get our live music newsletter and register to win a Free iPod only to discover that “Tour Fever” had already consumed them. I don’t know if I could blame them. The “Loft Tour” is basically a bunch of local downtown residents with really nice Lofts and Condos that agreed to be showcase homes to represent downtown living. Some of the homes featured food tastings from local restaurant chefs. My girlfriend enjoyed it even though on her Tour they had stop serving food.

Of course, a festival would not be complete without mentioning the artist on “artist row”. They had all kinds of ecceltic statues, hand crafted jewelry, paintings and drawings. One thing that really struck out was an artist that created beautiful canvass drawings with crayon. His name was Crayon Mark, can’t forget that, right. The detail and realism he created using only crayon was amazing. The cool part is that since he can’t make prints using crayon all his pieces are originals. If he became famous there would be not prints to flood the market. Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

When taking into account the music, the kick-off party, the Loft Tour and the Artist, I can say the Atlanta Downtown Festival & Tour was event better than my initial accidental visit. I hope this is the beginning of a great new tradition for Downtown and City of Atlanta.