Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 PV Jazz Fest: The Local Acts

Three years ago it was rained out. Last year, temperatures in the 90s reduced the crowd size until evening. So I started checking the forecast in the Weather Channel app on my phone ten days before the festival. I checked it four or five times some days, and every time it was different. Once – about nine days out – it predicted a high in the 90s with a 90 per cent chance of rain. That’s about as bad as it could get. But as the day of the event drew closer, rain chances dropped to zero and temperature predictions eased down to the mid-70s.

That’s where we wound up. The weather on Saturday, September 6th for the 2014 Prairie Village Jazz Festival could not have been better. Just as importantly, neither could the music. Every act, from start to close, performed at its best and gave the audience a sampling of the terrific range and the outstanding quality of jazz found in Kansas City today.

The audience was a bit smaller than last year. A $5 cover charge will do that. But it also was key to the festival turning its first meaningful profit and to providing much needed seed money for the 2015 Prairie Village Jazz Festival.

But before we move on, this week and next let’s take a look at photos from the 2014 festival. Below are shots of the local acts. Next week will offer photos of the headliners. As always, clicking on a photo should open a larger version of it.

Under a beautiful sky, an audience starts to gather for the Shawnee Mission East Blue Knights.

The festival lineup for Project H, left to right: Andrew Ouellette on piano, Dominique Sanders on bass, leader Ryan Heinlein on trombone, Matt Leifer on drums, Brett Jackson on saxophone, Nate Nall on trumpet. Hidden: Jeff Stocks on guitar.

The Project H front line of Ryan Heinlein, Brett Jackson and Nate Nall (and in the background, Jeff Stocks).

Shay Estes with Rod Fleeman and Matt Otto. Left to right: Mark Lowrey on piano, Shay Estes, vocals, Karl McComas-Reichl on bass, Matt Otto on tenor sax, John Kizilarmut on drums, Rod Fleeman on guitar.

The front lone of Shay Estes, Matt Otto and Rod Fleeman.

Shay Estes sings

Matt Otto on sax

Appreciating a Rod Fleeman solo

The Jazz Disciples on stage. Lest to right: Everett Freeman on piano, DeAndre Manning on bass, Gerald Dunn on saxophone, Michael Warren on drums and guest Jason Goudeau on trombone.

Pianist Everett Freeman

Saxophonist Gerald Dunn

For the festival, the Jazz Disciples added as guest vocalist the wonderful Stephanie Moore.

Also a Jazz Disciple guest: trombonist Jason Goudeau

Stephanie Moore and Everett Freeman

The Bram Wijnands Swingtet. Left to right: Bram Wijnands on piano, Dave Chael on alto sax, Barry Springer on trumpet, Carl Bender on baritone sax, Phillip Wakefield on drums

Pianist Bram Wijnands

The front line of Dave Chael, Barry Springer and Carl Bender.

As the sun sets, the audience grows.

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