Newport Jazz Festival 2018, Fort Adams, Rhode Island

Music keeps you young. One didn’t have to look further than 92-year old George Wein introducing 80 year-old Charles Lloyd on Saturday to figure that out. Wein, co-founder and patriarch of all things Newport Jazz, was delighted when Lloyd wanted to kick off his ninth decade at Newport and Wein bestowed him the honor of 2018’s artist in residence, with Lloyd performing in strikingly different musical settings over the festival’s three days.   Count myself lucky this year to cover both the Folk and Jazz weekends at the Fort and still had the glow from the Folk Festival as the town pivoted with ease from one to the other. Monday night was a table setter at the 5th Element for trumpeter Doug Woolverton and Joshua Hill, an up and coming pianist who sat in, and I would get to know better as the week went on (and so will you in the years ahead).   As with Folk the previous weekend, discoveries are at the heart of Newport Jazz. And while I consider myself pretty steeped in the stuff, I was familiar with, perhaps, a quarter of the acts coming into Friday. While Still Dreaming featuring Joshua Redman and Brian […]

Newport Jazz Fest inspires young pianist Joshua Hill

The Newport Jazz Festival has its share of discoveries. This year, mine was not on any the Fort stages (yet), but you can bet that won’t last long. I heard Joshua Hill sit in with trumpeter Doug Woolverton last Monday at The Fifth Element on Broadway, and my ears stood on end. That he’s 19, and only been at it for a few years is more than a little wow. The Newport Daily News piece has a great profile of Josh and features a 1/4 page above the fold photo from a quick shoot I did with him the week before the festival. Joshua Hill. Remember the name.   Some other images from that shoot below.                        

Arroyo Seco Weekend, Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena

June 23-24, 2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend is not fussy. The beer is thick with local crafts, the something for everyone eats abundant with vegetarian options, and, yes, it felt like a day in the park with a rich soundtrack. The inclusive, relaxed setting and vibe made for one of most satisfying fest experiences I’ve had outside New Orleans. Goldenvoice worked out many of the freshmen kinks to bring us a uniquely L.A. area festival that was musically textured and easy to navigate, with zero attitude, when it so could have gone the other way. No need to pony up for VIP treatment here. Getting around was no issue, food and (pricey) drinks were never too far, Rose Bowl bathrooms were always an option, and while the Oaks stage was packed for headliners, it was manageable and easy to get close throughout most of the day. Oh, did I mention parking was included with entry? Even with only three stages, I still racked up 7-8 miles a day covering 30 of 36 acts over the weekend, but the 8th and 9th holes and driving range of Brookside felt like carpet compared to most fests. Near perfect June weather helped. Saturday highlights […]
Jun 08
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: 610 Stompers, Aaron Wilkinson, accordion, Acura Stage, Aerosmith, Amanda Shaw, Americana, Anders Osborne, Anita Baker, Archie Shepp, Astral Project, Beck, Ben Ellmen, Big Chief Red, bluegrass, blues photography, Blues Tent, Bo Dollis, Bonerama, Brandon Lewis, Buddy Guy, Butler Bernstein, Cage the Elephant, cajun music, Carolyn Wonderland, Charles Lloyd, Charlie Gabriel, Chris Mule, Christian Scott, classic rock, Clint Maedgen, Commodores, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Corey Henry, Darcy Malone, Dave Malone, David Byrne, David Shaw, Debbie Davis, Delbert McClinton, Dianne reeves, Dirty Notes, Doug Kershaw, Dumpstaphunk, Ellis Marsalis, Epiphone guitar, Erica Falls, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Fats Domino, Galactic, Gentilly Stage, George Benson, George Wein, Gibson SG, Givers, Glen David Andrews, Gospel Tent, Henry Butler, Hiss Golden Messenger, Honey Island Swamp Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, Hot 9, Hot Rize, Instruments a'Comin', Irma Thomas, Ivan Neville, Jack Johnson, Jack White, Jake Shimabukuro, Jason Isbell, Jazz & Heritage Stage, jazz photography, Jeff Raines, Jesse McBride, Jim Brock Photography, Jimmy Buffett, John Boutte, John Mahoney Big Band, John Mayall, Johnny Sketch, Johnny Vidacovich, Jon Batiste, Kermit Ruffins, Kidd Jordan, Lagniappe Stage, Leah Chase, Les Paul, Leyla McCalla, Lionel Richie, LMB, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Mardi Gras indians, Mark Mullins, MC Taylor, Mike Dillon, Mr Sipp, music photography, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Nicholas Payton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Paul Sanchez, Police, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Quint Davis, Radiators, reggae, Rich Vogel, Robert Mercurio, Rolling Road Show, Ron Carter, Ronell Johnson, roots music, Ruthie Foster, Samantha Fish, Shamarr Allen, Shannon Powell, Sheryl Crow, Sonny Landreth, Stanton Moore, Stephen Bernstein, Steve Miller, Steve Riley, Steve Tyler, Sting, Stratocaster, Sturgill Simpson, Talking Heads, Tank & the Bangas, Telecaster, Terence Blanchard, The Revivalists, Thinline, Threadheads, Tipitina's, Tipitina's Foundation, Toots & the Maytals, trombone, Trumpet Mafia, ukelele, Walter Trout, website, Wild Magnolias, WWOZ Jazz Tent

Reflections and Musings of a Jazz Fest Photographer – 2018 Edition

April 27 – May 6, 2018 Best Jazz Fest ever? It’s a tie between the last one and the next one. Jazz Fest 49 was no exception. Seven Fest days and 30 minutes of rain. Unheard of. Unexpected discoveries? Check. Food I’m still working off? Check. Love in an Elevator? Never mind. Yes, Aerosmith at Jazz Fest had some folks head scratching when announced, but they went over big at their only gig of the year. And, as any Fest vet knows, it ain’t about the BNAs (“big name acts”). While this year was solid with the likes of Sting, Rod Stewart, Beck, Jack White et al. who knew the place would be abuzz over Socks in a Frying Pan from Ireland? Aah, but I digress… This photographer is fortunate to have a few ease in days ahead of Fest and we got in the mood Thursday night with Tony Hall, Terence Higgins, Roosevelt Collier and Jonathon “Boogie” Long funking up Jimi at NOLA Brewing on Tchoup. Fueled by a bellyful of BBQ pork and house brew, this was a boatload of fun with plenty of room to move in the beer warehouse by day room. The playing was loose, […]

Arroyo Seco Weekend, Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena

June 24-25, 2017 Festival behemoth AEG and Goldenvoice are at it again, launching the inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend after years of negotiations with the City and citizens of Pasadena, securing a 10-year deal at Brookside Golf Course, adjacent to the Rose Bowl. It’s a family forward music festival with free entry for kids under 10, a relaxed park setting, good grub and libations and a first year lineup that was more than just respectable, it had personality. Mixing big name headliners (Tom Petty and Mumford & Sons), Fest friendly mid-tiers (Dawes, Alabama Shakes), some 90s love (The Shins, Live), a hefty does of New Orleans (The Meters, Galactic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Revivalists), quite respectable jazz, soul and and blues (John Mayall, Charles Bradley, Bennie Maupin, Roy Ayers), and a number of indie comers, there was also a refreshing lack of EDM or rap/hip hop to the lineup. The price point was fair, and keeping the inaugural event to three stages and two days (three days are planned in the future), was probably a pretty smart move, even more so with record breaking heat on Sunday that felt more Coachella than DTLA proximate. Freshman fests inevitably have a few […]
May 28
by Jim Brock in Reviews 0 comments tags: 20 Feet From Stardom, Aaron Neville, Aaron Wilkinson, Acura Stage, Adonis y Osain Del Monte, Alabama Shakes, Alex McMurray, Americana, Anders Osborne, Batiste family, Beausoleil, Blodie's Jazz Jam, blog, blues guitar, blues photography, Blues Tent, Blues Traveller, Bonerama, Brady Blade, brass bands, Brittany Howard, Buddy Guy, cajun music, Carl Dufrene, Charles Neville, Chris Mule, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Cowboy Mouth, Craig Klein, Cuba Pavilion, Cuban music, Dairus Rucker, Dave Matthews, Dave Torkanowsky, David Shaw, Dawes, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, Economy Hall Tent, Eric Lindell, Eric McFadden, ES-335, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Galactic, Gentilly Stage, George Porter, Gibson Firebird, Gospel Tent, Greg Hicks, Gregory Davis, Harry Connick, Heartbreakers, Helen Gillet, Honey Island Swamp Band, Instruments a Comin', Ivan Neville, jam bands, Jazz and Heritage Stage, Jazz Epistles, jazz photography, JBP website, Jeff Raines, Jeff Tweedy, Jesse McBride, Jim Brock Photography, Jimmy Herring, Joey Alexander, John Bell, John Boutte, John Popper, Johnny Sansone, Jon Batiste, Jonathon Boogie Long, Jonny Lang, Judith Owen, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Kris Royal, Kristin Diable, Lagniappe Stage, Lake Street Dive, Lakland bass, Leo Nocentelli, Leon Bridges, Lisa Fischer, live music photography, Lone Bellow, Lorde, Lucien Barbarin, Margo Price, Mark Mullins, Michael Doucet, Mike Campbell, Mr Sipp, music photography, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans music, Pedrito martinez, Rachael Price, Revivalists, Rhiannon Giddens, Rickenbacker, rock photography, roots music, Roots of Music, Runnin' Pardners, Skerik, Stanton Moore, Stay Human, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Goldsmith, Telecaster, Terence Blanchard, The Meters, Threadhead, Tipitina's Foundation, Tips Interns, Tom Petty, Tony Hall, Tower of Power, traditional jazz, Trey Anastasio. Languedoc, Trombone Shorty, trumpet, Tuxedo Brass, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Waylon Thibodeaux, Wayne Toups, Widespread Panic, Wilco, WWOZ Jazz Tent, zydecajun

REFLECTIONS AND MUSINGS OF A JAZZ FEST PHOTOGRAPHER – 2017 EDITION

Heading home from Jazz Fest 48 it seemed I’d passed through a lifetime’s worth of sounds, tastes and bonding since arriving in New Orleans a few weeks back. Friendships deepened, the palette was bathed in constant indulgence, the liver took a bit of a hit and a soundtrack that will echo well into the dog days of Summer still resonates sweetly. For the uninitiated, Jazz Fest (short for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) is the most diverse musical party on the planet replete with 13 stages, tents and pavilions spread across the Fair Grounds Race Course, a few miles from the French Quarter. Quite simply, there is nothing like it. And, as with the city that bears its name, Jazz Fest is not something you wrap your head around, it’s something you feel in your exhausted and happy bones. And, man, were they exhausted and happy.  My perspective is of a working photographer first and a fan second. I am on task covering 15 – 20 acts and 7-8 miles of ground a day. My musical encounters are often brief, and occasionally cosmically timed. My colleagues in the pit are extremely talented and a pretty respectful and decent bunch to […]

Cameron Graves, Planetary Prince Album Release, The Troubadour

March 16, 2017 The “world famous” Troubadour is not the first venue that comes to mind for boundary morphing contemporary piano driven ensemble jazz. But then, the L.A. based collective known as the West Coast Get Down, has yet to do anything by the books. It’s been a heady 2017 already for these dudes coming on the heels of bassist Miles Mosley’s headlining date at the El Rey in January, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr.’s album release party at the Teragram a few weekends back and saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s post-Epic musical and visual installation for the Whitney Biennial in NYC. Last week, it was pianist Cameron Graves turn to front this band of one/band of many, for the drop of his stellar CD, “Planetary Prince” on Mack Avenue Records (disclaimer, more astronomical adjectives could follow). Like Mosley before him, Graves got a well deserved shout out as one of 10 new artists you need to know this year by Rolling Stone, and for good reason IMHO. My ears have been pretty stuck on “Planetary Prince” the past few weeks. With eight tracks covering almost 80 minutes and the shortest clocking in at 7:28, there is an emotional arc to each built […]

West Coast Get Down, El Rey Theatre

January 28, 2017 The West Coast Get Down is better known as the L.A. collective of talent including saxophonist Kamasi Washington. Washington has commanded a lot of attention the past few years, and for good reason. That audacious 3-disc debut, “The Epic” on Brainfeeder, his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, and 2016 dates at Bonnaroo and Coachella, to name a few. But for a change, this isn’t about Washington. This is about the band that brings those head spinning sonics to life in studio and performances. When I finally caught up with Washington for the first time at the 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, I was pretty knocked out, but when upright bassist Miles Mosley took center stage, uh, the dimension took on another dimension. Whether feverishly bowing with Hendrix like distortion and effects, or running the neck, Mosley, has mad presence and skills. The LA Weekly dubbed him “an assassin on the upright bass” for good reason and Rolling Stone called him out as one of 10 new artists you need to know, and he has a rather impressive resume of his own (Jeff Beck, Rihanna, Lamar, to drop a few names, not to mention extensive film and television credits). It’s […]

Newport Jazz Festival 2016

July 29-31, 2016 Newport Jazz. Coltrane’s last performance. History that reaches back to 1954. And, yes, the oldest annual jazz festival in North America is still under the stewardship of founder George Wein for one last year. Newport, along with the Monterey Jazz Festival on the West Coast in September, stands taller than the rest and for good reason. The stunning Ft. Adams setting, the showcase for fresh directions and emerging acts, and the legacy of musical giants past and present all converge for an event that has long been on my jazz bucket list. Having the good fortune to drop in at Newport Folk the past few years, this was my first shot at Newport Jazz, which retains the stage layout from the previous week’s Folk Fest. The smallest tent is barely more than a dozen rows deep, while the largest stage is set against a backdrop of breathtaking bay and bridge views. Both events are incredibly relaxed and attendance is capped at 10K, creating one of the more intimate festival experiences of any year. Sure, the crowd and vibe skew differently between weekends, but damn if jazz isn’t alive and well in the Northeast, and a younger Millenial […]
May 23
by Jim Brock in Reviews 0 comments tags: Aaron Wilkinson, Acura Stage, alt-country, Americana, Anders Osborne, BB King tribute, Ben ellman, Big Sam Williams, Billy Gibbons, Blodie's Jazz Jam, blues, Blues Tent, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Brandi Carlile, Brian Blade, Buddy Guy, Carl Dufrene, Chris Mule, classic rock, Clevenger, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Cyril Neville, Dap Kings, Dave Malone, David Shaw, Derek Trucks, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Donald Fagen, Economy Hall, Efrem Towns, Elvis Costello, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Gal Holiday, Galactic, Gary Clark Jr., Gentilly Stage, Gibson SG, Gov't Mule, Gregory Porter, Herbie Hancock, Herlin Riley, hip hop, Honey Island Swamp Band, Hot 8 Brass Band, J Cole, Jack DeJohnette, jam bands, jam bands Susan Tedeschi, Janelle Monae, Jarekus Singleton, Jazz and Heritage Stage, jazz photography, Jazz Tent, Jim Brock Photography, Jim James, Jimmy Vaughn, John Hammond, Kirk Joseph, Kristin Diable, Lauryn Hill, Little Freddie King, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Mardi Gras Indian, Matt Garrison, Michael McDonald, Midnite Disturbers, Monk Boudreaux, My Morning Jacket, Nathaneil Rateliff, Neil Young, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Nicholas Payton, Nightsweats, Paul Simon, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Promise of the Real, Radiators, Raw Oyster Cult, Revivalists, Rhiannon Giddens, roots music, Shannon Powell, Sharon Jones, Skerik, Snarky Puppy, Sonor, Soul Rebels, sousaphone, Steely Dan, Stratocaster, Subdudes, Tab Benoit, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Terence Blanchard, trombone, Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, Walter Trout, Warren Haynes, WWOZ Jazz Tent, ZZ Top

Reflections and Musings of a Jazz Fest Photographer – 2016 Edition

  Yeah, it’s been a year of musical losses. But, Prince, the day before Jazz Fest 47 got underway? WTF? From the glyph etched in the blue above the Fair Grounds the first weekend, to the Treme second line the Monday following, to My Morning Jacket’s howling “Purple Rain” finish second Friday, Jazz Fest did its part, as it always does. “I am because he was”, Janelle Monae confessed to the Congo Square stage crowd. And whether Prince or Bowie or Toussaint or B.B. or Merle, and on and on, Fest is where the music is honored and celebrated like no other gathering on the planet, even when heaven and earth throw everything at you. And this was a Fest like no other, where Stevie Wonder’s only Fair Grounds performance was an acapella Purple Rain through a bullhorn in a deluge, and where it was impossible to tell the booming thunder above, from Neil Young and POR below. The music stuck like the deep muck of the infield and never let go. And whether on stage, dancing with a stranger, singing along, holding back tears, sharing a bite, sleeping it off, that’s just a Jazz Fest fact. This photographer took […]