To be sure, as WBGO.org travel partner, I’ve had the pleasure of organizing trips around the world to attend some of the best jazz festivals, truly a privilege and a whole lot of fun, but having at one’s doorstep world-class musicians performing at the Winter Jazz Fest in the heart of New York City’s West Village, is simply unparalleled!
So much to see, so much to enjoy, but my choice as a start for the evening was Roberta Gambarini, whom, in addition to being an amazing vocalist, is also a compatriot as we were both born in Torino! Her renditions of some of the classics from the American Songbook were beautifully executed but displaying her own unique style-brava Roberta!
Comfortably sitting in the same venue, Roy Hargrove was simply magical not only for his virtuoso performance on the trumpet but also for his incredibly sweet and rich voice as he sang Never Let Me Go!
Then on the Judson Memorial Church where the Dr. Lonnie Smith was in the house, energizing and stupefying everyone in the audience whether sitting on the church’s floor or standing and swaying to the beat!
I ended the evening at the Zinc Bar where for the 2nd. time, I managed to get a seat from which to enjoy the incomparable Rene Marie. Her expressive interpretation of songs that she authored had an obvious impact on the audience and virtually brought me to tears-never do I recall having been affected as such by a performer-what an amazing way to end the evening!
Alas, regrettably I will be unable to attend tonight’s performances but if I could, I would be sure not to miss Ibrahim Maalouf playing at the New School Auditorium at 7:40 and GoGo Penguin appearing at Le Poisson Rouge at 9PM.
I had seen them both while attending the Jazz a Juan on the French Cote d’Azur last summer and they were both incredible-pity!