Winter Park: Two-day jazz festival features genres best
July 25, 2008
Bebop, cool, free, fusion the highly evolved styles of jazz, considered to be one of Americas most significant art forms, are to be showcased during this years highly anticipated Winter Park Jazz Festival. The two-day festival boasts an incredible national, regional and local lineup of some of the genres best at the new outdoor amphitheatre in Winter Park.Headliner band Guitars and Saxes, named in honor of the two most dominant instruments in jazz, kick-starts the event, featuring Gerald Albright, Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber and Jessy J. The quartet is known to set the stage ablaze with a hot uncompromising array of funk-oriented jazz.Saturdays docket includes the Average White Band, Jonathan Butler, and contemporary jazz band Dotsero. AWB is widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. The six-piece band reflects influences from R&B heroes like Marvin Gaye and James Brown.Butler is a two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter, guitarist and producer. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, he came to the West seeking artistic freedom to express himself. For me, its about surrendering to the will of the music and just letting it flow through me, whichever direction it may go, he said.Dotsero, named after the small Colorado town meaning something unique in Ute, is said to be a no-nonsense sax and guitar-driven thrill ride of energy and excitement. Core members Stephen Watts on sax and David Watts on guitar list Sundays Jazz Festival headliner David Sanborn as one of their many influences.Sanborn, said to be a musician who just happens to play the alto saxophone and is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, will be joined by Ricky Peterson on keyboard, Nicky Moroch on guitar, Gene Lake on drums and Mike Pope on bass. His latest work, found to be quite special with some old standards and pieces with Eric Clapton and Joss Stone (and more), called Here and Gone is due out Aug. 12.Sundays lineup rounds out with Norman Browns Summer Storm, and performances by musical force of nature Hazel Miller and the smooth sounds of Soul School. Norman Browns Summer Storm stars Grammy-nominated R&B songstress Chante Moore, Paul Taylor and Alex Bugnon. Angelic vocals and distinctive soulful style make Moore one of the most admired and respected female artists in the past two decades. She celebrates her first solo CD in almost 10 years Love the Woman just released last month and featuring her longtime musical mentor reverend producer George Duke.The new park atmosphere will also have merchandise and craft vendors, food and beer garden, and a silent auction benefiting the Grand County Blues Societys Blues in Schools program, which provides musical instruments to Grand County school children. Participants are encouraged to bring a blanket and their friends and families to stretch out and relax for two afternoons of great jazz. Tickets are available through TicketsWest and at the Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce.