Blog by Sally Young, photos by Sheik Richardson and Massimo Pedrazinni
On Saturday night, after Herlin Riley sat in with Shannon Powell's All-Star Band, the two drummers received the prestigious Ascona Jazz Award for 2010. Previous recipients include Lillian Boutte, Father Jerome LeDoux, and Donald Harrison.
Herlin has been performing with Niki Haris and Wycliffe Gordon's band since Thursday. Wycliffe brought his trombone to Shannon's set to sit in, along with Herlin, just before the awards were presented.
Just after the ceremony, the Danish band Skipper-Just-Frost, featuring special guest Charlie Miller on trumpet, started their midnight set. Tambourines in hand, Shannon and Herlin second lined through the crowd. What a way to celebrate!
The musicians stay busy here with multiple appearances, but there's always enough time to enjoy some of their favorite pastimes. For instance, Shannon Powell enjoys cooking at the Hotel Tamaro and riding a bike around town during the day. When he rode past a sidewalk cafe Saturday morning after his Friday night set, everyone applauded!
Father Jerome LeDoux is back at the festival for the third consecutive year to celebrate gospel mass in the style that was his signature at New Orleans' St. Augustine Church. This year, true to form, with incredible musical interludes throughout the mass, Anthony Morgan's Inspirational Choir of Harlem performed in the Chiesa Papio during his masses on Sunday and Tuesday.
One special moment during the festival was the night Father LeDoux took Shannon Powell, Sheik Richardson, and me to Hotel Tamaro after midnight for a bowl of Minestrone soup. The hotel makes a meatless broth full of fresh vegetables, perfect for Father's vegan diet. Shannon had just finished playing, and Father LeDoux, full of boundless energy, kept us up late into the night with his uplifting conversation. What an inspiration!