This has been, for this show host, a summer of pursuit. Mostly of music. But who has been pursuing whom? Everywhere I've gone-Montreal, New York, Belo Horizonte, Sao Paulo, even Brasilia (often considered as dry and flat culturally as it is physically)-has had its own Jazz Festival. More on all that later.
The most spectacular moment for me came gift-wrapped, at the very end, in Rio de Janeiro. Walking back from the Arpoador, the jetty that separates Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, where the world's most absurdly beautiful sunsets reveal themselves every single day, I came upon a stage. I asked a tech guy, setting up: Who's playing tonight? He handed me a pamphlet. The Bourbon Street Fest in Rio: Jon Cleary, Terrance Simien, Shamarr Allen, Tricia Boutte, Gary Brown, Trombone Shorty, Vasti Jackson. Hmm. Think I've heard of these guys.
So, Sunday night, August 15th, with the wind whipping up the sea, the sea lashing the bluffs, and the bluffs swirling with clouds, there was James Singleton, swirlin' round' the strings, Doug Belote lashing the skins, and Jon Cleary whipping up the keys. Boa noite, Brasil. Hello, New Orleans.
Check out this video by underground conceptual artist Bernardo Batista: