Day: September 25, 2010

The West L.A. Jazz Festival–Part 1

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Well I made the car trip from Phoenix to L.A.  First time trying that one, and it won’t be happening often!  But, it was the last show for this years Guitars and Saxes lineup….and I felt compelled!  It didn’t hurt to see the names of Euge Groove, Najee and Howard Hewett in the lineup as well!

I had hopes of making it to Santa Monica before sundown, so I could as least enjoy the view of the Beach.  Once I arrived at Shutters on the Beach, and got checked in, I went off on my mini-balcony, and enjoyed this view.

View from Balcony at Shutters

I was a bit famished after my drive, so I ordered up Fish and Chips..and a glass of Wine that I so badly needed.  Nice of them to send up Strawberries with Brown Sugar as a treat!

Yummy Fish and Chips!
Strawberries in Brown Sugar

My lifelong friends came by Friday evening to keep me company, making Sangria and Guacamole, while we talked and listened to music for much of the night. When I met them in the Lobby, I noticed a 3 piece Jazz Band of young men playing….hmmm, I thought, need to come back down and check them out!  But after the Sangria party, I was the only one who wanted to check them out!

The next morning, my friend Anisha met me at the hotel before the show. I had asked her to spend Saturday night over with me, since I knew she had a bit of a drive back to her home.  Luckily she said yes, and she drove us over to the Veterans Lawn for the concert. We had purchase VIP tickets, so we were in the 2nd table from the stage, dead center.  Great seats!  Right in the direct sunlight, so I had my sunscreen and Marcus Miller “M2” Visor at the ready!

We were concerned that it being a “1st Annual”, it might be run badly, but it was professional, touching and humbling.  The organizers invited some of the Homeless Veterans to the concert with meal, and they were honored by us in the crowd, as well as a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11.  These were touching and poignant moments to say the least.

Jackiem and Keiko

First person on the program was a local group, The Sai Whatt band, who got the party started. They were very talented!! The band had the crowd excited!  Next up was Keiko Matsui.  I have never had the pleasure of seeing Keiko perform live, so it was a great treat.  Then I remembered….Jackiem Joyner is playing with her on Sax!  He came out to set up his saxophones, and Anisha and I greeted him with a wave and a “Hey, Jackiem”!  He smiled, appreciating the acknowledgement.  The couple seated next to me said that they had seen him perform 2 days earlier at the Kyoto Grand in L.A.

Keiko Matsui

Next on the program was Euge Groove.  Notice how calmly I write that?  Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!  Okay, I’m better now…

We first spotted Darryl Williams tuning his Bass onstage…you know I was waving like a nut!  He graciously pointed and waved back! Euge was setting up, and I was wondering if we were gonna get a sneak peek of Beamz, but it was not to be.  Did I just say Sneak Peek?  Yes, Euge played my JAM, “Sneak-A-Peek”!  Yes, he played my Jam, “Mr. Groove”. My new Jam, “Say My Name”.  When he played “Born to Groove”, he had a booty shaking contest to win a copy of  Groove on This, his new Interactive CD. I told Anisha that this could be the first time I actually entered the contest!  I want that CD!  But no, I decided I would not.  Anisha kept telling me to go up there, the woman next to me told me to go up there, so under the pressure I agreed if Anisha went with me (plus, I wanted to dance!).   Needless to say, I did not win, but I DID get my dance on!  And I kept dancing as he ended his show with “From The Top”, an homage to Tower Of Power! Stories from backstage to come!