Jazz festivals roundup
Budget Travel Online recently asked Patricia Myers, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based journalist, to highlight a handful of this summer's jazz festivals. Myers--who specializes in writing about travel, food, and the arts for Allaboutjazz.com and other publications--suggested the following picks.
Aug. 24-26, Prescott Jazz Summit, Prescott, Ariz.: This festival runs
Friday through Sunday and features blues, jazz, and swing from national musicians, with a portion of the proceeds going to local music programs. Headliners include Bud Shank, Bob Florence, Carl Saunders, Mike Vax, Scott Whitfield, Margo Reed, Joel Robin, Blaise Lantana, Dwight Kilian, Tony Vacca, Jack Peterson, Bob Lashier, Les Czimber, and Cleve Huff. You'll pay $70 per person for a weekend pass, or $25 for each concert; $100 per person to attend a "Meet Musicians" dinner, plus a Friday-night concert; or $40 per person for a jazz brunch. Learn more at prescottjazz.com.
Sept. 21-23, 50th annual Monterey (Calif.) Jazz Festival: Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Jim Hall, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland-Gonzalo Rubalcaba-Chris Potter, Jim Hall-Kenny Burrell, Cyrus Chestnut, All-Star Band (James Moody, Nnenna Freelon, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green), Hammond B3 Blowout with Joey DeFrancesco Trio and Atsuko Hashimoto Trio (with Houston Person and Jeff Hamilton). Learn more at montereyjazzfestival.com.
Sept. 25-30, The 26th Annual Sedona (Calif.) Jazz on the Rocks Festival:
-- Sept.25, Catch a screening of the film Anita O'Day, The Life of a Jazz Singer, $10 per person to see the film, which starts at 7 p.m.; dinner-and-a-film combo costs $45 per person; dinner starts at 5:15 p.m.
-- Sept.26, 3-6 p.m. JOR Youth Band concert and 6-p.m. jam session with youth and local musicians, free.
-- Sept.27, Jazz Circle Party featuring vocalist Sandra Booker-pianist Billy Mitchell, $100 per person.
-- Sept.28, New Orleans vocalist Kim Provost-guitarist Bill Solley lead "Kids Who Love Jazz" clinics, also Booker-Mitchell jazz history clinic and performance. Plus, a music industry Q&A; with Larry Gittens, all free; also, at 5 and 7:30 p.m., concerts with Brice Winston-tenor sax plus New Orleans musicians, $50 per person. Other options include a "wine and jazz dinner" with the Charlie Foldesh Combo, $100 per person; also 9-11 p.m. jam session, $20 per person.
-- Sept.29, all-day outdoor festival at Radisson Poco Diablo Resort: Mose Allison (piano and vocals; see photo at left), Stanley Jordan (guitar), Sandra Booker (vocals) with Billy Mitchell (piano), Larry Gittens (smooth trumpet); 8-11 p.m. jam session ($20 per person).
-- Sept. 30, Brunch with jazz duo Kim Prevost and Bill Solley (Learn more about these successful musicians here, $80 per person. Also, clinics will be offered in the afternoon in finger-style guitar and percussion/rhythm, for $40 per person.
Learn more at sedonajazz.com.
NYC restaurant discount
Here's a special offer for the female readers of This Just In. If you print out this blog post and bring it with you to Manhattan's Bruno Jamais Restaurant Club on a Sunday night this summer, you'll receive 50 percent off the price of your meal. Located in a townhouse on the Upper East Side (24 East 81st Street between Madison and 5th Avenue), Bruno Jamais has received Zagat Survey ratings of 21 for food, 26 for decor, and 24 for service--placing it in its "very good to excellent range." The restaurant, which is a great place to spot celebrities, has nabbed a good review from New York magazine, too. The lowdown: On Sundays, the restaurant cuts the prices of items on its menu. One course (an appetizer) is $25; two courses cost $37; three courses are $42. Female readers who present a printout of this blog post can receive a 50 percent discount off these prices, paying only $12.50, $18.50 and $21 respectively. It's a ladies-only discount: So if a female reader dines with a male companion, she's the only one who gets the discount off the courses, which already represent discounts off weekday rates. Reservations are recommended. "Casual chic" attire is requested. We're the only major travel publication offering this deal this summer. So, if you go, please be sure to let us know what you think of this restaurant by posting a comment here. (Thanks.) Related deals: A handful of NYC hotel packages. More: A Girlfriends' Getaway Planner for New York City.
Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter and feminist famously portrayed by Salma Hayek in Frida, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on July 6. To commemorate her life and work, Mexico City is hosting the largest retrospective of her work ever held. The show, which opened today at the museum at the Palace of Fine Arts, includes over 350 works--an impressive third of the artist's oeuvre. Also included are manuscripts, photographs, and letters written by the artist, in addition to a collection of paintings that have never been publicly shown. The exhibition runs until August 19. During the month of August, Frida's childhood home of Casa Azul (now the Frida Kahlo Museum), located in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacan, will be exhibiting some 300 articles of the artist's clothing, as well as letters from Diego Rivera, the renowned muralist to whom Frida was married. (Details at museofridakahlocasaazul.org.)
Crazy festival stories from readers
We recently asked readers of this blog, "What's the craziest festival you've seen?" Here you'll find some fantastic stories. (And be sure to check out our festival slide show.) I lived in Byron, Illinois, several years ago and attended The Turkey Testicle Festival. The festival is always the 2nd Saturday in October, and the first band starts around 11:00am. and the last band plays until 11:00pm. It is a huge event and just about the entire town gets involved. There is dancing and lot's of drinking and yes, for those wondering you have to get an order of Turkey Testicles as they really do serve them. It was a lot of fun and if you are out that way make sure you don't miss it! (Sorry, No one under 21 will be admitted to the Festival.)--Debbie The Trenary Outhouse Classic in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the place to be on the last Saturday in February. The crowd of 1,500 to 3,000 watches as two person teams slide elaborately decorated outhouses on skis approximately 200 yards over the snow. Trenary, Michigan.--Jamie D. Caseville, Michigan (near the tip of the "Thumb"), has the summer's best festival: Cheeseburger in Caseville. The Tropical Parade of Fools on Wednesday is awesome. People are dressed as pirates, Caribbean sunbeams, bikini girls, etc. The row, row, your cardboard boat race in Lake Huron is fun, and there is plenty of beach fun. concerts almost every night, and cheeseburgers for sale on grills up and down Main Street. Always in August.--Sally Stewart I'm not sure why Michigan seems to be dominating this list, but I have to put in a plug for the Bologna Festival in Yale, Michigan. What's not to love about a town that is literally full of baloney?--Mike Hofert Last summer I attended the the World Wife-Carrying Championships in Sonkajarvi, Finland. It's a crazy day full of strange and wonderful Finnish traditions. The participants come from all over the world (but mostly Estonia, who completely dominant the competition) to hoist women up on their shoulders in the most hilarious holds in the hopes of winning the honor of first place and....the wife's weight in beer. Sadly, I wasn't able to attend the Mobile Phone Throwing Championships in Savonlinna while I was Finland. Maybe on my next trip!--Anonymous The Crawdad Festival held each year on Father's Day in a little delta town 30 miles from Sacramento, Calif., called Isleton. People come from as far as Louisiana just to here the cajun bands and eat crawfish. This year I took a picture with a CRAWDAD MASCOT. He was very entaining. It has calmed down over the years as it had a New Orleans Madri Grai atmosphere. It is more family oriented. I know because I live in Isleton, Ca. and have attended all festivals during the past 25 years!--Dianna Souza Smith One summer, when my boyfriend and I were heading north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, we found the highway (I-75) blocked because of an accident. We inched our way to the nearest exit to hang out until the accident was cleared. We found ourselves in Munger, Michigan, where the annual Potato Festival was being held! What a cool country festival! They handed out free 5-lb. bags of potatoes to anyone willing to stand in line for them. I noticed some people were willing to stand in line more than once!--Petie
A Dozen Distinctive Destinations
For the eighth year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has put together a list of 12 distinctive communities, each one rich with character, a sense of place...and historical preservation activists. One of this year's picks is Charlottesville, Va., which Budget Travel recently profiled, too. [Photo: My Hobo Soul via Creative Commons and Flickr] Here's the full list: Charlottesville, Va.-- This college town is near Jefferson's Monticello, Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland and Madison's Montpelier. Chatham, Mass. -- Here's a coastal community with an architecturally rich downtown. Chestertown, Md. -- Lined with 18th and 19th century houses, this town--about 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.--holds annual festivals, including a "cute dog" parade. Durango, Colo. -- Nestled between red sandstone bluffs, this town has well preserved Puebloan ruins. Ellensburg, Wash. -- A Victorian town that's home to Central Washington University and offers great fly fishing. Hillsborough, N.C. -- Holds some fantastic summer festivals and boasts an original, rare NASCAR speedway. Little Rock, Ark. -- With a presidential library, a WWII-era submarine, and the world's longest pedestrian bridge, this is the little town that could. Mineral Point, Wis. --Cornish rock houses, Craftsman bungalows, and simple log cabins can be found in this gem hidden in rolling hills. Morgantown, W. Va. --This university town has a Riverfront park with an amphitheater and miles of paved trails. Providence, R.I. --On summer weekend nights, this college town holds a festival with music and small bonfires along a central canal. West Hollywood, Calif. --This predominantly gay neighborhood offers great opportunities to spot celebrities at trend-setting places, such as the ice cream shop Pinkberry. Woodstock, Ill. -- This Victorian village town has a nationally renowned Mozart festival and a Victorian Christmas every year. Related: Budget Travel's list of coolest small towns.