2014-09-18

Bird-Land.

Jazz Fest part 2. I had another wedding Sunday morning so I didn't arrive until 2ish and head straight for the flea market in Nishi Park. It was still very wet but I managed to get around without too much of a soaker.


 Mmm. Shinkansen beer.


A Capella gals in front of Parco.


One of the very few musicians I encountered along the way. I think they cut down on the amount of venues this year.


No those clouds don't look at all foreboding.


The swamp at the park.


I didn't see much worth buying at the Flea Market but I couldn't leave empty-handed so I got some Halloween goods.


 And a cheap jacket from my former drug dealer*.

*He used have a used goods shop downtown and I was a regular. Back when they were legal, I bought some Magic Mushrooms off of him.

The Rockers and Jeggae (Japanese Reggae) weren't bad but not overly impressive.




As I walked by, these two guys just wouldn't shut up, yapping away incessantly. Once they started playing, I wished they had continued talking.


I took refuge from the sudden downpour inside Mediateque and heard a guy singing standards in French.






I spent the next hour trying to track down a few friends to no avail, so I just sat on the rocks and listened to some Blues and let them find me.


I was ready to head home when I read that BIRD was singing today. I'd assumed it was a paid gig but it was free and so I trekked back to Nishi Park. I arrived just in time to hear her sing and thought she was amazing. Her English had really improved and sang some Jazzy ditties. Much to my embarrassment, I learned that the microscopic singer on stage was not she, rather it was Hiroko Williams. Still wonderful!









My new-found friends informed me of my error and we split a few brew and laughs.




Then the tiniest of Birds flew on the stage and warbled wonderfully.



I first saw her on late-night TV back when I lived in Tokyo over 14 years ago. Back then, she had this crazy Afro and I instantly became enamoured with her. Just to prove that I have indeed been listening to Bird, here are several of her cds that I've collected over the years (full disclosure: usually for 100-300 yen.)



























A great way to end the Jazz Fest!!

2014-09-16

All That Jazz?

Or as usual, "All what jazz?" The Festival that is neither very jazzy nor does it take place solely on Jozenji Street may soon have to no longer call itself the Sendai Jozenji Street Jazz Festival and just call itself a Sendai Music Fest. I heard smatterings of jazz, mainly in the most crowded areas where you couldn't see a thing but could here some jazziness happening.

I also think there were fewer venues this year than previously and numbers seemed to be down as well, even when it wasn't pissing down rain. This covers Saturday from Sendai station to Jozenji and beyond.


A sextet of sexy sirens singing standards.


A koto or biwa or whatever. They may have been good, I didn't stick around to listen.


Another act I didn't stick around to hear were these youngsters doing some hippity hoppity a cappella style.


It's time for my annual sadou joke. All I wanted was a cup of tea and they had to go and make a whole ceremony out of it.


A cordial accordion according to a crowd.


Yawn.


Intriguing instrument, I think it might have been an ocarina.



After 40 minutes of walking, I finally reached Jozenji and heard an actual jazzy tune. And then they stopped.



 These guys played some Stevie Wonderful and the drummer had a nice voice.


The only act I caught on the main stage was some big band by what might have been some high schoolers.


A nice trio playing mellow tunes.


Yay. This guy belted out some sweet Bluesy Blues.





Old time Rock 'n Roll at the Coca Cola stage. That gal had an amazing afro, though I suspect it might have been a wig.


 Another Blues band. The rocks behind them are some of the best seats in Sendai.



I wondered up the street to the adjacent park and caught this gal's entire set. Nice voice singing some newish tunes. Goes by the handle, Mani-Mani and liked my joke when I rubbed my hands together and said, "Money, money, money, money." I suspect it was not the first time she'd heard that.



Last year this spot was a bunch of college students playing Bluegrass music. They aged quickly.

After that, I went to Sasebo for an avocado burger and with hopes of charging my phone. No such luck, my phone was almost dead and it started raining hard so I caught a bus home. Halfway there, the rain stopped and the sun came back out! I enjoyed myself but didn't run into a single person that I knew. I hate it when I have no one to whom I can make my sarcastic jokes

A report on Sunday tomorrow!

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