In the last few decades, June has become the busiest month for jazz in New York City, home to the biggest jazz scene in the world. But who is actually going to these shows? A small team of Bloggers Supreme attended the festivities — primarily, the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York. In between our reports on various goings-on, we spoke to the some of the people who were actually in the audience. We started off every conversation with the simple question: how did you hear about this show? And be sure to check out more of our Meet The Jazz Audience series. —Ed.
Seth Lee, 31
Performer: Evan Christopher and Friends
Venue: Symphony Space, Thalia (Upper West Side)
Event: CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
Date: Jun. 23, 2010
How did you hear about this show? I heard about it originally through a friend of mine who works with the Sidney Bechet Society [who co-presented the concert]. His name is Phil Stern — he really got me hooked on Evan [Christopher], and Evan's music, and stuff like that. Really, I experienced a renaissance in terms of New Orleans music. I've been into it for a long, long time, but you get into different kinds of music as you go along. So I recently got into it again, and really, the inspiration came flooding back. Kind of been hooked ever since — it's been about a year.
It's interesting — this is sort of like an earlier form of jazz, not really very popular these days, at least in New York. What drew you to it? What drew me to it — well, that's a long story. I've been a drummer for years and years and years — my whole life, basically — and New Orleans is about rhythm and about drums. So I kind of grew up listening to this stuff: second-line, and funk, and all that kind of stuff. So that was really the early germ, you know what I mean? The drumming and the interest in rhythm.
What'd you think? This is probably my favorite time that I've seen Evan thus far. My favorite band — really, really great. Like I said [earlier], I'm a fan of LaFrae's as well [LaFrae Sci, drummer —Ed.], so it's cool to see her.
What stood out to you? That's a very, very good question. It's something that I can't really put into words, you know? It's just a different band, a different dynamic, a different energy. I know that's really vague, but I can't really put it ... I just thought the chemistry was amazing, especially between the bassist [Ari Roland] and LaFrae, and the two horn players. Really, I can't put it into words beyond that — just something I was kind of feeling.
One more question — do you ever go out to see more modern jazz with any regularity? Oh, you know, it's all over the map. I mean, these days, very experimental stuff, the hip-hop and jazz stuff, like the Chris Dave group. And the other end of the spectrum would be this. So anything in between.
Editor's note: in speaking afterwards, Lee told me he was also a freelance music journalist.