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Bill Charlap & Gary Hobbs at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Hiromi

Over the course of three days and nights the 10th annual Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival paid tribute to its namesake while striking a balance between artistry, entertainment and a commitment to jazz education.

The festival began with Japanese pianist and keyboardist Hiromi rocking out with her high-energy trio skirting the borders of both fusion and smooth jazz. With the exception of one dreamy, ostinato-driven acoustic number, her set was a showcase for heavy chops, surprising harmonic twists, underwater synth sounds and booty-shaking bombast, which prompted shout-outs from the audience.

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