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John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet at the Earshot Jazz Festival

Dave Douglas

In any given month, jazz floods New York like a river breaching its banks. When the second annual Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT) arrived in August, with 35 acts and several workshops spread over 18 days, the jazz calendar was even fuller, and nothing short of bewildering. But FONT, co-curated by trumpeters Dave Douglas, Roy Campbell and Jon Nelson, is not a jazz festival, strictly speaking. It focuses on a single instrument, surveying a broad landscape of modern music from that particular vantage point.

The trumpet may be its organizing principle, but FONT isn’t hung up about hewing to principles. Its greatest benefit is its ability to see beyond cliques and barriers, juxtaposing avant-garde stalwarts with “mainstream” talent like Ingrid Jensen and Jeremy Pelt. (It’d be great to see FONT do even more of this next year, by recruiting gifted traditionalists along the lines of Jim Rotondi and Ryan Kisor.)

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