Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

New Century, Same Genius: Ornette Coleman at JVC

The slogan for the 15th annual East Coast Jazz Festival held Feb. 16-20 at the Double Tree Hotel outside Washington, D.C., was “Your Straight-Ahead Jazz Extravaganza,” but the real theme of the five-day event was community. The festival included: tributes to bassist Keter Betts and drummer Mike Smith, two D.C. jazz icons who died in the past year; performances from nearly thirty local youth ensembles; a scholarship contest for emerging jazz artists; and hundreds of musicians plucked directly from the Washington, D.C., jazz scene. Even the festival presenter, The Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship Fund, was named to honor Elmore “Fish” Middleton, a popular jazz programmer at a D.C. radio station.

For me too the festival was a literal homecoming of sorts. Not only did I grow up in the area, but my sister was bat mitzvahed 20 years ago in the ballroom that served as one of the festival’s main venues.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published