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Portland Jazz Festival: A Celebration of ECM

Elvis Costello

Chilly temperatures and threatening skies Saturday night prevented the sixth annual Tanglewood Jazz Festival from outdrawing its elder and more famous rival in Newport, R.I., for the second year in a row. But New England closed out its summer festival season in style over Labor Day weekend, with a surprise appearance by a very pregnant Diana Krall at her husband’s live taping of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” and a New Orleans tribute from native sons Wynton Marsalis and Dr. John.

It’s become a tradition to open the festival, which takes place at the Lenox, Mass., summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with a Friday night concert featuring Latin jazz. This year featured a double bill of big bands, with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, led by Oscar Hernandez, opening for the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra. The latter group, formed in tribute to the legendary bandleaders Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, was co-led by the sons of two of them-Machito Jr. and Tito Rodriguez Jr.-with Puente veteran Jose Madera Jr. as its musical director. Each of the three took a turn leading the orchestra through one of the Big 3’s songbooks, once Machito Jr. had finished taunting the audience good-naturedly about a recent five-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox by the New York Yankees.

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