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Spoleto Festival USA

Performances included René Marie, Randy Weston, Cécile McLorin Salvant and more

Yves Dharamraj, Orlando Alonso and Yosvany Terry (from left) -- the Bohemian Trio -- live at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA
Yosvany Terry performs at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA
Freddy Cole 2016
Freddy Cole, with guitarist Randy Napoleon and bassist Elias Bailey, live at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA (photo: William Struhs)
Jason Moran (wearing Fats Waller mask) and band, including singer Lisa E. Harris and trumpeter Donvonte McCoy, pay tribute to Waller at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA
Jason Moran (wearing Fats Waller mask) and his twin sons, Malcolm and Jonas, pay tribute to Waller at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA
Randy Weston, T.K. Blue, Alex Blake, Billy Harper and Lewis Nash (from left) live at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA
René Marie performs at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA

Weather veered to extremes during the first week of the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA, held May 27 – June 12 in Charleston, S.C. Thunderstorms forced Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to abandon the great outdoor Cistern Yard concert venue on Saturday night for another College of Charleston facility, the TD Arena. But René Marie, with a sextet that boasted Wycliffe Gordon and Etienne Charles, was untroubled by the elements the following evening as she became the first jazz headliner to perform at the totally rebuilt Gaillard Center.

Opening night of the 40th-annual festival set the tone, as Spoleto celebrated the Gaillard with a dazzling new production of Porgy and Bess, the Gershwin Brothers’ folk opera that has been a wellspring of inspiration for American jazz.

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Originally Published