A few years ago we found ourselves in Lugano, Switzerland just in time for its annual Blues to Bop Festival. Now by happenstance we’ve ended up in Port Fairy, Victoria on the weekend of the Port Fairy Jazz Festival.
This festival makes me feel young again. I’m not attributing my renaissance to the music, but to the demographics of the attendees. Good Lord, man, this isn’t a jazz festival, it’s God’s waiting room.
I haven’t seen this many wrinkles since I left my favorite T-shirt in the dryer overnight. The attendees have more cataracts than the Nile. It looks like central casting put out a call for people with walkers. If they write a book about this festival it will be called Fifty Shades of Greying. There are very few hipsters, but a lot of hip replacements. Jack Black couldn’t make it, but the Heart Attacks are here. Jerry couldn’t make it, but the Pacemakers are here. The musicians only need to know one song because the audience won’t remember that they’ve already heard it. The late night jazz club closes in time for the early bird special. If the police crack down on drugs, it’s Viagra. Instead of getting stoned, the audience gets kidney stones. The lines for the restrooms are longer than the lines for the venues. The attendees aren’t tone deaf, just deaf. It’s the greatest jazz festival in the continent and the greatest jazz festival for the incontinent. It’s known for its cool music and its hot flashes. Half the songs are arrhythmic and half the audience has arrhythmia. The venues are kept small, but the prostates are enlarged.
Our nineteen year old god daughter Stella is an incredible jazz pianist. Too bad she’s not here this weekend, because her presence would immediately raise the quality of the music and and simultaneously lower the average age of the attendees.
And now for your entertainment pleasure, here’s the greatest jazz song of all time not performed by Stella:
This blog item inspired by the great Herb Caen and the even greater Huckleberry Chuck Clemans.