Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Fillmore Street Jazz Festival 2009

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Crowd at Lavay Smith Stage Lavay Smith Lavay Smith's Band

What better way to celebrate July 4th than with the most American of art forms – Jazz. And the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival does the celebration with gusto. This year it was spread across eight or so blocks on Fillmore street, four main performance stages, and many smaller performances going on all along the street and in Jazz clubs lining Fillmore.

For me what made the day was the afternoon performance by our local diva, Lavay Smith, and Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Solid swinging jazz, old standards, no new experimental BS. What completed the setup was the gaggle of swing dancers who were just a joy to watch. It made me nostalgic for a time when not only I had not been born, even my father was just a gleam in my grandparents’ eyes.

Dancing to Skillet Lickers, click for more photos

Dancing to Skillet Lickers, click for more photos

There were other performers too, a lone DJ on the sidewalk, a singer in a bar which had thrown open its french windows looking on the street, a young band with a good crowd tapping their feet and swaying their butts to the music, a crooner / emo jazz kid on one of the main stages, yet another decent jazz ensemble on yet another stage. The annoying thing was that none of these guys had their names or the band names displayed prominently. So even though I liked some of them, I will not know who they were until I can find a more informed writeup of the scene than mine.

Which brings us to the next great component of Americana – Thai Kabobs. Yes, there was the regulation barbecued brisket, pulled pork, and barbecued sausages. But, and I say this with great sadness, barbecue in San Francisco is a hit-or-miss affair. Thai grilled meat with its smells of ginger and lemongrass and sweet pork was where it was.

Click for more photos of Skillet Lickers Performance

Click for more photos of Skillet Lickers Performance

The smell of good food heightening your senses, great music swirling around you, the laid back San Francisco crowd, and the special occasion sun our city gets out for just such times – baby, all was right with the world for those brief hours.

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  1. […] 2009 Fillmore Jazz Festival (more) […]

  2. […] Fillmore jazz festival is around the corner. There will be music, swing lessons, can’t forget the American Lindy Hop championships, and, inevitably, barbecue. Last year, I was at such a happy high after an hour of listening to swingin’ tunes from a time before my own that I forgot my usual wariness of San Francisco barbecue and bought a pulled pork sandwich from one of the food stalls lining the street. Even the thought of the pasty bread, and the dry flavorless pork is probably killing a few neurons in the taste centers of my brain. But I have an alternative this time. […]

  3. […] Fillmore Jazz Festival 2009 (more) […]

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