If you thought it was hot outside over the Memorial day weekend in Atlanta,you should have ben in the The Ellington Ballroom of Atlanta’s opulent Lowes Hotel on Saturday, May 27 where the music was sizzling and the mood was nothing short of exhilarating.
The Atlanta Jazz Festival Late Night Jam with Friends was a jaw dropping combination of world class musicians all assembled before a standing room only crowd for a classic jam session. That’s how the pros do it — no rehearsal, no set play list — just pure and brilliant improvisation.
Little John Roberts on drums, DJ Kemit, Omar Phillips on percussion, and a few other musicians opened the spectacular set with some funk jazz for the Atlanta Jazz Festival Late Night Jam. As the night went on many other notable artist such as Ken Ford, Federico Gonzales Pena on piano, Gregoire Maret on harmonica , Robert Glasper and Tito Puente Jr. added their formidable talents and skills to round out the awesome collaboration of musical artists. By that point audience members were on their feet and salsa dancing.
On Sunday, May 28 the last day for the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the main stage sported Yolanda Rabun, Russell Gunn and Elektrik Butterfly, Grace Kelly Quintet and the closing act, Robert Glasper Experiment. The Atlanta Jazz Festival International Jazz Stage closed out the festival with Mausiki Scales and the Common Ground Collective.
Friday, May 26 was the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis’ birthday. He would have been 86 on the kickoff day of the Atlanta Jazz Festival. No doubt he would have been pleased with the caliber of music at the 35th Atlanta Jazz Festival.