I recently attended the excellent Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, where our own John Clayton is also Artistic Director. John did a great job of assembling outstanding educators and performers, just as he does for us. I was particularly eager to hear some people who will be new to Centrum this summer, including vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Graham Dechter, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. All three were fabulous, which was no less than I expected!
It was also great to see our good friend Benny Green, who talked effusively about how much he's looking forward to being at Centrum again this summer. His playing on the mainstage was predictably fantastic.
John likes to talk of the jazz world as a family, and it was nice to see several other members of that family there who have been on Centrum's faculty or mainstage. These included Byron Stripling, Claudio Roditi, Kenny Barron, Anne Drummond, Romero Lubambo, Jeff Hamilton, Paul Keller and Joe Locke. All told, it was a great four days of music and education in the midst of winter. I hope you're able to hear some inspiring performances where you are as well.