Honestly, Gregory Porter, Nate Smith & Kinfolk, Herlin Riley, Jazzmeia Horn were all kinda...


August 4th, 2018 10:42am

My wife and I take this trip every year to the Newport Jazz Festival and it’s something I think all jazzers should experience. 
I happen to be a big jazz fan. 
I’d sooner lose my mind meeting Pat Metheny or Roy Hargrove than I would meeting Wiz Khalifa or Bruno Mars. 
My heart is in Jazz. I love most of the many branches of jazz, except ragtime(although I respect it a great deal.)
The festival is in Fort Adams Park. Most people bring lawn chairs.  Some people even have a camp like set up with tents and all. First up was Roy Hargrove, trumpet player. I have to tell you all, he blew my mind. I’ve watched and enjoyed Roy’s career since the 90’s. And to see this dude on stage here at the Newport Jazz Festival is absolutely amazing. I was almost emotional. What I loved about his performance is this:
I know, first hand, that doing music for a living(full time) is a hard dollar to make. And it’s extremely hard to do it independently. It looks good to onlookers. But there’s some major sacrifices that are made. It’s a struggle. Roy is looking extremely stylish. His chops are impeccable. And he did a song that almost made me cry. It’s called “Top Of My Head”. And check this out, he sang! I’ve never heard Roy sing. But he sang the simplest lyric ever. “From the top of my head to the soles of my feet I am blessed. I am covered in the blood.” Implying that he is covered in the blood of Jesus. It’s a term that means he believes and accepts that Jesus died for the redemption of mankind. All over a real jazz sound. I LOVE THIS MOMENT!!! He makes Jazz look attractive. 

There was some rain but it wasn’t bad. 
I took the liberty to check out some of the vendors. And it looks like the Mecca of Jazz Art. There’s many artist that have tents with their works for sale. Coasters, Lamps made out of real instruments, dolls, sculptures made out of wire, hats, scarves, dresses, Shea butter with different scents, henna, musical instruments, pillows, music from the artist performing, it was an insane stroll to say the least. Not to
mention, everyone here loves Jazz. 
Pat Metheny is up next. Pat is one of my super heroes. And I can’t wait to see him do his thing. But the sky is looking a little darker. No real rain though. 
When Pat hit the stage everyone got excited. I can feel the electricity in the air. 
He did some of his classic tunes like “James” and “Minuano”. But by the 4th song the rain started to come down hard. By the 5th song, it was coming down so hard that people started leaving. There was even a flood in the park. I’d say maybe 5-6 inches of water in some areas. Up to the ankle. We were soaked entirely. Gloria was troopin it for me, because she knows I love this music and these artist so much. But y’all should have seen her sitting in a lawn chair with the umbrella covering her entirely as the pouring rain found its way pass the weakening umbrella to her lovely green dress, and down her back. It was really something to see. And when the pouring rain turned into a really hard torrential wild out, the crowd cheered as if to say “BRING IT ON!!!!!” I was in heaven. But it was crazy. We left. We’ll be back tomorrow though. 

August 5th 2018 10:32am

Random thought. Do you realize we have no idea what president Abraham Lincoln’s voice sounded like. There’s no recordings of his voice. We see pictures and all but I wonder did he have a really high voice or not. LOL. What if he sounded like a girl. 

One thing I noticed about this festival is that people are unusually friendly. But that would make sense because everybody is a jazzer, and jazzers are usually lovely people. 
 Unlike yesterday the sun is out and there’s no shade anywhere. As a matter of fact the sun is really really Hot. This can’t be healthy. I believe in enjoying the sun. But this is not at all good. I’m considering removing my shirt. And I don’t care how uncomfortable my half naked body may make people feel. Im serious. LOL.


I’m still here. About 10 shades darker than my darkest tan. But I’m very happy. I’ve not had the best week or month for that matter. And this music did me so much good. For those of you reading this, understand that music is the voice of God. And it heals and mends broken hearts. And I fortunate enough to meet one of the most important people in American Jazz History. George Wein. The founder of The Newport Jazz Festival. That means he knew Miles, Dizzy, Nina, Trane, Sun-Ra, Abbey. I felt slightly emotional.


Firstly Herlin Riley and his band gave us some good old fashioned butt kicking jazz. His band was beautiful. There was a Cuban dude(whose name escapes me) on percussion with Herlin on drums making us all go crazy. At one point Herlin got off the drums and played the tambourine. It was very exciting. I learned something watching him. It’s better to have amazing players in the band. Players that people not only want to hear, but want to watch!! 
I took a stroll to check out the venue and heard somebody singing their head off on one of the stages. The closer I got, the faster I walked. 
Jazmeia Horn was on stage representing everything beautiful. In one of her songs she had the crowd sing with her. “I love myself, I love myself, I love the skin I’m in.” And boy can she sing. This girl is very very special. Out of all the new talent I’ve seen this year, this woman by far is the best. Jazz/Church/Africanism wrapped up in one. Think Kim Burrell, Nneena Freelon, and Erykah Badu all in one. Wow. 
We walked over to the other stage to see Nate Smith and Kinfolk and we bumped into Amma Whatt!! 
Amma is a friend/singer whom I had no idea was performing with him. It was good to see her. And when she sang, I was really touched. I’ve not heard her sing live. She was really good. Nate and his band were so well rehearsed. Nate is a drummer and his songs sound like he wrote them. LOL!!! All of these sick time signatures and off beats and craziness. I loved every song. Nate is also a very good band leader. He directed the band from the drums with his eyes. Amazing. 

Lastly, it was Gregory Porter time!
Who doesn’t love and adore Gregory Porter. The guy introducing Gregory said that he’s a man that when he speaks you can feel his beautiful spirit through the conversation. Gloria loves Greg. It was nice to see her so happy. His band was very tight. 
We saw a woman being escorted by some dude through the walkway.
To make a long story short I think she was very drunk. That was sad. And the real gangster part of that moment was that when the woman finally passed out and the paramedics came, the dude that had been with her since the beginning of the concert, left!! He left her!!!! It was as though he didn’t want to be seen with her. It was bizarre. 
Anyway. Thanks for reading. 

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