Webster Jazz Fest hit a high note again this year

8 Jul

Thousands were already on hand when the festival began, and more kept arriving all evening.

If you didn’t make it into the village of Webster last night for the Jazz Festival, you missed a wonderful evening filled with great music, great food, good friends and incredibly good weather.

Mother Nature threatened all day to make the evening a wet one, but by the time the music really started to groove, the rain clouds had parted and blue skies prevailed.  It wasn’t even that hot or muggy.  By 5:30, when the Bill Tiberio Band hit the downbeat at the Four Corners stage, hundreds of people had already settled into their lawn chairs or on blankets, or had staked out the handful of cabaret-style tables in the middle of West Main.

As the weather continued to get even better, people kept arriving and the crowds kept getting bigger.  At around 7:00 everyone turned their quad chairs around to face the Corning Park stage, where jazz fest regulars Paradigm Shift performed a set.  Then at 8:30, pianist Lao Tizer wowed the crowd with his take on contemporary jazz. I even liked his stuff, and jazz normally bores me to tears.

The Bill Tiberio Band opened the show.

On a side note….

I spent most of the evening (when I wasn’t wandering around taking photos) at Barry’s Old School Irish, which has become a second home of sorts for my family.  I was reminded how last year when I was at the Jazz Festival I also spent most of my evening on that corner.  At that time, though, there was only a sign announcing that Barry’s would be “coming soon.”  In the blog I wrote a few days later, I remarked:

Barry’s calls itself an “old school Irish pub, cafe and bakery,” whatever that means. My husband is Irish and he’s never heard of such a thing.  And he went to an old school, complete with nuns wielding hand-smacking rulers.

When Barry’s finally did open up its doors, we sure didn’t get any ruler-smacking nuns. But we did get a bunch of new friends, which helped make this year’s Jazz Fest even better that last year’s.  And I didn’t think that was possible.

Jazz Festival headliner Lao Tizer (center) was a crowd favorite.

The waitresses who worked the crowd were an inspired idea. They brought tons of business to the village restaurants.

These t-shirts were another great addition this year. I’m sorry I forgot to purchase one before I left.

As the sun set the music got cooler…

… and the dancers came out.

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