Archive for the Atlanta Jazz Festival 2011 Category

Atlanta Jazz Festival 2011 – Audrey Shakir

Posted in Atlanta Jazz Festival 2011, JazzLives!, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , on May 22, 2011 by curtjazz

Vocalist Audrey Shakir will be performing at the Atlanta Jazz Festival on Saturday, May 28, at 5 pm.  Ms. Shakir is a veteran of the New York jazz scene, who has performed with greats such as Kenny Barron, Duke Pearson and Lionel Hampton.  She was also a regular performer at the late, lamented Village Gate nightclub.

Proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, her son Walter Blanding, Jr. is a renowned tenor saxophonist, who was a member of the Tough Young Tenors in the ‘90’s and is now featured with Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.   

She has also released an album, If You Could See Me Now, backed by Barron, Reginald Veal and drummer Justin Varnes. It’s available on CDBaby.

She has been an Atlanta resident since 1989 and has performed at many Atlanta area clubs and festivals, including the AJF.

You can read more about Audrey Shakir in Jason Crane’s 2007 article about her in The Jazz Session.  You can also see her perform as a part of this 2010 video clip about Jazz Appreciation Month in Mobile, AL. 

But better yet, why not catch Audrey Shakir live, at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, next Saturday.  Hope to see you there.

For further information about the 2011 Atlanta Jazz Festival, visit their website:


Atlanta Jazz Festival 2011 – Let’s GO!

Posted in Atlanta Jazz Festival 2011, JazzLives!, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by curtjazz

2011 Official AJF Artwork - created by Daniel Murdoch

I’ve lived in the South for over 10 years now. There’s much about my life here that I like, but I’ve always missed the easy access to great straight ahead jazz that New York always provided.  Hell, even “smooth” jazz has become hard to find recently.

I’d recently settled into a certain amount of complacency about hearing jazz live. Basically, if it didn’t fall right into my lap. I admit, I didn’t make a lot of effort to find it. Well, that will change in 2011. There is a good deal of live jazz below the Mason-Dixon line, you just have to seek it, find it and then, here’s the hardest part…get off your “rusty dusty” and go.

Last Saturday night, my Queen and I were sitting around relaxing. Our son was asleep and the house was quiet. She looked up her work schedule for the next two weeks and discovered that she had been blessed with the entire Memorial Day weekend off.  Excitedly, she said to me “Baby, we should do something!” We kicked around a few ideas, and then I remembered that the Atlanta Jazz Fest was traditionally on Memorial Day weekend.

Gerald Clayton

I knew of the AJF, but hadn’t paid much attention in the past, because a) usually one (or both) of us had to work that weekend and b) I had assumed that it was another package of slick instrumentalists and R & B vocalists, passing itself off as a “jazz” festival. Don’t get me wrong, I dig some of these artists. Many are quite gifted; it’s just not what I look for when I want to hear jazz. Well, you know what happens when you assume.

I looked at the lineup and saw Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Sean Jones, Gerald Clayton, Christian Scott and more…Okay, NOW I was excited! These are my people. This is a place that the fan and the writer in me wants to be.

Regina Carter

My wife, asked cautiously “Okay, how much are the tickets?” I looked down at computer screen and then looked up with what, judging from my wife’s reaction, must have been a look of maniacal joy and I slowly uttered “It’s…Free” (5/28 & 5/29). She repeated my words, I nodded and she said “Let’s GO!”

Sean Jones

Thanks to the miracle of online shopping, within 30 minutes we had reserved our hotel room, reserved a rental car and bought three new lawn chairs. I had to tell somebody about this, even if it was midnight, so I dropped a note on Twitter to share the news with our extended jazz family. 

My excitement has been growing by the day since then.  Great jazz is on my Southern doorstep again; and this time, I’m going to answer.

We will post something on the blog every day, from now until the Atlanta Jazz Festival; about the festival itself, the artists or our preparation. For more on the AJF 2011, visit their website