Jazz at Van Dusen

I’ve mentioned the Van Dusen botanical garden here before, but never as an arts venue. Well, there’s got to be a first time.

Tonight was the last concert in the “Jazz in Bloom” series. The stage was set up on a lawn in the garden, with the audience sprawled before it on various blankets and portable chairs. I’m not used to thinking of a jazz concert as a family outing, but there it was, all kinds of families with small children, many unpacking picnic dinners on their blankets. At least I didn’t see any attempts to start a barbecue.

It all ended up working very nicely. I was in no particularly good mood when I came in; it didn’t help that I had to move soon after the first set started because a child sitting right behind me just wouldn’t be quiet. Still, you can’t complain much when the garden looks so gorgeous in the evening light and there’s live music to top it off. Before the end of the first set my new neighbours invited me to join their picnic and we spent a good part of the evening enjoying the food and conversation. (In the extremely unlikely case they’re reading this – thanks again!)

The first act was the Cory Weeds Quartet. They play solid traditional jazz and have put out a couple of albums with titles like “Everything’s Coming Up Weeds.” But the real standout was the second band, Zapato Negro. Here they are in a clip from the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

That’s what they do: hot Cuban and Latin rhythms, funky and clever. They shine both in their original compositions and in their arrangements of standards, including a Latin jazz rendition of a Kurt Weill piece. Yes, Kurt Weill. That’s what they said, anyway. I would have never guessed.

(Math and math-related blogging will resume in a couple of weeks – but not just yet.)

1 Comment

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One response to “Jazz at Van Dusen

  1. That is good. Maybe if I had practiced my scales more in grade school, I could quit this math thing and do this instead.