Sunday, August 14, 2005

Escape from Fog City, It's a cold and gloomy night, oh wait a moment it's morning. Who can tell with the constant fog in the Richmond District. I haven't seen the blue sky from my living room window in weeks. August is usually a warm month, well that might be true in other parts of the Bay Area but not in my hood by the sea. Well if the sun doesn't come to me I'm heading to the sun in San Jose.

This weekend San Jose is hosting one of the largest free Jazz Festival on the West Coast, the San Jose Jazz Festival. I rode Caltrain our regional train system, to travel down the peninsula to San Jose. The round trip is kind of pricey at $13.00 but you do have off and on privileges for the day, nice for the weekend traveler. Daily commuting cost would be a killer, but with gas around $3.00 a gallon it's probably a wash. The train Station has had a face lift since my last visit. The Station is South of Market near SBC Park and the whole area is changing so fast with new shops and condos. At the station I purchased my ticket, grabbed a coffee and boarded, the seating was comfortable, clean and uncrowded.

The Jazz Festival is the one event that spurs me to San Jose, the Festival is held downtown in and around Plaza de Caesar Chavez Park , there are several stages, excluding the Main Stage my favorites are the Youth Stage in the Tech Museum of Innovation and the San Jose Rep Theatre. The Youth Stage features young musician, I'm encouraged seeing Jazz being played and appreciated by another generation. The San Jose Rep is indoors and air conditioned it's a comfortable place to hear music and beat the heat. Best surprise was hearing The Bad Plus this group could swing, flow into the avant garde and has a rock aesthetic. I really enjoyed them and their percussionist Dave King was skilled and entertaining. Eddie Palmieri the great Latin Jazz Pianist is always a must see. Since being introduced to him at Yoshi's I'll see him whenever possible. I have to mention the pleasure of seeing Ernestine Anderson a performer whose singing career spans over 50 years and sung during the big band era.

It was a mellow day my only complaint was a rude vendor...but I won't elaborate just someone who lost a customer for life.


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