54th Monterey Jazz Festival! What a great festival it was. My best one so far. I was concerned about not being able to sit close enough to the stages to see the musicians well enough to paint on my iPad. Painting during live jazz is what I do! This was my first chance to do so at MJF.
The first night, Friday , Sept. 16, I recklessly abandoned the large outdoors arena (Jimmy Lyon's Stage) where we do have very respectable seats in row G - earned over many years steady attendance - and stood in the long line for Dizzy's Den, had my dinner in line, and got a pretty good seat. I chose Dizzy's Den because it promised a close view of Richard Bona and Raul Midon followed by Hiromi: the Trio Project. This was a totally different approach to the festival. In the past I would come and go between the various venues (there are 6 different spaces - all spread out over the Monterey Fairgrounds, with food and drink vendors, vendors of CDs, hats and crafts) depending on how much I liked the music.
I found myself supported by the audience around me at Dizzy's Den. They showed a lot of interest in what I was doing, and a couple of them gave up their seats so that I could have a better view of the performers. And at the end of each performance I was able to go backstage and get signatures. Afterwards I was so jazzed.... painting at the MJF works!!! It was a lot of fun! I am very pleased with the results. And, I was completely blown away by the forceful playing of Hiromi and her drummer Simon Phillips! Richard Bona and Raul Midon's performance was sweet and lovely. A great evening.