I wandered over in the late afternoon, had a lamb curry with mango lassi and lingered with the Dumpstaphunk New Orleans sound in the warm sunshine. Having the MJF app on my phone and iPad was handy for figuring out what was happening where. One of the tough aspects of the festival is having to forgo so many potentially great acts. Can't be at more than one place at a time - more so if you want a front row seat and stay long enough to execute a painting. On Saturday I knew I wanted to see the pianist Geri Allen perform with the tap dancer Maurice Chestnut: Geri Allen & Timeline "A Jazz Tap Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr". And I did not want to miss Herbie Hancock, both events taking place at the big outdoors arena, the Jimmy Lyons Stage. I got there early and took a seat at the front, hoping no one would claim it....and went to work, cheered on by a couple of ushers. Painting in layers I started with the stage, struggled to add Geri Allen as she flicked back and forth in the giant screen above the stage, then drew in the shadowy audience in the coveted orchestra seats, and found a way to add the constantly moving marionette - like tap dancer. Such intense focus - that I nearly fell off the seat when its rightful owner showed up. Moved a couple of seats over and finished as the set finished. I loved the piano, and the tap dancing, and the visuals were compelling. And, having had such misgivings about painting in the big arena, I was happy to find out I could.
Herbie Hancock is one of my all-time favorites. On this painting he appears as a very small guy with his white portable keyboard. And tiny Herbie is multiplied on the overhead big screen. Just a fantasy! Herbie was painted from our regular seat in row G.