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I saw Al Strong Friday night in John Brown's Jazz Orchestra; here he is soloing with Orquesta GarDel at the Jordan Lake Arts and Music Festival.
JLAM was a nice set-up; the festival has room to grow but it was not a bad turnout for their first event ever. It has a Shakori vibe but the location is far more accessible to where most people in the Triangle live; it was just a straight shot down 751 from Durham for me, north of Apex on Jordan Lake, in a pretty area with horses and farms and country churches. Nice sounds, groovy vendors, hula folk, all the essentials were there for a funky good time. (Ran into HOBEX' Greg Humphreys, checking out the soundscape, on Sunday.) It will be interesting to watch this festival grow.
I went back Sunday to see Eric and Pete from Orquesta GarDel (pictured) in their live hiphop gig, The Beast, with Pierce Freelon. Among other tunes you can hear on YouTube and now, on their EP, they rolled out "Translation," a salsa-hiphop hybrid that brought the dancers back out from Carolina Ballroom of Cary.
Carolina Ballroom had a booth at the festival, and delivered their dance energy en masse at GarDel's set the day before. I did a little mingling and danced with one of their instructors, Robert Wright. That was a friendly meeting of the worlds (in the grassy, muddy terrain, "street rules" definitely applied). Robert and his wife Mitzi are Fred Astaire-schooled instructors who teach all types of ballroom dancing at their Cary studio.
Hear The Beast's recent interview on WUNC's The State of Things on their myspace player. Appearing soon at Shakori Hills (10/10) and Duke Coffeehouse (10/18).