Letting the good times roll in Pismo

Pismo Jazz Jubilee by the Sea


Well, I must confess, that's a lot of music to hear in four days. No one seemed trouble by the task, however, including myself. The Jubilee is no longer "strictly trad jazz," though most of the music presented has roots or influence from that genre. Good stuff! I'll return to hear more of it.

The usual challenges prevailed for photography: dark venues, microphones and music stands in front of the musicians, distracting things behind the musicians, and an audience that, I'm pretty sure, came to see and hear the bands and not some bloke making photographs and blocking their view. That said, there were some good opportunities to pursue without becoming a nuisance. The Veteran's Hall stage is dark and surrounded with black curtains. It requires high ISO photography and focus can be challenging, but it can yield dramatic photographs when approached with attention and perseverance. The Women's Club and the Willows stages are small, and opportunities for isolating musicians there are limited. On the plus side, the musicians tend to hold a specific position. And I don't recall seeing any distracting bright white chairs on those stages! The Arroyo Grande Regional Center is large and relatively well lighted. The Addie Street tent was the most challenging for my style of photograpy, but I managed to get a few photographs there that hit the mark.

There were no challenges to enjoying the music. This event is organized, sponsored, and run by people who care, and that is an effective trilogy. There were attentive people at the sound boards, too. I've been to festivals that ignore that component. The musicians, too, showed appreciation for attention to such details. This event is about the music.

Good people did abound. The organizers, the volunteers, the musicians, and all of the people who kept the chairs warm were in good humour and high spirits. It would be an agreeable experience even without the photographs. There will likely be a similar crowd again next year. I hope to be part of it.

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
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