Jazzfest 2011 Brings Music to Takoma Park
On a hot, sunny Sunday afternoon jazz musicians and connoisseurs commerged on Carol Avenue for a tribute to music
Jim Borheis has been president of the Takoma Park Jazzfest since it moved to its current location on Carroll Avenue four years ago. He said the day was turning out many more people than last year, in large part to the much milder heat than last year.
Because Jazzfest is completely volunteer run, Vorhies is retired and enlists the help of his wife, daughter and many other community members to help in the planning and execution. With streets closing at 7 a.m. and vendors unpacking at 8 a.m., the festival is a year-long planning process that involves asking the community for donations, making sure city and county funds come through and recruiting vendors. “The city and county pay for the bands to be here, and the vendors pay for facilities.” The Takoma Park Police Department also lent five police officers and the Public Works Department hels with set up and take down. This year, they also started an ad program, with ads ranging from $50 to $600 in the Jazzfest program.
It was Phyllis McNeil's first year as a vendor selling handbags and jewelry at Jazzfest, and though she said she was less than thrilled about the amount of sales she'd made by 3 p.m., she had broken even for the $80 it took to rent the space. She took one of 75 slots for vendors at this years Takoma Park Jazzfest
On the Gazebo stage, the Tim Andrulonis Quartet went on as a result of winning the 2011 JazzFest Brawl, which is a battle between three bands in February at a local bar.
Shelley Kater, of Garden Gate Pottery, was selling her wheel-thrown and decorative pottery for her second year at the festival. With only an online storefront, she said festivals like this one were important to build her client base. “This is the best kind of festival because I can sit here and sell my art while listening to great music,” she said.
Ward 2 councilmember and chair of the Takoma Park Folk Festival Colleen Clay said they were doing more business than they usually do. This year, they created a new t-shirt, “I am Takoma Park Folk,” which she said was a hot seller, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., they'd sold 12 shirts.
Many people, both from Takoma Park and around the region, came to enjoy the music, which included Nashville jazz vocalist Dara Tucker, latin jazz band Nucleo Vega Quartet and singer/songwriter James Webb.
Kate Moody, a five-year Takoma Park resident, was sitting outside Takoma Bicycle with two of her four children, six-year-old John and three-year-old Jack. Jack said his favorite part of the festival so far were, “the guitars.”
First-time Jazzfest goers were George and Janie Dial, residents of D.C., who came to enjoy the music, though George said he had expected more booths, “I thought I would see more jazz, and not as many vendors.” He said he wasn't expecting to attend the DC Jazz Festival, held through June 13, because, “I don't have that kind of time to spend.” The Takoma Park Jazzfest spans one day, while the DC version spans 13 days over many different venors, some of which are not free.
Osei and Toni Daniels came because straight from the Takoma Park Farmer's Market, which was right next to the Jazzfest. Though it was both their first time, they attend the Takoma Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church on a regular basis, whose lawn provided grassy seating for patrons. They both grew up in Takoma Park, but didn't meet until they both went on Yahoo Personals and now live in Silver Spring. “This is great, the music is universal, everybody can get into it,” Toni said, who runs an accounting business out of her home. “What I love about this is it drives a community of eclectic folk.”
Though Vorheis doesn't claim to be an aficionado of jazz, he said he enjoys organizing it because it gives him the chance to interact with community members and bring jazz to the neighborhood. “Not only are we bringing people together, but we're supporting local artists and a great tradition of music.”