LB Jazz Festival – Steve Adelson, Rachel-Z and more!

Today the Long Beach Jazz Festival brought to the stage four sessions of extraordinary artists. First to perform was the Olli Soikkelo Duo, two well paired guitarists, with complementary styles, that of the Django gypsy jazz style of Finnish guitarist, Olli Soikkelo and that of the Brazilian “chorinho”, a mix of 19th century European and African music, played by Brazilian guitarist, Cesar Garabini.

At session #2, The Steve Adelson Stick-Tet brought down the house with a jam. Everyone knows the multi-talented Steve for his Chapman stick instrument, a specially tuned string instrument, his command of different jazz genres and as the Executive Director and Founder of the Long Beach Jazz Festival. On stage with him were Bryan Cannott on vibraphone, Frank Bellucci on drums, Nydia Liberty Mata, percussionist, Dean Brown on guitar, Karel Ruzickajr on sax, David Langlois and Mino Cinelu on percussion and Frank Bellucci.

Strings Attached was an opportunity to hear five consummate jazz guitar players, each exhibiting their own style but masterfullly blending as a group: Jack Wilins, Vic Juris, Ron Affif, and Vinnie Valentino. They were expertly supported by Essiett Essiet on bass and David Gibson on drums.

With each group’s performance, the audience became more enthusiastic. When Rachel Z & The New Unicorns took to the stage, Rachel Z, a Grammery award winner (Best Contemporary Jazz Album) together with her ensemble, Mino Cinelu on percussion and Clarence Penn on drums, Jonathan Toscano on bass, drew the crowd into her musical world where she is clearly influenced by Joni Mitchell, Nirvana and Sade.

Again, in the evening, as in previous days, artists, that appeared throughout the day performed in various ensembles at local restaurants. So ends Saturday of the Long Beach Festival, a community gem!

Review and photographs by Maria Passannante-Derr.

Olli Soikkelo Duo

Steve Adelson Stick-Tet

Strings Attached

Rachel Z & The New Unicorns