Back in March, Hubby and I attended the After Midnight Gala auction for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, a wonderful jazz Big Band. At that auction, we bought a weekend package that included two nights of lodging, and tickets to Friday and Saturday concerts, the weekend of July 31. Port Townsend is across Puget Sound from our home in Everett, so the weekend started with a beautiful ferry ride from Edmonds to Kingston. We just love this ferry, and sometimes we just go for a day trip. It was sunny and warm. Here are some pictures of what we saw from the ferry on the way over.
This one was taken from the ferry before we even left port! The State is doing some upgrades to the dock, and I am always impressed with the big machinery.
Next, I turned my camera in toward the car deck, and I just laughed to see this vehicle parked next to us. Check out the license plate frame.
We really do live in one of the most gorgeous places in the world.
That’s Mount Baker, which is north of us, nearly on the Canadian border.
We drove on west through Kingston and Port Gamble, and reached Port Townsend in the late afternoon. Here are a couple of pictures of the place we stayed. This is a private home, which was donated by the owner for the auction (one of the SRJO board members had stayed there and loved it). We had our own little suite with a private entrance at the back. Beware that monster!
Friday night’s concert (and all the rest) was held in a former blimp hangar at Fort Worden. Here are some shots of the outside and the inside. No photography was allowed during the concerts, of course.
Friday night’s performers were two groups. The first group was called “Keep on Keepin’ On”, with Justin Kauflin (an amazing blind pianist), Doug Weiss, Bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums. The second group “The Haris House”, consisted of Niki Haris, a wonderful singer, backed up by Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Sullivan Fortner on piano, John Clayton on bass, and Joe LaBarbera on drums. They were all fantastic, and had the audience captivated. Jazz musicians tend to have a great sense of humor, too, and we all got lots of laughs.
Saturday had two performances, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Outside the hall in the afternoon, there were groups of student musicians who had been at the week-long jazz workshop, showing their stuff. These kids are awesome!
Saturday afternoon’s concert was incredible, featuring a lady who really screamed on her saxophone. You don’t often think of sax players as ladies, but this one, Tia Fuller, really knows her stuff! She was backed up by Sullivan Fortner on piano, Doug Weiss on bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums. Beautiful woman, great music, and lots of laughs-what more could you ask for?
Next on the program “Lifting Voices”, consisting of Cedric Dent and Niki Haris vocals, Sullivan Fortner again on piano, Jon Hamar, bass, and Joe LaBarbera on drums.
Last came the “All Star Big Band” of the workshop faculty, directed by John Clayton. They did get a little snippy with the conductor, but then they’re all stars in their own right! Soloists were Jeff Clayton on alto sax, Adrian Cunningham on tenor sax, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Sean Jones and Terell Stafford on trumpet, Hubert Laws on flute, and vocals by Dee Daniels and Niki Haris. The rest of the band consisted of Mark Taylor and Tia Fuller on alto sax; Adrian Cunningham and Alex Dugdale on tenor sax; Gary Smulyan on baritone sax; Brad Allison, Terell Stafford, Sean Jones, Jay Thomas, Andy Omdahl on trumpet; Wycliffe Gordon, David Marriott, Dan Marcus on trombone; Greg Schroder on bass trombone, Dan Balmer on guitar, Bill Cunliffe on piano, Chuck Deardorf on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums. I swear, Matt Wilson looked like something straight out of Mad Men! Needless to say, they were awesome.
After the Saturday afternoon concert we had some free time, so we went looking for dinner. We first drove down to the Port Townsend Marina. Beautiful!
Saturday night’s concert was just wonderful. The first act featured someone who I had never heard of before, Hubert Laws, whose instrument is the flute! You don’t often think of the flute as a jazz instrument, but Mr. Laws is a past master. Aside from the fact that the flute can get overpowered by louder instruments, the program was very fun, and Hubert Laws is a great musician. The last act featured a tribute to Louis Armstrong, led by Wycliffe Gordon on his trombone. All the musicians were really playing out, and we all felt that we had been really “jazzed-up” by the end of the evening.
As usual, we arose late on Sunday for the drive and ferry ride home. Here are some of the things we saw on the way out of town to the ferry in Kingston.
The Fort Worden Military Cemetery in just outside the gates. That is a cannon way over on the edge of the enclosure.
Closer to town, we drove by this old building, being devoured by the vegetation, and I just had to get its picture.
Most of my readers and followers know my political orientation. This sign, which we saw all over town, shows the orientation of most of the town. Opposite from mine.
Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.
Here are a couple of photos taken from the bluff just outside the east gate of the old fort.
That’s the old officers’ quarters, which are now vacation rentals.
We got to Kingston around 4:00PM, and got in the ferry line. I went hunting with my camera, and this is what I found.
The newly-legal industry is doing their “good citizen” activity. Sigh…
Yes, even expensive Italian sports cars take the ferry.
The Norwegian Pearl, starting its journey to Alaska from Seattle. Three cruise lines ply that route, and it’s prime tourist season.
Once on the ferry, I got this one. Beautiful sailboat, in a brisk wind. She’s the Mata Hari.
All in all, a wonderful weekend.