Carson City Jazz Festival

Last night I was standing outside my office on the west side of Carson City, when suddenly I heard music floating through the air. It sounded like it was drifting in from far away, yet it was still loud enough to make out. I ruled out the possibility that someone was just playing the radio; it definitely had that echoey quality you get when you’re hearing a live performance bouncing off buildings. I was instantly overcome with curiosity, since live music is something that’s in short supply in Carson City. So I started strolling in the direction I heard it coming from, and soon I found myself at the Brewery Arts Center, right in the middle of a free concert by the Reno Jazz Orchestra. Minnesota Street was blocked off for food and t-shirt vendors, and the parking lot of the old St Teresa’s church had been transformed into a performance hall. It was after dark, so the crowd looked like it had dwindled as the hour got later, but there were still quite a few spectators left. I arrived just as they finished one song and were about to segue into “In the Still of the Night” by Cole Porter, so I whipped out my iRiver digital recorder and grabbed a quick bootleg of the orchestra playing.

Reno Jazz Orchestra – In the Still of the Night (3:45, 2.58MB, MP3)

That little iRiver does a fairly good job of recording with the built-in microphone. Especially considering how tiny it is. But the orchestra was no match for it. About halfway though, when the horn section really starts blowing, you can tell that the iRiver was having some problems with the levels. Oh well. It’s still pretty remarkable that you can do this at all.

This appearance is part of the “Basically Basie” Jazz Festival, a celebration of Count Basie’s birthday continuing all weekend at the Brewery Arts Center. According to the schedule, there is a main event every night, along with smaller performances throughout the day.

If you’re into jazz at all, you should definitely head over there to check it out. The Brewery Arts Center is at the corner of Minnesota and King Streets in Carson City. I’m going to be at work all weekend, so I just might stroll over there again, maybe grab some more recordings, maybe take some pictures of the event. And if anyone else saw any of the performances, let us know about it!

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