Friday, July 11, 2008

Omaha Riverfront Jazz & Blues Festival ’08 – July 11

I just got back from the opening night of the Jazz & Blues festival at the Lewis & Clark Landing, right off of the Missouri River. I’ve seen a bunch of concerts there so it’s a cool place to see an outdoor show. And by cool, I mean the awesome kind of cool, not the temperature kind of cool, because when we left, well after dark, it was still over 90 degrees. A hot night in Omaha.

There were four bands on the docket tonight: the Midwest Smooth Jazz All-Stars, Dotsero, Soul Express, and the Average White Band. But for me, there was only one band there… Soul Express. Everette Harp, one of the coolest cats to ever pick up the sax is one of the lead men and to hear him play was a tremendous treat. Dude’s got some serious sick chops. And the other considerable treat was Phil Perry. If you don’t know who that is, then you’re seriously missing out. Some say one of the hottest jazz voices through the 80s & 90s was Luther Vandross, and while I love Luther, for my money give me some Phil Perry. When he took the stage about 2/3 through the Soul Express set, we heard the biggest reaction from the crowd. Insane vocal range and smooth as silk. Incredible show.

Have you ever seen over a hundred people over the age of 50 doing the electric slide? Then you ain’t seen nothing. Totally worth the price of admission.

Props to the Midland’s Cultural and Historical Association for putting on a great festival, and thanks to Julie and FNB for the awesome tickets.

If you’re reading this before 3:00pm on July 12th and you’re in Omaha, head down to the Riverfront and check out day 2. You won’t be disappointed.


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