Every year, San Francisco’s Fillmore Street comes alive in July for the annual Fillmore Jazz Festival. This year, they had a sterling line-up this past weekend and while I don’t always make it if I’m traveling out of town or out of country, this year, I was able to take in some fabulous blues and jazz acts at inside venues as well as on the outside stages, all of which is free to attendees.
A long time lover of blues and yes, mo-town, I was thrilled that there was mo-town going down for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. Also performing were Michael Orenstein Group, Venissa Santi, Norbert Stachel and Electric Forecast featuring Ray Obiedo, Kim Nalley, Homenagem Brasileira Feminina, Jai Uttal and the Queen of Hearts Orchestra, Yaelisa Y Caminos Flamencos, Hip Spanic Allstars, Consonance, Jaye & Friends From the Fillmore, Scary Larry and the Monster, Coltraine, Sista Monica, Dave Costa Trio, Doctor Dee, Foxtails Brigade, Dana Leong, West African Hi Life Band, Locura, Carlos Zalcito, Dwight Carrier, Bobbie Webb, Blues Band Show featuring Vinnie Florres and Paul Palizzola aka Paul From the Streets and The King Brothers.
It draws tens of thousands of visitors and it is so crowded that the Elite Bar along Fillmore, which I’ve been to on a number of occasions opted not to allow guests to sip their wine from a real glass, even if you were sitting at the bar and ordering food. I thought the policy was obnoxious despite the fact that I get their concerns and issues – apparently martini glasses went walking at last year’s event from many a drunk visitor. That said, if I’m ordering a $13 glass of wine from a bottle of wine I care something about, plastic doesn’t cut it. The bartenders were so awesome and agreed that the policy sucked, so it was hard to carry a beef for long. Ching ching to both of them though I sadly didn’t get their names.
Not only did they have live music on multiple stages, but there was over eight blocks of fine art and crafts and fast food stands, where you could get barbecue oysters, fried calamari, burgers, dogs, terriyaki chicken, corn on the cob, pulled meat sandwiches and pizza. From Asian to Cajun, paintings to pottery, artsy clothing to tattoos, art to jewelry, photography to shoes, there seemed to be something for everyone, well, nearly everyone. Below are a couple shots of Earle Davis and band, who I’ve heard perform before. Always a pleasure.
Earle Davis and Band... Note, here’s a link to him playing elsewhere in San Francisco solo.
5 Point Zero who blew us all away with great motown! Let’s just say that I got down with motown and had my dancing shoes tapping and hitting the pavement until they went on break and I finally had to leave. They were rocking!!
Sista Monica Parker and her band played on one of the main stages. Her energy was great and she has a sax player who was certain to keep everyone dancing until they all packed up.