Litchfield Jazz Festival 2007
But maybe the best set of the festival came very early on and from a sentimental place. As mentioned above, the Litchfield Jazz Festival works in conjunction with Litchfield Jazz Camp (Don Braden, Sonny Fortune drummer Steve Johns, most of Mario Pavone's group including the leader, Dave Stryker and others from the festival participated in 2007). A pair of brothers, Zaccai (piano) and Luques (bass) Curtis were once students at the camp but opened the first full day with their Latin jazz group Insight. Supporting a new album and fresh off a Grammy win for Luques (he plays in Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch's band), the septet impressed the arriving crowd with mature and compelling melodies that expanded upon what is sometimes a constrained stylistic palette.
The rest of the festival was energetic and enthusiastic, just modern enough to attract without alienating. The mixture and pacing fit the laid-back environment and all the performers seemed genuinely to enjoy their experience, translating into heartfelt sets from afternoon to evening. With fine, if a little warm, weather, good music, a bag of kettle corn and some local beer, the blueberries didn't stand a chance.