Jazz Port Townsend ~ 2018

Thanks to Centrum (creativity in community) Centrum for hosting the Jazz Port Townsend ~2018 event. A very special thank you to KNKX (jazz, blues and NPR news) KNKX for inviting me to photograph one very cool weekend of all Jazz, all day, everywhere. Jazz Pt Townsend 7-2018-7270236Thank you also to John Clayton, Grammy-winning bassist, composer, conductor and Artistic Director for putting on another great year.

From young (aged 8) to old (83) musicians from around the world come together for a week of Jazz workshops, jam sessions taught by some of jazz industry’s best, and concerts in the pavilion by top flight performers like Jazzmeia Horn, Jeff Hamilton, Stefon Harris and more than I can mention here. For a full list of performers see Centrums line up here Performers

What so impressed me was the number of young jazz enthusiasts participating in the program. According to Centrum, thirty percent of program participants are age 18 and younger. Jazz Pt Townsend 7-2018-1294That is awesome. I’ve been reading and hearing that jazz is loosing it’s appeal as the population ages. But I think that’s largely here in the U.S. But to see an event the size of this one and know that thirty percent are under the age 18 gives rise to new hope that jazz will survive and thrive with these new young participants.

The location for the event is Fort Worden State Park Fort Worden Port Townsend, Washington . On the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, surrounded on two sides by the Puget Sound to the east and The Straights of Juan DeFuca on the north.

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The Lighthouse at Fort Worden State Park

Formerly a military installation now a state park with great facilities for vacationers. Students for the event are housed in the renovated old barracks and families have access to the “officers” housing.

When I first pulled in to the park the first thing I heard were the distant sounds of music; horns, pianos, drums and guitars, coming from all over the grounds. Beautiful music everywhere. Once checked in I grabbed my camera and made way for the sounds that were filling the air. Not more than a hundred yards from my accommodations I came across the Wheeler Theater with sounds wafting out on to the street. Here, performances and recording sessions were taking place for KNKX’s “School of Jazz.” KNKX School of Jazz  and being recorded by KNKX’s John Kessler   and MC’d by KNKX’s Abe Beeson

All across the grounds were students of all ages practicing with their peers and mentors, some preparing for their live performances at one of the many ‘clubs’ around the grounds in the evening. Early Saturday morning on my walk I saw one young man who looked to be about 12 playing his saxophone out on the balcony of his residence, filling the morning air and the park with the sweet sounds of his horn.Jazz Pt Townsend 7-2018-7270362

On Friday and Saturday concerts are held in the McCurdy Pavilion Mainstage. Performers like Dave Stryker, Justin Kauflin and Katie Thiroux, Jazzmeia Horn,

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Jazzmeia Horn

Jeff Hamilton and more. Late evening when the concerts on the mainstage are done, Centrum opens up their six ‘clubs’ for more live music by students and mentors.

So yes, all live jazz music, all day, everywhere. Seriously good event for music lovers and those who just enjoy seeing inspired young and older people from around the world come together and speak the universal language of music. Sweet, sweet music.

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Young Jazz Musicians wearing their KNKX Shades.
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Housing for students and families at Fort Worden

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More photos of the event can be seen here at https://www.tomcollinsphotography.com/KNKX/KNKX-Jazz-Pt-Townsend-7-27-2018/

Thanks for following along.

Tom

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