Swingin’ Groningen day 3

After Friday’s program Swingin’ Groningen was far from over. In the afternoon there were performances in various locations in the city, entertaining the shoppers with lots of music and in the evening it was back to the four stages I covered the day before. The afternoon I spent shopping and not shooting so no photos of thos gigs I’m afraid, but I did try my best to cover as much of the evening as I could whilst also enjoying the performances.

I stated out at the Poeleplein stage around half past seven, where Anthony’s Putsch kicked of the third day. A great warm sound. Not so much Jazz-related, but then Swaingin’ Groningen is far from a pure Jazz festival. i liked what I heard and it will be interesting to see the band again for a full gig.


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However I had a busy schedule and so I was off to the stage at Waagplein where Doeshka had just started. Doeshka Vrede is a cute 20 year old singer with a fantastic voice and an endearing personality. Fun songs, lovingly chatty between songs and backed by a great band (I loved the guitarist!) I found it very hard to pull myself away from the stage.


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However I really did have to leave Doeshka to get a front row spot at the main stage at the Grote Markt. Icelandic fusion band Mezzoforte -best known for their hit ‘Garden Party’- was sure to get a lot of people having a party at the market.


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I had to leave after a while of course as there was much more going on. To the Poeleplein then where the Colman Brothers had already started their own party; a band formed around the brothers Colman (no big surprise there). The Colman Brothers play bras, Mat on trombone and Andrew on trumpet and flugelhorn. Backed by a band they played a funky jazz set that sounded fantstic. Had a lot of fun there. I have a bit of a thing for brass in jazz :-)


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Eventually I had to move on for another gig, my second encounter with Randy Brecker. The previous gig was with Mike del Forro, now he was playing with ‘New York comes to Groningen Top Ensamble‘ quite a mouth full. But this was jazz at it’s best. Funky, swinging, great solos. Loved it! it was also great to see a bunch of young kids being totally taken in by this gig.


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Unfortunately though I once again had to leave the concert well before it ended to get myself the best place at the Grote Markt stage again. The Jamal Thomas Band was to headline the evening featuring no other then the incredible Mr. Fred Wesley, legendary jazz and funk-trombonist behind the Horny Horns and having played with James Brown, Maceo Parker, Bootsie Collins, Parliament and countless other bands.

The Jamal Thomas Band did a fantastic job playing a great soul/funk set, but you could feel the audience brisk up when Fred Wesley took to the stage. That didn’t happen to often at first, but towards the end of the show with all the special guests on stage, the fantastic backing vocalists inciting the crowd it finally really took of. It was a fantastic gig, especially when it all clicked.


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I really wanted to check out two more bands. As it was already nearing the end of their sets I didn’t have much time and so couldn’t fully make much of the music, but I was interested anyway so I first set of to the furthest stage -Ellebogen- where Bl3nder played a set combinding Hiphop with jazz. A good crowd was enjoying a good sound mixed with the raps of Def P.. Sounded interesting, but unfortunately the light was crap. Couldn’t make much of that.


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I had to rush back to the Waagplein stage and got there just in time for the very last song of Nick Pride & The Pimptones. From the audience’s reaction that gig must have been fantastic, haven’t heard as much call for an encore as I heard here. The last song sounded impressive too. I haven’t a clue who the singer was, but she sure did move impressively. Truly hope to make up for missing them sometime.


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And that was it for Swingin’ Groningen 2012. I honestly can say I haven’t seen a single band that disappointed me. I hugely enjoyed the various forms of jazz and funk. For a free festival the quality of the bands on stage is fantastic and I really hope Swingin’ Groningen is here to stay for a long time! See you next year!